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Letters

Letter: Earth’s age and morals

To the Editor:

We know that carbon dating is terribly inaccurate for materials older than about 50,000 years.

The reason for this is that, by that point, the C-14 in the material has undergone nine half-lives, meaning that it only has approximately 1/512 of its original C-14. At that point, the amount of it present is just too low to rely upon for dating.

When you hear creationists tell of the inaccuracies of carbon dating, it’s usually along the lines of “this 50-million-year-old granite is carbon dated as 30,000 years old,” which no sane geologist would ever try to defend because we don’t date very old things with C-14 (there are other longer-lived radioisotopes we can use for dating), and we don’t date inorganic things with it (after all, it needs to have consumed carbon to incorporate atmospheric C-14).

Radiometric dating has been in widespread use for over half a century. There are over 40 such techniques, each using a different radioactive element or a different way of measuring them. It has become increasingly clear that these radiometric dating techniques agree with each other, and as a whole, present a coherent picture in which the Earth was created a very long time ago.

Further evidence comes from the complete agreement between radiometric dates and other dating methods such as counting tree rings or glacier ice core layers. Many Christians are unaware that Bible-believing Christians are among those actively involved in radiometric dating.

The Hubble telescope has shown us stars and galaxies from a few billion years in the past. So no, the stars and universe are old.

Lastly, morals are a very good thing to have and value. But religion is not the only way to have or develop them. Conversely, having religion does not make a person moral.

Steve Ramsdell

Shorewood

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