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These methods are largely independent of each other, based on separate observations and arguments, yet all point to a history much longer than 10,000 years.
As Christians, we believe that God created the world and that the world declares his glory, so we can’t ignore what nature is telling us about its history.
If you’ve ever seen a horizontal slice of a tree trunk, you’ve seen how a tree forms a new growth ring each year.
In years of drought, the tree grows less quickly so the ring is narrower; in good growing seasons the ring is thicker.
Using the known rate of change in radio-active elements (radiometric dating), some Earth rocks have been shown to be billions of years old, while the oldest solar system rocks are dated at 4.6 billion years.
Meteorites are rocks from the solar system that have fallen to Earth recently and haven’t suffered much erosion.
Many independent measurements have established that the Earth and the universe are billions of years old.
Geologists have found annual layers in ice that are easily counted to multiple tens of thousands of years, and when combined with radio isotope dating, we find hundreds of thousands of years of ice layers.
This conclusion is not based on just one measurement or one calculation, but on many types of evidence.
Here we will describe just two types of evidence for an old Earth and two types of evidence for an old universe; more types can be found under further reading.