How do Young Earth Creationists defend their beliefs against articles like this:

100 million year old spider eating a wasp

100 million years ago, when dinosaurs were still around, this spider had captured a wasp in his web. The wasp was going to be the spider's dinner. The wasp was going to die watching the spider kill him. The wasp was going to—SPLAT. At that exact moment—one hundred million freaking years ago—tree resin flowed over on top of them and froze the two bugs in time for us to see now.

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    My guess? Discredit the dating method(s) used. Posted as a comment because it's not an answer. Commented Oct 9, 2012 at 2:11
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    How is this any more than just a minor upgrade on a refute-this question by asking a specific viewpoint for the refutation?
    – Caleb
    Commented Oct 9, 2012 at 7:38
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    @Caleb your glass is always half empty, isn't it? How could someone truly understand a viewpoint without specific examples? Basically, "layman's terms". I'll take this specific case to the meta which you've linked.
    – user1054
    Commented Oct 9, 2012 at 13:55
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    The actual answer is a combination of willful ignorance and, when that doesn't work, outright lying. They also slander scientists and suggest the vast majority of the people who actually know what they're talking about are in on some kind of vast conspiracy theory.
    – TRiG
    Commented Oct 9, 2012 at 16:22
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    God used old rocks from elsewhere in the universe to make a young earth. :-) Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 14:42

1 Answer 1


@El'endia Starman's comment is correct. One of the common assumptions of the young-earth position is that the dating methods that give us billions or millions of years of history are flawed. I could give hundreds links to support the statement that this is a well-accepted assumption among YEC-ists, but I'll limit myself.

We'd also counter with "If the dating methods are so accurate, how is it the coelacanth stayed un-evolved for millions of years?" and a whole host of other similar questions.

I'd also point out that the article makes no mention of how the author came to the conclusion that the thing is 100 million years old. It just states it as if it were undisputed fact with no evidence to back it up, which wouldn't even fly here, as there's no supporting references. We don't even need to bring up the dating methods for this article. We could just ask where that figure comes from. (Then we'd need to debunk the dating methods.)

The answer could and probably should end with the above, but in the interest of stemming the all-but-inevitable debate in comments, I'd like to add...

None of which proves anything, either way. All such questions do is lead to endless pointless debate.

Neither side is likely to throw aside our presuppositions to give credit to the opposing side. To the atheist, the idea of allowing for supernatural explanations is incomprehensible. For the YEC Creationist, there's nothing less than the entire foundation for Christianity at stake. And of course, in between those two polar opposite views are hundreds of shades of differences, concern, and apathy.

And note, I did not state that evolution is true or false, I was very careful to stick to "How do YEC defend" not "Is the YEC view true", despite my well-known opinions on the matter. This isn't the place to debate which position on origins is true. I answered only because this asked specifically how a certain group within Christianity typically responds to the given statement. "How they respond" is answerable objectively. ;-).

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    I'll show similar restraint and limit myself to just: "the YEC criticism of dating science is greatly over-stated, with key 'shockers' like the grand canyon dates fully understood and explained" Commented Oct 9, 2012 at 6:50
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    I think this says it all: "the article makes no mention of how the author came to the conclusion that the thing is 100 million years old. It just states it as if it were undisputed fact". Welcome to "The Theory of Evolution".
    – Jas 3.1
    Commented Nov 14, 2012 at 21:59
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    @Jas3.1 I found the original publication for you: tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08912963.2011.640399, which cross-references sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1367912002000445 for dating. That second article is paywall, but please do not blindly claim that this information is not available. Simply: the media (probably correctly) didn't think most readers would be interested in that bit. The information is trivially available. It took me about 3 minutes to find both articles. Commented Nov 15, 2012 at 12:11
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    @Jas3.1 I really don't want to get into a protected row; their methods and data is available; geology is not just making up numbers - neither is carbon dating - but you are free to review the full publications and then critique their methods. Basing an age on an old book written by a deeply superstitious people, however... One of these things is a lot more scientific than the other! Commented Nov 16, 2012 at 21:48
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    This isn't constructive guys. As everyone knows I'm in the same camp as @Jas3.1 but there's a reason I included "None of which proves anything, either way. All such questions do is lead to endless pointless debate." in my answer. Please take it to chat, one of you, if you plan on continuing. The comments aren't appropriate here. Besides, Marc has heard all the arguments before. He's one of the few atheists I know (well, know may be strong, but "have interacted with") that's well-versed in both sides of the debate. He, like us, chooses what to believe, and the debate wont change it. Commented Nov 16, 2012 at 23:07