It’s time, already, to go back to the Faint Young Sun paradox. We learn from Brian, in Ancient Raindrops Argue for Young Earth, that one proposed solution to the paradox has been shown to be unlikely.
To recap, the paradox is the observed evidence for liquid water on the surface of the Earth in a time when, by rights given the solar output, the whole planet should have been frozen older. The proposed solution that must be here chucked by the roadside – which I must admit to not even having heard of and which I thus did not include in my previous discussion of this concept – is that the early atmosphere could have been somewhat denser than it is now, increasing the warming effect of the greenhouse gasses that have previously been shown to not have existed in the necessary concentrations to do increase the temperature by themselves. But Sanjoy Som et al. show in Air density 2.7 billion years ago limited to less than twice modern levels by fossil raindrop imprints that the density of the atmosphere could not have been more than twice the current level, and was probably much less than that – possibly even a little less than now.
For some context, the raindrop impressions date from the Archean, and are prior to the Great Oxidation Event in which the concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere increased from effectively none to something vaguely breathable. In addition, on the flood chronology discussed in Stone Age Language? the Archean is apparently creation week rocks. This means that, based on these raindrop fossils if not the paper itself, we could justify the counter-headline “Ancient Raindrops Argue for an Old Earth.” On the other hand, this discovery that one of the paradox explanations cannot have happened is not in itself persuasive evidence for a young Earth – there are other options.
Brian concludes his article with:
Actually, the easiest answer to this paradox is not to imagine a totally different atmosphere or alter the physics of the ancient sun, but to erase the imaginary billion-year timescale. Once that’s done, all the data align. And those data also line up with the Genesis account of a young earth created with a life-sustaining atmosphere from the beginning.
That’s the easiest explanation? The data that apparently “aligns” after you do this is…what? Certainly not the evidence used to determine how old the raindrops were, the evidence of an oxygen-depleted atmosphere at the time, the existence of sedimentary rocks coming from what was apparently creation week… No, parsimony tells us that there will be a resolution to the paradox, though the scarcity of rocks from this time don’t help working out what it was. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if a mixture of the various proposals are true, for they do not tend to be mutually exclusive.