Are We Living in a New Geologic Age?
These geologists naming these ages are making a critical assumption. They’re assuming millions of years of earth’s history. This newest and most recent age, the Meghalayan Age, is based on oxygen isotopes found in stalagmites in an Indian cave. The observational evidence regarding the isotopes has then been interpreted within an evolutionary worldview.
Dr. Andrew Snelling, a geologist and the director of research at AiG, highlights the assumptions behind this research and how biblical creationists would understand the formation of the cave features used for the research:
Once again there is a blurring of the actual observable data which can be repeatedly measured, in this case the oxygen isotope measurements of the different layers in the speleothems (cave formations such as stalactites and stalagmites) and the interpretation of those oxygen isotope measurements. The interpretation is not the same as the measured oxygen isotope values. What they might mean is an interpretation based on assumptions. And those assumptions are critical.
In this use of the oxygen isotope measurements in stalagmite layers to interpret past ages and climates is the implicit assumption that the present is the key to the past. So because such cave formations grow so slowly today, and because the oxygen isotope values in today’s layers alternate according to the yearly wet and dry monsoon seasons today in this Indian cave, it is assumed the alternating stalagmite growth layers with different oxygen isotope values can be counted back for thousands of years. Also, it is assumed the widths of these layers reflect the higher rainfall of the wet seasons.
Such assumptions automatically rule out the wetter period in the early post-flood world, when, as a consequence of the warmer ocean waters at the end of the flood (due to all the hot volcanic waters released during the flood), there were huge storms called hypercanes (super-sized hurricanes) that dumped huge rainfall over the continents on an almost weekly basis. Thus there could have been several alternating wet and dry periods every month, perhaps even as many as 10 per month. Therefore, on this basis, counting back these oxygen isotope variations in the stalagmite layers would not be one pair of wet and dry period layers per year, but many per year. This means the timescale involved is much, much less than these scientists are insisting on, instead only a few thousand years at most back to the early post-flood period, probably back to the time when the earth was readjusting after the post-flood ice age. Indeed, there is biblical eyewitness testimony to this wetter period. When Abraham’s nephew Lot looked down to the Jordan valley, he saw that it was well watered and lush, whereas today it is very dry desert country.
The key issues to keep in mind when reading such science news stories are, what are the observable data, what is the interpretation, and what are the assumptions behind the interpretation of the data? Almost invariably when long ages are interpreted, the assumption is that the present is the key to the past, which automatically rules out the eyewitness testimony that in the past there was a global flood that radically changed the earth due to the catastrophic geologic processes involved at rates we never observe today. So we can categorically reject their interpretation because it is not based on the eyewitness testimony of the biblical account of earth history.
What we observe makes perfect sense in light of a global flood and its aftereffects, not millions of years. So are we living in a new geological age? Well yes, in the sense that we’re now living in the post-flood age! But no, we’re not living in a new evolutionary geologic age!
Get More Answers on Answers News
I discussed this item today on Answers News with regular cohosts Dr. Georgia Purdom and Bodie Hodge. Answers News is our twice-weekly news program filmed live before a studio audience here at the Creation Museum and broadcast on my Facebook page and the Answers in Genesis Facebook page. We also discussed the following intriguing topics:
- A new henge has been discovered in Ireland.
- Scientists attempt to use a cosmic collision to estimate the age of the universe.
- Did a school break the law by promoting a student-led mission trip?
- And more!
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This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.