Marco Rubio and the Age of the Earth

Senator Marco Rubio has been under savage attack and ridicule recently for his answer regarding the age of the earth. Most of the criticism I have read has painted a picture of Rubio and Republicans in general as being ignorant – scientifically, and in many of the criticisms, just plain ignorant across the board.

The attacks are an attempt by Left Wing Progressive Democrats to sabotage Senator Rubio’s political career, in particular destroying any Presidential hopes he may have.    

The attacks are also an attack on Biblical Christianity and part of a broad based upsurge of “evangelical” atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Jerry Coyne, Carl Sagan , Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and others (yes, I do know that Sagan and Hitchens are dead  …  may Something/Nothing rest their souls).

So let us take a look at the age of the earth and see what a fairly recent scientific study concluded.  I have included below a report from Dr. Jason Lisle on the RATE study conducted by researchers from the Institute for Creation Research, and Answers in Genesis. Like Dr. Lisle, I was in attendance at the 2005 meeting he refers to in his report.  

Before reading the following report please note that, with the exception of Dr. Boyd,  the principles in this study are not theologians, not evangelical preachers,  not Bible School professors, not television evangelists … they are practicing PhD scientists doing real scientific research using real scientific methods:

Dr. Lisle’s report follows

“This past weekend I had the privilege of attending the “Thousands . . . Not Billions” conference where the results of the RATE (Radioisotopes and the age of the earth) project were presented. The RATE project (a joint research initiative between the Institute for Creation Research, and the Creation Research Society) has carefully investigated the method of radioisotope dating: a method that allegedly shows rocks to be millions or billions of years old. Of course, the biblical text indicates a much more recent creation-a fact confirmed by RATE researcher and Hebrew scholar Dr. Steven Boyd. So it is exciting (but not surprising) that the RATE researchers have uncovered powerful evidence that supports a recent creation, and explains the radioisotope data within the biblical timescale.

We have known for some time that radiometric dating methods are unreliable. They often disagree between methods (this was quantified by RATE geologist Dr. Steven Austin and Dr. Andrew Snelling) and can produce vastly inflated age estimates for rocks that are known to be recently formed. However, RATE scientists have attempted to answer the question of why the radioisotope methods are giving the inflated ages. One of the profound results of the RATE research is the exciting evidence of accelerated nuclear decay in the past.

All radioisotope dating methods assume (among other things) that the decay rate of a given isotope (an atomic nucleus with a given number of neutrons) is constant-that it has always been what it is today. Only if nuclear decay rates have always been constant can the method be used to estimate a reliable age. After all, a clock would not give the correct time if it were to dramatically speed up or slow down. The RATE researchers have uncovered several independent lines of evidence that strongly indicate that nuclear decay was much more rapid in the past.

RATE physicist Dr. Russ Humphreys reported on the measurements of helium diffusing (leaking) out of zircon crystals. The helium is produced by radioactive decay, but over time it can leak out of the crystals. If the zircons were billions of years, there should be very little helium left since it would have had plenty of time to diffuse away, yet there is still a tremendous amount of helium in the zircons-consistent with an age of about 6,000 years. The current amount of helium in the zircons, and the measured rate of helium diffusion show (1) that a lot of radioactive decay has happened (to produce so much helium) and (2) that it must have happened quickly in the recent past (otherwise the helium would have had time to escape).

RATE geophysicist Dr. John Baumgardner reported on the detection of C14 in coal and in diamonds. Since C14 is a short-lived radioisotope, it cannot survive for millions of years. This is compelling evidence that these diamonds and coal deposits are thousands of years old at most. In particular, the hard lattice structure of a diamond makes any sort of contamination extremely unlikely. Dr. Baumgardner also stated that C14 is found in essentially all fossil organic material throughout the geologic column.

Dr. Andrew Snelling (Ph.D. in geology) reported on the topic of radiohalos (tiny spheres of discolored crystal produced by the decay of radioactive material at their center) and fission tracks. His research strongly indicates that uranium must have decayed much more quickly in the past-an independent confirmation of accelerated decay.

RATE researcher Dr. Larry Vardiman (Ph.D. in atmospheric science) summarized the results and discussed possible avenues for future research. The technical results and data of the RATE research can be found in the newly-released book Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth volume II. Dr. Don DeYoung (Ph.D. in physics) has written an easy-to-understand summary of the RATE research in a book for non-specialists entitled Thousands . . . Not Billions. “

End of Dr. Lisle’s report

So before you jump on the bash Rubio bandwagon, study and consider the evidence for yourself. Don’t take my word for it and don’t take the word of the many pundits touting the “settled science” of evolution and “billions and billions” of years.    

In closing I would like to remind you to take a close look at the recent findings on DNA and ask yourself whether evolution or an Intelligent Design accounts for the amazing presence of DNA; I offer my essay  as a starting point for your examination.

Me thinks that those claiming Rubio ignorance are themselves sitting in the front pew of ignorance and arrogance.

Don Johnson – December 2012





3 responses to “Marco Rubio and the Age of the Earth

  1. Pingback: Speeding Up the Radioactive Decay of an Isotope | A Yearning for Publius

  2. Pingback: Who Made God? A Response From The Author | A Yearning for Publius

  3. Pingback: Maybe We Should Pay More Attention To The Bible … Part 5: Can we trust the Bible as truth? | A Yearning for Publius

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