Dating the rocks of the grand canyon
But over the past few years, several studies have marshalled a range of geologic evidence to suggest that the canyon could be tens of millions of years old.Karlstrom and his team find that parts of the canyon could be tens of millions of years old, but that the canyon as a whole is much younger.The debate focuses on a different number — when exactly the Colorado River began cutting through those layered rocks, forming the three-dimensional chasm that tourists swarm to today.Canyon experts had generally thought that the chasm formed around 5‒6 million years ago.Such changes mean big differences for interpreting how long a particular piece of apatite has been buried.“That just hit me like a ton of bricks,” says Brian Wernicke, a Caltech geologist who has argued for an ancient canyon, of Karlstrom's choices.Unfortunately, neither Christian conservative Old Testament scholars nor Christian scientists are in universal agreement.This topic covers a broad spectrum of issues so I am going to try and narrow the focus of the discussion.
First, how do the “young-earth” and “old-earth” positions view the Scriptures?
Scientists can date a canyon's formation with geochemical techniques that measure the temperature of rocks over time. When erosion removes the overlying rocks, as when a canyon forms, the rock is moved closer to the surface and cools down.