The problem of circular reasoning in dating the rocks

Evolutionism is an ancient philosophy which may be traced all the way back to the Garden of Eden. The Greeks were writing the first formal theories of evolution 2,500 years ago. In three books of the New Testament (Romans 1; Acts 17; 2 Peter 3) two Apostles of the First Century Church were dealing with the scientific aspects of the various theories of evolution that they had to deal with at that time. In Chapters 17 and 21 of the Book of Judges people are saying that if there is no God then we may do whatever we wish. In the Garden of Eden the deception was based upon the question of whether God really meant what He said; was God telling the truth; was God’s word trustworthy?

The more modern day evolutionists started arriving in the 1700’s. The early modern day evolutionists probably started with Charles De Secondat Montesquieu (1689-1755). He wrote about there only being a few kinds of creatures to start with and that these multiplied into many kinds over time. Benoit de Maillet (1656-1738) wrote that fish had become birds, mammals and men. Pierre-Louis Maupertuis (1698-1759) published a book in 1751 in which he concluded that new species resulted from the recombining of different parts of living animals. The ideas that promoted evolutionary theories would continue to ferment in France coming from men like Denis Diderot (1713-1784), Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (1707-1788) and Jean Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, Chevalier de Lamarck (1744-1829).

These predominantly French ideas of the evolutionary history of the world were to flow over into Scotland and England and were further developed by men such as Dr. James Hutton, MD (1726-1797); Dr. Erasmus Darwin, MD (1731-1802), the grandfather of Charles Darwin; Dr. Robert Waring Darwin, MD (1766-1848), the father of Charles Darwin; and Sir Charles Lyell (1797-1875) Charles Darwin’s mentor. They were all committed evolutionists.

The things that these early modern day evolutionists all held in common was that they were anti-Christian, anti-creation and anti-Bible. In those days it was generally accepted that the earth was only 6,000 years old. This was, of course, based in part on Biblical authority, but it was also backed up by good science. After all, young earth Biblical Scientific Creationists had been around since Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) and Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727).

What was one significant and dramatic argument that these early modern day evolutionists could use to destroy Scriptural authority? They could attack the age of the earth; because if the earth was more than a few thousands of years old, then the Bible was not telling the truth. If the Bible were not telling the truth about the age of the earth then you could not trust it to be telling the truth about anything else. If the earth were old, then the Christian view of sin and the need for a Redeemer made no sense.

The attack on the age of the earth began with Buffon. In 1770 he wrote that the earth was not 6,000 years old; it was 70,000 years old. No modern day evolutionist would think in these terms today, of course, but in 1770 this was a radical idea.

It only took 25 years for James Hutton to come along in 1795 and claim that the earth was not 70,000 years old; it was “millions and millions” of years old. In 1850, two evolutionists wrote that the earth was 25 and 100 million years old. In 1905 an evolutionist stated that the earth was 2 billion years old. Right after World War II evolutionists were claiming that the earth was 2.5 to 3.35 billion years old. In the mid-1970’s evolutionists were proclaiming that the earth was 4.5 to 5 billion years old. Their currently accepted number is now 4.6 billion years old.

Do you see a trend here?

So, how did evolutionists construct their alleged time frames?

“In about 1830, Charles Lyell, Paul Deshayes, and Heinrich George Bronn independently developed a biostratigraphic technique [Geologic Time Column or Geologic Time Scale] for dating Cenozoic deposits based on relative proportions of living and extinct species of fossil mollusks. Strangely, little effort has been made to test this assumption. This failure leaves the method vulnerable to circularity.”

Stanley, Steven M., Warron O. Addicott, and Kiyotaka Chinzei, “Lyellian Curves in Paleontology: Possibilities and Limitations,” Geology, vol. 8 (September 1980), p. 422 [Emphasis added]

Evolutionists live and die by eight words: “Give me enough time and anything can happen.” This is a false statement. It is not true, as anyone who thinks about it will agree; but it is what they want to believe. Every time that we have discovered a new scientific law, every time that we have come to understand a new principle, every time that we have found new physical evidence that evolution is not true, evolutionists will respond with their mantra: “Give me enough time and anything can happen.”

Note that evolutionists do not, and did not; use any modern dating technology, such as Carbon-14, Uranium decaying into Lead, etc., to determine these ages for the earth. This is for two reasons. First, they invented the millions and billions of years that they talk about prior to any of these technologies coming into existence. Second, they know that none of these techniques work. They all start with five fatal assumptions and Carbon-14 starts with seven false assumptions. Obviously, if you derive a date using techniques that start with five or seven false assumptions, your determined age will be false. Honest evolutionists admit that this is true.

“Apart from very ‘modern’ examples, which are really archaeology, I can think of no cases of radioactive decay being used to date fossils.”

Agar, Derek V., “Fossil Frustrations,” New Scientist, vol. 100 (November 10, 1983), p. 425.  [Emphasis added]

“Radiometric dating would not have been feasible if the Geologic Column had not been erected first.”

O’Rourke, J. E., “Pragmatism versus Materialism in Stratigraphy,” American Journal of Science, vol. 276 (January 1976), p. 54  [Emphasis added]

The layers of sedimentary rock that do exist in the ground are not found in the youngest to oldest order that they are shown in secular science textbooks. Nowhere does such a column of layers exist except in the textbook. Honest evolutionists agree with this statement.

“If there were a column of sediments … Unfortunately no such column exists.”

Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Earth Science 1989, p. 326  [Emphasis added]

Evolutionists rearrange the layers, found all around the world, into a column that would support their view if it were true. Such a column does not exist in nature.  It only exists in the textbooks and in the minds of those who believe it.

If no such column exists, and no modern technology works to yield reliable ages for the sedimentary rock layers found in the ground, how do evolutionists determine the supposed ages that they so delightfully publish for consumption by a gullible public?

Simple! They use a form of false circular reasoning! They determine the age of the rock layers by the fossils that they contain, and then they turn around and determine the ages assigned to the fossils by the ages of the rock layers that they were found in. The fossils that are used to determine the age of the rock layers are called “Index” or “Key” fossils. When you find these specific fossils, then you supposedly know the age of the rock; and once you know the age of the rock, you automatically know the age of the fossil!  

It’s so simple! If you do not believe me, then consider what prominent evolutionists have been writing in the secular school textbooks.

In the same textbook it says this:

“Scientists use index fossils to determine the age of rock layers.” [You date the rocks by using the fossils.] Glenco, Earth Science, 1999, p. 331

“The geologic time scale is divided up into subunits based on geologic events and the appearance and disappearance of types of organisms.” [You date the fossils by using the rocks.] Glenco, Earth Science, 1999, p. 358

In another secular school science textbook we find these two statements on opposing pages:

“Fossils in the lower layers of sedimentary rock are older than those found in the upper layers. Often, the layers of rock can be dated by types of fossils they contain.”                           

[You date the rocks by knowing the age of the fossils that they contain.]

Glenco, Biology, 1994, p. 306 [Emphasis added]

“Scientists have determined the relative times of appearance and disappearance of many kinds of organisms from the locations of their fossils in sedimentary rock layers.”       

[You date the fossils by knowing the ages of the rocks that they are found in.]

Glenco, Biology, 1994, p. 307  [Emphasis added]

The use of circular reasoning by evolutionists to date rocks by fossils and fossils by rocks has been often called into question by non-evolutionists.

“Are the authorities maintaining, on the one hand, that evolution is documented by geology and, on the other hand, that geology is documented by evolution? Isn’t this a circular argument?"

Larry Azar, “Biologists, Help!”  Bioscience, vol. 28, November 1978, p. 714 [Emphasis added]

Scientists have been well aware of the evolutionists’ problem of curricular reasoning in deriving the ages for fossils and rocks for over 50 years.

“It cannot be denied that from a strictly philosophical standpoint geologists are here arguing in a circle. The succession of organisms has been determined by a study of their remains embedded in the rocks, and the relative ages of the rocks are determined by the remains of organisms that they contain.”

Rastall, R. H., “Geology,” Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. 10 (1949), p. 168  [Emphasis added]

Even some of the most devout and well known evolutionists are honest when confronting this problem. The highly respected coauthor of the Theory of Punctuated Equilibria, Dr. Niles Eldredge, Curator, Division of Paleontology, American Museum of Natural History, New York City, since 1969, has written that the fossils cannot be used to date the rocks that they are found in. One reason for this is that we now know that all animal and plant kinds are found all the way “back” to the beginning of Cambrian layers. There is no gradual ascension of life forms in the rock layers. There is no “Tree of Life” to be found in the ground.

“Paleontologists ever since Darwin have been searching (largely in vain) for the sequences of insensibly graded series of fossils that would stand as examples of the sort  of wholesale transformation of species that Darwin envisioned as the natural product of the evolutionary process. Few saw any reason to demur - though it is a startling fact that, ... most species remain recognizably themselves, virtually unchanged throughout their occurrence in geological sediments of various ages.”

Eldredge, Niles, “Progress in Evolution?” New Scientist, vol. 110 (June 5, 1986), p. 55  [Emphasis added]

Ten years after Dr. Eldredge coauthored the Theory of Punctuated Equilibria with the late Marxist Dr. Stephen J. Gould of Harvard; he was reconsidering his position and wrote:

“Paleontologists cannot operate this way. There is no way simply to look at a fossil and say how old it is unless you know the age of the rocks it comes from. And this poses something of a problem: if we date the rocks by their fossils, how can we then turn around and talk about patterns of evolutionary change through time in the fossil record?”

Eldredge, Niles, Time Frames: The Rethinking of Darwinian Evolution and the Theory of Punctuated Equilibria (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1985), p. 52 [Emphasis added]

Evolutionists do not use any form of modern technology to determine of the age of sedimentary rock layers. This may be confirmed by simply quoting the noted Canadian geologist, and past President of the Canadian Geological Society, Dr. Derek Agar:

“Ever since William [“Fossil”] Smith [1769-1839] at the beginning of the 19th century, fossils have been and still are the best and most accurate method of dating and correlating the rocks in which they occur. Apart from very ‘modern’ examples, which are really archaeology, I can think of no cases of radioactive decay being used to date fossils.”

Agar, Derek V., “Fossil Frustrations,” New Scientist, vol. 100 (November 10, 1983), p. 425 [Emphasis added]

One honest evolutionary believing geologist admits to all the problems and he tells us how evolutionists may overcome all these objections to their use of circular reasoning in determining the ages for the sedimentary layers and fossils that are in the ground. He presents his solution for all to see in the prestigious magazine, The American Journal of Science.

“The intelligent layman has long suspected circular reasoning in the use of rocks to date fossils and fossils to date rocks. The geologist has never bothered to think of a good reply, feeling the explanations are not worth the trouble as long as the work brings results.”

O’Rourke, J. E., “Pragmatism versus Materialism in Stratigraphy,” American Journal of Science, vol. 276 (January 1976), p. 51  [Emphasis added]

Are you intelligent lay people? Then you have long suspected this problem - right? He goes on to say:

“The rocks do date the fossils, but the fossils date the rocks more accurately. Stratigraphy cannot avoid this kind of reasoning if it insists on using only temporal concepts, because circularity is inherent in the derivation of time scales.”

O’Rourke, J. E., “Pragmatism versus Materialism in Stratigraphy,” American Journal of Science, vol. 276 (January 1976), p. 53  [Emphasis added]

(You have got to love that sentence which is made up of pure pschobabble.)

“Radiometric dating would not have been feasible if the Geologic Column had not been erected first.”

O’Rourke, J. E., “Pragmatism versus Materialism in Stratigraphy,” American Journal of Science, vol. 276 (January 1976), p. 54  [Emphasis added]

What are his final solutions?

“The charge of circular reasoning in stratigraphy [the study of layers in the ground] can be handled in several ways. [1] It can be ignored, as not the proper concern of the public. [2] It can be denied, by calling down the Law of Evolution. [3] It can be admitted, as a common practice … [4] or it can be avoided, by pragmatic reasoning.”                                           

O’Rourke, J. E., “Pragmatism versus Materialism in Stratigraphy,” American Journal of Science, vol. 276 (January 1976), p. 54  [Emphasis added]

What were his final solutions?

First, the public should not be concerned about this problem even though it does exist.

Second, there is no such thing as “The Law of Evolution.” That is just his tongue-in-cheek way of saying that they know the problem is real, but if you believe hard enough everything will be okay.

Third, just be honest and admit it all, but hope no one is really paying attention to what you are saying.

Fourth, pragmatic reasoning may be used to justify anything that you want to believe. How often have we all wanted to avoid a problem in our lives by using pragmatic reasoning? Haven’t you wanted to avoid that traffic ticket by pragmatic reasoning? Haven’t you wanted to avoid the next mortgage payment by pragmatic reasoning?

Why, yes, that is the delusion that solves all their problems!

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