Review by Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
First Published 7 September 2005
Ice cores give solid evidence for the existence of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets existence over the last 160,000+ years. In this chapter, Oard tries to explain away this data. First, for an explanation of the processes used to examine ice cores, free of any young earth creation science hype, you may wish to read Ice Core Dating (http://www.talkorigins.org/faq/icecores.html).
Are There 110,000 Annual Layers in the Greenland Ice Sheet? (Page 120)
Oard’s main complaint here is that scientists must make assumptions as to the thickness of the annual layers when you go deep into the ice core. This is true…however, it is not the problem Oard makes it out to be.
First, Oard claims that the main assumption we make is that the earth is billions of years old. Oard approaches this from the other direction, assuming the earth is only 6,000-10,000 years old. We both have assumptions…Oard’s based on an inaccurate interpretation of the Bible, and ours based on solid scientific facts, with the Bible supporting an old earth.
Oard’s creation science model is that the lower ice layers are quite thick, due to the intense storms at the end of the flood, and these layers thin as you come up the column. To attack the old earth version, he mentions the oxygen isotope method. For instance, at one mile deep, the annual layers are four inches thick, leading to eight isotope measurements per four inches. He says that since the “creationist model” would expect an estimate of 12 inches thick, then the old earthers are measuring three times as often as they need to. What he fails to mention is that in this method, the indicators that we are looking for match exactly what they should be within the four inches. In his model, there would be three distinct sequences within the 12 inches…but there is not. If there were, the scientists would notice this and adjust for it.
He claims the annual layers may be over counted by as much as 100:1 for the deepest layers. This estimation is not supported by any data other than Oard’s words.
Throughout this chapter, Oard fails to mention volcanic ash. Recorded history of volcanic eruptions for the past several thousand years, provides a perfect match for the ice cores upper thousands of annual layers. Therefore, the top 4,000 layers must be annual layers. As most young earth creationists date the flood at about 4,300 years ago, this leaves 300 years for the remaining 156,000 years (other ice cores go back 160,000 years). There is nothing to indicate the layers below the 4,000 year point are anything other than annual layers. It is also interesting to note that the Antarctic and Greenland cores validate each other. In other words, the results of annual layering in Antarctic match the results of layering in Greenland.
Also of interest is Oard’s need for volcanism to drive his Ice Age mechanism. As you recall, his ice age must be maintained by a large number of volcanic eruptions. If Oard’s model is correct, there would be increased volcanic activity as you proceed down the ice cores. However, I have seen no published studies indicating an increase in volcanic activity the further you go down the ice cores.
Antarctic Ice Sheet to 700,000 years ago? (Page 123)
His argument here is solely based on the Astronomical theory talked about on page 65. He says one method is used to date the ice cores. Oard is merely “blowing smoke” in the readers eyes. I’m surprised he uses such a weak argument. If you want to read more on the methods used for the Dome C ice core, see the Ice Core Gateway EPICA Dome C Ice Core Data (http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/icecore/antarctica/domeca_epica_data.html). In reality, they use data analysis from the following:
Atmospheric N2O, CO2, CH4
Na, Ca, and Deuterium
Na, Cl, NO3, and Deuterium
As you can see, they rely on at least nine methods for dating the cores...they do not rely on some “theory.” Why does Oard use some vague claim that they date using assumptions from the “Astronomical Theory?” He must not be able to provide a solid rebuttal for the Dome C ice core, so he glosses over it. What is really sad is that the young earth reader will usually accept the word of this supposed expert (Oard) without ever examining the data.
Greenland and Antarctica Ice Sheets (Page 124)
Oard gives numbers which sound impressive, but are based on his flawed one ice age theory. The young earth creation science reader will be impressed.
On page 125 he mentions the aircraft argument from Greenland (http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v19/i3/squadron.asp). He uses this as proof that you can bury an aircraft within a short time period (under 260 feet of snow and ice in 57 years). Does this often used young earth argument prove anything…yes, it does!
There is a competing story that appeared on CNN’s website recently (http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/science/08/23/us.searchforr.ap/index.html). It tells the story of an aircraft crash in Greenland in 1962. In 1995, 33 years later, you could still see the wreckage and human remains on the surface. What does the young earth claim about the buried planes prove? It proves that it snowed more in that location than it did in the 1962 crash location. Young earth creationists have proved what we already know…that snowfall rates in Greenland vary by location! It has absolutely no bearing on the age of the earth, or the ice ages.
He says his model can explain the ice sheets. It can only do so if you blatantly ignore the scientific evidence against it. In reality, his model is junk science.
Wild Ice Core Interpretations (Page 126)
He mentions rapid oscillations of temperatures during the deepest ice cores as proof that his model more accurately fits the evidence. That’s true…but only if the rest of the evidence supports Oard’s theory, which it does not. Just because scientists do not have an adequate explanation does not mean the young earth explanation is right. Given the young earth habit of taking quotes out of context, the same articles Oard uses to show the problems may in fact provide the solution. Taking a quote from a source and using it to show a problem, when in fact the source solves the problem, is a documented young earth tactic. I don’t know if that is the case here, nor does it matter, since Oard’s theory as a whole is unworkable.
If you are not a Christian, and you have been holding out on making a decision for Christ because the Church always preached a message that was contrary to what you saw in the scientific world, then rest assured that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and you can believe in Christ and receive salvation, while still believing in an old earth. Click here for more.
Are you a Christian who believes in young earth creationism? Now that we have shown the many difficulties of the young earth creation science model in this and many other articles, how does this impact your Christian life? If you are a young earth creationism believer, click here.
To learn more
about old earth creationism, see
Old Earth Belief,
or check out the article
Can You Be A
Christian and Believe in an Old Earth?
Feel free to check out more of this website. Our goal is to provide rebuttals to the bad science behind young earth creationism, and honor God by properly presenting His creation.