The Truth About Ice
cores drilled from the Polar regions provide us with excellent records
of the history of the climate on earth. They are also very useful in
dating the ice caps, as you can count the layers, similar to counting
tree rings. These layers are deposited annually, and are relatively
simple to read. Although not an exact science, it does provide a good
estimate of the age of the ice caps.
since these ages are said to be over 400,000 years old, they disprove
the young earth creation science theory that the world is only 6,000
years old. Because of this they have been the target of multiple
attacks by young earth creationism proponents.
article will address one such attack, made by Michael Oard of the
Institute for Creation Research.
(Rebuttal to ICR
122, 2008 September)
Oard critiques the ice cores known as GRIP and GISP2. There is nothing
spectacular about these cores. They are standard cores, which are very
easy to read and understand. Of course, if you are a young earth
creationist, they present quite a problem.
usual, the YEC (young earth creationist) comes up with an alternative
explanation for these ice layers. He claims that the layers during the
glaciation period (the time immediately following the Flood, during
which YECs claim all the evidences for Ice Ages occurred) there was
much more precipitation, yielding these thicker layers of snow.
is an interesting claim, mainly because of the fact that he presents no
evidence to support this claim! He doesn't give layer thickness data
from the cores in support of his argument. In fact, there is no
evidence to suggest that the young-earth model is viable. This is
unusual for a young earth claim…normally they give evidence (albeit
only other apparent fault of the ice cores mentioned by Mr. Oard is the
counting of the dust layers. He claims that they came up with a number
that did not correspond to the deep-sea ocean sediment time scale.
Therefore, they recounted the layers using a finer instrument, and
added 25,000 layers, which is more in line with the corresponding
deep-sea ocean sediment time scale. He claims they were assuming an age
for the ice, and recalculated it in order to achieve this older age. In
effect, they kept going until their assumption was proved.
is absolutely correct, but this is actually a good thing. For instance,
if you know the distance from New York to Los Angeles, and then drove
it, and found that your numbers were off by 200 miles, then you examine
your route and try again. Scientists have a valid date based on ocean
sediments, and this can be used to calibrate other methods of dating.
If they are off, then you must refine your measurements to get more
accurate results. This is not, as Mr. Oard implies, bending the data
until you get the desired result. This is comparing data to make sure
your measurements are accurate.
no different than calibrating a weight scale. You know that a pound
weight maintained at the National Institute of Standards and Technology
in Washington, DC is exactly a pound. If you have a block used for
calibration based on the standard in Washington, and your scale is off
by half an ounce, you know you must recalibrate your scale. The same is
true of the ice core…it was merely recalibrated to obtain valid
results. This is not baseless assumptions by biased people…it is real
science, being performed by real scientists.
special interest to this argument is the last two sentences of Mr.
Oard, which states "In other words, the uniformitarian scientists date
the ice sheets to hundreds of thousands of years because they believe
the ice sheets are old to begin with. They have "proved" only what they
for Mr. Oard, he is the one guilty of trying to prove what he assumed.
All of young earth creation science is built on the assumption that the
earth is 6,000 years old. In effect, Mr. Oard is only trying to prove
this assumption. He is guilty of the very thing that he accuses real
scientists of doing. This goes back to the argument that young earth
scientists are not true scientists, because they don't live by the
definition of a scientist.
2006, Old Earth Ministries