What would a young earth look like?

YECs sometimes claim that no amount of evidence would convince “secular scientists” or “evolutionists” that the earth really was six thousand years old, that the Flood really was global, or that humans and animals really were unrelated. But this claim is patently false. It’s not hard to think of examples of things that would convince scientists that the earth really was that young.

For example:

  • We would not see any stars more than six thousand light years away, with additional stars regularly coming into view with measurable distances of one light year further per year.
  • Zircon crystals never being found containing more than about eighteen parts of lead per billion.
  • We would have sequenced the entire T-Rex genome by now. In fact we would have whole T-Rex carcasses preserved in Arctic permafrost, just as we do with the woolly mammoths.
  • Deposits of chalk, shale or other sedimentary rocks formed from fine particulate matter would never be more than a few metres thick.
  • Levels of carbon-14 in ancient coals and diamonds would consistently reach as high as 25%-50% modern carbon in almost every sample that was tested. These levels would be consistent across all sorts of samples with very little variation in the lower limit.
  • A measurable decrease in the speed of light or radioisotope decay rates of 0.1% per year – certainly well within the sensitivity range of lasers and other instruments.
  • Alternatively, strong sensitivity of radioactive decay rates to temperature or pressure.

It would be interesting to come up with other scenarios that would provide strong evidence for a young earth if they actually existed, rather than the typical tiny samples with huge error bars that routinely get touted in YEC literature. Feel free to suggest your own.


No megafauna, no dinosaurs, no Pterosaurs, no trilobites, no weird Cambrian life, no prehistoric ecologies of any sort - who needs all these unclean misfits? Just modern animals, as named by Adam, that seemed to materialize out of nowhere - because that is what would have happened.

And lose the pyramids.

I think you raise a point here that should be revisited often. What is the plain and simple vision of the earth that should emerge from the plain and simple reading of Genesis as promoted by YEC, and why don’t we see that?

If the earth is 6,000 years old, why is it not glaringly obvious to modern science or any educated layman that nothing existed prior to that time? Why the need for “explanations” at all? Why all this evidence, that goes on and on, that requires explaining away? Should there be any need or use for an Answers in Genesis apologetic ministry?


Culturally, we would never have been able to develop motor vehicles or anything else that uses so much oil to run, at least not on the scale that we have done.

We also probably wouldn’t be finding evidence of marine life on mountains, deserts, and other places that are so dramatically different from oceans now.


How you do you handle the common objection that God made the earth to look mature? Eg. Chop down a tree in the Garden of Eden and it would have tree rings a plenty, diamonds in the ground and stars created with light ‘in motion’, etc.


The question is, what would the earth look like if it didn’t look mature.

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Sure, but I’m am not sure I’ve ever met a YEC who hasn’t at least conceded the point that the earth appears to be mature. That’s why they have to cook up such wild fantasies to explain away the evidence. So I’m not sure these examples will convince the average AIG YEC since they don’t expect a 6k year old earth to look 6k years old. That’s all part of the YEC doublethink.


Jake Hebert of ICR for starters.

He refers to YECs who concede that the earth looks old as “young earth evolutionists.”


My response is, “What would it say about God’s nature if he put false histories in the tree rings, the erosional patterns, the light you see through telescopes, etc. What would that mean if God were that deceptive and lied through creation, which he then states in the Bible that it reflects his nature?

The problem is not explaining nature, it is coming to grips with a god who would do that.


What would a young earth look like?

If you assume the basic things science has discovered, it wouldn’t look like anything because that is simply not enough time for planets to form or even stars for that matter. There would only be clouds of gas… and not even dust or materials to form anything but gas giant planets (ones with a core of not much more than metallic hydrogen).

So there is some truth to what they say since we would have discard everything we have learned – everything we see when we look at the world around us. Otherwise in a universe of only 6000 years we wouldn’t even exist to be convinced of anything. Frankly, it would take closing our eyes, ears, and minds to anything but the Bible, which we would not read for ourselves but simply let them dictate to us what the Bible means.


That’s what my mind always goes too. I have no idea what they think it looked like really. Just a lush forest covered earth with dinosaurs xd. My mind gets too confused because I was never really a YEC person and I start trying to decide which time period to stop in the remember they don’t have the same time periods and so it’s all time periods smushed together which is the confusing because I’m thinking of things like is there Appalachians supposed to be really tall now and also Mount Everest or what? It’s illogical.

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That’s right! Several thousand years of Egyptian history lost to the ages!

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And if the Gnostic Ubermensch models of Adam and Eve were the case, then we should find wreckage of that lost ancient technology AiG claims to have existed; has anybody seen the film Atlantis the Lost Empire?

We would expect to see all of the species unique to Australia more evenly distributed around the world.


I am reminded of the creation of Narnia in “The Magician’s Nephew.” The creation of a whole different world of fantasy where the world is flat and the stars are glowing people flying through the sky. But just because we can dream up a fantasy world like that doesn’t mean God can create a real world like that where the people in it are real conscious beings rather than characters in a storybook. The omnipotence of God does not mean God can do anything in whatever way we care to dictate. Logical consistency is the difference between creating something real and just dreaming.

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That’s just the fallacy of evidence.

The fallacy of evidence based rationality.

You MUST believe or you can’t believe that God walked the Earth as a Jew.

Faith FIRST!

Faith that Jesus-had-to-die-for-your-sins-or-you’ll-burn-forever-because-of-the-Fall.

You MUST NOT just, eazy believe, that Love came down!!!

I’m not sure that T. rex made it quite that far north, but plenty of other dinosaurs did.

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We wouldn’t see a sequence of layers that bounces up and down in water depth over and over again, each layer with species found only in it.

Lyellian relative dating (comparing extinction rates of mollusks to get relative ages) wouldn’t work at all.

Planktic foraminifera would be consistent in every marine layer, or consistent across ocean basins.

Thick layers of clay or biogenic limestone wouldn’t exist.


Well, in that case, I’ll play… we wouldn’t find amber containing only extinct species of invertebrates. We’d expect to find l contemporary species of insects and spiders fossilised along with them (not just genus, or families, but species). Scratch that, I don’t we’d even have amber to begin with…

Additionally, we wouldn’t expect to find fossil remains of giant* Odonata. This is because there was not a time in the last 6k years where there was enough oxygen in the atmosphere to support dragonflies much bigger than they are today. And yet we do…

Edit: *Giant here is relative to modern day Odonata.

Sedimentary rock and deposits formed from life wouldn’t be more than a few meters thick, and probably much thinner. For comparison, there are deposits 3 km deep made up of diatoms.


Batholiths of granite would still be hot.to the touch. Volcanos formed of repeated flows would not exist.

Of course, I suppose the response is that God could create them with the appearance of age, with deep layers of sedimentary rock. But what would that make God?


“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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