If The Universe Is 13.8 Billion Years Old

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FievelJ's picture
If The Universe Is 13.8 Billion Years Old

How is it our earth is only 4.5 billion years old?

Kind of kills the six day theory.

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David Killens's picture
The planet Earth did not form

The planet Earth did not form at the same time as the known universe.

Of course the six day fairy tale is bogus, this universe works on a scale of millions of years.

Which brings to question that this god rested in the seventh day. Rested? This god is capable of becoming weary and requires rest?

FievelJ's picture
@David Killens

@David Killens

"The planet Earth did not form at the same time as the known universe."

No the observable universe was here like 9 billion years before earth formed.

"Of course the six day fairy tale is bogus, this universe works on a scale of millions of years."

Billions of years, and that's proof in itself that the universe wasn't created in six days.

"Which brings to question that this god rested in the seventh day. Rested? This god is capable of becoming weary and requires rest?"

Good question, why would a god need to ever rest?

Calilasseia's picture
Wind the clock back the the

Wind the clock back the the very earliest epochs of the history of the observable universe.

Once temperatures had cooled to the point where neutral atoms could form (previously, the matter present was an ionised plasma), the principal atoms that formed were hydrogen and helium, with perhaps a tiny proportion of lithium - the elements at the beginning of the Periodic Table.

To form a planet such as Earth, you need heavier elements. Which means that before Earth could be formed, massive stars from the first generation had to burn through their own supplies of hydrogen, generating via nuclear fusion the elements beyond helium in quantity. The typically abundant elements generated by said nuclear fusion in massive stars, are carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, neon, magnesium, silicon, and then iron (with perhaps traces of nickel). When those massive stars accumulate a large iron core arising from silicon fusion, it's supernova time.

Supernova remnants then provide the forge within which elements beyond iron are produced, via neutron absorption and beta decay along the so-called "neutron drip line".

Those heavy elements then disperse, and at some future point, re-aggregate as they encounter condensing hydrogen gas regions, within which new stars are formed. Some of those new stars will be massive stars, becoming yet more supernova remnants further down the line. However, in the later generations, stars resembling the Sun are formed also, along with red dwarfs etc. These later stars, when forming from material seeded with heavy elements from past supernovae, end up with accretion discs of dust surrounding them, within which planets form via accretion of the material in the dust cloud.

This all takes finite time, of course. Stars with Earth-like planets orbiting them have to have formed a certain minimum time after the Big Bang, because that minimum time is the time required to produce the heavy elements in sufficient abundance. Stars with Jupiter like planets composed mostly of hydrogen and helium, of course, can form earlier, though it's interesting to note that the Jupiter-type exoplanets found thus far, are mostly in orbit around red dwarf stars with long lives.

To form a Solar System like ours, you need to gather together around 10^32 Kg of material. You also need around 10^26 Kg of that material to consist of a mix of silicon, iron and nickel, in order to form Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars in the case of our own Solar system, though the material distribution in a different star system may of course be different (see the Gliese system for an interesting example).

If you model the universe as a series of voxels into which material is inserted from supernova detonations, and thence spreads to mix with accumulations of hydrogen elsewhere, then depending upon the abundance of the earliest massive stars, you can calculate how much time will need to elapse, to generate enough material to form a population of Sun-like stars with planets. With the data to hand, the typical elapsed time from the Big Bang is around a minimum of 8 billion years. Then, you need another 100 million years minimum for formation of the central star, and another 100 to 200 million years for planetary accretion to produce your planets, and another 100 million years or so for orbital clearance of planetesimal debris to bring an end to heavy bombardment epochs.

Then, once you reach that point, you have all the fun and games involved in setting up the requisite chemistry to bootstrap the first living organisms - call that another 100 million years or so - and once that process has been launched, it takes about 2 billion years for life to progress beyond unicellular life forms on a large scale. For example, the oldest known multicellular eukaryote fossil here on Earth, is a red alga known as Bangiomorpha pubescens, dating to 1.2 billion years before present - 700 million years before the Cambrian era. But for 2 billion years before that, most of the life forms in the fossil record are bacteria-like cells.

However, once multicellular life starts getting underway, things start to move more quickly. Though by "more quickly", I mean that interesting new developments take around 10 million years to bear fruit. The fun part being, of course, that there were hilariously constructed organisms (such as the appropriately named Halucigenia) swimming in the oceans 50 million years before the so-called "Cambrian explosion", which itself, far from being instantaneous, was spread over a 23 million year period.

At this point you should be getting the picture about the timescales involved.

And, of course, I'm in the perfect position, as an invertebrate zoologist, to tell you that practically all of the waffle from creationists on this subject, can safely be tossed into the bin, not least because there are phylogenetically important invertebrate lineages exhibiting interesting developments over geological and evolutionary time, that creationists never bother with because they're too busy trying to peddle a "special" status for humans, and as a corollary ignore completely anything outside the vertebrate section of the tree of life. Even though, for obvious reasons, there's less material to work with in the case of spiders than in the case of vertebrates with substantial chunks of bone inside their bodies, there's still enough material extant for scientists to be pretty sure about the phylogeny of the Arachnida. The Rhynie Chert in Scotland is a fantastic source of material for early fossil spiders, including the now-extinct Trigonotarbids, and thousands of specimens trapped in amber provide a decent picture of the phylogeny of the Arachnids through the Mesozoic and early Cenozoic.

There's still a few problematic groups, such as the Ricinulei or Hooded Tickspiders, but that's because the living members of these groups are still vastly under-studied and under-researched, and getting scientists out to where these organisms live is expensive. Even if we could learn enough to maintain live cultures of these organisms in captivity, studying organisms that are about 5 millimetres in length, which like to live in dark, damp leaf litter, and which out of habit beat a hasty retreat the moment you shine a light on them, poses its own problems of course. Especially when it's dissection time, and you have to do your work manipulating tools while examining the specimen under an ×60 binocular microscope (you thought surgeons needed a steady hand?) and then have to resort to very expensive electron microscopy to tease out some of the finer details.

The mere fact that it takes a vast amount of diligent effort to acquire knowledge of all these different processes, through the labours of astrophysicists, nuclear scientists, geologists, palaeontologists, evolutionary biologists and comparative anatomists, should of course be sufficient in itself, to tell you that the glib, self-satisfied parrotings of creationists are little more than ex recto fabrication fuelled by a combination of ignorance and hubris. Some of the apologetics I've encountered from the usual suspects is, quite frankly, risible, and should in any properly educated populace, invite scorn and ridicule from anyone with functioning neurons.

At bottom, the Genesis myth was written by people who were incapable of counting correctly the number of legs that an insect possesses, and who thought genetics was controlled by coloured sticks, which places the individuals in question at the bottom end of the Bell Curve even by the standards extant in the era. Indeed, given that 'day' and 'night' are usually defined in terms of relative orientations of the Sun and Earth, how the hell could there have been three "days", with a "morning" and "evening", before the Sun was purportedly "created"? Yet we still have among us, cretins who treat this drivel as historical and scientific fact.

Oh, and if you're looking for something to teach you how bizarre biology can get, look up the Warnowiids. Which are, wait for it, single celled plants that can not only swim, but which have eyes comparable in complexity to vertebrate eyes. Have fun looking those up!

Whitefire13's picture
@Cali ... I love reading this

@Cali ... I love reading this kind of shit. Where do water bears fit in? I know I could look it up - and I should but I get lost in “fine details” (lost, bored, ugh). Those little moon buggers... at first my eyes rolled when I stumbled on your posts (being new) but the way you explain it, the humor and you don’t dumb it down - awesome communication.

ronald bertram's picture


You captured important thoughts in that composition. Thanks. Invertebrate Zoologist can appreciate your point about that being a "perfect position ". Invertebrate Zoologist should all take at least a couple courses in Invertebrate Paleontology. It provides a great appreciation for the bizarre invertebrates that lived during the Paleozoic Era.

Grinseed's picture
That was fun, Cal, and it was

That was fun, Cal, and it was comforting in a way to find my old favourite, the powerhouse mitochondria involved in the formation of the "cornea", if that's what it is. It certainly gets around. Thanks for the info.

oh and if anyone is interested I tracked that down to here warnowiids

Sheldon's picture
Stars have a finite life,

Stars have a finite life, they're formed and eventually "die".

Creationists dispute the objective age of the universe, just as flat earthers claim pictures of a round planet are faked.

Whenever a creatard says the universe is a few thousand years old, ask them how we can see stars that are more than a few thousand light years away.

In Genesis it claims "god created all the stars"

This is dubious as stars are still being formed, so they were no more all created in one instant, than humans were.

It takes a great deal of mental gymnastics and asinine semantics to pretend Genesis is true, and not archaic humanity's first errant and superstitious attempt to explain their existence.

Whitefire13's picture
@Sheldon... “ just as flat

@Sheldon... “ just as flat earthers claim pictures of a round planet are faked... ask them how we can see stars that are more than a few thousand light years away.”

I put these two together because according to a flat earther that Aaron Ra interviewed “space” is within the dome, about 8,000 miles “up”...

Silly Sheldon....

Sheldon's picture


Yeah, and if it's Hindus you're arguing with, its "turtles all the way down".

David Killens's picture
One thing I fun interesting

One thing I fun interesting is the evolution of the universe. Immediately after the rapid expansion, there was an evolution in energy. Then came an evolution in matter, then an evolution in life. The tale of this universe is one of evolution.

Italianish's picture
Well I have no clue..

Well I have no clue..
but I think biblically the earth is like 4-6000 years old.

boomer47's picture


"Well I have no clue..
but I think biblically the earth is like 4-6000 years old."

Only to the literalist dropkicks.

LogicFTW's picture
Got to love that churches

Got to love that churches with guidance from their supposed all mighty all knowing god, got the age of the earth wrong, not a little, not a lot. But an unbelievable amount.

To put it in human life span terms: It is like telling an 70 year old person, it looks like he was born about 1 hour ago. Just absolutely humiliating wrong. Where the 70 year old person is almost forced to respond with: are you blind deaf and dumb?

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