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Minerals in Ocean Water

How Good Are Those Young-Earth Arguments?
A Close Look at Dr. Hovind's List of Young-Earth Arguments and Other Claims
by Dave E. Matson
Copyright © 1994-2002


Young-earth "proof" #13: If we divide the amount of various minerals in the ocean by their influx rate we get only a few thousand years of accumulation. Therefore, the earth is young.

In the case of aluminum we "get" only 100 years! In the case of sodium we "get" 260 million years. Where Dr. Hovind gets his "few thousand years," as though there were some kind of general agreement, is anyone's guess.


The table that one sees in a couple of Henry Morris' books was copied from a chapter by Goldberg (1965) that appears in Riley and Skirrow (1965).


Goldberg's [1965] Table I is a list of the abundances and residence times of the elements in sea water; it is these residence times that Morris [1974, 1977] and Morris and Parker [1982] give as indicated ages of the Earth. The residence time of an element, however is the average time that any small amount of an element remains in seawater before it is removed, not, as stated by Morris [1974], the time "to accumulate in ocean from river inflow," and has nothing to do with the ages of either the Earth or the ocean. Morris [1974, 1974, 1977] and Morris and Parker [1982] have totally misrepresented the data listed in Goldberg's [1965] table.


(Dalrymple, 1984, 116)


Dalrymple concludes with:


The influx of chemicals to the ocean is an invalid and worthless method of determining the age of the Earth. Morris [1974, 1977] and Morris and Parker [1982] have misrepresented fundamental geochemical data and ignored virtually everything that is known about the geochemistry of seawater.


(Dalrymple, 1984, p.116)


It's all in a day's work for your typical creationist author! They are quite good at ignoring unfavorable facts. Never mind that the elements are in approximate equilibrium with the ocean; never mind that residence times are not the times for elements to accumulate from river inflow. Never mind that plankton concentrates these elements sometimes a thousand fold or more in their skeletons, and, when they die, they remove these elements from the sea waters (Glenn Morton). Press that banner high and march on! And that's exactly what a new generation of creationists are doing with this intellectually dishonest argument.


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