According to most respected geologists, the Earth is 4.7 billion years old, give or take a few days. Suggesting that the Earth is much younger can raise the ire of even the most chipper, likeable geology professor. Yet, there is evidence that geological processes can take place in a much shorter time span than historical geologists tend to assume, and odd things have been found out of place – in the wrong time and the wrong geological layer.

On the 14th of November in 1963, a steaming, smoking volcanic eruption that had started 426 feet below sea level produced enough cooled rock to peek out of the water. Over the course of that week, the island grew to a height of 145 feet. When the island finally stopped growing in June of 1967, it had risen to a height of almost 500 feet and covered an area of two square miles. The island was named Surtsey after the Norse god of fire, Surtur.

Because of its newness, Surtsey has been closely studied by scientists who want to watch how the flora and fauna of the island develop and by others who have monitored its growth and its subsequent decay. The amazing thing about Surtsey, though, is not just its rapid birth, but its rapid maturity as well. In 1964, when Surtsey was just a year old, Iceland’s top geophysicist Sigurdur Thorarinsson described the island in his book, Surtsey: The New Island in the North Atlantic:

“On Surtsey, only a few months sufficed for a landscape to be created which was so varied and mature that it was almost beyond belief… You might come to a beach covered with flowing lava on its way to the sea with white balls of smoke rising high up in the air. Three weeks later you might come back to the same place and be literally confounded by what met your eye. Now, there were precipitous lava cliffs of considerable height, and below them you would see boulders worn by the surf, some of which were almost round… and further out there was a sandy beach where you could walk at low tide without getting wet.”

The geologist continued his amazement later in National Geographic ( 127(5):712–726) in 1965, saying: ” … in one week’s time we witness changes that elsewhere might take decades or even centuries … Despite the extreme youth of the growing island, we now encounter a landscape so varied that it is almost beyond belief.”

Perhaps “elsewhere” the changes did not take decades or centuries after all. Perhaps geologists just assume they did. Without the ability to watch features form firsthand, geologists can infer the history of a site based more on reasoning than on experimental evidence. Unless they can watch the same geologic processes take place elsewhere, producing the same results, they can err in the story they put together from the rocks.

Mt. St. Helens:
When Mount St. Helens erupted in late May of 1980, it created geological results in minutes and days that were previously believed to take vast lengths of time. On June 12, 1980, a mud flow left a deposit 25 feet thick with thin laminae and beds. These kinds of sedimentary laminae and beds had been assumed to represent thousands or millions of years as they were laid down one season at a time. Instead, this mud flow produced 25 feet worth of thin layers in a single day.

Mount St. Helens taught geologists that erosion can take place rapidly as well. Badlands topography in the form of rills and gullies appeared at the margins of seam explosion pits within five days after the Mount St. Helen’s pumice had been deposited in May of 1980. Nearly two years after the explosion, on March 19, 1982, a mud flow eroded a canyon much like a miniature form of the Grand Canyon in the headwaters of the North Fork of the Toutle River Valley. It did not take millions of years for this canyon system to erode; it took a day.

Mount St. Helen’s rapid formation of geologic features should give geologists pause. The results of the mountain’s eruption and mud flows do not prove that Earth is extremely young, but they do demonstrate that canyons and thick layers of sediment are not necessarily old.

There’s more than growing islands and volcanic eruptions to disrupt the textbook story about the age of the earth. From their early school days, children are taught that dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous. Yet, in art and in mud, there are signs that dinosaurs and humans weren’t always apart.

Dinosaurs With Humans:
In 2000, Alvis Delk and James Bishop of Stephenville, Texas were excavating along the Paluxy River in Glen Rose, Texas when they discovered a clear five-toed human footprint that shows uplift from a three-toed dinosaur print that pressed into it. The Creation Evidences Museum in Glen Rose has the original Alvis Delk footprint on display (and in person it is quite impressive. Photos do not do the print justice).

The Creation Evidences Museum has hosted an annual July dig in Glen Rose since the early 1980s, and the public is welcome to join in on future excavations. The Paluxy River is famous for its dinosaur prints and for its steady supply of very human-like tracks right alongside them.

Dinosaur Art:
Legends of dragons can be found in cultures across the world, from China to Norway. Dinosaur-like creatures are also found in a wide variety of ancient art that can be readily seen today – at ancient sites around the world, at various creation museums and in pictures conveniently placed online (see links below). Sauropod-shaped handles on pottery jugs from the Mississippi Caddo Indians of the 13th century AD; a stegosaurus carving on a column of the Ta Prohm monastery in Cambodia, dedicated in 1186; burial stones from Ica, Peru showing pictures of dinosaurs and humans together; the faint, desert varnished pictograph of a sauropod on the wall next to other Anasazi wall art on the inside of the Kachina Bridge at the Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah, and many other forms of dinosaur art demonstrate that human beings did see dinosaurs in times far more recent than 65 million years ago.

“And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” – Genesis 1:24-26

“Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee;” -Job 40:15

The true age of Earth remains somewhat of a mystery. God told Moses He took six days to make everything, indicating that the Earth is still quite young. When human footprints show up in rock that is supposed to be millions of years old, and when dinosaurs are found in ancient art, it gives us reason to suspect that geologists don’t really know as much as they claim to, and there is a lot of room for argument against the conventional word on the matter.



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