“This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.” 2 Peter 3:1-7 (ESV)
Noah’s Flood was an incredibly important event in earth history. It changed the entire appearance of the earth, causing the earth as we see it today appear as though it has suffered from billions of years of erosion, but in actuality, the wear and tear we see are the results of the catastrophic flood. Skeptics deny a global flood, although some accept that localized floods have been in existence in the past and they have caused some of the rock formations, sedimentary layers, and fossils. Peter told the early Christians that in the last days, people would scoff at the idea of a global flood. They will even adhere touniformitarianism as we see in the verse: “all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” The above passage ends with a warning that the earth will again be destroyed, but next time it will be with fire.
Those who hold to the Big Bang Theoryand uniformitarianismsay that the Big Bang started between 13 and 20 billion years ago. Earth was formed about 4.5 billion years ago. One thing to remember when discussing evolutionis that long periods of time are necessary in order for the organisms to have enough time to change from the single-celled to modern man. Another reason some hold to the old-earth view is because they reject the worldwide, catastrophic flood that completely altered earth’s appearance. The geologic columnis used to measure the age of the Earth, but this column is only theoretical and based on uniformitarianism.
There are three assumptions used when scientists measure ages with the radiometric dating process. 1.) The initial conditions of the fossil are known. In other words, the scientist assumes that neither the parent nor the daughter atoms have ever been altered outside of the decaying process since the formation of the fossil. 2.) The rate of decay has always been constant. This goes back to the idea of uniformitarianism, which is strongly adhered to by those who study historical science. The rate of decay could have been faster or slower in the past due to numerous factors. 3.) There has been no contamination of the elements. None of the atoms have leached out of the fossil, and none of the atoms have been added to the fossil. Helium, for example, is known to leach out of a specimen. Uranium and lead are leached by ground water.
These three assumptions are important to know when performing measurements, but it is unwise to make these assumptions because although the test results may produce long ages, how can you really know the test is valid? An interesting note: when specimens are tested and result in a young age, they are assumed to be contaminated and then discarded.
To help you better understand the three assumptions of radiometric dating, please see this example.
Uniformitarianism is quite a complicated word but its definition is easy to understand: “The present is the key to the past.” This means that the geological and natural processes observed today on Earth occur at the same rate as it did in the past. For example, sediment that is transported by river waters into the oceans has always been transported at the same rate of speed. This concept is held by evolutionary scientists, and it allows for the Earth to be millions of years old. Uniformitarianism is supported by gradualism, but goes against the theory of punctuated equilibrium. (For information about those two terms, please visit this website.) The uniformitarian view denies thecatastrophic flood.
Restoring the Authority of the Bible, Starting with the very first Book