Hambo: Diamonds & the Earth Are Young

It has long been obvious that hard-core creationists live in their own universe — one that makes no sense to the rest of us. You can judge for yourself whether that’s true of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else.

Hambo just posted this at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), his creationist ministry: Do Diamonds Take Millions of Years to Form? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

A recent editorial [link omitted] on diamond prices might seem unrelated to our ministry. But, when I saw the headline — “Lab-Grown Diamond Production Rises, but Prices Fall” — and read through the short article, it reminded me of the secular claim that diamonds take billions of years to form. If you search “how long it takes a natural diamond to form” on Google, the preferred answer pops up as “between 1 billion and 3.3 billion years, which is approximately 25% to 75% of our earth’s [supposed] age.” Is that true?

That’s the question for today, dear reader: Is it true? Hambo says:

Well, the editorial mentions that labs now grow diamonds so, obviously, it does not necessarily take long ages to form a diamond. All it takes is the right conditions, which we can simulate in a lab and produce diamonds relatively quickly.

Aha — the plot thickens! After that he tells us:

The idea that diamonds take millions of years to form is an assumption based on a naturalistic worldview [Gasp!] that assumes slow and gradual processes. Even some secular sources (such as this article [Diamonds Unearthed] from Smithsonian.com) admit we don’t actually know how long it takes to form a diamond.

A wee bit of quote mining there. Yes, the Smithsonian article says that, but then it also says:

All diamonds, as far as we know, are quite old in the Earth … At least hundreds of millions of years old, but in most cases billions of years old, anywhere from one to three billion years old, a time when the earth was probably hotter than it is today and so conditions were perhaps more appropriate for diamond growth.

Oblivious to that, Hambo continues:

But there’s great evidence that diamonds are actually young. Diamonds are the hardest substance on earth, so nothing gets in to contaminate them.

Not true. The same Smithsonian article says:

The way they date diamonds is typically looking at inclusions of other minerals in the diamond that can be radioactively dated. The diamonds themselves can’t be dated. But if the mineral inclusions contain certain elements like potassium and things that can be used in a radioactive dating scheme, then by dating the inclusion in the diamond you get some sense of the age of the diamond itself. And those dates always suggest the diamonds are quite old.

So far, Hambo’s not doing very well, but let’s read on:

Yet testing has shown that diamonds contain carbon-14. [Link to an AIG article omitted.] This is an important discovery, because, in the conventional paradigm, C-14 is only detectable up to 80,000 years — so they can’t be older than that. And yet these diamonds are considered billions of years old!

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We can’t find any reports of carbon 14 in diamonds, other than from creationist sources — see, for example: Rev. David Rives — Carbon-14 in Diamonds. Back to Hambo:

Diamonds aren’t billions of years old. They’re young, just like our earth, likely formed deep in the earth during the global flood of Noah’s day. You can learn more about diamonds in this article by [creationist] geologist Dr. Andrew Snelling: [link omitted].

Okay, that’s it. The only thing Hambo left out was that Darwin gave Lady Hope a newly-formed diamond during his deathbed confession.

Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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12 responses to “Hambo: Diamonds & the Earth Are Young

  1. Oh dear! Leave aside the fact that labgrown diaminds form under conditions quite different from any that occur in nature, the 14C in the notorious RATE (Real Age of the Earth) project is due to incompetent handling, as spelt out among other things by Davidson and Wolgemuth in https://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2018/PSCF6-18Davidson.pdf (abstract open; full text will be open this month).

    Actually, Snelling has resopnded in Answers in Genesis to that article, accusing Davidson ad Wolgemuth of circular reasoning because they note that tree ring dates and varve count dates are in agreement. As usual, AiGcan’t tell the difference between circular reasoning and mutually supporting arguments.

    Why, I had to ask myself, does RATE parade their dates of 50,000 years before present as evidence for a 6,000 year old earth? And then I remembered; it’s because it refutes uniformitarian presuppositions. If you do your science badly enough, you get bad answers, therefore you can’t trust science. How could I have lost sight of this powerful principle?

  2. Diamonds were formed dung the Flood!?
    HOw odes he know? Was he there? The Bible doesn’t tell us about anything formed by the Flood, whether it’s Grand Canyon .
    I could understand if a YEC would say that we don’t know hw diamonds are formed, that God doesn’t tell us, so we weren’t meant to know. (There are a few uses of the word “diamond” in the King James Version, for example in Jeremiah 17:1 there is a mention in reference to its hardness.)

    At some point, one would think that he is overdoing it. Whatever one thinks of, it was made in the FLood, even though the Biblical descripton of the Flood is rather spare. The Flood narrative doesn’t tell us about Ice Ages, the Grand Canyon, diamonds, micro-evolution, fossils, … It doesn’t even mention Mount Ararat!

  3. Our dear SC underestimates “the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else”:

    “Hambo’s not doing very well.”
    Of course he is (in his own eyes). The reliability of radiometry already has been extensively “discussed” on the AIG site. Motto: if the conclusions are undesirable the method can’t be trusted. You can’t beat that.
    But thank you for reminding of the Good Rev David Rives. He has been very silent lately.

    “formed deep in the earth during the global flood of Noah’s day.”
    But now Ol’Hambo is not doing well. Let me give him a helping hand. What did he write again?

    “it does not necessarily take long ages to form a diamond. All it takes is the right conditions”
    It’s totally clear – during the Great Flood all the conditions were right to form diamonds within a couple of weeks (or months – whatever, I’m not going to do discuss how long the Flood lasted), just like in labs.
    @So PaulB got it wrong:

    “Leave aside the fact that labgrown diaminds form under conditions quite different from any that occur in nature.”
    That’s not a fact, that’s just your conclusion derived from “an assumption based on a naturalistic worldview.” You’re not wiser and smarter than Ol’Hambo.

    “As usual, AiG can’t tell the difference between circular reasoning and mutually supporting arguments.”
    Of course they can! When supporting the predetermined conclusion of a Young Earth the arguments are, well, also mutually supporting. If not it’s circular reasoning.

    @TomS as usual doesn’t get it either: “How does he know? Was he there?”
    Silly, Ol’Hambo is “the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else”. He doesn’t need to be there, like lesser mortals like you and me. He understands the Holy Bible simply better than you and I because he’s YHWH’s most important helpmate immediately after the Son and the Holy Spirit.

  4. Michael Fugate

    It doesn’t say that it takes billions of years to form a diamond, only that they were formed billions of years ago. They happen to be very stable…

  5. Dave Luckett

    Note please that this argument will immediately be inverted when the day comes – as it will – that some biological lab somewhere will announce that they have assembled DNA from scratch and have created an artificial self-replicator, ie, life, from basic materials. The creationist noise machine will ignore the obvious implication that it does not take a divine mind to create life, and will stand the present argument on its head: “If life can be made by intent in a laboratory, then it must have been made by intent in the beginning!”

  6. I guess radioisotope dating is BS … except when it can be twisted to support Ken Ham’s thesis.

  7. @DL: “Note please that this argument will immediately be inverted … ”
    You nailed it. Such is the beauty of a predetermined conclusion.

  8. Better yet, when one is arguming for an empty conclusion, any argument is equally useful.

  9. Richard Bond

    Yes: C14 becomes undetectable after ~60,000 years. Yes: C14 is found in diamonds that were formed thousands of millions of years ago. The flaw with Ham’s argument is that C14 is formed by several processes that have nothing to do with C14 dating. Free neutrons are produced by spontaneous fission of uranium isotopes, and by the impact of alpha particles from uranium and thorium on light elements such as boron and beryllium, and perhaps even C13. (That is how James Chadwick discovered the things.) Free neutrons, being uncharged, penetrate many centimetres of even hard substances such as diamond. There they are captured by C13 to form C14. Then they decay to N14 with the usual half-life of ~5700 years. An obvious prediction from this model is that diamonds should contain nitrogen a an impurity, trapped in the crystal lattice. Guess what: nitrogen is the major impurity in diamonds, up to 1%.

  10. @Richard Bond, yes indeed. The story is very similar with 14C in coal, related to the amount of nitrogen remaining in the coal, and absent in cold that has been completely converted to graphite. This has been known since the nineteen thirties

  11. Mike Elzinga

    Diamonds are forever.

    Forever > 6000 years. 😉