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Time to accumulate chloride ions in the world's oceans: creationism's young earth not supported
Some “creation scientists” claim that the earth is only about 6000 years old, but this assertion is not based on science.They also object to using radiometric isotopic age-dating methods to determine the age of the earth, which calculate ages of about 4.54 billion years (Newman 1997). It is easy to counter these arguments, of course, if the earth can be shown to be billions of years old by some other method in addition to the isotopic age dating. One such method used early in the study of the age of the earth was based on observing the rate at which the world’s rivers brought in dissolved sodium ions (Na+) and then calculating how long it would take to make the world’s oceans as salty as they are now, based on this rate of accumulation. In 1899, John Jolly estimated this time to be about 100 million years (Birkeland and Larson 1989). But then researchers realized that this estimate had a number of problems.The rate at which Na+ ions were transported to the world’s oceans was probably not constant, and many of the Na+ ions came from recycled salt. Furthermore, the ocean waters probably reached a certain limit of Na+ ion content but no more because many of these Na+ ions were incorporated in clay and other minerals and thus removed from the ocean water. Therefore, the earth was older than 100 million years, but how much older could not be determined, so this method of estimating the age of the earth was abandoned. However, if the chloride ion (Cl–) content in sea water is used instead of the Na+ ion and if the origin of the Cl– ions can be determined, then an estimate of the time that it takes to make all salt, both in the oceans and on the continents, can be calculated.