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.
The annual ice layers in glaciers provide a similar method that goes back much further in history.
Each year, snowfall varies throughout the seasons and an annual layer is formed.
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.
In this way, multiple trees can be used to build a master chronology for a forested region.
European oak trees have been used to build a 12,000-year chronology.
The oldest reliably dated rock formation is in Greenland, where several different isotopes were used to find an age of 3.6 billion years.
To find older rocks that haven’t been eroded, we need to look beyond Earth.
This method can even be used on dead trees that fell in a forest long ago.
For example, the last 200 rings in the dead tree might match up with 200 rings early in the life of the living tree, so the two trees together can count back many years.
Like the tree rings, this method can be verified by comparison to historical records for weather, as well as to records of volcanic eruptions around the globe that left thin dust layers on the glaciers.