My heart missed a beat when I saw an article titled, “Moon Younger Than Previously Thought” on ScienceDaily.com. Were the creationists right? Was the Earth only 6,000 years old? After all, according to the Institute for Creation Research, “It takes but one proof of a young age for the moon or the earth to completely refute the doctrine of evolution.”
No need to rip down my Charles Darwin poster just yet. Turns out the moon may, or may not, be 4.4 billion years old instead of 4.6 billion years old. Scientists reported in the journal Nature that they used new dating techniques on a rock brought back by the Apollo 16 mission.
They measured radioactive isotopes of lead and neodymium to date the moon rock at 4.36 billion years old. If this date is correct, it means the moon is either 200 million years younger than dates from other lunar rocks have shown or it did not solidify from a molten rock ocean as previously thought. There is also the possibility that the rock that was tested was a meteorite that landed on the moon.
Lars Borg, chief author of the study, said, “The next thing to do is to continue this line of research but using different samples.”