Friday, April 3, 2015

What Does Age Have to do With it?

In the last several posts, we have discussed 1) The ages archaeologists have assigned to various settlements in Andean Peru, 2) How they arrived at those dates through the radiocarbon dating process, and 3) The earliest settlements anywhere in the Americas or Western Hemisphere. This, of course, is not a new subject, however, to complete it, we need to discuss the meaning of these three points in relationship to the scriptural record. 
According to the so-called Big Bang Theory, which is billed by science as the most accepted scientific theory of the creation of the Universe, all of the matter that existed at the beginning of time was concentrated in an infinitely small, hot, dense mass called a “singularity.” Then, about 13.7 billion years ago, the singularity suddenly expanded, and all of the matter was carried away from this point in an ever-increasing expansion of the Universe
    Unfortunately, in the past few hundred years, the Bible has been under severe attack by scientific and philosophical skeptics of all sorts, especially the Book of Genesis, and particularly the first eleven chapters. Long-age geology, Big Bang cosmology, secular archaeology, liberal theology, and philosophical attacks on miracles have deceived many people to believe that the Bible is not true and therefore cannot be trusted (for counter arguments against these so-called scientific “proofs,” see the book Scientific Fallacies & Other Myths).
Attacks on the Bible began as early as 1670 A.D., when Dutch philosopher Baruch Benedict de Spinoza, who was a pantheist and was subsequently excommunicated from the Jewish community and denounced by Christians, argued that Moses did not write the Pentateuch, laying the groundwork for the 18th-century Enlightenment period and modern Biblical criticism
    However, Moses made it quite clear in his writing in Genesis that the source of his material was God himself.  “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua” (Exodus 17:14); “And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord”  (Exodus 24:4); “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write these words, for according to the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel” (Exodus 34:27). Moses also tells us regarding the journeys of the Israelites, “Now Moses wrote down the starting points of their journeys at the command of the Lord” (Numbers 33:1-2). The Lord himself spoke of Moses in this manner: “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” (John 5:46-47). Even in Malachi, Moses is acknowledged as the writer of the Lord’s words: “Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments” (Malachi 4:4)
The Patriarchs’ wanderings stretched from Mesopotamia to Egypt. Shown here is Terah leading his clan up the Euphrates Valley, destined for Haran. A young Abraham (with staff on shoulder) takes his place beside his father and other family members
    Now it was Moses who gave us the dates of birth of the Patriarchs and the Patriarchal Lineage, dates that should be understood to have been given him by the Lord. It is also of note that three ancient texts are used in the dating process: 1) The Septuagint—which is the translation of the Hebrew Bible into Koine Greek, commonly referred to as the Greek Old Testament; 2) The Syriac Peshitta—which is the standard version of the Bible for churches in the Syriac tradition which encompasses the multiple churches of Eastern Christianity whose services feature worship of ancient Syriac Aramaic dialect; and 3) The Masoretic—which is the authoritative Hebrew text of the Tanakh for Rabbinic Judaism.
    Based on the Syriac Peshitta text, Adam was alive when Noah was a young man (10 generations); and based on the Masoretic text, was alive when Lamech (Noah’s father) was a young man (9 generations). After the Flood, Noah was alive when Terah (Abraham’s Father) was a young man (11 generations) based on the Masoretic text, and when Eber was alive (6 generations) based on the Syriac Peshitta text.
    The point of this is that Abraham would have been either two or three living generations away from Adam, thus having access to nearly direct information from first, second or third hand sources, as well as having the Lord telling him what to write. That is like having your father or grandfather available to you for “fact-checking” of information. And from Abraham to Moses would have been seven generations (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Levi, Kohath, Amran, Moses). In fact, Isaac would have known Shem, the son of Noah; Jacob knew Abraham; and Levi was the great grandson of Moses—all within a people with a very strong Oral Tradition of history!
Consequently, we have a very good source of information in Moses as to the ages of events that took place from the time Adam left the Garden of Eden down to the Flood and from Noah forward to the time of Abraham and then Moses. With this in mind, we can recount the ages of history and the Earth from the time Adam left the Garden of Eden to the time of Moses, and then forward to the time of Christ and then to us.
    It is no mystery! It is recorded history! And is as clearly stated as the history we have been taught in school and through which our ancestors lived and about which we know quite well.
Thus, when archaeologists come up with dates of 5000 years ago, or even 5000 B.C., we can double check that information against what we know of history as Moses recorded it directly from the Lord. We have already shown (see last three posts) how the radiocarbon dating system was set to read Carbon-14 dates in an equilibrium-centered atmosphere when, in fact, all experiments on the process has shown that the atmosphere has not yet reached equilibrium
    Another way to check this is to use the so-called scientific method of radiocarbon dating (Carbon-14). However, there are certain things one needs to know about this dating process. As we have stated numerous times before, radiation from the sun strikes the atmosphere of the earth all day long, converting about 21 pounds of nitrogen into radioactive carbon 14, which then slowly decays back into normal, stable nitrogen. Extensive laboratory testing has shown that about half of the C-14 molecules will decay in 5,730 years, which is called the half-life. After another 5,730 years half of the remaining C-14 will decay leaving only 1⁄4 of the original C-14, eventually going from 1⁄2 to 1⁄4 to 1⁄8, etc. In theory it would never totally disappear, but after about 5 half-lives the difference is not measurable with any degree of accuracy.
Anthropologists claim cave men lived 40,000 years ago and earlier. But there is no way to know or prove that the amounts of Carbon-14 in the atmosphere was the same as it is today, or that it has decayed at the same rate. Even if someone had been interested in knowing this, there was no way to measure it until the 1950s when Libby isolated the process
    This is why most people say carbon dating is only good for objects/specimens less than 40,000 years old. Nothing on earth could carbon date in the hundreds of thousands of years, let alone in the millions of years, because the scope of carbon dating only extends a few thousand years. The amount of carbon 14 in the atmosphere today is about .0000765%. Willard F. Libby, who won the Nobel Prize for his Carbon-14 time clock that he set to measure this decay rate, assumed there would be the same amount of Carbon-14 found in living plants or animals since the plants breathe CO₂ and animals eat the plants. Libby also assumed, and these are huge assumptions that are completely unmeasurable and unprovable, that:
1. This same amount of Carbon-14 in the atmosphere today was the same amount found in the atmosphere at least 40,000 years ago;
2. This amount of Carbon-14 has never changed;
3. That the same amount of Carbon-14 has decayed at the same rate over the past 40,000 years;
4. That nothing has happened to cause the amount of Carbon-14 entering and leaving the system has ever changed in the past 40,000 years.
    To any scientist, these are four huge assumptions that are both unprovable and unmeasurable since no one was around 40,000 years ago to take such original measurements. And it would be absolutely essential to know that the amount at the beginning was the same as the amount today in any living thing.

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