Question about christian beliefs on the age of earth?

Hello all,

I am a reservoir engineer/petroleum geologist engaged in locating oil and gas reserves before a drill bit ever hits the ground. A core role of my job is to track the flow of ancient rivers and basins back hundreds of millions of years to see where the basins would have been deposited during "hot spots" in the past (which are periods of intense global warming that led to mass extinction events). I recently was working on tracking the flow of sediments in the San Juan basin in New Mexico, and successfully located a 20 foot wide patch of Methane bearing Permian sediment located 9000 feet below the ground that my team of geological and engineering professionals pinpointed before a drill bit ever hit the ground. Several (apparently fundamentalist) relatives of mine told me that my findings were wrong, and that the earth is 6000 years old, and it says so in the bible. I then went online to see if this is a view held by many Christians and after a little trolling (lol) I found that quite a few (but not a majority of) Christians do believe that the earth is in fact 6000 years old due to lineages in the bible. My question to those ppl is this, how do you argue with the profits that we are able to attain? I am paid over 150k a year to trace the history of these flows back millions of years, and have been responsible for finding hundreds of millions of dollars worth of hydrocarbons? Do you think that the oil companies are ignorant for paying me such a hefty sum of cash to find oil that you claim can only be several thousand years old? I am not asking the Christians who agree with the scientifically agreed upon date of a 4.5 billion year old earth, just the ones who think that the science my career is based upon is all wrong.
Perhaps I wasn’t clear. I think that most Christians do believe that the earth is very old (I work with some). I just wonder how the few that do take a literal date view my field of study (geology). Do they view is a psudo-science, and if so how do they dismiss the benefits to humankind (i.e. oil) it has provided
Jehovah: I graduated with a B.S. in petroleum engineering and a M.S. in Geology, my job is more concerned with the location of specific traps of hydrocarbons in subsurface plays. I didn’t get into the details of my work because I tried to limit the amount of B.S. in my question. You are correct though, locating specific traps does utilize all of those instruments, however.. how do oil companies know where to deploy all those seismic instruments. It is not as random as you would think.
Wow, I didn’t expect so many answers so fast. It appears as though my career is more controversial than I thought, I will keep that in mind from now on!!! And as far as being an athiest…. I’m Jewish. I just don’t take the Torah as a literal translation. I was just asking for opinions from those who take Genesis literally, not asking for pep talks on the merits of my job lol. I know how sesmology works…. I did my dissertation on the applications of Seismology in the location of Shale Gas Traps. Shell finds me valuable and that’s all that matters lol
Kissthepilot brings up the best point yet. The dating of rocks through radiometic dating is based off of the rate of electron expuslion from radioactive material. How do we know that the rate is constant? Well, it isn’t. Electrons do not leave radioactive materials at a constant rate, however it is darn close to a constant value, thats why materials that have near-contant rates of decay are chosen, the error is typically +-3%. How do we know that the rate wasn’t more in the past? Because if it is true that that the earth is 6000 years old, and we are reading 400 million when we test our rocks, then the rate of decay would have to be EXTREMELY random in order to account for the 99.8% error rate. Over the past 100 years the decay rates have been very stable, therefore it is not logical to assume that elements decayed fast as hell for 5,900 years then suddenly decided to all of a sudden become stable for the past 100 years.

9 Responses to “Question about christian beliefs on the age of earth?”

  1. Someone who cares Says:

    I think earth is 4.5 billion years, give or take a week ;p. Bible does not say earth is 6,000 years old and the Hebrew word "yom" translated as "day" can also mean "time period" so 6 creative time periods possibly lasting thousands, millions or billions of years.

    Yes, I know you didn’t want answer from me, but I am trying to educate others.

  2. thundercatt9 Says:

    For what it is worth … the Bible does not give an age for the earth. The 6,000 year old thing was an estimate of Dr. John Lightfoot, a 17th century Anglican clergyman. He estimated that creation occurred during 4004 BCE. Bishop James Ussher in the 17th century made the same estimate a decade later, and got almost all the credit.

  3. Натан Грегсон Says:

    The earth is between 6000 and 7000 years old.

  4. The Most Interesting Man Says:

    Look at it this way:

    These same fundamentalists who think the earth is under 10,000 years old also reject evolution which not only provides the basis of all of modern biology, but creates millions of dollars to sustain itself with practical advances in medicine, genetics/gene therapy, and computation (evolutionary algorithms).

    They don’t care about the practicality/success of evolution or radiometric dating. They’ve been conditioned to simply reject anything that conflicts with their primitive bronze-age superstition.

  5. Kissthepilot Says:

    Do you think you would be paid less for the same oil, if it were only 5000 years old? Care to meet some geologists that don’t believe the Earth is old? Where is the proof of your dating methods? To be truly science, you would have to test a rock, and then test it again in four million years in order to say it’s four million years old. Do you know the three assumptions that radiometric dating is based on? How do you know how much of the mother and daughter elements are in the rock to start with? How do you know that the decay rates are constant over millions of years? And, how do you know none of the elements were leached out by water or some other method?

    I believe the Earth is young, and I’ve seen no evidence to the contrary. I wish they would pay you more to find the oil, but how much they pay you has to do with what they do with it, not how old it is. Perhaps you should take an economics course, to go with all the science you know.

  6. seeker of Jehovah Says:

    a company making profits has nothing to do with the age of the earth

    it is trial and error

    you are not what you say you are

    Locating Oil
    Photo courtesy the Energy Institute
    Searching for oil over water using seismology

    Whether employed directly by an oil company or under contract from a private firm, geologists are the ones responsible for finding oil. Their task is to find the right conditions for an oil trap — the right source rock, reservoir rock and entrapment. Many years ago, geologists interpreted surface features, surface rock and soil types, and perhaps some small core samples obtained by shallow drilling. Modern oil geologists also examine surface rocks and terrain, with the additional help of satellite images. However, they also use a variety of other methods to find oil. They can use sensitive gravity meters to measure tiny changes in the Earth’s gravitational field that could indicate flowing oil, as well as sensitive magnetometers to measure tiny changes in the Earth’s magnetic field caused by flowing oil. They can detect the smell of hydrocarbons using sensitive electronic noses called sniffers. Finally, and most commonly, they use seismology, creating shock waves that pass through hidden rock layers and interpreting the waves that are reflected back to the surface.

  7. Evangelist Paul Says:

    If what you say is true, you are paid to trace the history of the flow back to it’s original source. You have no way of knowing the age of that flow, or how long it took to create. All you have is guesses, and raw data that an Atheists Scientist came up with. This data is subject to scrutiny, and many other scientist would argue it’s validity.

    You only know for sure what you can see… ie. "This river came from such and such place". That is all you really know. You can not know for sure how long it took to make that river, or what factors have played into it’s creation over the years.

    There are many scientist who look at the same data and come up with completely different views. If you decide you don’t want to believe God’s Word, that is one thing, simply go your way and don’t believe, but don’t try to throw out information as fact that simply is not.

  8. Everard G Says:

    "Do they view [it] a psudo-science"
    Like palmistry and astrology…

    “Evolution, and or science in general, can’t be true, since I lack the mental capacity to understand it; moreover, to accept its truth would cause me to be uncomfortable… therefore, God exists.”

  9. xxtaytay4everxx Says:

    Well I know that some Christians believe in the young-earth-appearing-to-be-old, they believe that the earth was being created before space-time, and that whole 1 day is like a thousand years thing in "eternity time", made the earth seem to be millions of years old when translated into regular space-time. I think it’s something like that.