News

October 2018

Saudi Arabia has been named the worst country in the world to be an atheist in a new report monitoring the rights and treatment of the non-religious. On Monday the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) published the latest Freedom of Thought Report, which ranks the best and worst countries to be an atheist.
NATIONAL SECULAR SOCIETY

September 2018

The number of Britons who say they have no religion has hit a record high, new data has revealed. More than half of the British public (53 per cent) say they are not at all religious - a figure that has increased by five percentage points since 2015 and by 19 percentage points since 1983, when just three in 10 people deemed themselves non-religious. The news has prompted fresh calls for the Government to cut the amount of public money going to the church and reduce its influence in society.
THE INDEPENDENT

The Age of the Earth

It is impossible to date, with absolute accuracy, the age of the Earth but in that it is no different from any other science-based theory. Homo sapiens has only been resident for some 50,000 years so we were, unfortunately, unable to witness the birth of our planet.

The Age of the Earth

Discussion

The key to the age of the Earth is observable phenomena ... that is phenomena observable & measurable today can give us the information we need to discover past events and their timings.

The major methods of achieving this are:

  • Observations based on our solar system and the universe around it.
  • Radiometric dating.
  • The geologic column.
  • The fossil record.

These methods all tend to agree that the Earth is between 3.8 and 5 billion years old.

Whilst radiometric dating techniques have been used the figures bounding the age have been determined by entirely different means. The Earth can be no older than the universe and at least as old as its oldest feature. The icecaps, showing annual deposition layers, can be accurately dated back 2.4 million years and the silt deposits of the Niger River can be used to set a lower bound of 45 million years. Calcification rates in fossils prove ages out to approximately 500 million years and stratified rock can be used to prove values out to around a billion years whilst metamorphic rock can be dated back to around 4.5 billion years.

Conclusion

Geologists now date the Earth at 4.55 billion years, a date derived for a number of reasons.

It is worth noting that none of the typical creationist arguments such as atmospheric helium accumulation, oceanic metal accumulation, lunar dust, lunar distance, the shrinkage of the sun, the Earth's magnetic field or its spin represent a particular problem for science. All, without exception, are based on outmoded views, distortions of the evidence or outright lies.

It is also worth noting that in order to replace evolution with a 'young Earth' creation model it must be demonstrated that all of developmental biology, geography, physics, geology and much of chemistry are all fatally flawed. Nothing so far has proved this to be the case.

References

  • "Evolutionary and Geological Timelines" Niel Brandt
  • "The Age of the Earth" Chris Stassen

About UK Atheist's Founder

As an author, socialist and atheist, I've been debating fundamentalists and theists for nearly thirty years.
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Growing up Catholic, I began to question the existence of "God" around the age of thirteen in parallel with an "addiction" to science fiction which taught me the basics of science. I graduated with an honours degree in Applied Biology moving into science and then science computing and it was there that I was exposed to creationism. It struck me that science had not only take its eye off the ball, creationists were a well-funded and organised body determined subvert science. Like many others, I took up the fight to defend science building communities and supporting websites with my greatest success being a government response to the "Science, Just Science" campaign assuring us that creationism could not be taught as science in any state-run UK science classroom. Modern social networking is not ideal for debate but it today's format and it is why I co-founded the Facebook group:
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The Black Cat Analogy: Philosophy is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat. Metaphysics is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat that isn't there. Theology is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat that isn't there and shouting, 'I found it!' Science is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat using a flashlight.

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