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However, to draw this conclusion we have to assume that the rate of cratering has been the same in the past as it is now.
And there are now good reasons for thinking that it might have been quite intense in the past, in which case the craters do not indicate an old age at all (see below).
Long-age proponents will dismiss this sort of evidence for a young earth by arguing that the assumptions about the past do not apply in these cases.
In other words, age is not really a matter of scientific observation but an argument about our assumptions about the unobserved past.
However, the "increased rate" that would be required to produce the observed craters is unrealistic: if the rate of impacts to the Moon was high enough to give it its characteristic surface in under 6,000 years — the standard creationist time since creation, according to the chronology worked out by Archbishop James Ussher in 1650 — we'd expect a lot more craters on Earth; with a presumed abundance of meteors intersecting the shared orbit of Earth and the moon, it would stretch credulity indeed to suggest that something like 99.9% of them missed the larger target and hit the smaller one.
There is no need for an "independent natural clock" thanks to the principle that reality is objective: if analyses of many samples by different methods arrive at the same age, this is strong evidence that the estimate is correct, by .
This is partially true, but there is a crucial difference: the uniformitarian assumptions of science have reasons behind them.