There are a few scientific ways to roughly calculate the age of the earth. Continuous, measurable chemical processes provide one way. If the rate of the process and current amount of the product can be determined, then it is possible to put a time on when the process started. The most obvious flaw in this method of reckoning is that the resultant product might not all be due to the single process being measured. What it does show us, though, is that the beginning date of the process can be no earlier than the date deduced. Here’s an example:
Most of us are familiar with the element helium. It is the very light gas used to inflate party balloons and make them float. Blimps are also filled with helium. Helium results from radioactive decay and it forms a very small percentage of our atmosphere-only about 0.0005% (compared to nitrogen’s 78% and oxygen’s 20%). However, that 0.0005% adds up to a considerable amount-about 3.7 billion metric tons. Helium is escaping into the atmosphere from the earth’s surface, due to the process of radioactive decay, at the rate of 67 grams per second. Even if there had been no helium in the atmosphere at the beginning, which is an unlikely situation, at the rate of 67 grams per second it would take only a few million years to reach the amount of 3.7 billion metric tons, not the 20-40 billion years that evolutionists claim to be the age of the earth.
[Callout:] The amount of helium in the atmosphere shows the earth could not be old enough for evolution to occur.
The question arises, though, could the helium being generated escape the earth’s atmosphere into space? The short answer is that a small fraction of the number of helium atoms, perhaps up to about 2% of the total, could be traveling fast enough to escape into space, but that is not enough to significantly alter the time calculations.
If God created the atmosphere with a significant amount of helium, then it is within the realm of believability that the earth is only in the range of thousands of years old.
Just as helium is escaping into the atmosphere, so are salts being washed off the land and into the oceans by rain and other processes. Common salt is the chemical compound sodium chloride. The amount of sodium (in this form and others) being washed into the world’s oceans is estimated at around 450 million metric tons annually. About 120 million metric tons leave the sea every year by various means. This leaves a net intake or buildup of sodium in the oceans of about 330 million metric tons yearly. The amount of sodium in the oceans is estimated at about 14,700,000,000,000,000 metric tons. At the current rate of intake, if there were no sodium in the oceans at the time of their origins, the earth could not be any older than about 45 million years old. It is understood that rates could fluctuate, but given the most generous rates of intake and outflow, it could not be older than 62 million years. These are absolute maximum dates, not the actual dates. ([Footnote:] For more information, see S.A. Austin and D.R. Humphreys, “The sea’s missing salt: a dilemma for evolutionists,” Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Creationism, Vol. II, pp. 17-33, 1990.)
It is inconceivable therefore that the oceans of the earth, the “primordial soup” of evolution, could be 20 billion years old.
[Callout:] The amount of common salt in the ocean points to the earth being young.
Now 62 million years is a long time, but this is going by the supposition that not one gram of salt was in the ocean at the beginning. When God created the earth, it is most likely that He created the ocean water with salt included. There is also the matter of the Flood-a cataclysmic event that is documented in not only the Bible’s account of Noah and the Ark, but in the written and oral traditions of a number of civilizations-that would have resulted in massive erosion and therefore a massive increase in the sodium content of the ocean. Although the sodium content of the ocean cannot prove that the earth was created only 6,000 years ago, it can prove that is not billions of years old, as required in the theory of evolution.