The rotation speed of the earth is slowing down. This happens because the gravity of the orbiting moon attracts the oceans and makes them bulge toward the moon, and as the earth rotates, this bulge of trillions of tons of ocean water follows the moon and moves around the rotating earth, pushing against the landmasses --causing tides. All this tidal pushing --and friction-- very slightly slows down the earth's rotation speed. This rotational slow-down is relatively tiny, such that no one notices it in their lifetime. But, in fact, by measuring earth's rotational slowdown for decades using extremely accurate atomic clocks, it has been shown that after about a century of slowing, a day gets almost 2 thousandths of a second longer. If you add up these tiny increases, eventually --after a million years-- the length of a day is about 20 seconds longer.
At the same time --even though the earth's rotation is slowing down-- the number of hours in a year stays the same. This is because there is no significant friction in space as the earth travels in its orbit around the Sun. No matter how far back in time you go, there are still the same number of hours in each year --and in our time, it takes the earth about 365 days and six hours to orbit the sun. Therefore, if you multiply the number of hours in a modern day (24 hours) times the number of days in a modern year (365.25 days), you find that there are 8,766 hours in a year. The number of hours in a year has always remained basically the same for billions of years --despite the slowdown in the earth's rotation.
So, if we combine these two facts (that the days are lengthening while the length of the year is staying the same) we see that eventually there will be 364 days in each year. On the other hand --going in the other direction (into the past)-- we see that there used to be 366 days in each year, etc.
In fact, we can calculate that 400 million years ago, during the Devonian Period (since a day is 20 seconds shorter going back each million years), we find that each Devonian day would have been 8,000 seconds shorter than our modern days. This would mean that each Devonian day was 21.8 hours long (as opposed to the modern 24-hour day). Since a year always has 8,766 hours in it, this means that (dividing 8,766 by 21.8) there must have been about 400 days in each year during the Devonian Period. --So, then we ask the question: Were there actually 400 days in each year during the Devonian Period ...and do we have any evidence to confirm this?
Well, it so turns out, that in certain types of corals (and shellfish), researchers have discovered that these corals lay down annual and daily growth bands, composed of calcium carbonate. In such corals, the seasons of the year are discernable, because the corals grow more in the dry season than in the wet season, making the dry season bands thicker, so one can determine a year of growth by observing this cyclical pattern. It has also been observed that the daytime part of a growth band looks distinctly different from the nighttime part of that band, because photosynthesis is taking place during the day but not in the night, so, individual days are discernable. Thus --similar to counting the rings in a cut down tree-- the remains of such corals can be sawn apart in order to count the daily growth bands. Modern corals living today, have 365 daily growth bands per year in them. Similarly, the growth bands of fossilized remains of corals from the Devonian Period (from 400 million years ago), reveal that, yes, there were about 400 days in each year during the Devonian. --And one also wonders: If you take corals from the Devonian Period which are found in a different part of the world, are there 400 daily growth bands in those corals as well? The answer is: yes; it's the same all around the world. All Devonian corals have 400 daily growth bands per year. Similarly, corals from the Pennsylvanian Period reveal that there were 387 days in a year. And growth bands of corals from the Cambrian Period (500 million years ago) reveal that there were 412 days in each year.
This shows us that these types of corals have been living in the earth's oceans not only today, but going back 300, 400, 500 million years and more --and the growth bands in these corals reflect the day-counts of the years during those time periods. We find that the annual day-counts of these fossil corals increase as they get more and more ancient, as researchers go deeper and deeper down into the stacked up and fossilized coral remains which grew on top of each other for many millions of years. --So, as a rule, as we go deeper down the deposited layers of the "geologic column" --as well as in the sedimentary layers of earth's crust-- things are generally increasing in age. (And on the other hand, yes, sometimes there are also "catastrophes" which deposit many layers in one single event.) And then, right along with the ancient corals (such as during the Devonian Period), there were other different kinds of plant and animal life that lived and were buried and fossilized during the same geologic periods. The corals can help to "mark" those periods. Amazingly, amost ALL the major categories of complex multicellular life first appeared "suddenly" in the fossil record during the Cambrian Period (500 million years ago), and none of these lifeforms were present on earth before the Cambrian. Again, there is no evidence of any multicellular, complex life before the Cambrian Period. The Cambrian is basically a geologically "sudden" period of God's creative work.
So, in general, this situation demonstrates that it took many hundreds of millions of years for the layers of the geologic column to be laid down. Along with the corals of the Devonian period, other fossilized plants and animals from that period are also buried in the same layers of the geologic column, and also lived 400 million years ago along with the Devonian corals. And then other different lifeforms lived in yet other geological periods, in which there are other characteristic corals as markers. It is also apparent from the characteristic different number of days in the years of the different periods, that all the different-banded corals --found at different depths in the geologic column-- did not all get buried in one single year (as "Flood Geology" says), or even in few thousand years, but they grew (during years with a certain number of days) and then died and were buried in the geologic column over hundreds of millions of years, as the math and the known rate of the earth's slow-down demonstrate. In addition, the ages of these corals are quite consistent with various other methods of determining the ages of minerals as well as other things which lived during the ancient eras of earth's geological history.
Finally, the biblical God is the "God of truth" (Isa. 65:16), and it glorifies God to ascertain as much as possible the truth about His creation, and reality. In doing so, we grow closer in not misrepresenting God and his marvelous deeds. We who worship Him "must worship in the Spirit and in truth" (Jn. 4:24). In providing such amazing lines of evidence as we find here, God seems to be helping us to grasp the fact that his creative works are massively ancient, which points to the eternity of his being. Glory to God.
Identity of Nature's Designer
--If you will read further in this website, you may agree that there is an excellent body of evidence (eg. from predictions) which indicates that the Bible is a supernaturally produced piece of literature, the true Word of God. ...and the Bible claims to identify the living God (and Jesus Christ) who did the intelligent designing of all things. If you want to read about such evidence concerning the Bible, click on this link: "Prophecy Proves the Bible's Authority."
---Concerning Jesus Christ, the Bible says: "Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made" (John 1:3). Similarly, it says: "by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible" (Colossians 1:16).
YOU, dear reader are loved by God, and that's why Jesus Christ came!
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