The sun produces at least half of its energy from the conversation of hydrogen to helium within its core. This could sustain the sun for 10 billion years and scientists estimate that the sun is nearing its “half-life.” Due to these reactions in its core, the sun would change and become brighter over time. According to evolutionists, the earth contained life about 3.8 billion years ago. It is believed that the earth remained at close to the same temperature throughout time. This paradox says that the sun only was emitting 70% of its current intensity during the early history of earth. As a result, water would have been frozen and therefore life couldn’t have existed on an early earth. Since then, the sun has been getting hotter and hotter (Faulkner, 1980).. Young earth creationists use this as an argument to support their theory. Admittingly, the young earth creationism seems to solve this paradox as there would not have been time for the sun to have sun to have such a large shift in temperature. Geological records show that the earth throughout time had a relatively warm surface which seems to contradict the faint sun of that time. However, there is evidence that the young earth had liquid water as observed by Zircon Grains that are about 4.2 billion years old (Wilde et al., 2001). There is also biological evidence that there was life on earth about 3.465 billion years ago (Scholf, 2006)
One Hypothesis states that there could have been more greenhouse gases during this period of time. Carbon dioxide may have been in higher quantities at the time because there was no bacterial photosynthesis to change the carbon dioxide to oxygen, and also there was more volcanic activity to add to the amount of carbon dioxide. There may have been significant amounts of methane and carbonyl sulfide to increase the greenhouse effect. However, there has been information from ancient soils that seem to indicate that carbon dioxide levels weren’t that high during this period (Wikipedia 1, 2017).
Also, radio genetic heat which is caused by radioactive decay of isotopes such as uranium-235, uranium-238, and potassium-40, was probably higher at the time. This would have caused the crust to have higher temperatures which would lead to the earth having a greater amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (Wikipedia 1, 2017).
Then there is the fact that the moon would have been much closer to earth back then and therefore there was more tidal heating taking place (Rathi 2016). Of course, one problem with this solution is that Mars also had liquid water back then. Mars doesn’t have any moons so how would it have had liquid water being that it was further away from the sun? It can be argued that since Mars had liquid water billions of years ago, why couldn’t earth also have liquid water in its early beginnings?
The young sun may have been much more violent with solar flares when it was young. The heat from these solar flares may have heated the atmosphere of the Earth. This could have caused Nitrogen molecules to split and combine with other molecules creating molecules such as Nitrous Oxide which would have a powerful greenhouse effect (Rathi, 2016).
Another hypothesis is that the cloud layers were much thinner billion years ago due to the lack of plants and algae (Therefore the chemicals given off by plants and algae that help form clouds weren’t being produced). The sun would have had a more direct path to the oceans and would still be able to heat them enough so they didn’t freeze. Even though the sun’s ray were weaker, they wouldn’t be reflected into space by the clouds (Neyman, 2010).
Some may refer to the Gaia Hypothesis which was formulated by a Chemist named James Lovelock. According to this hypothesis the earth is a complex system that is self-regulated and it continually seeks an environment to sustain life (Wikipedia 2). When it comes to the faint sun paradox this hypothesis basically says that the atmosphere would have maintained an environment to hold life even though the sun was weaker back then. This hypothesis has spiritual implications and is often criticized by scientists. However, it does seem to make some sense when it comes to the complexity of earth’s environment in relation to the faint sun paradox.
Support For Young Earth Creation:
Support for an Old Earth
Faulkner, D.R. (1980), The young faint Sun paradox and the age of the solar system, Impact (ICR) 300.
Neymand, Greg; (2010, April 5) Creation Science Rebuttals. Old Earth Ministries. Retrieved from http://www.oldearth.org/rebuttal/magazines/TJ/v15/TJ15_faint_young_sun_paradox.htm
Rathi A, (2016, May 25). A New Theory is Close to Solving one of the greatest mysteries of how life began on earth. Retrieved from https://qz.com/691200/a-new-theory-is-close-to-solving-one-of-the-greatest-mysteries-of-how-life-began-on-earth/
Schopf, J. W. (2006), Fossil evidence for Archaean life, Philos. Trans. R. Soc. B, 361, 869–885.
Wikipedia 1, (2017, September 10). Faint Young Sun Paradox. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faint_young_Sun_paradox
Wikipedia 2, (2017, September 10). Gaia Hypothesis. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_hypothesis.
Wilde, S. A., J. W. Valley, W. H. Peck, and C. M. Graham (2001), Evidence from detrital zircons for the existence of continental crust and oceans on the Earth 4.4 Gyr ago, Nature, 409, 175–178