Template:Cover abstract/Evidence against a recent creation
This article collects evidences that place a lower limit on the age of the Universe beyond the 6,000 to 10,000 years asserted by most Young Earth creationists (YECs) and the literalist Ussher chronology. All of this evidence supports deep time: the idea, considered credible by scientists since the early 1800s, that the Earth (and the Universe) is millions or billions of years old. Modern science accepts that the Earth is about 4.54 billion years old and the entire universe is around 13.77 billion years old.
These limits usually take the form: "Because we observe [X], which occurs at rate [Y], the universe must be at least [Z] years old". There are three standard creationist responses: First, creationists assert that current rates (Y) are different than past rates. It is possible that these rates changed — but under uniformitarianism, which is necessary for science to function, we must assume that rates did not change unless there is evidence for this change. Second, creationists appeal to the Omphalos hypothesis and argue that God deceptively created the world to appear old. This is an unfalsifiable hypothesis, and is unscientific. Third, creationists ignore the evidence and deny that [X] exists altogether or assert that belief in a Young Earth is based on faith, not science. All of these answers are critically flawed.
These ages weren't just made up — or, worse, accepted to "give evolution enough time". Each was concluded from a range of experiments and observations made across multiple disciplines of science, including astronomy, geology, biology, palaeontology, chemistry, geomorphology and physics. For YEC to be true, each of these fields would have to be incorrect about almost everything. Some of these reported ages have indeed been revised based on new evidence (sometimes larger, sometimes smaller), but never to the orders of magnitude required by YEC.
Moreover, these dating methods are not mutually exclusive: where their range, accuracy, and applicability overlap, the dates they produce agree with each other. (For example, all dating methods for the age of the Earth agree on a 4.4-4.6 billion year-old world.) This is important especially because YECs regularly claim that radiometric dating is unreliable — yet radiometric dating is unnecessary to prove an old universe, because we have many methods of dating at our disposal.
What follows is 33 independent reasons not to believe in a young Earth: