The Bible & Science...
What's a Christian to Do!
Ver. 12.0 06/06/2006
This is a living document - check back often.
From space travel to organ transplants, one of the most important influences shaping the modern world is science. Amazingly, people who lived during the Civil War had more in common with Abraham than with us. If Christians are going to speak to that world and interact with it responsibly, they must interact with science.
- J.P. Moreland Is Science a Threat or Help to Faith?
This paper addresses what in my opinion are the greatest challenges Christians face today in the information age. It deals with creation, origins, Christian reputations, false beliefs, the flood, fossils, dinosaurs, age of the Earth, and more. The emphasis is on integrating science and the Bible. I want to state on the outset - I am a Christian and I DO believe in creation.
I also know many many Christians are not happy with the rubber stamp half answers we get. It's even worse to be put into the position of repeating or teaching beliefs we don't quite believe... or at least doubt. No one who is inquisitive likes these untidy loose ends. Further, none of us like to advertise that fact that we have troubling questions... we don't want to be perceived as doubting or ignorant... so by the multitudes we suffer in silence. How many times have I heard "well one day we will know", "we are not supposed to know that now", or something similar. I am not promising all the answers here - but quite a few of them are right in front of us, we just don't see them or want to accept them.
This paper represents the results of several years of intense study and reading on these topics. I kept my mind as open as possible. I purposely read tons of material that both supported and rejected my beliefs and preconceptions. And yes, my beliefs have changed along the way. This is in my opinion, the only way to learn. Once you close your mind and refuse to evaluate both sides of a topic, nothing more can be learned.
I did not take on this quest lightly. I soon learned that a grasp of Hebrew would be of immense help - as everyone kept referring to and mentioning Biblical Hebrew words (of which there only about three thousand). To that end I have taught myself some Biblical Hebrew - while by no means a Hebrew "scholar" I learned enough to be beneficial.
Ancient Hebrew is very fascinating. Unlike our language, the individual letters have meaning. For example with the word "cat" in English, the individual letters have no meaning, In Hebrew each letter very well could represent characteristics of the cat. This is because the oldest scripts are actually pictogrtaphs that represent something... let me give you a few quick actual ancient Hebrew examples:
If you are really going to delve into some of the controversial issues in the Bible, you need to learn something of the original languages - or at least the history of the translation - especially if you are going to hang entire concepts on the meaning of a word or two. Some think this is rubbish... They say "God gave me the King James version - that's all I need". Well, for these people I offer the following simple examples:
A fine example is the Hebrew word "erets" translated as "earth" that appears in the King James Bible. What do you think of when you hear the word Earth? Probably the round spinning globe of a planet we call home - right? We subconsciously "add in" things like the Earth's: size, volume, shape, number and shape of continents, size and depth of oceans, height of mountains, diversity and quantity of wildlife (from the deepest parts of the oceans to the polar regions), etc. The word Earth comes with a lot of baggage today... This is a very recent definition of "Earth". In Biblical Hebrew, this word means "land". It could be an individual's land, the land of a city, as far as you could see, or possibly the extent of an empire. In short, it usually meant anything but what we attribute to it now!
Another example is the phrase in Genesis 1:28 "... Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth...". This helped lead Scofield and others into the gap theory - which postulates that in Genesis 1:1 everything is created, in Genesis 1:2 it becomes "formless and void", and Genesis 1:3 on details the "re-creation"! The Hebrew word translated as "replenish" really simply means to "fill".
My final example is the word Adam/Man. Most do not realize that the Hebrew word for "Adam" and "man" are one and the same. The translators decided where to put in "Adam". There is no special proper name for Adam!
Possibly now you can appreciate the difficulty, and understand some of the arguing that goes on as a result of taking these original Hebrew texts, translating them into "old English" (the language of King James in 1611) and applying our modern meanings to these older translated words!
I think you will find this information helpful and informative. I feel you will gain something - regardless of which "side" you fall on with regard to any one of these controversial topics. Either I will win you over to my way of thinking (if we differ), or in the case that we are in agreement - your confidence in your belief will be strengthened, and at the least you should walk away with an understanding of the reasoning behind each "side" of the issue.
I cannot take credit for most of the ideas and thoughts contained within this paper. I stand on the shoulders of others that have done a tremendous amount of work. I'm not going to name names at this stage, because I don't want to prejudice your reading in the case you have been exposed to negative information pertaining to a given author - or line of reasoning. I make logical cases that can be evaluated on their own merits.
And don't worry... I'm not a blind follower of anyone. I think many people have a tiny piece of the truth - even ones I heavily disagree with overall. I enjoy putting all the pieces together to make a coherent consistent whole.
I do have a significant amount of original material, and think I have managed to integrate a lot of information that does not exist in any one book, article, or Web site. I have also condensed the material greatly that you may evaluate the key points. This allows you to receive and review this information without reading thousands upon thousands of pages of material contained in numerous books, articles, and Web pages.
Numerous verses are cited (and usually included), so you need nothing but this paper. However I encourage you to have a Bible handy, and please check out anything you doubt! All Bible quotes are in quotation marks, the words of Christ are in red, and all Bible text included comes from the King James Version of the Bible (unless otherwise noted).
I now want to ask you for a favor... please read this entire paper all the way through - then render your decision. Many of the concepts here may be new to you - some may seem strange. You may not even be familiar that there are arguments on some of these issues among Christians. I do not wish for you to be "put off" by some point early on and not finish the paper. This material is very convincing when you look at it in its totality. Individual points may seem weak to you, but together they form a powerful and logical conclusion.
This paper may even be offensive to some Christians. This is not my intent. I am passionate about my beliefs. If I were not - you wouldn't be reading this paper! At times I also play the role of "devil's advocate" (pun intended) to make a point. My goal is to get you to critically look at your own beliefs with an open mind. Please read this paper in the spirit it was intended. It has been one of the most enjoyable things I have ever done, enjoy!
Many Biblical fundamentalists hold the belief that Science is at odds with the Bible when it comes to the origins of the Universe. In fact the two have been drawing together heavily since the theory of the "Big Bang" emerged.
Did you know that the term "Big Bang" was a derogatory name assigned to the theory at the time by other scientists? Well it is. You see the prevailing (and atheistic) theory at the time was the "Steady State" theory - which basically said the universe always was, and always will be what it is. The "Steady State" crowd was making fun of this new theory that had the whole of the universe expanding from a common point - they said what do you call that... a "Big Bang"? The name has stuck ever since!
One of sciences key rules is that for every effect there is a cause. Quite possibly you have heard of the law of "cause and effect". So if there was a Big Bang (effect) - there had to be a cause (causator/creator/God)! It demands a creator who is outside/external to our universe. This creator would transcend our constraints of space and time - just how the Bible describes God. As you can now see Big Bang cosmology is the Christians ally - not enemy. Science's own rules now demand a creator. The Steady State crowd is still opposed to this new theory because by definition the Big Bang needs an initiator. It renders science as merely the study of God's Creation.
I can remember the pastor of my Church making fun of the Big Bang. The notion that all of creation with its incredible exotic states (the chemical elements, life, diversity of life, the incredible but simple laws of nature) being the result of a large explosion (usually a destructive force) was laughable at my Church. I went along with that - wasn't it like setting a bomb on a pile of debris and expecting a fine Italian sports car to emerge after the smoke cleared? I now believe we were making fun of God's moment of creation.
This is not to say that we were all guilty of heresy, or will pay for not understanding His "true" method of creation - my pastor had no evil intent. I'm not even saying that the Big Bang is the way it had to be. But I think we part company with a lot of educated people when we refute all science and say, "man knows nothing" when in actuality "we" (the Christian trying to convert or lay a foundation for witnessing to someone)... know nothing (or at least very little where science is concerned). Or in other words we dismiss what we don't understand, and they in turn dismiss us as ignorant, and maybe even arrogant. Are we to only be able to witness to the uneducated, never a chance to win over any skeptics, science buffs, or any actual scientists? And what of the Christian child who is subsequently exposed to powerful scientific reasoning on such matters as Astronomy (Big Bang, age of the universe), paleontology, biology, geology etc. - could he not begin to doubt his faith? I think this is what the fundamentalists are trying to avoid - they see it as a slippery slope to non-belief. This is completely avoidable if we had properly addressed these difficult issues up-front. By taking the ostrich approach - we set ourselves up for ultimate failure. We should start addressing these questions head on and stop dodging them! By ignoring these areas - we ignore a percentage of the population and at the same time announce we don't have any of the answers. And if we can't provide the answers... they WILL be sought elsewhere.
I think since many Christians (and non-Christians for that matter) do not understand scientific matters, and since they (rightly) do not believe in evolution, and science is what came up with this theory, all science must therefore be wrong. I think the temptation to get on a "higher" plane by dismissing all scientific theories is great. They get to save all that time and money that scientists have spent studying their profession, and end up smarter than they are... for free! All with just a simple statement like "man is wrong" - and you allegedly have God as your authority to boot! I personally have witnessed this attitude a LOT.
Now let me put this into perspective for you (man's supposed ignorance). It seems Christians are very eager to practice science. I have heard and read many articles where they speak authoritatively on topics such as astronomy, biology, geology, paleontology, physics, chemistry, virtually all the sciences - with no training in these fields.
I wonder why many of these same people can't practice much simpler professions like auto mechanics, or carpentry? I propose that most would be terrified to attempt to rebuild an auto engine, or put an addition on their house - but the same individual will freely "practice" science! Now let's take this a step further... Doctors have a tremendous amount of science background. Yet I don't see non-degreed Christians practicing medicine! I know individuals who seek out Christian lawyers, mechanics, and realtors exclusively. But I know of none who seek out Christian doctors exclusively (especially in a serious or terminal situation). Their primary concern NOW is getting the best educated and most experienced doctor/surgeon they can find. And subsequently put their life literally in his or her hands! Now I don't know about you but I see a tremendous inconsistency here!
If a Christian has a serious lack of knowledge he or she will quickly be "sized up" and ignored accordingly. You don't think so? We all do it. Take your favorite subject, the one that you know the most about, and recall people you have spoken to regarding this subject. Think of how quickly you form an opinion as to their grasp/knowledge of the subject. I'll give you a fictitious example.
You are at a computer store and someone asks you for help with a problem they are experiencing in running a program on a computer. They state that the computer asks "press any key to continue..." and they ask you where the "any key" is - they have looked all over for the key to no avail. Would you not form an instant opinion that this individual is ignorant where computers are concerned? And maybe due to its severity - this naivete may possibly not be limited to computers? Or in other words it could be a window into their actual intelligence?
We form these instant opinions about people in situations every day. Think how quickly a person will dismiss you if they perceive YOU as ignorant. Are they going to ask you for investment advice? Probably not. Now ask yourself if they would base a decision affecting the rest of their life - their soul, their reputation, and their family, on what some ignorant person thinks. I think you get the picture.
Now consider one of the primary ways of witnessing... door to door. Think about how you "size up" people who knock at your door wanting something - even without the ignorant issue, there is a predisposition to blow this person off! No matter what they are selling or promoting - "Oh no! What does some poor soul want to peddle on me now"! This is what we are up against. The predisposition is that we are peddling religious garbage on the poor, underprivileged, and weak, in an effort to make more blind followers to bring in more money.
The reason I make these harsh statements? Simple, because VERY regrettably many peoples primary or only knowledge of Christians is through television. I know this is unfair - but people tend to view other people stereotypically - and as a result they (non-believers) have a tendency to view ALL religions/religious people the same. And the fact is many so-called religions and cults do indeed prey upon the weak - it's a fact. They take advantage of the weak of mind, weak of spirit, and weak of body. Christian TV with it's greedy host's heavily caked in makeup, white wigs, and tears on cue has become a spectacle of religious garbage - designed for the sole purpose of parting fools from their money. There may be legitimate ministry carried out on TV... but if it is, it's all to rare - and they have a much higher bar to clear to gain legitimacy and respect due to past abuses by others (i.e. Baker, Roberts, Swaggert, etc).
There is another example I discussed with a Christian friend recently. Have you seen Benny Hinn on TBN? Ever caught one of his "healing" episodes? I'm talking the ones where he makes people fall down by touching them - some of them actually before he touches them, as if a little off cue! He supposedly heals these people right in front of the cameras. He is nothing more than a modern day snake oil peddler! People like this are able to exploit Christians ability to believe in the supernatural. How tragic examples like this are!
As you might have guessed by now - Christian's reputations of a lack of knowledge and education distress me. Especially when they are arrogant and condescending in espousing their dogmatic beliefs based on nothing more than ignorance. The even modestly educated or well read sees through this instantly and subsequently ignores these individuals. Our reputations for being blind followers are equally troubling. Again due to stereotyping and past abuses by other "religious" figures. Like a bunch of sheep that will follow a Jim Jones, David Keresh, or a comet cult over a cliff without so much as a question.
We need not and should not check our brains at the Church door. Theology and science are intertwined and traditionally (the majority of) neither camp likes it. More work needs done integrating it. Ironically all the original science greats were believers, Galileo, Newton, Einstein, etc. Science actually has its roots in believers. Only recently with the extreme minimalist fundamental movement on the Christian side and the Theory of Evolution on the secular side, has there been a rift established.
There is a great book on the state of the evangelical mind written by an EVANGELICAL. The book is written by the McManus Professor of Christian Thought at Wheaton College (IL), Mark A. Noll. The title is "The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind". For this work, Noll was awarded the 1994 National Association of Evangelicals "Book of the Year." This book should serve as a "wake up call" for all Christians to respond to God not just our hearts, but our minds as well. You can order this book or read reviews on it at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0802841805/002-7140801-5968064
Another great book along these lines is "Love God With All your Mind" by James P. Moreland. You can order this book or read reviews on it at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1576830160/103-6393432-9709438
These books chronicle that it's not science that left or is opposed to Christianity - but simply that Christians abandoned science!
We also have to be careful and check what we read. The old saying "Don't believe everything you read" contains some truth. There are "Christian" authors who are not honest. Do not rely on the false premise that they are necessarily above fabricating supporting evidence, misquoting sources, or fabricating negative information about persons with whom they disagree. This trend is especially true in the area of apologetics. There is abundant material in books and tapes that are easily refuted. Now this applies to this paper you are reading right now - If you read something you think is outlandish... check it out!
Another disturbing trend among these authors is claiming advanced degrees in specific areas that turn out to be awarded from either foreign schools, "degree mills", or are honorary degrees bestowed upon them by a school that they either have founded or support!
It has been a personal search for truth. I also wanted to make the point that it's ok to be "scientific". It's ok to read about physics or study astronomy, or just simply to ask questions. Why does man ask these questions? It's in our blood - our soul to inquire. God imbedded this nature into us. Just look at kids - they all ask questions ALL the time. They're mental sponges. Regrettably many throw in the towel at some point and kind of turn off their analytical/inquisitive side of the brain.
Do I have it all figured out? No. And unlike a lot of other's out there, I don't pretend to be some expert that I'm not. However, I have learned a tremendous amount. I did this by thinking for myself. I am not out to impress you - I want you to think... think for yourself. If there is something I am interested in, I read all sides of the issue, weigh the evidence, and come to my own conclusion. Often all that is needed is a little reading and some simple logic. I've done it - and you can too!
I am not a scientist, although I may argue as though I were. I am a layman in all things I mention in this "paper". What I do bring to the table is a reasonably educated and well read person who believes in God and has a bigger curiosity than most. One of my hobbies is amateur astronomy. This led me into physics and ultimately into origins and theology. I find these topics fascinating! I have no degrees in astronomy, physics, or theology. I by some accounts could be considered ignorant. I do not consider myself ignorant - I'm just not as educated as others in these fields. However, I think traditional education where you are taught under instructors learning their beliefs and preconceptions, where your knowledge and understanding of their way means if you will pass the course or not is not always the best way to learn. I have been free to study as I see fit forming my own conclusions without fear of failing a course or facing the ridicule of others. This allows fresh views to form unbiased by others preconceptions.
The reason I go through all this research is I can't have blind faith. I must reason all these things out - so I can explain it to myself, my wife, my daughters and others who I care about or who care to know. I have found people will listen to you when you can provide answers with supporting details. I think this is especially true when you can integrate these answers in science and the Bible. I intend to put this document on the Internet. Hopefully it will provide encouragement to others who have been through a similar situation where they felt pressure to choose between the Bible and science.
The good news is the Bible does not require blind faith! Blind faith is the prerequisite of all cults (question nothing and believe what you are told). Do not fall into this trap (even for unfounded dogmas). This is why there are horrific stories surrounding figures like Jim Jones, David Keresh, or that more recent comet cult group. Sure enough, if you stop thinking - someone else will start thinking for you. Before you know it - you believe things without even knowing why - or certainly won't be able to explain why you believe what you do. We should be ready (as 1 Peter 3:15 says)... to explain!
Consider the following provocative tongue twister:
Even if you believe what you knowingly blindly believe to be true - is right, (because you trust/believe in who you are listening to) - how will you win others over to "your way of thinking" (pun intended) - if you're not!
To those detractors who would say that the pursuit of all this knowledge is pure vanity, ego feeding or in general not of God, I offer the following powerful verses supporting questioning, researching, checking, proving, as well as the pursuit of knowledge, truth and study. I have actually been accused of studying the Bible too deeply... that I should go with just a simple reading... I do not believe this is what the Bible says we should do.
I Peter 3:15
"... and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you"
This is the fundamental verse supporting the area of Apologetics.
Derived from the Greek word "apologia" in the original text.
God provides proof for believing (He has on many occasions)...
"And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD."
Many Christians only accept as truth what comes directly from the Bible. In learned theological circles this is referred to as "special revelation". But there is also a doctrine of "general revelation" or "natural revelation" in the Bible - "for all are without excuse". This is expressed clearly in the following 13 passages (more on this later as well):
"But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:"
Too long to list - please look up!
Direct Biblical quote referring to creation showing us knowledge...
"To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard."
"And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah."
Could this be a reference to the fossil record...
"Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven."
"The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory."
"The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly showed in the sight of the heathen. He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God."
Too long to list - please look up!
Too long to list - please look up!
"He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end."
"God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise."
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,"
"For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)"
1 Corinthians 13:11
Tells us to put away childish thinking...
"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."
"Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day."
"Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:"
"He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit."
One of my favorites - gives ammo for witnessing...
"Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?"
"Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding."
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction."
I'm afraid too many Christians fall into this category...
"How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you."
Pretty powerful one here...
"So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding."
"All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them. They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge. Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it."
"Wise men lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction."
"Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly."
A warning to refrain from foolish teachings...
"Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge."
Could sum this up as think before you leap...
"Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth."
"Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun. For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defense: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it."
"That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it."
Says that prophecy is for proof that allows belief...
"And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe."
"These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few."
Be careful and diligent if you are a Biblical teacher...
"An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?"
"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints"
Ephesians 3: 1-5
Everything to learn is not so obvious...
"For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;"
We should never become complacent with our knowledge...
"For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;"
"Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:"
1 Thessalonians 5:21
"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."
Or in other words - test or reason it out.
2 Timothy 2:15
Doesn't get any plainer than this...
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
1 John 4:1
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
No I'm not totally against faith. Faith is ok - and in fact demanded for some aspects - but not near all. Have faith in redemption - the rest is ok to inquire about. Your faith will only strengthen with knowledge. This faith (tempered with knowledge) will be much more powerful and persuasive. Does not your competency and confidence and effectiveness with say your PC increase with research, experience and understanding. Could you help someone else with a difficult PC problem before you had this level of knowledge? See the analogy?
Since we have an interest in getting people to address one of life's biggest decisions (the fate of their soul) - we should have a handle on some of life's biggest questions. This is wise because addressing the issue of your soul naturally conjures up thinking about these ultimate questions. Before some can believe - they need more information. Would you not want sound investment advice before investing the family nest egg? I think it's healthy to be a little skeptical and inquisitive.
This brings to my mind the numerous quotes I have heard idealizing the "faith of a child". While it is true that children easily accept things... this is primarily due to their blind and innocent trust. Children are easily lured away by adults with evil intent... just as trusting individuals are easily lured into cults or sales scams. Would you say that it's easy to "take" a skeptical adult? No it's more difficult if not impossible.
I have been told that you can't win someone over by appealing to their brain or their intellect - you have to appeal to their heart and emotions. This may work for some - but not for all. And I don't know about you - but I regret a lot of decisions I made out of emotion - but I can't think of any I regret when I took the time to reason it out logically.
In a word... no! We need not and should not attempt to shut out secular education! For example the Bible does not teach us:
Some of the traditional Christian beliefs are by themselves hard to accept for non-believers. They become possible SERIOUS stumbling blocks for others to come into the faith when we exaggerate them. We need not make this more difficult than it is by repeating absolute falsehoods. I have found some Christians hold beliefs both scientific and Biblical as absolute facts when in actuality they are completely untrue and not supported by science or the Bible.
One of the harshest criticisms I have received concerning this paper is that I am out to debunk the Bible. This is not so. I simply disagree with what some people: have been told the Bible says, "think" the Bible says, or some particular exegesis (written extrapolation from scripture). What I intend to point out in this section is that well meaning Christians have been duped into various doctrines, beliefs, proofs, etc. as facts... when in actuality, they are very much controversial (even among very conservative Christians) or worse, absolutely erroneous.
Do you ever wonder why creation, the flood, and several more of the fantastic areas of the Bible are not preached about from behind the pulpit to adults? They are by and large reserved for Sunday school classes designed for children. We need to be careful regarding what we instill into our children. Children are inquisitive, trusting, believing sponges. We should not allow this to be exploited. I have seen books and videos from Ken Ham depicting Eve riding A Triceratops dinosaur bareback in the garden of Eden (see the cover picture here: The Dinosaurs of Eden! Or even Noah leading dinosaurs on board the Ark (see the cover picture here: D Is For Dinosaur)! I put this in a category far worse than teaching your children to believe in Santa Clause or the tooth fairy!
We need to be very careful as it appears Christians are gaining yet another bad reputation: Accepting any story no matter how bizarre as long as it suits our needs, while at the same time balking at even the strongest scientific evidence when it's perceived as threatening our religious beliefs. Some examples of these false beliefs and urban legends are:
Two web sites to check out urban legends:
We need to be careful about exaggerating portions of the Bible. God has a way of being only just as miraculous as He needs to be. God has a way of using natural means to accomplish His will whenever possible. I am not denying miracles, it's just that in our zeal to show the power of God we may invoke fantastic miracles in situations where they may not be as miraculous as we might like. Well meaning Christians who want to show evidence for God and His power by invoking miracles - may end up with the exact opposite effect of what they intended. Consider the following:
We and all of God's creation are for his pleasure (the Bible says so - Rev 4:11). This may sound belittling but an analogy could be a child watching his sea monkeys perform (it's entertainment - He enjoys His creation). To a great extent I think He has a hands off approach. How else can you account for all the wickedness in the world today? You can't have Him pulling ALL the strings or He would be causing all the sin (so you have to leave at least some things to us... right?).
And it wouldn't be much fun if he had to decide where every subatomic particle, atom, photon of light, molecule, chemical, virus, bacteria, plant, animal, man, comet, asteroid, planet, star, galaxy, and every piece of space debris was at every instant or worry where every drop of rain is going to fall - that's why it rains on the believers crop as well as his wicked neighbors. He's allowing the natural methods and processes He created and set into motion to run their course. God is still in His 7th day of rest from creation (more on that later). Only when things get really out of hand does he have to put on his tool belt and do something supernatural!
To follow up on the issue of who's responsible for all the sin. Many think of a possible paradox about God knowing all, and our free will. It is similar to the following scenario: If God knows I go to work tomorrow... do I have the option of not going? The solution is God is not bound by space or time. He can be anywhere at any time he wants - even more than 1 place or time at once - in fact he can be everywhere all the time. I know this is a difficult concept to grasp - many of us have heard this before. Well here is an analogy: Imagine a wagon wheel... imagine its outer rim is time... now imagine God is the EXACT center of this wheel at the hub... the spokes are his access points to be at any or all "time" points along the rim. Or you could imagine the wheel set within a fog of God... completely surrounded by him. This allows God to know all... without causing all!
Current theory holds that all the matter (and space and time) in the universe originated at the same spot. In my opinion, in layman's terms if all the matter (and space and time) of the universe was compressed into a single spot (a singularity as it is called in mathematical terms) of infinite density of non measurably incredibly small size - does not this equate to all the matter in the universe simply springing into existence out of nothing? Is not this a perfect description of creating the universe where there was nothing? It just "exploded" into existence - the Big Bang!
Did you know that the Bible describes the universe? These Bible passages describe the "kingdom of heaven":
"Another parable put he forth unto them, saying,
"And he said,
"Then said he,
Can not a grain of mustard seed be compared to a singularity (in Biblical layman's terms)? A grain of mustard seed would be among the smallest if not THE smallest piece of matter they would have been familiar with. And as you can see - it's in several passages of the Bible - not a single verse taken out of context, but a repeated concept in three gospel accounts. Could we not also be likened to fowls lodged in the branches (expanse of space)? It speaks of the seed growing, could it mean expanding?
I think it's fascinating that the passage in Matthew above uses the analogy of leaven. Even today, in modern science classes and books, bread rising is used to illustrate the concept of an expanding universe!
Some think this has nothing to do with describing the physical universe... They say "it's a parable". Well one of the beautiful attributes of a parable is it's multiple meanings and applications. And to those of you who think that Biblical writings could not deal with the universe... I would encourage you to read the apocryphal book of Enoch. The book of Enoch is even quoted from in the new testament book of Jude! The book of Enoch was banned for over a thousand years because of it's depiction of the acts of fallen angels. I believe it is probably correct and lends clarification to the giants (nephilim) of Genesis chapter 6 (that's another topic though). Fragments of the book of Enoch were even found among the dead sea scrolls.
Current theory also holds that the universe is still exploding/expanding. Edwin Hubble is the man who discovered that the universe is expanding. He deduced this by noticing the now famous "red shift". Red shift refers to the light of the galaxy becoming red (actually "shifted" slightly to the red end of the spectrum). This is like slowly adjusting the hue on your color TV until the whole image is red. Only this "red shift" is caused by a galaxy receding from us at an incredibly fast rate (approaching the speed of light 186,000 miles per second). It is similar to the following analogy:
Take a rope and have a friend hold one end. Take the other end and swing it up and down (producing waves in the rope). Now run backwards while swinging the rope - can you visualize in your mind how the "waves" would stretch out? This is very similar to red shift. You have shifted the frequency of the "waves" in the rope. Light travels in waves, and you change its color by changing the wavelength. Wavelength takes on new understanding in this analogy. The rope is light, you are the receding galaxy, and you friend represents fixed observers on earth!
The following scriptures depict what could be expanding space:
"It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:"
"I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded."
"And forgettest the LORD thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor?"
"He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion."
"He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heaven by his understanding."
"Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea."
"He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing."
"Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:"
"The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him."
As you can see there is abundant scripture referring to this "spreading out" of the heavens. The Bible is VERY consistent with this description. The key word in Hebrew here is "raquia". Young's concordance defines "raquia" as "expanse" and "raqa" as "spread out or over". The Bible could have just said only "created the heavens" would this not be adequate? Why the need for "stretch out"? He didn't "stretch out" man. Granted it could simply be a reference to its expanse. But at it's best it's a confirmation of our expanding universe, and at its worst it cannot be used to argue against it!
Some have questioned me "What will you do when the big bang is refuted"? Well, that's a valid criticism... My answer is that it's the prevailing theory, It was predicted by Einstein's theory of relativity, the background radiation was predicted by it before it was discovered, confirmations of the big bang are continuing to come in, and many of the so called "alternate" theories are still based on some form of an expanding universe - which is really still a big bang model (just one example is the inflationary theory). There are alternate non "Big Bang" theories out there, but they have little support and no predictions that have come about. My personal belief is that the Big Bang (expanding universe) is very safe.
For those who think that the Big Bang is about to collapse or that young earth creation scientists Setterfield or Humphreys have solved all young Earth problems with the universe... you are advised to read this paper by young Earth astronomer Danny Faulkner - THE CURRENT STATE OF CREATION ASTRONOMY: http://www.icr.org/index.php?module=research&action=index&page=researchp_df_r01 and also this one by John Hartnett - A New Cosmology: http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/magazines/tj/docs/v17n2_cosmology.pdf
I would challenge you (especially if you are a young Earth advocate) what you will/would do if a very old Earth and universe was proven beyond all reasonable doubt. Or what you will do when/if the Big Bang type beginning is similarly proven? I encourage you not to put God in a box of your making.
A common Bible study concept is that the events recorded are to be interpreted from the reference frame of the observer. This is very important at times. Let's apply this... who witnessed creation? God did! He is the observer (it's on His time scale, or His possible multiple dimensions of time, or possibly not within time as we know it at all).
The Bible cannot allow itself to be "locked" in time. I believe the Bible is written in a timeless fashion. This means Genesis need not delve into scientific issues or have given man advanced scientific foreknowledge. By being written in a timeless fashion it can apply equally to sheep herders thousands of years ago - as well as 21st century astronomers!
In a cruder sense, vague or less specific language was used than would have been possible if you didn't care to boggle their minds. I don't think they were overly concerned or obsessed with the length of creation.
Now don't misunderstand me to be characterizing the ancients as ignorant or intellectually inferior. I do not believe men thousands of years ago were intellectually inferior to today. The pyramids are a testament to that fact. Evolution teaches that man started out as hunter gatherer - I believe he was created with all his intelligence and capability for language etc.
That said - today were are able to stand atop thousands of years of accumulated knowledge which our ancestors did not posses. They did not have technology above simple engineering - nor did they posses advanced mathematics etc. And the further back you go the fewer that could read and write - as advanced education was reserved for the VERY privileged. God had to write to the lowest common denominator. Not every man could design a pyramid in the time of the Pharaohs... Can the janitor where you work explain relativity to you today?
I believe this is the very reasoning for the peculiar wording of Genesis 1 & 2. It has built in "upgrade ability" to accommodate man's increasing knowledge.
There is a popular misconception that until recently (theories of the Big Bang and evolution) everyone believed in a young Earth - this is not so. The antiquity of the Earth was established long before any of these theories were an issue.
I have read translations of ancient Jewish Rabbi commentary on the Pentateuch and Talmud By such authors as Onkelos (2nd century), Rashi (1040-1105), Maimonides (1135-1204), and Nahmanides (1194-1270) and they clearly believed in an old earth.
The early church fathers and Biblical scholars appeared to hold a wide variety of opinion as to the nature of the creation "days". Some have claimed (even in print) that the early church fathers and all other Christians during that time were in complete agreement on 6 24-hr "days" for creation. Irenaeus acknowledged widespread belief in creation "days" lasting 1,000 years (as in 2 Pet 3:8 KJV - But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.) Here is the reference -- Iranaeus, Against Heresies, Book V, chapter XXIII, section 2. If you care to read the reference yourself, I have located an on-line version:
Some have further argued (in a fall back position) "Well even if that's true it's still a young earth model". Well, they TOTALLY miss the point. Once you make these days divine (non solar) - it's just a difference of time for the days. Billions vs. thousands. Once an age is interpreted for these days - the YEC model has no foundation on which to rest - hence why it is so vehemently defended! What's important to remember about the basis for this belief is not the specific length of the time, but the vast difference of our time as compared to God's. He is not bound by our constraints of time... what seems significant periods of time to us - is but nothing to the Creator! The young earth creationists like to point out that God would not need billions of years to create... Well, that being the case, even they (YEC) believe in a "progressive creation" else they would argue for instant creation or creation in 6 seconds... By their own method of criticism - they limit God's power by proclaiming a creation within 6 solar days.Ironically, One of the early church fathers - Augustine, argued just that. He believed in instantaneous creation - despite the "day" references... although he went on to say "What kind of days these were is extremely difficult or perhaps impossible for us to conceive, and how much more to say!" You can look at what many of the early church fathers said along with the Catholic perspective that the days were probably long periods of time here:
The main fact to remember concerning these early writers is that they cannot be accused of compromising or altering their beliefs to fit current theory - as the theories that call for an old universe did not come about until the latter half of the nineteenth century.
Are there more recent "greats" that believed in an old earth? You bet! The following believed in an old earth: evangelical greats Benjamin B. Warfield and Charles Hodge as well as these current old earth believers: Gleason L. Archer (Hebrew scholar and Professor of Old Testament and Semitics at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School), William Lane Craig (popular Christian apologist), J. I. Packer (author, contributing editor to Christianity Today, Professor of Theology at Regent College) and Norman Geisler (a prominent apologist and Dean of Southern Evangelical Seminary). These men represent some of the finest in the faith and their scholarship is first-rank. If you want to see a detailed list of notable Christians that believe in an old earth - along with proof that you can check out for yourself see Notable Christians Open to an Old Earth Interpretation at http://www.oocities.com/vr_junkie/NotableOldEarthCreatinists.htm
Only after Darwin proposed the theory of evolution did the real paranoia set in and create a need for theologians to come up with a scenario that did not allow a case for evolution. I see this everywhere in Christian writings - this strong urge to fight evolution - AT ALL COSTS!
Unfortunately the main theme has been to make the Earth as "young" as possible so there is not enough time for it. Many modern churches are now proposing that the Earth is quite young (a mere 6,000 years old, with some camps allowing up to 10,000), and they place the flood at about 4,000 years ago. People who believe this position are called "young Earthers".
How do they come up with their age? The young Earthers basically go along with Archbishop James Ussher's chronology - Which is what places the Earth at a mere 6,000 years old, and the flood at about 4,000 years ago. Ussher in 1658 took the amount of time since Christ's death - then used the age of each patriarch at the birth of his son (from the genealogies) to derive a date for Adam - then simply added another 6 days for the literal Creation account itself - to arrive at the exact date of Sunday October 23rd 4004 BC for the start of the universe. The Archbishop also boldly asserted that Adam and Eve were driven from Paradise on Monday November 10th 4004 BC, and that the ark touched down on Mt Ararat on May 5th, 1491 BC on a Wednesday!
Biblical genealogies may be a tool to observe the history/age of man - but not the entire Creation (angels, universe, earth, etc). Further, they can only be a crude tool. The problem is in the meaning of the Hebrew words for father and son, "ab" and "ben". "Ab" can refer to father, grandfather, great-grandfather, or even ancestor. "Ben" likewise can be son, grandson, great-grandson, etc. For an example we can look in the book of Daniel, where Belshazzar's mother refers to Nebuchadnezzar as her son's father when, in actuality, four generations are between them, further, they are not even related! Such flexibility in Hebrew word usage and meaning explains why parallel genealogies in: I Chronicles 3, Matthew I, and Luke 3 often differ with one another. I think with this in mind, it's quite possible that they represent only the highlights - as one might do today if you were to list all the great scientists... you might list Aristotle (384-322 BC), Copernicus (1473-1543), Newton (1642-1727), Einstein (1879-1955). That does not mean you have a complete history for the earth, nor a listing of all people, or even all scientists, just the "great" scientists - well, maybe we were similarly given a list of the "great" patriarchs.
This young Earth scenario sets a trap Christians are falling into. It springs on the Christian who believes in a very young earth because it has serious ramifications on the Flood of the Bible.
The problem is, since the entire history of their perceived Earth is only 6,000 years, they must save not only 2 of every creature alive today, but 2 of every one that ever existed (even the millions of species within the fossil record)! This is significant, as over 99% of all the species that once roamed the earth are now extinct.
Due to the size constraints of the ark - they realize there would not be room for 2 of even the present species on board - much less all the ones still living at that time. So they propose the idea of speciation from the Biblical "kind". This principle has for example all zebras, donkeys, and all breeds of horses derived from 1 pair of the horse "kind" brought on board the ark.
This is absolute lunacy, and inconsistency! Hello? I thought we were against evolution. All of our valid arguments against evolution are now turned against us! We only see extinction for all of recorded history - not new species! If animals were changing this fast (many many new species within the last 4,000 years) you could almost watch them morph in front of your eyes! In fact the number of species are rapidly decreasing - it's called extinction! God quit creating on the 6th day - ever since then, species only become extinct - no more creating - or evolving (again He's in His 7th day of rest)!
There is no way to solve this young Earth ark problem. Animals hibernating or otherwise not eating won't work - there are just too many to physically fit. And Genesis itself commands Noah to take food for the animals (Gen 6:21) - this implies they were awake, eating, and secreting wastes. Neither can young specimens be called upon to "bail" this theory out - there are millions of species! Not even a combination of hibernating and young specimens get you there! They (young earthers) would not be inventing this idea of species "evolving" from a Biblical kind unless it was their only possible hope of holding this sinking theory together. They have no other way out (but evolution from the Biblical "kind").
There is another consideration. Due to the EXTREMELY young Earth they call for, all those species in the fossil record had to be co-existing with man! If you are a follower of Henry Morris or Ken Ham's teachings or read their books or videos - you should know that they place DINOSAURS ON THE ARK! I don't think the majority of Christians who promote their views are advertising this - but a lot of them believe it - or at least espouse it when pressed.
Can you imagine the patriarchs running from - or Noah caring for a T-Rex? And isn't it peculiar that the Bible is silent on them (dinosaurs)? Don't you think dinosaurs are worthy of mention if they were running around with man in the time of Old Testament? I realize not all animals get a spot in the Bible - but the fierce ones seem to. Why did stories of men fighting lions and Christians being fed to them make so much news? Would not a T-Rex have been much more spectacular? To be honest there is reference to the behemoth and the leviathan, but most scholars believe these refer to a hippo and a crocodile respectively. AIG has said the behemoth could be the description of a sauropod dinosaur (in their "Answers Book") - but Job specifically says this creature rests under the shadow of the "shady trees" (widely accepted as lotus trees) it would be quite difficult for a real sauropod dinosaur to shade itself under the short low lying branches of the comparatively small lotus tree. These creatures depictions in Job 41 clearly make liberal use of figurative and exxagerated language... For if not, you have to accept that they actually breathed fire and had bones of iron or brass! Indeed some interpret the leviathon as a dragon! Unicorns too are mentioned in the Bible - it is a result of the King James - I don't believe it was a flying winged horse with a horn!
They also call upon a pretty amazing flood. They call on it to magically sort and arrange the fossil record with simplest organisms at the bottom with progressively more complex ones overlaying them, distribute neat layers of sedimentary material to fool us by forming a geologic column; cut out the Grand Canyon to a depth of two miles, synthesize numerous ice ages; and even rapidly move continents all around the globe!
They use it to explain away everything geological. Let's look at just one of these in detail. For example they believe that the Grand Canyon is the result of retreating floodwaters. Not too bad a hypothesis until you realize that they also believe that all those fossil containing rock strata were laid down by the flood too. You cannot have the flood laying down the strata that the waters are cutting through! You see - you do not have to be a scientist to shoot all kinds of holes in their thinking. One body of water cannot be responsible for the deposits underneath it and carve down through it at the same time. Even if the flood laid down the strata (which it did not) the layers would have to be allowed countless years to harden to the point to keep the straight mile high walls. Also remember that they find footprints in layer after layer within the geologic column!
Have you ever played in the sand? Did you try to make a high wall? If you did, you noticed it slumps over and forms a slope not a wall - especially if it got the slightest wet! Wet soil will not make mile high walls - not even dry soil, you need rock! I've been to the Grand Canyon - most of the people the young earthers lecture to have not. But sadly, If you can you make 1 or 2 weak points about the Canyon (to layman who haven't even been there) within the small span of time of a single church sermon, it's easy to make enough sense to convince most of the people present, and they buy into the entire concept on the premise of those 1 or 2 points. Who has the time or inclination except dedicated/driven individuals to check out all the details and facts.
Here's another interesting observation... The problems with the strata are by no means limited to things like the Grand Canyon, there is another GLARING problem within the young earth paradigm. It has to do with the Ark's resting place at the end of the flood. You see, most Christians (and especially young earth ones) believe that the Ark came to rest on Mt. Ararat. The problem is that Mt. Ararat is a volcanic mountain that cross-cuts many many sedimentary rock layers that the young earth paradigm demands to have been laid down during the Flood. And the layers were indeed cut -- there is undeniable proof of these layers being thrust through by the volcanic mountain. The layers are not simply deposited around the mountain, nor could they have been deposited on the steep slopes of an existing mountain. How could layers that are obviously bent and distorted more and more until they are breached be explained in any other way that a volcano breaking through pre-existing layers? So, very straight forward cross-cutting relationships and other geologic phenomena tell us that the mountain must obviously be younger than the youngest rock which it cuts through. We can, therefore, state with confidence that belief in the Ark coming to rest on Mt. Ararat is fundamently incompatable with a belief in a young earth. Why? Because Mt. Ararat within the young earth paradigm, did not yet exist when the Ark came to rest! Now, I know some of you may be saying, "Well, maybe it came to rest on another mountain, I heard the bible says the Ark came to rest on the 'mountains of Ararat'." my answer is that ANY mountian significant enough for the Ark to have come to rest on basically has the same problem. Mountains either cut through or deform many pre-existing strata.
One of the driving forces for me to write this paper is to refute the belief in a young earth and its required drastic post flood evolution.
Unlike their young earth counterparts, there is a "quiet" group of creationists who are convinced we reside on an ancient planet. From the perspective of the old-earth creationists, the young earthers, with their impossible new beliefs, are causing untold grief, making legitimate creation research and study incredibly difficult.
I have seen the YECs many times refer to all OECs collectively (as well as some accused specifically) as all being theistic evolutioninists. This is an outright deception - while OECs do not deny breed type variations within a species, or deny that some species one way or another can be "hybridized", we do not believe in evolution. It is the YECs who not only believe in it - but believe it happens rapidly.
Most young Earth proponents are not aware that their belief requires evolution. And the ones that are aware take issue with their speciation from the biblical kind being equated with evolution. Although I fail to see any difference - except that they deny an animal evolves into another kind - never mind that they refuse to define or list what constitutes a 'kind'.
Do you think I am unfairly characterizing young earth creationists as believing in evolution? Let me show you some quotes along with the links to check out for yourself:
Article by AIG talking (bragging) about Ligers, Wolphins, Zorses and other crazy stuff. Check out this quote from the article:
"Even today, creationists are often misrepresented as believing that God created all the species we have today, just like they are today, in the beginning. This is called ‘fixity of species’. The Bible does not teach this. "See for yourself at: http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/magazines/docs/v22n3_liger.asp
Check out this article from AIG... Here's a quote:
"Demonstrating that speciation can happen in nature, especially where it can be shown to have happened rapidly, is thus a positive for creation theorists."See for yourself at: http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/459.asp
Page at AIG where they promote evolution... really - specifically descent with mutation)! Sample quote:
"The Bible clearly teaches that the heavens, the Earth, and all they contain were made during the six days of Creation Week (Exodus 20:8–11). But was the panda in the photo made in Creation Week? Obviously not. The first of some ancestral kind were created at that time,"See for yourself at: http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/magazines/docs/v23n2_canyon_panda.asp
Check out this page... Sample Quote:
"Creationists have postulated that such speciation must have happened many times after the Flood, as populations of creatures separated by valleys or mountain ranges have adapted to environmental conditions within their territories. Some of the original population’s genes enable their owners to survive in their particular environments, while other genes are lost to such natural selection."DOES THAT SOUND LIKE EVOLUTION OR WHAT!!! See for yourself at: http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/magazines/docs/v20n3kangaroo.asp
Check out this article... The Title is "SPEEDY SPECIES SURPRISE" Here's a quote:
"The rapid appearance today, of new varieties of fish, lizards, and more defies evolutionary expectations ... but fits perfectly with the Bible."See for yourself at: http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/magazines/docs/v23n2_speedy.asp
Check out this article... The title is "DARWIN’S FINCHES Evidence supporting rapid post-Flood adaptation" Here's a quote:
"Thirteen species of finches live on the Galápagos, the famous island group visited by Charles Darwin in the 1830s. The finches have a variety of bill shapes and sizes, as the diagram indicates, all suited to their varying diets and lifestyles. The explanation given by Darwin was that they are all the offspring of an original pair of finches, and that natural selection is responsible for the differences. Surprisingly to some, this is the explanation now held by most modern creationists."See for yourself at: http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/1332.asp
Since AIG are such strong proponents of RAPID animal speciation from common ancestors through adaptation, mutation, and natural selection - and given they are such fans of crypto zoology in general (even to include modern day dinosaurs) - many have not considered the following danger; namely that this could end up strengthening man's alleged descent from an ape like creature.
Consider that the only thing that prevents AIG, ICR and like minded groups from being full molecules to man evolutionists - is that they believe only in mutations, losses, and recombinations of genetic information. In other words - they believe that the total information content cannot increase. This information may be comforting to most YECs - but few of them realize that it is widely believed that some primates (like chimps) are 95 to 98 percent identical in genetic/DNA information. And most of these differences are in arrangement/order. Not only that, but their genome (DNA information) is acutally larger than in humans!
Most people are familiar with the mule hybrid. Most hybrids are close in chromosome count as is the case for the mule - with 64 chromosomes for the horse and 62 for the donkey - so the mule is left with 63, an uneven number which is supposedly not able to divide into chromosome pairs - and thus unable to reproduce - although there are even acceptions to this rule - foals have been born to mules, two just in Morocco, one as recently as 2002.
Now consider the other AIG often touted case of the zorse - A horse has 64 chromosomes; the zebra has 44. The zorse that results from hybrid cross breeding will have a number of chromosomes that is almost anywhere in between!
Humans have 46 chromosomes, apes have 48 - You could say the YECs are making the evolutionist's argument for them!
Are you surprised? I was when I discovered their beliefs. There is an irony here. They take issue with their speciation being equated to evolution - but turn around and equate biological evolution to the Big Bang, or even star formation! At least the former argument is within the realm of biology! Most of the young earthers deny star formation. They do not accept the birth, life, and death of stars. They are so used to the propaganda of the Big Bang being associated with evolution... That they think the Big Bang is inseparable from and indeed a part of the theory of evolution. This is NOT the case!
With the Hubble space telescope we see baby stars forming right now in the constellation of Orion (M42) and the Eagle Nebula (M16). While you can't look and see one of them coalesce and ignite in one night - you can see them in various stages of development. You can go look at these Hubble pictures on the web yourself - check out this NASA link:
We cannot deny stars! We cannot deny that they die... Otherwise what was supernova 1987a? So just which parts of the life of a star is it possible to deny?
Could God only create stars in the beginning... With none forming later on... He is prohibited from doing that? Does He form every rain cloud? Are the individual rain drops created? Can nothing be allowed to operate on its own? Can he not set cosmological events and laws into motion and let them run their course? Where do comets come from? Was each one created? Nothing formed or broke up? Did God create that comet (with it's many trailing pieces) and send it on a journey long ago to merely crash into Jupiter recently? Why are there craters on the moon? I don't think it was God's war with Satan as Henry Morris wrote in a book in 1978!
I believe they were long gone before Adam and Eve were created.
What happened to them? Well I think its a virtual certainty that it was a meteor impact. Do you know we have recently discovered a crater in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula (Chicxulub) that is 120 miles across! This calls for an asteroid at least 9 miles in diameter! In 1883 Krakatoa erupted and in the U.S. and during the next season temperatures were down an average of 7 degrees overall. That may not seem too significant to you but consider that this led to very wide spread crop failure in the U.S. and even more catastrophic failures in Europe. Now consider that Chicxulub was an explosion over 1000 times more powerful (yes 1 thousand)! This clearly would have had a devastating impact on all life on this planet. As further proof this event dates to the time of the dinosaurs extinction (approximately 65 million years ago) and at that layer there is over 300 times more iridium (element contained in asteroids) than expected. Most scientists recognize this as the "smoking gun" for what happened to the dinosaurs.
What do the young earth advocates think about dinosaurs? Well, the most prominent ones think they were running around with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, that the patriarchs would have been familiar with them, and moreover, went aboard the ark with Noah! At the 1993 International Creation Conference Donald Chittick lectured on Dinosaurs and the Bible. He put forth some pretty wild claims... Namely that the "Behemoth" of Job was actually an Apatosaurus or something very similar to it. He further claimed that due to its large digestive system it burped huge quantities of methane, which certain organs in the head or throat fired up from time to time, producing the legend of the fire-breathing dragon! As for what the pyrotechnic organs might have been - he offered special teeth that clacked together to make sparks, or a sparking organ based on something like that in electric eels, or most likely, an organ that made a substance that bursts into flame on contact with air, such as arsine gas! He also claimed that dinosaurs are probably still living. He even made reference to the find (now since discredited - even by most YEC standards) by Japanese fishermen of an alleged plesiosaurus carcass somewhere in the Pacific. He even alluded to a conspiracy or cover-up as he posits they don't want to release the carcass or any information regarding it.
Before you label me as taking an extreme case and painting all creationists with the story of this lone lecturer - let me point out that Donald Chittick is a lecturer for, and praised by Answers in Genesis (the premier YEC organization headed by Ken Ham). They have even been instrumental in getting some of his materials published. See their bio on him over at Answers in Genesis here: http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/bios/d_chittick.asp. If you need further convincing as to Ken Ham's position on dinosaurs check out his ministry's article entitled Australia’s Aborigines... Did they see dinosaurs? here: http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/magazines/docs/v21n1_aboriginals_dinosaurs.asp where they claim the possible existence of modern day dinosaurs.
Many evangelical Christians today suppose that Christian Scientists have always been in favor of a young Earth - just like the early Christians mentioned earlier. And again, this is not true - especially among geologists. If you examine the history of geology (or religion for that matter) you will find, that by the 1850s all competent evangelical Christian geologists agreed that the earth must be extremely old, and that the geological evidence did not support the Flood producing the geologic record. Rev. William Buckland (head of geology at Oxford), Rev. Adam Sedgwick (head of geology at Cambridge), Rev. Edward Hitchcock (who taught natural theology and geology at Amherst College, Massachusetts), John Pye Smith (head of Homerton Divinity College), Hugh Miller (geologist, and editor of the Free Church of Scotland's newspaper), and Sir John William Dawson (geologist and paleontologist, a Presbyterian brought up in a fundamentalist atmosphere, who also became the only person ever to serve as president of three of the most prestigious geological organizations of Britain and America), all rejected the Genesis Flood as an explanation of the geologic record, and argued that it must have taken a very long time to form the various geologic layers. And just as with the early Christians before - their conclusions are not based on a subconscious desire to support "evolution," as none of them were evolutionists. Further, the earliest works of each of them was written before Darwin's Origin of Species was published. It was the plain facts of geology led them to acknowledge the vast antiquity of the earth. And it's also worth noting that this was prior to radiometric dating methods.
As scientific evidence mounted, the Christian scientists who did believe in an young earth felt they were in a dilemma... Some went so far as to state that the fossil record is a lie - placed there artificially - a test of our faith if you will! British biologist and preacher Philip Gosse was forced to acknowledge that scientific data indicated an age for the earth far older than that permitted by Ussher's chronology, even if one conceded gaps in various genealogies (which there are), Gosse the scientist was convinced by the scientific data, while Gosse the preacher was committed to what he thought the Bible demanded.
In 1857 Gosse published "Omphalos" an attempt to make sense of it all. In this book he maintained that God created the earth with the mere "appearance of age". He proposed that just as Adam was created an adult - He designed the earth to look old. The earth would be young, but would have the "appearance of age."
Many mention this but fail to give the story proper context and background. In 1844 a pamphlet entitled Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, espousing an evolutionary viewpoint, was published. In response Philip Gosse, a minister in the Fundamentalist group called the Plymouth Brethren, wrote Omphalos, published in 1857. In it Gosse made the first written argument that creation only LOOKS old. In it, Gosse even argued that Adam and Eve had navels because that is what one would expect in God-created creatures -- Omphalos is actually a tongue in cheek reference to old question of "Did Adam have a belly button?" and indeed is the Greek word for navel.
Gosse expected Omphalos to be attacked by scientists. What he didn't expect was the denunciation by the religious community. Asked to write a review of Omphalos, his friend Charles Kinglsey, a minister and author of Westward Ho! refused and wrote the following letter to Gosse.
"You have given the 'vestiges of creation theory' [the pamphlet discussed above] the best shove forward which it has ever had. I have a special dislike for that book; but, honestly, I felt my heart melting towards it as I read Omphalos. Shall I tell you the truth? It is best. Your book is the first that ever made me doubt the doctrine of absolute creation, and I fear it will make hundreds do so. Your book tends to prove this - that if we accept the fact of absolute creation, God becomes God-the-Sometime-Deceiver. I do not mean merely in the case of fossils which pretend to be the bones of dead animals; but in ...your newly created Adam's navel, you make God tell a lie. It is not my reason, but my conscience which revolts here ... I cannot ...believe that God has written on the rocks one enormous and superfluous lie for all mankind. To this painful dilemma you have brought me, and will, I fear, bring hundreds. It will not make me throw away my Bible. I trust and hope. I know in whom I have believed, and can trust Him to bring my faith safe through this puzzle, as He has through others; but for the young I do fear. I would not for a thousand pounds put your book into my children's hands."
This again sounds good at first blush to the layman - but does not hold up to close scrutiny. The earth and the universe have an abundance of features that speak to their age: distance between stars and galaxies, fossil record, erosion rates, tree rings, slowly forming features in caves, coral reef growth rates and depths, extinct volcanoes, radiometric dating of rocks, past ice age evidence, continental drift, and many many others.
If Adam were to be artificially "aged" like them, he would not only need to be created an adult - but show the signs of reaching adulthood. This would entail things like: worn teeth, scar tissue, calluses on his hands and feet, wrinkles, artificial memories, etc. Only then could you begin to draw a comparison.
Note: It is an assumption that man was created an adult. He could have been created at ANY state of development - from embryo to adult. Think about it... If man can raise infants would not the Almighty be capable?
And if you attribute all of this to God - it would make Him a counterfeiter and a liar. Taking this further, if we could not trust God to give us a true history of the world we live in, how could we trust Him to give us the truth in the Bible? A God who would falsify our Earth's history might also falsify the resurrection! I don't know about you, but I would rather believe the Earth looks old because it is old!
This scenario that would have God had writing a lie on the earth's rocks hit a sour note with most Christians - And Gosse's book fell into obscurity.
Of late, however, Gosse's "appearance of age" has been resurrected! Henry M. Morris, president and founder of The Institute for Creation Research (ICR) is an aggressive proponent of Ussher's chronology, and has held to the "appearance of age" theory since ICR's inception in 1972.
I will demonstrate that despite what some of them claim -- Young Earth proponents are fully aware that the earth appears to be old. This will be done with common sense critical thinking, quotes from young earth proponents, quotes from scientists, and quotes from old earth Christians. Some of them merely demonstrate that the Bible is the only source they "listen to" regarding the age of the earth -- but, this betrays their silent acknowledgement that the other "voice" (read science) will speak to it's old age.
There are religious zealots to this day who declare that we cannot trust our clocks or our senses. They firmly believe that the universe was created by God just a few thousand years ago, and merely looks old (Paul Davies, About Time, 1995, p. 39).
Q: You have had only two articles in standard scientific journals since getting your Ph.D. in 1955, haven't you? A: That's correct. Q: The Burgess shale (a geological formation in the Canadian Rockies with exceptionally well preserved marine fossils) is said to be 500 million years old, but you think it is only 5,000 years old, don't you? A: Yes. Q: You say that because of information from the scriptures, don't you? A: Correct. Q: If you didn't have the Bible, you could believe the age of the Earth to be many millions of years, couldn't you? A: Yes, without the Bible.
Q: You believe the choice between evolution and creation is a matter of faith, don't you? A: Basically, yes.
Modern day advocates of the "appearance of age" (which include most young Earthers/followers of Henry Morris and Ken Ham) hold to what is called a single revelational view. This is the belief that the Bible is the only authoritative source of truth. In other words, we must remain in the dark on matters not spelled out specifically in the Bible. And further, no tampering with their ultra "literal" simplistic meaning of the Bible is allowed.
There are plenty of verses where a literal plain reading will not be accurate, consider Genesis 3:20 "And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living." Is this to mean that she is indeed the mother off all the living? All life - every creature on the planet? I didn't think you would want to go there. You might say "just all people". Well that's not right either - she is not Adams mother. And what of the serpent's curse in Genesis 3:14... does it truly sustain itself by eating dust? It seems we are required to look a little deeper.
Single revelational theology, in itself contradicts the "literal" meaning of the Bible. In Psalm 19:1-4, the "words" of God proclaimed through the stars and galaxies have been heard by all people. In Romans 1:19-20 the Bible declares that everyone is "without excuse" as he or she faces God's eternal judgment (this would include those who have never read the Bible or heard the gospel). This is because according to the Bible - what may be known about God has been made plain to all through creation. A further list of Bible references on this topic may be found above under the bold print "Does the Bible address knowledge?"
I continuously hear young earth creationists touting over and over how fallible men are - how they can't understand or comprehend virtually ANYTHING. That fallible men can't properly interpret science (God's natural revelation) in his fallen state. And that we should only listen to special revelation. This would seem to make God rather short sighted and incompetent, as he would have given us a SPECIAL revelation that men could comprehend and interpret without error, but give us a NATURAL revelation that we could not understand or comprehend (with the exception of a few young earth organizations). Can mistakes only be made in NATURAL revelation? Is SPECIAL revelation immune from man's fallible nature?
If we are so poor at natural revelation and we can't trust our interpretations - what makes young earth creationists so confident that they can take ancient Hebrew text, convert it's language more than once, and end up with THE only SINGLE interpretation of the text possible by reading it via their modern English understanding of older English words??
I think a quote from Saint Augustine in (ca 400 AD) addresses this issue well. In his work titled "The Literal Meaning of Genesis" (De Genesi ad litteram libri duodecim) he said:
"Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion."
Believing in a young earth is not just a disagreement over some tiny detail, nor are scientists equally split over the issue - as some would like you to believe. The evidence for an old earth is OVERWHELMING. Do you know that there is a "Flat Earth Society"? Yes they believe just that! Do you know they have members to this day? Isn't it obvious that the earth is round? Just go on a plane ride and see the curvature of the earth, go to the ocean and watch a ship's mast slowly sink below the horizon with binoculars. Well to virtually ANYONE educated in any of the sciences a young Earth "member" would be looked at just as ridiculously. It's that obvious!
Are you also aware that beliefs in a flat earth, geocentric (Earth at the center) solar system were also dogmatically promoted by the church? You don't see how that's possible? Let's look at some Biblical verses that "seem" to promote the ideas of a flat Earth, and a geocentric solar system - if taken literally. This is an example of where a single revelational theology can get you into possible trouble.
It kind of conjures up the picture on a giant oilrig on its pillars in the ocean - does it not?
You think the flat earth society is just a joke? Do you think I am making this up? Or that no one takes these verses like this seriously today? Take a look at these modern sites that take these same verses from above and proclaim that the earth is not only at the center of the universe - but does not move - or even rotate.
Check out what the Biblical Astronomer says
"Astronomers, pastors, and educators in the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church maintained the geocentric truths well into the twentieth century. They, with the reformers such as Luther, saw that the embracing of heliocentrism would weaken not only science, but also the authority of the Bible."Check out what the Non-moving Earth site says
"THE BIBLE SAYS THE EARTH IS NOT MOVING AND CANNOT BE MOVED. WHAT'L IT BE FOLKS? FALSE SCIENCE AS THE SOURCE OF ABSOLUTE TRUTH...OR GOD'S WORD??"Check out what the Creation Facts and True Biblical Counseling says
"There are many references to the sun "going down", "arising" etc. NOT ONCE does the Bible ever refer to the earth rotating. Those who say that the Bible is only recording the "appearance" of the movement of the sun are - (a) having to ADD to the most obvious meaning of the understanding of the Bible passage and (b) are adopting the same position as liberal critics who have tried to destroy the Bible by saying that many of the sayings of Christ were "adapted to the simple understanding and low education of His hearers" and that we are more educated today to correct what he said - or such like."Young earth creationists even endorse some of this stuff. ICR's Dr. Duane T. Gish has promoted and wrote a forward for the preceding book Check it out here
"The Bible strongly states that the earth can be shaken, but does not move at all (Ps 93:1). But the sun does move (e.g., Joshua 10:12-14) and does so in a circuit (Psalm 19:1-6). Some will argue "that is only your interpretation." My response is simply, "It is not an interpretation at all, it is what the words say.""
The Earth revolving around the Sun was once considered heresy. I dare say that the only ones left that denounce that the Earth revolves about the Sun are the flat Earthers along with some ultra literal Christians as documented above! Although to this day we have a remnant of this ancient belief - for we still talk of sunrise and sunset as if the sun were moving around us. Thankfully the church finally "caught up" to the fact of the Earth revolving about the Sun - and it's high time for it to "catch up" again (to it's age)!
This is historical proof that the church has HAD to accept science before. The case was OVERWHELMING. So any notion that the church can ignore science doesn't hold water! This change was justified - don't you think? I'm not ready to apply for membership in the Flat Earth Society... are you?
Young Earth Evidence:
At times I have read Christian "proofs" that are overly burdened with technical jargon. This is used as a ploy - as it is a generally known fact that: people generally would rather be impressed than admit ignorance. If it's so difficult to understand it must be convincing and conclusive right? Wrong. Technical does not mean accurate. I will attempt to simplify and boil these all down as much as possible. I will start off with some broad general claims and then move on to specifics.
Scientists don't know everything - they are probably just wrong about the age of things:
This claim concentrates on the fact that scientists don't know everything, and proceeds to leap to the conclusion, or at least imply that they must know very little. Many point out the fact that science changes it's position on things over time. Hence they propose that science will see the error of their ways and come to realize the earth and universe to be young.
Rebuttal: It is very true that science does not know everything. The mistake is in overreacting and assuming they know nothing, or at least very little. Science indeed changes it's position on things over time - this is good. Science cannot be dogmatic. When evidence comes along that contradicts what is believed to be true... adjustments must be made, or in some cases, entire new theories established - this is how science progresses.
Further, some will trivialize science by claiming: "After all they are just a bunch of theories" and comfort themselves in being opposed to science. To this I say philosophers have long recognized nothing is absolutely provable... but, are you willing to dismiss everything you "know" as false? What science strives for is practical proof. Everyday you unknowingly rely on scientific principles, laws, and theories. Do you doubt gravity - by hanging onto things as you step outside? Do you not rely on electricity and it's predicable nature when you use your hair dryer - not expecting it to shock you to death when drying your hair? Do you not rely on the predicable laws of thermodynamics and friction when you apply the brakes on your car to avoid running people down in crosswalks? We could go on and on along these lines.
I think it's all too easy to underestimate the accomplishments of science. Remember, science has made tremendous strides in recent years. Science and engineering has given us electricity, the telephone, lights, internal combustion engine, radio, television, airplanes, lasers, nuclear power, computers, tremendous advancements in medicine, and on and on and on. We could not put space craft on extraterrestrial bodies, nor harness nuclear reactions in bombs and reactors, if science did not have a very good grasp on the fundamental forces, constants, and reactions in nature.
All science that points to an old earth is the result of the mistake of uniformitarianism:
This claim makes the argument that you cannot take present processes, rates of change, constants, etc. and work them into the past. A common application of this would be to say that the rates of radiometric decay have changed over time. And this invalidates all forms of radiometric dating and even ANY other scientific argument for an old earth or universe.
Rebuttal: Wow - what a leap! This is an attempt to get you to dismiss ALL of science (geology, archaeology, astronomy, physics, biology, etc). This may sound like an exaggeration on my part, but it's not - this is exactly what they want you to do... because you DO have to dismiss virtually all of science to believe in a young earth.
This belief in changing constants and such is illogical, and would prohibit us being able to discern how anything worked or behaved. It would mean that the behavior of all matter and energy in the entire universe is in a state of flux! Moreover, since the promoters of this idea claim the Earth is a mere 6,000 years old... this would necessitate these sweeping changes occurring right before our eyes - as they would have occurred during the time of recorded history!
This is tantamount to claiming that the gravity of the Earth might have been many times stronger in say Adam's day - or possibly even operating in reverse, or that the boiling point of water might have been a thousand degrees in Abraham' day, or that the speed of sound might have been 10 miles per hour in Noah's time, or that the passage of time was faster in Christ's time!
You can't have these kinds of changes going on - this would mean that the fundamental characteristics of physics, particles, and forces are all changing. These are not things you can just allow changes in - They are all interrelated to a very high degree. If they were changing there would be far reaching and drastic consequences. The existence of matter itself is tied to these laws and constants!
All scientific evidence for an old earth is being manufactured to support evolution:
This claim makes the argument that all scientific estimates of the age of the earth and universe are part of a vast conspiracy to promote evolution. Moreover, as the theory goes, the world's scientists are so desperate to indoctrinate us with the lie of evolution - they ignore abundant evidence (listed in bold below) in order to generate the age required by the theory.
Rebuttal: It is very naive to believe that geologists, archaeologists, astrophysicists, nuclear physicists and many others are the mere lapdogs of evolutionists! Like any conspiracy theory, it crumbles under it's own weight when you look at the details. There are MANY arguments and competing theories among scientists. There are quite a few that do not believe in a purely naturalistic explanation for the origin and diversity of life on this planet. To suggest that all of them are at the beck and call of evolutionists (producing fraudulent evidence that defiantly flies in face of facts) is delusional. It is also worth noting that there were many scientists (a number of them Christian) who believed in an old earth before Darwin even proposed his theory!
Earth's magnetic field decay:
The Earth's magnetic field has been decreasing steadily since measurements were first taken some 150 years ago. This has led some creationists to calculate that the decay process must have begun less than 10,000 years ago.
Rebuttal: Failure to recognize that the earth's magnetic field does not undergo a steady linear decay but rather follows a repeating cycle. These numerous reversal cycles have been "caught" in rock layers around the world. This happens when the natural mineral magnetite is caught in volcanic lava flows. The magnetic field of the molten magnetite falls into alignment with the earth's magnetic field of that time - And when it then cools below 570C (it's Curie point), you are left with a permanent frozen record of the earth's magnetic polarity at that time. The process itself indeed takes about 10,000 years, but repeats about every 500,000 years - we are only witnessing the most recent cycle. If you doubt that the Earth can reverse it's magnetic polarity... Be advised that the Sun does this very thing every 11 years as part of the solar cycle!
YEC updated argument: Dr. Russell Humphreys has done more work and has a theory for magnetic field reversals during the flood. He expands the original argument to concentrate on the issue of the total energy of the field. He asserts that the total energy is decaying irregardless of the field reversals. He and other YECs question the dynamo theory and postulate there is no evidence or mechanism whereby the earth can regain strength of it's magnetic field.
Old earth reaffirmation: Dr. Russell Humphreys set out to do independent research to disprove the magnetic field reversals. After taking a class and doing some of his own research - he became convinced of the overwhelming evidence for these field reversals! His only "spin" has been to attempt to compress them all into a single year! There have been hundreds of reversals documented - to say they could have all occurred within a single year is preposterous - especially since until recently, they denied they were even possible!
As further proof let's look at Humphreys' most recent paper he wrote on this subject for Creation Researc Quarterly (Vol 39 No 1 pp 1-11 June 2002). In this paper you will see that contrary to early YEC claims half of the "lost" energy is indeed gained in the non-dipole component. This alone does grave harm to the YEC theory and hints at a more complicated process than simple decay. Moreover, contrary to YEC claims - Humphreys' own data shows a total increase of energy in the earth's magnetic field for 7 epochs! He smoothes over this implying this is a single blip when the whole thrust of his paper is a 1 percent drop of the earth's magnetic field being considerable - while his own data shows an increase 4 times as large as his decrease! This is especially troublesome when you consider that all YECs criticize the uniformitarian method (using current processes and extrapolating into the past) which is exactly what this whole argument centers around. Further consider that Humphreys places a tremendous significance on a mere 30 years of data and tries to cover the entire history of the earth with 30 years of data - remember, all these measurements have taken place in LESS than a single reversal cycle. That's like making dramatic statements and proclaiming new theories as fact, after measuring the Sun's magnetic output for a say mere 11 seconds instead of during an 11 year solar cycle! Further evidence of ignoring evidence can be seen in how this article gets distributed. The one most people see is this one:
But, it does not contain the data that shows the increase of the total energy - you have to go to the PDF version - which preserves all the original article as can be seen here:
There is no hint in the former article of entire sections not being present.
Earth's slowing rotation/leap second correction:
Atomic clocks, which have for the last 22 years measured the earth's spin rate to the nearest billionth of a second, have consistently found that the earth is slowing down at a rate of almost one second per year. If the Earth were billions of years old, it's initial spin rate would have been fantastically too rapid.
Rebuttal: The slowing rotation and leap second are two separate issues. The mistake is assuming them to be related. There are 2 variations going on (periodic and secular). In any case the true "spin down" rate is not 1 second per year - but .0015 per century! The confusion mainly arises from the failure to realize that one second as defined by the rotation of the earth is not the same as one second as defined by atomic clocks... There is a periodic correction, but it has nothing to do with the Earth's rotation slowing down. The leap second is merely a convenient device for keeping the two timescales always within 0.9 seconds of each other. Here is an quote/admission by young earth astronomer Danny Faulkner:
"The earth's rotation is slowing at the rate of 0.0017 seconds per century. What that means is that a hundred years ago the day was 0.0017 seconds shorter than today. This is called a secular change because it changes at a fixed rate for a very long time. Superimposed on top of this is the periodic change, much larger variations that change in magnitude and sign over much shorter time scales than the secular change does. The periodic and secular time variations have nothing to do with each other. The atomic clock measurements that necessitate leap seconds every 18 months or so measure the periodic variations. The secular change is much more difficult to detect and must be deduced by other means. Much of the criticism offered by our critic here is correct. Many people apparently don't know that there is a difference between the periodic and secular changes. Extrapolating the secular change into the past does not produce a problem for an old earth."If you still have any doubt or really want to dig into this further, read about it at the US Naval observatory at: http://maia.usno.navy.mil/leapsec.html
Continental erosion rate:
Erosion measurements are around .05 mm per year. This rate implies the continents (averaging about 800 meters high) would have completely disappeared after about 16 million years.
Rebuttal: Failure to recognize that lava flows, continental and coral reef buildup, and uplift from plate tectonics are occurring at rates equivalent to, and in some cases exceeding, the erosion rate - for example the Himalayas are rising by 15 mm per year.
Mountain Uplift Rate:
The claim is that Earth's mountains should be taller if the current rate of plate tectonic uplift has been maintained over long periods of time.
Rebuttal: Can you believe it? They argue both sides of this equation. Either it should wear down or build up right? Well thankfully these 2 opposing forces are designed to operate in basically a state of equilibrium - the existence of both sides of this argument is a testament to that fact. Only momentarily does one overtake the other, and its scope when it does is geographically limited.
Lack of ocean floor sedimentation buildup:
This claim is based on perceived lack of ocean floor sedimentation buildup if the earth is billions of years old. It allegedly only allows for an earth age of about 30 million years.
Rebuttal: Fails to recognize periodic recycling of the ocean floor. This happens through ocean floor spreading, plate tectonics, and subduction.
But more importantly, there is a curious fact YEC's do not talk about... They ironically point to a alleged lack of sediment in the oceans - not realizing they themselves need it to be much thicker! Why? This is because they believe that the flood is what is responsible for the Earth's geologic strata and fossils. They simultaneously also believe the oceans sediment is formed by erosional debris washing in from off the continents. Here's the problem - the sediment thickness on the continents is 5 times thicker (on average) than it is in the ocean basins. If all (or even most) of the Earth's sedimentary deposits is the result of a world wide catastrophic flood there should be a much thicker sedimentary deposit on the ocean floor. To prove this to yourself: place a few bricks randomly spaced in a children's play pool, now place several pounds of soil carefully on the bricks, now pour water over the bricks until they are fully covered, finally stir vigorously.... can you guess where the dirt will be the thickest when it settles out???
River delta buildup rates:
An attempt to assert that due to their small size the main river deltas cannot be very old. Their primary example is the Mississippi delta.
Rebuttal: Failure to recognize that they are only evaluating the top most layer of the delta that still "looks" like a delta. In actuality the Mississippi delta is about 7 miles thick and covers much of the south central U.S.
Rapid layering deposits at Mount Saint Helens:
Mount Saint Helens is being touted as proof that all geologic formations can happen very rapidly. They use it to shoot down the straw man of "uniformitarianism". They tout "their" theory of catastrophisim as superior in explaining the earth's geologic formations.
Rebuttal: There is a MAJOR problem with the flood laying down all the strata in the geologic column. How do footprints get preserved in layer after layer of sedimentary rock that is supposedly formed out of soupy sediments in suspension? The main mistake here is the assumption that scientists claim all geologic formations happen linearly and uniformly over time. Young earthers did not invent the idea of catastrophism, scientists are very aware of it. The difference is they recognize that many catastrophes have happened in the earth's long history (i.e. floods, fires, landslides, volcano eruptions, meteorite and comet impacts etc.). The young earther's definition of catastrophisim is the single event of the Biblical flood. However, there are many formations that can ONLY happen uniformly over time. The best example are coral atolls. They grow only very slowly (maximum of about 8 mm per year) with around a 100 ft or less water depth. Some coral atolls have been found thousands of feet thick sitting atop extinct volcanoes! Some have even been found miles thick -such as the Great Bahama Bank!
Trees found growing up through millions of years of supposed deposition:
Trees have been found complete with root systems growing through what geologists claim took millions of years to form.
Rebuttal: Failure to recognize how coal seams from. Coal is usually formed from peat that develops in bogs and swamps. Trees exist today with their bases and root systems buried in swamps and bogs. Should we really be surprised to find an upright tree in a coal seam? As to the "millions of years of sedimentation" Well, that depends upon what kind of layer it is. For example it takes much longer to form limestone than coal. What this means is that the tree trunk found cutting through that depth of deposition would have been millions of years of sedimentation if it was not coal!
Human skulls and artifacts found in coal seams:
Human remains and tools have been found in coal thought to be millions of years old. Since modern man is found in this coal complete with tools - the coal formation must not be that old.
Rebuttal: There has been some fraud here but there is also a failure to recognize that man has been mining coal seams for thousands of years. So should we really be surprised that human remains and artifacts have been found in coal? All the legitimate finds are the result of modern man being caught in a cave-in.
Famous human foot prints next to dinosaur tracks:
Human footprints have been found next to dinosaur tracks - therefore the dinosaurs were coexisting with man and further the dinosaur "age" is not millions of years ago.
Rebuttal: These famous tracks and prints were discovered in the Paluxy Riverbed near Glen Rose, Texas. Initially one of these tracks "looked" human like (they were too far apart though). It turns out, the "human" prints were only beginning to be exposed by the elements - further erosion revealed that they too were dinosaur tracks! The evidence is so conclusive, that most Christian articles and videos talking about these tracks have been removed from circulation. Some though still cling to this now disproved story.
Parentless polonium radiohalos in primordial rocks:
This is one of those that is usually stated in VERY technical terms. Radiohalos are small disruptions in a mineral's crystalline structure caused by the radioactive decay of an element within the crystal. The identity of the decaying element can be determined. Dr. Robert Gentry allegedly discovered polonium radiohalos in primordial rocks but no radiohalos from the expected parent uranium element. His conclusion being that the rocks in question were created instantaneously, with the polonium already in place, explaining why no evidence of the expected parent uranium decay is present. This plays into the appearance of age theory.
Rebuttal: It has now come to light that some, if not all, Dr. Gentry's samples came not from primordial rocks as he asserted, but from much younger rocks - hence there must be another explanation. There are methods that can explain the radiohalos - such as hole diffusion. The final straw comes from a paper critical of Dr. Gentry's methods of the radiohalo research from fellow YOUNG EARTH creation scientist Kurt Wise!
The young sun argument:
Prior to our understanding of nuclear energy, the only explanation scientists could come up with for the sun's energy was gravitational contraction. If this was indeed what powered the sun, more than 100 million years ago the sun would have been larger than the earth's orbit! Further evidence came from "some" measurements that seemed to indicate a small decrease in the suns diameter.
Rebuttal: From what we now know about nuclear reactions, the temperature and pressure inside a collapsing sun would ignite nuclear fusion (nuclear energy power is therefore unavoidable). The idea of a sun decreasing in diameter has been completely disproved by the much more precise measurements of Barry LaBonte and Robert Howard. If you still have any doubts, the sun's temperature, luminosity, spectral line emissions, radius, and mass, all dictate an energy source through converting hydrogen into helium (nuclear fusion) for about 5 billion years. It further indicates that this fusion should proceed for about another 5 billion years. This is very good science firmly rooted in physics... Remember we have nuclear reactors on the Earth now!
Dust on the moon:
Measurements on Mount Mauna Loa (Hawaii) indicate 14 million tons of material coming onto the earth from space per year. If this held true for the moon, and it's 4 billion years old, there should be 145 feet of dust on the moon, and there is only 2.5 inches of dust on the moon. This seemed to indicate an age restriction on the moon of about 6 million years.
Rebuttal: These measurements were crude and did not account for material ejected into the atmosphere by volcanoes and wind. Hans Petersson (the geophysicist who made the measurements) warned of possible errors and assumptions himself. More precise measurements have now been made by satellites and subsequently have revised the figure to 23 thousand tons (from 14 million). They also measured the amount falling onto the moon directly - 11 thousand tons per year. This translates to 1.2 inches of dust for a 4.5 billion-year-old moon. The additional material has been deposited there by large meteorites as proved by the large craters we see there today.
Lunar recession rate:
The moon is receding from us. If you extrapolate the data backwards in time... The moon would have been in contact with the Earth no more than 2 billion years ago!
Rebuttal: This argument makes several mistakes.
1. Assumes a "uniformatarionistic" recession rate - Do orbits decay at a steady rate? No.
2. Ignores data that dates the moon as younger than the Earth.
3. Allows for a Earth Moon system many orders of magnitude older than they believe in!.
4. Science actually expects this. The prevailing theory for the moons orbit is a collision event in the distant past!
Persistence of comets:
Comets burn up after several dozen revolutions around the sun - since we still have them, the universe's age must be within the "thousands" of years.
Rebuttal: The data to support this is flawed and 30 years old! We now know that many comets have orbital periods in the thousands and even millions of years. Some will never return, as they don't even orbit the sun!
YEC follow-up: What about short term comets (comets that take less than 200 years to orbit the Sun) there is no continuing source for these objects.
Old earth reaffirmation: Please be aware that the existence of the Kuiper Belt has been confirmed. Why is this significant? Because scientists proposed that a belt of objects existed beyond the orbit of Neptune from 30 AU extending to roughly 100 AU (AU is astronomical unit - the earth sun distance, or 93 million miles) as just one continuing source for short period comets. The belt has long been criticized as myth by young earth creationists. Much to their dismay - the first KBO (Kuiper Belt Object) was discovered in 1992. They have since been recorded by the hundreds! Thousands are expected to be discovered - and their numbers probably extend to into the millions or beyond.
Galaxy cluster distribution:
In order for stars in a cluster to remain together, the overall gravity of the system must be strong enough to overcome the velocities of the individual stars within the cluster. If the gravity is too weak, the cluster will drift apart. Creationists have misapplied these calculations to galaxy clusters (not star clusters). The calculations show that the distance between galaxies in galaxy clusters indicate an age something less than 1 billion years.
Rebuttal: These calculations are for star clusters only. They only apply to "point sources", a "point source" being something too small to measure (from earth). These calculations mean nothing when applied to galaxy clusters. Galaxies are not "point sources" (their diameters are very measurable). These calculations further assume that all the matter within the cluster is visible, nonetheless, when the calculations are applied properly to star clusters, they indicate ages for star clusters in the billions of years.
Persistence of spiral galaxies:
Scientific theories and calculations show that spiral structure within galaxies should "smear out" within 5 rotations. And since these rotations only take several hundred million years each - the universe must be less than 2 billion years old!
Rebuttal: Wow where do you start! The most curious fact is that it allows for almost 2 billion years! Second, MOST galaxies are not spirals - many have indeed "smeared out". And most importantly, it ignores ongoing star formation, which will continue the spiral structure.
If the universe is billions of years old... we should see many more supernova remnants. Since we do not see all the expected supernova remnants the universe must be young.
Rebuttal: I am amazed that the YEC community puts so much stock in this, it is one of their "biggies". For starters - let's consider that stellar burning is VERY well understood - the process that makes a supernova takes at a MINIMUM millions of years. So the mere fact that we have ANY supernova destroys the entire concept of a young universe! The information that YECs use for this argument is also dated... indeed many more supernova remnants are being discovered. Dozens have been recently discovered in the Large and Small Megellanic cloud galaxies. It should also be noted that supernova remnants are VERY difficult to detect - by definition these are exploded stars. Therefore, the central star is often invisible - and since the gas cloud (remnant) is not being strongly illuminated by a star - it's obviously difficult to see. Further this faint gas cloud is ever expanding which makes it even more difficult to detect as they blend in with the general background of ionized oxygen clouds etc. The bottom line - astronomers are not at all puzzled over an alleged supernova remnant deficiency.
While I do not hold this belief, I want to be honest and point out that some verses at least at first glance seem to indicate a young earth. I would also like to point out that I do not shy away from the other sides best evidence - I meet it and deal with it head on. I think you will fond below any argument you have ever heard for a young earth. If you feel you have one that has not been dealt with - contact me via the e-mail link at the end and I will add it to the list.
The Genesis 1 creation account itself:
A plain reading of Genesis chapter 1 arguably means literal days. Based on this they assume Ussher's chronology is basically correct.
Rebuttal: The flexibility of the Hebrew word for day. There are numerous instances where the Hebrew word for day DOES NOT mean a literal 24-hr day. See the entire section Those infamous days:
The use of the Hebrew expression "evening and morning" in Genesis 1 forces the twenty-four-hour interpretation:
Since it specifically states an evening and a morning, these must be regular solar days.
Rebuttal: Let's look at this logically... Sunrise and sunset are visual experiences. No one was here to see (visualize) the creation except God himself. For someone to see or experience night or day (evening and morning) requires that an observer be in a fixed position on the earth. God is not fixed in time or space. His sunrise is perpetual, just as His sunset is perpetual. He sees the earth continuously half in darkness - half in light - at the same time. It is also highly unlikely that even solar days were 24 hours in duration at the time of the creation. The days were probably longer (as the earth got up to speed). It is noteworthy that Genesis records that the Sun, Moon, and stars were not appointed to be time keepers until the fourth day. Further, you can't pick just any one place on the earth, and apply the "evening and morning" routine to get 12-hrs of each - and then use that for six 24-hour days. Look at Alaska, places there have 6 months of daylight and 6 months of night (so much for two 12-hr periods making up days). If that were not enough, the amount of light and dark is totally dependent on your latitude (distance from the equator). It even changes throughout the year (hence daylight savings time). The longest day is around June 22 for us (in the northern hemi-sphere). There have even been humans who have witnessed light and darkness on the earth at the same time - astronauts have witnessed many evenings and mornings (in less than 24-hrs) while orbiting the earth. See how silly the light/dark 24-hour thing is? It's all relative.
On a purely scientific note... we also know thanks to Einstein, that time itself is not absolute - but variable. Time does not pass at the same rate everywhere in the universe. It is dependent on your motion, and proximity (or lack of it) to a large gravity source. I know this is a difficult concept - but this (relativity) is now the most tested, and proved theory in existence. For us to force our concept of time on the creator is shear arrogance.
Evening to morning itself does not dictate 24 hours - it's only 12 hours. It would require an evening to an evening - think about it!
Now, let's consider it Biblically.
Some young earth organizations claim that there is some biblical Hebrew rule that states occurrences of yom with the words "evening" or "morning" outside Genesis 1 always refers to 24-hour days.
In fact, AiG has said the following in print:
"Outside Genesis 1, yom is used with the word ‘evening’ or ‘morning’ 23 times. ‘Evening’ and ‘morning’ appear in association, but without yom, 38 times. All 61 times the text refers to an ordinary day—why would Genesis 1 be the exception?"
Source: AiG Internet article Did God really take six days? http://www.answersingenesis.org/Home/Area/answersbook/sixdays2.asp
Consider Psalm 90:4 (written by Moses)
"For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night."
Here Moses is telling us just like in 2 Peter 3:8 that God's time passes much more slowly than ours.
Consider Psalm 90:6 (written by Moses)
"In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth."
Here Moses is making an analogy of us to grass... it clearly does not imply a 24-hr day. Morning refers to a period of growth... where evening refers to a period of death.
Consider Psalm 90:14 (written by Moses)
"O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days."
The English word "early" in this verse is the same Hebrew word "boqer" used for "morning" in Genesis 1... it can also clearly be seen that "boqer" has a meaning, which cannot be tied to a 24-hr day.
As you can see from these last 2 verses a better general translation for the Hebrew words "erev" and "boqer" would be "begin(ing)" and "end(ing)".
What is more important is that outside Genesis 1, yom occurs only 4 times in combination with both Hebrew words for "evening" and "morning." The actual word order of "evening" followed by "morning" in combination with yom (as seen in Genesis 1) occurs only once outside Genesis 1. It is highly ironic that this only other identical useage defines yom as a period of time at least 3000 years long!
Consider Dan 8:26
"And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days."
Conclusion: This claim is completely false.
Note: The verses that mention day/yom that are 24 hours in length are referring to man's activity - while the verses that mention God's activity are usually much much longer.. as in Day of the Lord etc. Genesis (the creation account) is a record of God's activity - not man's.
Yom with a ordinal (number) always refers to 24 hour days:
I have seen many YECs lay claim to this argument, AiG has made it in print in the same article mentioned above.
"Outside Genesis 1, yom is used with a number 410 times, and each time it means an ordinary day—why would Genesis 1 be the exception?" Source: AiG Internet article Did God really take six days? http://www.answersingenesis.org/Home/Area/answersbook/sixdays2.asp
If creation transpired over a long period of time, other biblical Hebrew words would have been used.
YECs claim that other biblical Hebrew words (such as olam or qedem) could have been used to designate a long period of time.
Here again, AiG has made the claim in print (in the same article mentioned above).
"There are words in biblical Hebrew (such as olam or qedem) that are very suitable for communicating long periods of time, or indefinite time, but none of these words are used in Genesis 1. http://www.answersingenesis.org/Home/Area/answersbook/sixdays2.aspRebuttal: This argument is quite weak. The first occurences of these words actually occur in Genesis and they convey the meaning of "eterity", "everlasting", or "east" - not a long period of time.
Jesus declares that marriage began at the beginning of the creation
The argument is made that Mark 10:6 says that God created male and female humans at the beginning of the creation. Here is Mark 10:6
"But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female."Rebuttal: If you read Genesis 1 carefully, you will find it states quite clearly that mankind was not created at the beginning of creation, but at the end - during the end of the sixth day. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. So did Jesus forget how creation unfolded?
The Exodus 20:9-11 (the 10 Commandments) reference back to creation:
Since God mentions the creation "days" and our six days of work here, it proves creation was in 24-hour days.
"Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it."
Rebuttal: This still does not prove that God's days are our days. We have already seen how Moses explicitly explained to us the difference between His time and ours. Further the Bible itself (again in verses written by Moses) speaks of the Sabbath in terms of a whole year. Consider Leviticus 25:3-4 " Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard." Here we see what the Sabbath period of rest would be for a crop!
Here is another angle: The rigid 6-24 hour "day" creation week equivalence with the sabbath commandment ignores analogy, forshadowing, and commemoration. It misinterprets the parallel being drawn in Exodus. A very important passage to consider here is Hebrews 10:1, which, refers back to "the law having a shadow of the good things to come, not the very image of the things" here Hebrews is specifically talking about the Levitical sacrifices and how their entire purpose was to signify and foreshadow the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. The same truth applies to countless other aspects of the Old Testament. The Passover ritual is a foreshadowing of the Lord's Supper and of Christ's atonement on the cross, the Feast of Tabernacles is a commemoration of the wanderings of Israel in the wilderness, and there are other examples. In the same way, the week and the Sabbath day are not meant to be exact reproductions of the Creation Week but commemorations of it. The 144 hours in a week do not mean that God created the world in only 144 hours, any more than the 8 days of the Feast of Tabernacles mean that Israel wandered in the wilderness for only 8 days - in fact, the Bible says it was 40 years! One might say "well that doesn't apply to the sabbath" My response is that proof that the sabbath is not immune to analogy was just looked at above... recall again the passage above (Leviticus 25) where the Creation Week is further commemorated in a Sabbath year to be observed every seven years (v.3-4), and in a Jubilee year to be celebrated after every seven Sabbath (50) years! (v.8-10). So, just as Leviticus 25 does not show that the Creation Week was 7 years (or 50 years) long, so Exodus 20:11 does not show that it was 144 hours. The important thing about the sabbath is not its length - but its meaning. It represents a pattern of six-and-one as a constant memorial of God's Creation.
So why do we have the analogy? I believe the reason for the commandment (and its refering back to creation) is that God wanted US to have a 7 day work week, it doesn't mandate or dictate that He experience 7 of our Sun based days while He is in the act of creating the very universe (including the and Sun) within which we will experience them! It's His creation, how could His creation dictate the length of said creation? It's the analogy that's important. Under this concept, it really doesn't matter if it was 6 rotations of the earth, 6 long ages, or even 6 literary frameworks. Any one of these accomplishes the purpose for it being broken up that way. Of course, for us human beings, the 7 day week makes perfect sense - because the moon goes round in about 28 days. The lunar month can be broken into 14 days (too long) or 7 days (perfect), or 4 days (too short), or 2 days (way too short) between rests... it doesn't divide by any other numbers. There is no inherent reason to break creation into 7 individual segments (periods/"days") except to serve as an analogy for OUR sake.
One final comment on this one. The young earthers are also not being consistient with their literal reading of the ten commandments... for just a couple of commandments earlier in reference to any who make a graven image/idol (Exodus 20:4-6) it speaks of God visiting the sin of the fathers of those that do so unto the third and fourth generations, but will also show love to a thousand generations of those that love Him and keep His commandments. The point being that a literal 1,000 generations is not in keeping with a young earth scenario... so much for their claim of letting the Bible speak "literally" for itself.
The Bible says the sun and moon were not created until the 4th day:
The point being that it blows a Big Bang scenario out of the water, as God created the earth first, then the other heavenly bodies.
Rebuttal: Actually this poses far more problems for a young earth than it solves. Some of which should be obvious, such as how did life exist without it? How did you have 24-hr solar days? Actually the original Hebrew in Genesis is a help here... consider Genesis 1:16 "And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also." The Hebrew word for "and made" the verb "asah" would better translate to "Now God had made..." as opposed to the simple past tense "And God made...". This hints to their prior creation. Remember that God created "light" during the first "day". The best explanation being they merely became clearly visible and received their assignment as timekeepers on the 4th day.
Further, most young earth creationists fail to recognize that their order of events in Genesis actually contradicts the Bible's own statements concerning the creation's order of events. Genesis 1:1 in Hebrew says: "In beginning [there is no Hebrew article] God created the heavens [a dual noun in Hebrew] and the earth." The fact that the heavens and earth were created in verse one is inescapable in the text itself... for if the earth is not created in Genesis 1:1 - then the origin of planet earth is never discussed. Note that in verse two - earth not only exists... but already is covered by water and is shrouded in darkness.
The earth is not the only thing created in verse one. The heavens are also created. It is a firmly entrenched conclusion among most Biblical fundamentalists that Genesis 1:14-19 teaches that the sun, moon and stars were not created until the fourth "day" of creation. As a result, they postulate a light source that is utterly unrelated to the earth's required solar system. Scripture neither teaches nor allows this position. It also contradicts another major source of information in Scripture concerning the order of events during creation - namely Psalm 104:1-5
"Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind: Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire: Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever."
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."There are a two different schools of thought on what these opening few words actually mean... One claims that it is a summary of the rest of the Genesis 1 creation account, the other claims it represents the first creative act of God. How can we tell which interpretation is correct? The answer is all too simple - read the next verse! When we look at Genesis 1:2 we see that it begins with the conjunction "and." This fact immediately tells us that Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 are part of one continuous statement. Here is Genesis 1:2
"And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."So, is seems inexcapable that the text claims God created the heavens and earth on the first day - or alternately, prior to the first day. What do the heavens consist of? Stars, galaxies, etc. Actually, the Hebrew phrase translated "heaven and earth" is what is used to refer to the entire universe. This demosishes the claim that God created the earth first and that the rest of the heavenly bodies were created later. To accept otherwise is to say that God created "nothing" and the earth. If God had only created the earth, then Genesis 1:1 would say "In the beginning God created the earth."
"Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them."
If this were not enough - try this simple thought experiment using only simple logic. I don't think any reader will doubt that the earth's rotation provides for our day/night cycle - even in the context of a simplistic ultra literal interpretation of Genesis 1. That being the case, the universe including the Sun and Earth had to be created in Genesis 1:1. How so you ask? For if not, not only does the Sun not exist until the 4th day - but the earth is not created until the first 24 hour day! Remember in this scenario Genesis describes a day which begun with evening and proceeded on to morning as the earth allegedly rotates before the light. How could you possibly have a night/day cycle? How could earth rotate to produce the 24 hr day (demanded by young earth creationists) before it and the Sun existed? Both (and more) are required to provide the celestial mechanics needed to produce the 24hr/solar day. I hope I didn't loose you, here's the bottom line - It is impossible for the earth to be created in the solar day which its own rotation produced!
It further contradicts Psalm 104 in verse 19 concerning what actually happened on the fourth "day" of creation (their mere appointment as time keepers).
"He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down."
And my final argument against the Sun, Moon and stars being created on the 4th day would be an obvious contradiction with Job 38:1-7 which says:
"Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"
This verse states that the angels shouted for joy along with the stars as God lay the foundations of the earth!
The earth must be young; fowls (birds) are not in the order of the fossil record:
Rebuttal: There are some errors in translation and interpretation that have caused some apparent discrepancies. The Hebrew word "op" translated as "fowls," really just means flying creatures which would include insects. "Flying creatures" or "flying insects" would have been a better translation and is consistent with the fossil record.
Young-earth creationists insist that there was no death of any kind prior to the "fall" (man's sin). The entire reason for this doctrine is that it places all death after man's sin. Why is that important to young earthers? It dates every creature in the fossil record to after the fall. This arms them with alleged Biblical proof that the earth is VERY young. As we shall see this concept of no death prior to the fall is indeed the "weakest of reeds".
These are the 3 passages that are summoned on to support this doctrine:
"For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now."
I don't see any backing for this belief here... do you?
They also point out 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 - but leave out verses 20 and 23... for good reason - it kills the theory!
1 Corinthians 15:20 "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept."
1 Corinthians 15:21 "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead."
1 Corinthians 15:22 "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."
1 Corinthians 15:23 "But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming."
I don't think the animal kingdom will participate in the resurrection... do you?
"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:"
Hello? This is speaking of Adam's sin and how it passes to all men. There is no mention of all the rest of the creatures of creation (mammals, fish, birds, insects, plants, bacteria, virus etc). You may not have seen this verse quoted in its entirety before. Young earth creationists always stop the quote after the semi-colon; the second half of the verse depicting "all men" only, is always conveniently left out in their materials. This in my opinion is outright deception!
Death was man's punishment for sin. Man was the only creature given the possibility of immortality by God. Viruses, bacteria, insects, plants, birds, fish, mammals, and our pets never had that possibility. To interpret this verse as implying no death of any creatures prior to man's sin is taking the verse further than it can go.
The very fact that God created reproduction, argues strongly that death, at least for the animals and other lower life forms, was part of the creation. If reproduction was not designed to compensate for death, why not place all the creatures you wanted here and simply let them live forever!
Most do not realize how awful it would be if there was no death of any creatures. Look at viruses, bacteria, molds, cockroaches, rats, rabbits, etc. If unchecked by death, they would cover the planet! How could you grow a garden for food... imagine bugs and rabbits everywhere... multiplying wildly... never dying... eating anything green that sprouted from the ground... mosquitoes with no predators literally sucking the blood right out of you - you couldn't survive!
Do we really think that God created a world in which these creatures would continue to multiply endlessly? Obviously not, you cannot have creatures multiplying at an exponential rate - eventually you will run out of resources and the creatures will die. We need checks and balances in controlling species - in fact, they are evidence for design. It seems death had to be part of nature when Adam was created. Adam however, being God's crowning creation and created in His likeness, had the opportunity for immortality and would escape death - had He simply obeyed.
Further, this passage probably refers to spiritual death rather than physical death anyway. Adam indeed did not physically die immediately after eating the forbidden fruit. He died spiritually immediately after eating the fruit. Not only that but it is insinuated that with ongoing access to the tree of life, Adam would have lived forever despite sin, this is why the way to the tree of life is blocked. See passage below.
"And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life."
Let's look at the creation of vegetation in a little more detail... The Bible says (in Genesis 1:11) "And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so." This is an implied reference to soil. It even mentions seeds. This depicts plant activity as we understand it today - with seeds being in soil, being watered, germinating, and growing into mature plants. What is "soil"... Does it not consist of many generations of dead and dying organisms??? Does not the presence of this soil itself require much time to form? I don't think you can invoke miracles here either because God clearly defers this activity to the Earth. Most miss this interesting point - that years are demanded here. The text specifically mentions fruit bearing trees. As anyone who has grown fruit trees knows - it takes years for them to mature and bear fruit. Not only that but what was it that Adam and Eve were both eating - and commanded not to eat... FRUIT!
Regarding an initial vegetarian diet and the blissful conditions within Eden. It very well could be that Adam and Eve only ate green vegetation and it's fruit. And it even "could be" that there was no carnivorous activity in the garden. However, we can infer that this was not true outside the garden. For if conditions were the same outside the garden - it wouldn't constitute much punishment to be banished from it! I believe we can determine that the conditions were WAY different outside the garden. This is where Adam experiences thorns and thistles, he has to till the ground to get crops to grow now, and I think he probably sees some creatures that were not present in the garden... after all, do you think every creature on this planet was in the garden? For example, I don't think polar bears and penguins would have been very comfortable in a tropical garden. Neither would Adam have been very comfortable with a saber tooth tiger or T-rex running around!
I have challenged many young earth creationists to site 1 Biblical verse that says there was no animal death prior to man's fall - I have yet to see one. I do however have one that I believe indicates there indeed was animal death prior to man's fall. Psalm 104 deals with creation, consider verse 21:
"The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God."
Animals not dying... is this credible? Vegetarian predators... can you imagine a T-Rex eating berries? All the predatory animals with their fierce claws and fangs begging Eve to take the fruit so they could eat meat? What of sea life... there are not exactly fruit trees growing under the ocean! What did killer whales or sharks eat early on? I used to have elaborate aquarium setups... they require a very delicate death and decay cycle involving micro organisms to provide livable water. Not only that, but no creature can even drink water (from a natural source) without devouring millions to billions of microorganisms contained in even an ounce of water. What did Venus Flytrap plants do? What of creatures that deliver poison to stun or kill their prey... it's extremely difficult to even invision a non-predatory use for these capabilities - is it not? What of all the parasitic relationships (some of which are beneficial to their host)?
There are only two resolutions to these creatures having characteristics designed for obvious predatory purposes.
It gets worse. What of non-predatory caused death like accidents? What if an animal fell from a cliff and died... would a buzzard ignore an easy steak dinner for berries? Or would the animal have been miraculously prevented from dying in the first palace - immortal and indestructible! Would every tiny creature (like brine shrimp) be prevented from being sucked up by whales combing the ocean for food (as they do)? I could go on and on here. How do we expect to be taken seriously with these crazy beliefs!
Another issue to consider is... if animal death is so evil and against God's plans... why did He kill the first animals - and skin them?
Consider Genesis 3:21
"Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them."
Further, animal sacrifice is demanded throughout the Old Testament.
How do Christians fall prey to this ludicrous belief? It basically comes down to a gut feeling, that God's creations devouring one another cannot be perfect! This is arrogance! Who are we - to be critics of God's creation?
We are not aware of God's complete plan - nor can we comprehend it. One might as well ask why God created Satan/evil (Proverbs 16:4 "The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.") YECs who use this line of reasoning are not being consistent. These same Christians will point out how good can come from seeming tragedy. Like why God allows a Christian to develop and slowly die from a painful cancer, or the children of devout Christians to be born with a disease, deformity, etc. We are told to trust God's plan in such situations. Indeed, I can look back in some of my most troubled times, when I felt I was being persecuted and that God had forsaken me - when now, in the light of hindsight I can see where these times were life course altering events which put me on a better path. We should be reluctant to attribute God's great design and checks and balances in nature to man's sin! We are warned of such thinking.
Consider Isaiah 55:8-9
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Consider Romans 9:19-20
"Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?"
You don't think you make judgments concerning God's creation? Do you think that EVERY creature is beautiful and perfect? You think so? What about; viper snakes, cock roaches, pigs, etc. What about every day things like going to the bathroom... is that in your eyes beautiful, aromatic, and perfect? And further, God never pronounces this creation perfect, just "good" and "very good". The new heaven and new earth will be perfect creation after his ongoing day of rest from his current creation (I will elaborate on this "rest" later).
I also believe the view that animals killing one another is so terrible - is "new age" creep into Christianity. The new age liberals are the ones that are worried about every criminal's well being (against capital punishment), against any form of hunting or killing of ANY animal! After all, they think that each person and animal is God (or a god) - greatly and artificially elevating the meaningfulness of temporal life on this planet.
Another way to look at this is that many Christians have adopted Alfred Lord Tennyson’s view of animal death. They have adopted his emotional Romantic (and evolutionary) notion of a revulsive “Nature, red in tooth and claw”. Another name for this (theologically) is "apparent evil" (mistakingly thinking they are seeing "true evil").
Is this view biblical? Consider Job 38:39 where God glorifies Himself when He asks Job the rhetorical question: “Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the young lions...?” Clearly, in context, God is saying, “I satisfy their hunger!” And He offers no apologies, and feigns no embarrassment.
Remember too that the old Testament is pretty bloody! God himself commanded the slaughter of animals, men, women and children. We as a society have become squeamish - eating only prepackaged and processed foods. Most (myself included) would have a hard time fending for ourselves without Kroger's!
Old Earth Evidence:
The geologic column reveals billions of years of earth history. There are many reasons you cannot explain it away with the flood. Consider just this one ... If the flood laid down all the strata in the geologic column, how do footprints get preserved in layer after layer of sedimentary rock that is supposedly formed out of soupy sediments in suspension?
Young earth rebuttal: The geologic column is only found in text books - it's a figment of the imagination!
Old earth reaffirmation: This is absolutely wrong! The entire geologic column is found in 25 basins around the world. These basins are:
Here are the details of the column at the North Dakota site. The site has been drilled to 15,064 feet deep. The various horizons were encountered at the following depths (Fm=formation, Grp=Group, Lm=Limestone).
Source: Former young earth petroleum geologist Glenn Morton http://home.entouch.net/dmd/geo.htm
Now to those who say: "Yes - but why is the entire column not found everywhere? And even at these sites, if the full extent of all the layers are added up it's much thicker than that." It should be rather obvious that all of the layers wouldn't be present in their entirety - or at all, in most locations. You have events (or series of events) that erases parts of a layer, an entire layer, many layers, and you have locations where layers never even formed! For example, it wouldn't be logical to have layers of limestone, formed from the bodies of marine creatures, present in an area that, at the time at which that layer was laid down, was part of a dry continent. It is more significant that even though some layers differ from place to place, there is no spot where you can find a modern fossil in an ancient layer or an ancient fossil in a modern layer. Therefore the layers differ from place to place due only to the conditions of that place at that time. It's very simple and logical.
Here are some other interesting geologic column facts:
Here are some young earth articles that attempt to explain away some old earth evidence buried within the geologic column - and actually do a good job of refuting themselves by highlighting their many problems and lack of evidence:
Article from AIG with the title "Where are all the Human Fossils?". This article has some powerful admissions. Here is a partial powerful quote from the first sentence of the conclusion paragraph by Andrew Snelling: "As far as we are aware at the present time, there are no indisputable human fossils in the fossil record...". It's at: http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/1136.asp
Article from AIG with the title "Can Flood Geology Explain Thick Chalk Layers?". This article (also by Snelling) has some powerful admissions. It attempts to explain just chalk deposits within the context of a global flood but actually ends up refuting itself! It makes a few far out attempts to explain it but acknowledges the many many problems. If the concentrations of those organisms got to the levels Snelling promotes - there would be no sunlight in the water! The concentrations he cites do occur but its very localized and temporary - usually concentrations driven by wind. Also if you read this article, make sure to note how many times the word evolution is used, it's connotation (as a touch stone to incite anger and draw lines in the sand). See for yourself at: http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/magazines/tj/docs/v8n1_chalk.asp
Let's deal with another objection with the geologic column... Many young earth creationists point out that in places the geologic column is not in it's usual order, it appears to even be in reverse order. They then state this proves the column is not real.
There's actually a VERY simple explanation. The reason it appears to be in reverse order - is because it's upside down! Why is it upside down? In some rare circumstances the earth's crust gets folded - this can be from volcanic activity, upheaval, landslides, etc. There is a particularly conclusive (and again, simple) proof for this - fossils that are always found laid down with a particular side up - creatures like; trilobites, footprints, fossilized cracks, raindrops, etc. Well in these reversed strata - they are all found upside down! So, it is the young earthers who are actually at a loss to explain upside down strata. This should really come as no surprise - they don't have an explanation when they are right side up!
Over an over I see scientific gymnastics to attempt to explain why this or that can happen quickly? Why does everything look so old? Why does it take scientific gymnastics? Some of the best examples of why the young earth position is wrong is contained within their own writings!
Fossils (to many):
There are a vast multitude of fossilized creatures contained within the geologic layers of the earth. In a somewhat ironic twist, young earthers actually cite some of the more famous ones as evidence for the flood - such as the Karoo Formation in South Africa. This formation alone is estimated to contain the remains of 800 billion vertebrate creatures. This 800 billion figure is actually cited and promoted by YECs - including Henry Morris of ICR. What most YECs do not know is that considerable research has been done on the Karoo Formation - it has been determined the creatures there range in size from a small lizard, to that of a cow, with the average being the size of a fox.
The problem is - If all the creatures from just the Karoo Formation could be resurrected at once, there would be 21 for every single acre of land on the entire earth! Assuming this single deposit only represents a mere 1 percent of the fossilized creatures (in all likelihood it represents less). Then the preflood world had to have 100 times this number per acre (over 2,000) - including large creatures like dinosaurs!
Some YECs point out (rightly) that most fossils are marine in nature (the ones in the Karoo are not). They have been led to [falsely] assume that this resolves all problems with large numbers of fossils - as the average marine fossil is quite small. What they do not realize is that this only adds to their problem. Much of the sedimentary rock (that makes up the geologic column) contains or is completely comprised of fossils (like chalk and limestone) if one assumes that only one tenth of 1 percent of sedimentary rock contains marine fossils - these ALONE (if resurrected all at once) would cover the entire surface of the planet (land and oceans) to 1.5 feet. Keep in mind, these are just the marine fossils, we discussed just one class of primitive vertebrates above - they have to be added to this - along with all the other mammals, along with all the insects, and we haven't even addressed the vast vegetation fossilization (like vast coal deposits) - they have to be added too! Now bear in mind that everyone agrees that fossilization is a rare event... What this means is that if that all the life represented by the fossils was alive at once, (as purposed by YECs) it would completely bury the entire surface of the globe by even the most conservative numbers imaginable to over a MILE DEEP! Now let's go the extra mile and make an erroneous assumption and say that even this number is two orders of magnitude too high... It would still be too much life! How could you have all this biomass alive at once? Don't forget that not all land is equally habitable - for example, were there no deserts before the flood? Where in the "world" were all these creatures? What did they eat? Would they have not been wading through their own excrements! There are many constraints - like available; land, food, water, energy, etc.
Earth's plate tectonic movement:
If you grant that at least some present day continents were once connected - the rate of separation rate of a few cm per year dictate many millions of years for them to get to their present positions.
YEC rebuttal: Baumgardner's "Catastrophic Plate Tectonic" or "Runaway Subduction" model explains this as a result of Noah's flood.
Old earth reaffirmation: Once again the YEC "spin" has been to compress millions of years of activity into a single year - let's look at his model...
Dr. Baumgardner is a respected scientist, and although his Fortran program "Terra" has proved useful, it's ultimately based on a computer program with a bunch of variables plugged in. When used properly it does contribute to real science. It will only produce results of rapid crustal motion if one inserts completely non-physical constants into the simulation. As anyone familiar with computer models knows - a computer model can be made to produce any result at all simply by changing the model inputs to produce the desired result.
Essentially his model requires the pre-Flood lithosphere (read ocean floor), to be denser than the underlying mantle. This would cause the ocean floor to sink - the heat released in the process would decrease the viscosity of the mantle and start the runaway process.
He claims; all the original lithosphere became subducted, rising magma replaced it, this raised the ocean floor, caused sea levels to rise, and boiled off enough of the ocean to cause 40-150 days of rain. Then, when everything cooled off, the ocean floor lowered again, and the flood waters receded. He further claims sedimentary mountains such as the Sierras and Andes all arose post flood via isostatic rebound.
Baumgardner's model is NOT realistic - and he has admitted as much at the ICC (International Conference on Creationism) - you have to invoke miracles to get it to work.
For example he uses properties of rock in terms of specific heat, thermal conduction, thermal gradients, tensile strength, shear strength, compressive failure, dynamic loading and mass density profiles that have NO relation to the actual values for these properties of basalt and granite (the two basic types of crustal rock). Some of the values he uses for these constants differ DRAMATICALLY from reality.
If you doubt this let's review a few specifics.
Earth's magnetic field cycle:
The earth's magnetic field goes through a pole reversal cycle. Numerous reversal cycles have been "caught" in rock layers around the world. The process itself takes about 10,000 years, but repeats about every 500,000 years. Again - remember that our Sun does this very thing every 11 years as part of the solar cycle!
Ocean floor sedimentation buildup:
Even though the currently measurable ocean floor buildup does not show a 4 billion year plus buildup (due to ocean floor recycling and spreading)... it certainly indicates age well into the millions of years.
River delta buildups:
The Mississippi delta is about 7 miles thick and covers much of the south central U.S. Clearly this shows incredible age.
Stalactite/stalagmite formations in caves:
These formations are formed by a very slow process of water percolating down and depositing calcium. You cannot accelerate this process with the flood or any other means. Increasing the water flow stops the formation - it kind of precipitates out through partial evaporation. Growth rates are seen to be pretty consistent - In the Carlsbad caverns for example the growth rate is 10cm per 1,000 years... This translates into a 3 meter stalactite taking 30,000 years to form! Clearly the massive structures that adorn our famous caves have taken many many times more than 6,000 years to form
Young earth rebuttal: There are stalactites forming under man made concrete structures like bridges... Since they are built recently by man, there is clearly a way these can form rapidly.
Old earth reaffirmation: This is another one that sounds very convincing at first blush to the layman, but does not hold up to just a little scrutiny. Many bridges are built using Portland cement (a man made substance rich in minerals that are water soluble). These minerals in the man made cement can leach out rapidly under the right conditions. This however, is an entirely different chemical process at work. The two are in no way even related. The real issue is there are NO formations occurring rapidly in nature through the calcium carbonate process. Oh, and here is another not so minor point that you NEVER see addressed by young earthers - what of the structures in huge places like the Carlsbad Caverns and Mammoth Cave? The point being, you need to allow time for the huge caves to form before you can even start on the formation contained within the cave! The caves took more time to form than the formations did. The Carlsbad Caverns were once solid calcium carbonate. They were slowly eaten out, little by little, by carbonic acid to create the cave structure you see today. Now for the real mind blower... the solid calcium carbonate the caverns was carved from itself also needs time to form. The more common name for the calcium carbonate it is eaten out from is limestone. The limestone itself takes much time to form as it is a sedimentary rock (meaning it is formed from the deposits of other erosional activity). To postulate that the limestone was deposited and hardened to allow the Carlsbad Caverns to be slowly eaten away, and only then, all the subsequent stalactite/stalagmite formations got to their present sizes - ALL in a few thousand years is beyond any and all scientific credulity!
It's incredible erosion depth and layers worn by obvious water erosion in the red wall - where those particular layers were once on the earth's surface.
Young earth rebuttal: Young Earthers claim that Mount Saint Helens proves that all geologic formations can happen rapidly! They point to the gorge cut out by lava and the layers that resemble the sedimentation that old Earth geologists claim took millions of years to form.
Old earth reaffirmation: I have read much material on this, and I have the popular video by ICR's Steve Austin. The Mount Saint Helens data is GREATLY exaggerated. It is even implied that it can explain the geologic record at large! It is painfully inadequate in explaining even the Grand Canyon! There are not the same types of layers formed - not even close. There are no limestone deposits (made from marine fossils) like found at Grand Canyon. Neither are there other typical sedimentary layers like sandstone, or shale. Further, there are many layers within the Grand Canyon that show erosion (where they were once at the surface) - Mount Saint Helens does not show this. Neither do you get a host of organisms with greater and greater complexity stacked upon one another as you move up thorough the layers. There are no genuine fossils of animals within the recent layers either. It's not even a comparison. The main point it makes is on the catastrophic deposit of the trees and claims this is ground breaking news when in actuality scientists are well aware of catastrophic tree deposits within the geologic record. He further says that this not only explains the petrified forests of Yellowstone but explains the formation of coal. If this is true... Why are there no coal deposits at Yellowstone?
Layers of salt evaporate deposits:
These are recurring formations hundreds of feet thick, well beneath the earth's surface, covered by sedimentary rock.
Coral reef structures:
Miles thick structures that grow through a biological process that takes a VERY long time. There is no way to speed up this process - it's biological. It is a fragile delicate shallow water process that has each layer of coral growing on the dead skeletal remains of the prior generation. Typical growth rates are around 1mm per year with a maximum of about 8mm per year. Now consider that the Great Bahama Bank is 18,000 feet thick (over 3 miles)! It has been measured to grow at the miniscule rate of .25mm per year... Even if we apply the typical rate of 1mm per year (4 times the currently measured rate) it would take over 5 million years to form, And even if we apply the highest rates ever observed and keep that rate constant (against all logic) it would take over six hundred and twenty five thousand years to form. Oh, did I mention that the entire reef sits atop an ancient extinct volcano?
Varves are alternating thin colored layers preserved in shale or limestone that form in fresh water lakes and rivers. Simply put these layers come in pairs representing the spring deposits in the first layer with the rest of the year represented in the second layer of the pair. These layers are typically 1mm thick and differ in color and content. The spring deposits can be distinguished by various pollens and such preserved within that layer, contrasted with the lack of those deposits contained in the second layer covering the rest of the year's deposits. These alternating layers are so reliable they can be used just like tree rings (annual rings in tree trunks). Now consider that the Green River varves in Colorado contain over 20 million of these annual deposit pairs! Repeating patterns have been identified at 11 year intervals at one end, all the way up to 26,000 year intervals at the other, representing the 11 year solar cycle and 26,000 year earth precession cycle (wobble of it's rotation) respectively. Radiometric dating has also been used to confirm the reliability of the annual varve deposits. This represents 3 independent means to cross check the varve indicator of age... The solar cycle, earth's precession, radiometric dating, and varves themselves are all in agreement. Contrary to YEC claims there are a great many indicators of age that are all in agreement with each other.
Young earth rebuttal: The Varves are not annual deposits, but were created by the process of shallow turbidity currents during the flood and pose no proof of great age. Also, fish are found protruding through more than one layer and therefore these layers must have been laid down rapidly.
Old earth reaffirmation: Turbity currents sound impressive and I have seen this material displayed (intentionally) in a very technical manner. What the YECs fail to tell their readers is that this phenomenon is almost exclusively limited to underwater landslides occurring in the ocean! Moreover, since they believe this activity occurred during the flood - it all has to take place during a single year. Why is this so devastating? Remember that there are over 20 million pair - that's 40 million layers. This means that for all of this to have happened in a year you need a deposition rate of about three layers every two seconds! Not only that but they have to happen in a perfect alternating light/dark fashion to simulate the seasonal deposits just like we see forming today. As for the fish fossils preserved in more than one layer - this is an extremely rare occurrence. By far, most fish fossils are contained within one layer. What is most important is that this process has been observed to be happening today. Rarely a fish is to big to be covered up completely by one layer and it will take two or possibly more to completely bury the remains. Since this can be seen to be happening today it would be rather foolish to demand that it happened differently in the past.
Existence of coal:
Coal can be found in many layers.... takes a long time to form... and is made of plants. Coal is a fossil fuel. Most coal is millions of years old. Diamonds also attest to this process.
Young earth rebuttal: It does not take millions of years to form coal - Mt. St. Helens produced coal very rapidly.
Old earth reaffirmation: Contrary to YEC claims - you cannot just "cook up" coal. It is true that lava cooked some trees into a very poor grade of charcoal. However, even though charcoal may look like coal to the untrained eye, it is very different chemically from coal. True coal is only formed by the slow process of turning organic peat into coal. It is also VERY noteworthy that even though coal is organic matter (made up of carbon) it cannot be carbon dated. Prior living matter (even charcoal from ancient fires) can be dated up to about 50,000 years... There is NO detectable carbon-14 in coal. The only conclusion is that it is well over 50,000 years old and all the carbon-14 has decayed!
Existence of petroleum products:
Like coal, petroleum products take a very long time to form... are the byproducts of living organisms, and were already available in Noah's time as he used them to waterproof the ark (see Gen 6:14).
Young earth rebuttal: "Pitch" (as it is translated in the King James) might be tree resin, or sap, and need not refer to petroleum/bitumen type products. Tree resin has been used in ship building.
Old earth reaffirmation: Although it is true that (in relatively modern times) tree resin has been used in ship building, I know of no sources for the claim that the Bible here is speaking of tree resin other than the conjecture of a few young earth creationists. The Hebrew word for the water proofing material is "kopher"; Bible translations, commentaries, dictionaries, and lexicons all define "kopher" as some type of bitumen. For example:
"mineral pitch, asphalt, naphtha, or some bituminous substance, which, when smeared over and become hardened, would make it perfectly watertight."
"a cover , i . e . (literally a village (as covered in ; (specifically bitumen (as used for coating , and the henna plant (as used for dyeing ; figuratively , a redemption-price :-- bribe , camphire , pitch , ransom , satisfaction , sum of money, village".
Combined note on coal and oil:
The amount of coal and oil existing today greatly exceeds what could have been produced by decaying plants and animals in a short few thousand years. It is naive to think that today's coal and oil came from the buried remains of Noah's antediluvian world. Most simply have no idea how much raw material would have been required, especially for the oil deposits.
Coal and oil are very important economic resources, as a result geologists have worked hard to estimate how much of these resources exist. There is data published by Hunt indicating that the carbon in the coal alone is 50 times that in the entire present biosphere! Further, the carbon in all oil deposits is over 600 times that in the entire present biosphere! The YEC recognize this, here is their response - Massive floating forests! I'm not kidding check this out for yourself at: http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/4046.asp
The expansion of the universe:
The universe is expanding. The further away an object (such as a galaxy), the faster it is receding. Further, we see that it is expanding in all directions... this indicates it originated from a common point (the creation point). If we run the "clock" backwards we can estimate the age with the simple equation time = distance/velocity. Einstein's theory of relativity predicted an expanding universe... at the time the universe was thought to be stationary. So he doubted his results and inserted a "fudge factor". Without this factor it melds perfectly with the expanding universe we see today (15-20 billion years old). Remember too all the Biblical references to "stretching out the heavens".
Confirmations of the vastness and age of the universe:
If we see a galaxy 10 billion light years away... The speed of light mandates that it must have existed at least 10 billion years ago. These distances have been confirmed through a number of methods (i.e. geometry, red shift, spectral spreading, gravitational lensing, general relativity, nucleochronology, etc.) To deny the great distances to the objects we see - is to deny reality.
Young earth rebuttal: Some young earthers claim the light was created in transit... this basically centers around the "appearance of age" theory. They proclaim that the stars and galaxies are indeed great distances from us but God created the light in place.
There have also been attempts to claim that the speed of light is not constant.
Russell Humphreys has developed a white hole theory that claims to make a young earth possible.
Old earth reaffirmation: Regarding the light being created in transit... This again places God in the role of a counterfeiter, as the light would have never come from the star or galaxy. And He would have to falsify the "movie" (history) we are watching from earth. This theory would force the following example. In February of 1987 astronomers saw a supernova explosion of a star 160,000 light years distant (a real event). Now you are in then uncomfortable position of having to decide if the star ever really existed... or were we just fooled into thinking it blew up? This is because if the light we have been watching from there for the last 6,000 years was created in place - we would have been witnessing a false history, like a fake filmstrip created in space - with the real light it emitted taking another 154,000 years to get here!
Regarding the speed of light slowing down... Most get this from Australian young earth astronomer Barry Setterfield. He claimed a slow down in the speed of light - but he represented the numbers wrong. He cited Roemer in 1675 and Bradley in 1728 as 'clocking' the speed of light at 301,300 and 301,000 kilometers-per-second, respectively. Yet the REAL historical figures were, in fact, Roemer at 214,300 kilometers-per-second and Bradley at 295,000 kilometers-per-second. Had Setterfield reported these figures accurately, he would have demonstrated that the speed of light increased over the past 300 years, instead! Is light speeding up... No. It is true that variations in the speed of light have been reported - but, these prior variations in measuring the speed were due to inaccuracies in the measuring attributable to the technological limitations of the period. If the speed of light had slowed over time - there would be observable consequences - For instance the further away an object was, the slower it's apparent motions would be... This is not the case! Here is another BIG one for contemplation - if red shift is attributable to the speed of light slowing down... how is it that some objects have a blue shift? This would have light speeding up - a clear increase in energy and in complete violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The real reason some objects have a blue shift is because of local conditions (such as several galaxies combined gravitational pull) causing these galaxies to move toward one another as opposed as away from one another. This is a exception and not the rule and is perfectly consistent with the shift of the lights frequency being related to its motion. The slow down in the speed of light theory is completely at a loss to explain the blue shift, for if you accept the blue shift - you HAVE to accept the red shift. It's the same process - just in the opposite direction. This rules out ALL theories having red shift attributable to a changing speed of light. We have been bouncing laser light of off the Moon for decades... This and other tests have shown the speed of light to be completely constant. Further, relativity is the best-proven theory science has... and it mandates a constant speed for light.
Regarding Russell Humphreys theory... Many have pointed out errors in the theory. It's couched in highly technical terms - I think this is used as a ploy to sound sophisticated and authoritative. Most Christians are not capable of following the highly technical arguments for and against - so I think it's best to concentrate on what it claims. When you boil it down it basically accepts all of the standard Big Bang model. The initial singularity of the big bang is replaced with a white hole from which the entire universe is spewed. We are further claimed to be in a privileged position (close to where the white hole was). The result is the universe is as old as the rest of secular science believes it is, but allows for a 6,000 year old earth. Ironically it's a cosmological theory with only terrestrial consequences! Further, to get this model to harmonize with Genesis, requires them to employ a 'literal reading' of Genesis in a manner that the old Earther's receive tremendous criticism for! This is how far some are willing to go to 'prove' the young earth. It should be noted that his theory totally relies on clocks (all types of clocks) running many orders of magnitude slower on Earth than in the rest of the universe. It is therefore very damaging that he fails to explain how so many "clocks" on Earth still show an incredible passage of time... Such as radiometric decay which takes over a billion years to transpire!
Combined note on Setterfield and Humphreys:
You don't have to take it from me that these theories are found wanting... Read this paper (at ICR) authored by their fellow young Earth astronomer Danny Faulkner - THE CURRENT STATE OF CREATION ASTRONOMY: http://www.icr.org/index.php?module=research&action=index&page=researchp_df_r01 and also this one by John Hartnett - A New Cosmology: http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/magazines/tj/docs/v17n2_cosmology.pdf
The background radiation:
This is one of the most powerful proofs for the big bang theory. A general background of radiation with a measurable temperature was predicted (initially by George Gamow) before it was discovered. Further it was discovered by 2 scientists accidentally (Penzias and Wilson) - they thought they were picking up some kind of "noise" in their instruments, they subsequently received the Nobel Prize for Physics for their discovery! Further study of this background radiation has born out exactly according to predictions. This is what makes a theory powerful - predicting things that later prove to be true - just like Biblical prophecy does. It is the left over heat from the moment of creation and is consistent with a universe that is billions of years old.
Young earth rebuttal: The YEC community criticize the COBE's (satellite used to measure the radiation and variations) fluctuations as manufactured. There have been MANY critical comments regarding the "supposed" fluctuations being beyond the instruments precision - and that statistical games had to be played to get the expected variations. Therefore they discredited the entire issue of the microwave background radiation (MBR) and it's "manufactured" fluctuations.
Old earth reaffirmation: The COBE data can no longer be dismissed (not that it ever really could have). In June 2001, NASA launched the MAP satellite (since renamed WMAP for Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe) a 145 million dollar joint project of NASA and Princeton university. This satelite can measure temperature flucuations in much higher resolution, 35 times in fact - all the way down to a millionth of a degree! In mid Feburary 2003, NASA released the first results and they are spectacular - they completely confirm and underscore the earlier measurements of COBE. You can see an over under image of the two satellites (WMAP vs. COBE) here at NASA - the correlation is SPECTACULAR - I think anyone would agree.
The age of our sun and other stars:
The sun's temperature, luminosity, spectral line emissions, radius, and mass, all dictate an energy source through converting hydrogen into helium (nuclear fusion) for about 5 billion years. It further indicates that this fusion should proceed for about another 5 billion years. These same methods can be applied to other stars. These estimates are not arbitrary - they are deeply rooted in physics. Simply put - we can determine the mass of the star by measuring its gravitational effects on nearby stars and planets... and this combined with its color and brightness and what we know about nuclear processes will give us its age. Using these techniques, the oldest stars are measured to be billions of years old.
Another issue is: Given that we have now measured the mass of the Sun, that we also now know it's composition, and that nuclear reactions are what powers the Sun - we can determine how long it will last. Why is this notable... how does it differ from what is stated above? Consider that this means it is now beyond dispute that the Sun has enough material to last for billions of years - even if you believe the universe was young! The significance is, if the young earthers were correct - don't you think that's a EXTREME amount of potential energy (material & life) for man's needs (by their time scale)? Why would God give us enough material to have a Sun for billions of years if we were only to be here for thousands? I know of NO theologians who think man will be here for billions of years from now - and the Sun obviously will not last for eternity... I think if God created an energy source DESIGNED to last for billions of years - it was because He needed to provide energy for His creation that long! Not only that, but if the Sun was formed according to anywhere near how our stellar models dictate - the Sun has to be billions of years old to provide the stable and properly composed spectrum and intensity we need. It is one of the fine tuning proofs for creation now recognized by intelligent design proponents!
We can gauge the age of the universe based on the amount and types of radioactive elements that are both existing and not existing. Simply put the short-lived ones (with half-lives in the millions of years) are gone... while the long lived ones (with half-lives in the billions of years) are still present. This indicates a universe in the billions of years old. For further details see radioactive dating below.
Dust on the moon:
Measurements made on the moon itself show 2.5 inches of dust on the moon. Measurements also show 11 thousand tons of material falling onto the moon per year. This equates to 1.2 of the 2.5 inches. When you allow for additional material deposited there by large meteorites (as proved by the large craters we see there today) it is just what you would expect for a 4.5 billion year old moon.
Craters on the moon, other planets, and earth:
On the moon they imply a vast history of meteorite activity. Craters overlay craters that overlay craters. The frequency of impacts is very low. If the entire crater history were in the last few thousand years we would have noticed these tremendous impacts. There are also numerous craters on the earth with proof of countless ages on top of them.
Star cluster distribution:
In order for stars in a cluster to remain together, the overall gravity of the system must be strong enough to overcome the velocities of the individual stars within the cluster. If the gravity is too weak, the cluster will drift apart. These calculations indicate ages for star clusters in the billions of years.
Scientific theories and calculations show that spiral structure within galaxies should "smear out" within 5 rotations. And these rotations take several hundred million years each. From some of the spirals we see today, we can tell they have been rotating for millions of years. how is this? It's the spiral pattern themselves. It's like watching water go down the drain - like water spirals down into the drain - a galaxy's material spirals down into the gravity well of the core. The spiral pattern can be thought of as a kind of contrail depicting the history of the individual differing orbits of the stars smoothed out across a VERY long spiral pattern/trail. This DEMANDS much time to have elapsed without God artificially creating all these objects mid orbit with the artificial appearance of much time passing to get to it's present stage! Further, some of them have degraded to the point they are no longer spirals - and dictates age in the billions of years.
This is probably one of the areas that get written about the most. Young earth creationists usually devote an entire chapter of their books to its alleged problems - often imaginary or greatly exaggerated. Since the dates being measured can be in the billions of years, and there is a margin of error, the dates can be off by more years than the young earth creationists believe the earth to be. This leads them to laugh at the error being stated as +/- x million years... well that's because we are dealing with billions of years of history. An analogy would be young earthers counting how many thousandths of an inch a major interstate had, while the rest of us were counting the miles!
Radiometric dating is basically measuring the amount of decay in a radioactive element. Radioactive is just that - it is actively radiating energy. When this energy is radiated away it will change into another element. This process is measured in terms of "half life" - which refers to the amount of time required for there to only be half of the original element present. After another half-life there is only half of that original half left (or 1/4) - this continues on down the line. With carbon 14 dating for example if an item was dated to 11,540 years, it would only have 1/4 of the original carbon 14 which means that it had gone through 2 half life periods (5770 + 5770 = 11,540 years). You can only go back about 10 half-lives before there is so little of the original material left - you can't measure it.
The way it works is kind of simple. Think of the analogy of a solar system, pretend at specified rate planet orbits decay to the point that they drift away - this is similar to what happens to the atoms of these radioactive elements. The orbits of the atom particles are not stable long term - they have a shelf life if you will (the half-life). Nothing on this earth is forever - it will eventually decay. If fact, we have discovered that the entire universe is literally wearing out just as depicted in the Bible (Isiah 51:56). God has created the laws of physics, wound up the universe and is letting it run down... we can even measure this wearing down... it's called entropy. Radioactive decay is proof of this wearing down. Radioactive decay too supports the Bible.
I will briefly cover 2 of the main type of radioactive dating here - there are others and they are getting more accurate all the time.
Carbon 14 dating has a half-life of 5,770 years. It decays into nitrogen 14. It is only useful for measuring the age of prior living matter. The amount of initial carbon 14 can be determined by the amount of carbon 12 still present (which does not decay within the useful range). Ages can be determined up to 50,000 years (age since man) with an approximate 15% error rate. Carbon 14 has been cross-referenced with tree rings to achieve a very high degree of accuracy for ages up to 9,000 years. Carbon 14 dating has helped prove the age of events in the Bible - it is not something to be feared.
Potassium-Argon dating measures the rate of breakdown of potassium 40. It has a half-life of 1.3 billion years. It decays into argon 40. It is useful for dating only volcanic matter form the millions to billions of years with a plus minus date of 50,000 years.
There are no very good ways to date things (radioactively) in the "in between" age of 50,000 years to a million years. They are working on it.
The notion that radioactive decay proceeded at a different rate in the past is impossible! Radioactive decay is by definition a nuclear process. Any conditions such as temperature, pressure, radiation, etc. strong enough to alter the atomic decay rate, would completely destroy whatever it is that you are trying to date (such as a fossil or its surrounding sedimentary deposits).
The only issues are the amount of original parent material, and possible contamination.
Young earth rebuttal: The evidence for radiometric dating is weak - there is little (if any) evidence for actual decay - and even if it occurred, the rate of decay could have been higher in the past (for example during the flood). A special young earth group of scientists (RATE) has been put together that openly challenges the wisdom of conventional science on radiometric dating.
Old earth reaffirmation: The RATE group has had much difficulty explaining away the problem of radiometric dating. In fact, in their most recent findings - they make some powerful admissions. They now freely admit that much radiometric decay has indeed irrefutably taken place. They further admit you can't simply appeal to the geological processes (read the flood) to solve this difficult problem.
Check out these quotes from the most recent RATE (pro YEC) paper:
"Others had tried—and for some, the search went on for a while in the early RATE days—to find the answer in geological processes. But Drs Humphreys and Baumgardner realized that there were too many independent lines of evidence (the variety of elements used in ‘standard’ radioisotope dating, mature uranium radiohalos, fission track dating and more) that indicated that huge amounts of radioactive decay had actually taken place. It would be hard to imagine that geologic processes could explain all these. Rather, there was likely to be a single, unifying answer that concerned the nuclear decay processes themselves."And what about this one this one...
"By measuring the amount of uranium and ‘radiogenic lead’ in these crystals, one can calculate that, if the decay rate has been constant, about 1.5 billion years must have passed. (This is consistent with the geologic ‘age’ assigned to the granites in which these zircons are found.)"Source:
Job is the oldest book in the Bible. In this verse, Job is asked, "Wast thou made before the hills?" Is it logical that Job would have been asked this question of digging sarcasm had he thought the age of the hills and man - were virtually the same, separated by a mere five days?
There is evidence of deep time contained within the Genesis genealogies. There are more names mentioned after the flood than before the flood, even though before the flood should account for a longer time period at the time when Moses would have been writing Genesis. And evidence for huge gaps exist in even the more extensive list. Take for example Noah's son that went on board the ark with him... he (Ham) is listed in a very manner of fact way as being the father of Mizraim. Why is this notable? Well, many (if not most) readers are unaware that Mizraim is the Hebrew word for "double straits", it is significant because this was the Hebrew name for the two (upper and lower) Egypts. It obviously refers to the two sides of the Nile river. Do you see why this is significant now? How many generations would it have taken to have established all of upper and lower Egypt? Think of the ancient rich history of Egypt... all the millenia of just recorded history, the kings lists, the many many years of Pre-Dynastic history that me have no record of - but have their monuments... all being referred to here by way of a single grandson of Noah - there is deep time here associated with this single name - and all of it is ascribed to the time frame after the flood!
In this verse the mountains are described as "everlasting," the hills are "perpetual." The Hebrew words "ad" and "owlam" mean long duration, ancient, forever, and continuous existence.
Consider this verse: "Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us." Could "any thing" include the old earth dispute?
2 Peter 3:3-8
Here is my absolute personal favorite passage for the Bible depicting an old earth. Somewhat ironically the young earthers also use this passage to fight an old earth! They cite it only because they have been told that it shoots down the "straw man" of "uniformatarianism". This word is another touchstone for them... just like evolution.
I think there are a great number of young earth Christians out there that must think science is based completely on uniformatarianism (the idea that nothing changes). Science is all to aware that things do the following: yes some stay the same, some change linearly, some change exponentially, some in cycles sinusoidally, etc. I suppose the young earthers have to leave their houses carefully, watching out for the sudden reversal of gravity that may send them floating out into space!
This passage basically tells us that Christ is coming - but it's on His timetable. And His time is a very long time to us. In the process of making this point though the Creations great age is declared - in a very emphatic way. I have put the key phrases in bold.
It's worth noting that many great Christians throughout history have thought Christ's return was eminent during their lifetime.
2 Peter 3:3-8 (in its entirety)
"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."
Several things are clear about this verse:
Here are several passages that I believe refer back... to the ancient Creation days (the "days" of Genesis 1):
"Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee? Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will show thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee."
"I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times."
"I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands."
Those infamous days in Genesis:
Young earthers strictly enforce the "days of creation" in Genesis chapter 1 consisting of six 24-hr time periods. From absolutely nothing to: the universe, all galaxies, all stars, the earth, moon, sun, plants, animals, man, the garden, Eve, and Adam naming all the animals in less than one week (144 literal hours)!
Further there was only one creation - unless you appeal to a non-biblical prior one that is never mentioned. The creation would include EVERYTHING. All the items listed above, PLUS the angels. The Bible states that angels are created beings - it further states we are created "a little lower than the angels" (Psalm 8:4-5).
Young earthers tend to put the temptation of Eve on the 6th day (Based on Genesis 2). This means Lucifer's fall (he was once an arc angel) and the subsequent "war in heaven" was all over prior to man's fall - as Satan was waiting in the garden to tempt Eve. If we believe the Bible quite literally - then God had a bad week wouldn't you say? All hell broke loose in less than 144 hours!
Let's look a little closer at Satan's fall. In Ezekiel 28:14-15, we are told he was the "anointed cherub," was "on the holy mountain of God," and was "perfect in his ways" from the day he was created until "iniquity" was found in him. His heart was "lifted up" because of his "beauty." When Satan fell one third of the heavenly hosts fell with him (Revelation 12:3-4).
In Revelation 12:7-9, we learn there was actually "war in heaven." Satan fought against "Michael and his angels," was ultimately defeated and "cast out into the earth."
How long would all of this taken? How long would it take one of God's newly created "perfect" angels to be overcome with himself and full of pride to the point of challenging God? How long would it take for him to convince a third of the other newly created angels to follow him and even make war with Michael? How long would this war have lasted? I don't know about you, but I bet it's more than 144 of our hours!
Here are some other fine points against 24-hr days.
The sun, moon, and the stars were not "assigned to be the timekeepers" until the fourth "day".
The fact that our time accounting is tied to and inseparable from the celestial objects in our solar system cannot be overstated... Consider the following:
The Day comes from the apparent motion of the Sun (but is actually the interval it takes for the Earth to revolve once about its axis).
The week represents the approximate quarter phase positions of the Moon. Did you know that even the days of the week are named after solar system objects? They are named after the Sun, the Moon, and the five then known planets (Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn respectively). SUNday, MONday, and SATURday survive to this day. The rest have the Germanic equivalent names for the gods represented by Mars ("Tiw's day"/Tuesday), Mercury ("Woden's day"/Wednesday), Jupiter ("Thor's day"/Thursday), and Venus ("Freya or Frigg's day"/Friday).
Our month and the very word month comes from Moon (MOONth), and represents the time interval it takes for the Moon to traverse its 4 phase cycle. There are 12 of these lunar phase cycles in a Year.
And last, but not least, our year (and it's 4 seasons) represent the time it takes for the Earth to complete one revolution about the Sun!
It would appear we cannot keep track of time without the Sun, Mo n, and our Earth's journey through the solar system!
We must be careful not to claim our clocks run on the same standard as God's clock! The writer of Genesis can only make a record when someone tells him how to keep time. The "clock" we are given for keeping time by in Genesis is the motion of sun, moon and stars for an observer on earth, and since this method of tracking time (we still use solar system movements to track time) was not yet assigned, you cannot by definition assign a 24-hr solar day to the first 3 days at the least. Consistency would argue against any of them being 24-hr days.
In 'light' of this - Young earthers appeal for a source of light on one side of the Earth: acting as a Sun, providing the same amount of light as the Sun, shines on each side for 12-hrs like the Sun, but is not actually the Sun! Are we to believe God used a giant cosmic spotlight to light up the Earth for a mere 72 hours until He could ignite the sun? Doesn't this cast God's creation in a somewhat artificial light ? The only answer is that the Sun and Moon are created in Genesis 1:1, remember God created light (the Sun) on the first 'day'. I don't think God needs a flashlight to get his work done... what about you? Sarcasm aside for the moment, this really is an argument for a 2 Sun model - not only that but a 2 Moon model... for both, and more are required for our stable orbit, tides, days, and nights. This would seem to make God rather short sighted - having to provide multiple mechanisms for his creation one way initially, change his mind, and then have to go through subsequent multiple creation steps to provide for it in a totally different way. Does this make ANY sense?
Too much happens on the sixth day:
In Genesis chapter 1 we are told that all the land mammals and both Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day. In Genesis 2 we are given much more detail. A lot happened between Adam and Eve's creation. God plants a garden (Eden), God places Adam in the garden, all kinds of trees grow forth from the ground (again, remember it takes years for them to mature and bear fruit), Adam receives instructions on caring for the Garden, Adam starts his caring for the garden, he then studies and names all the animals, Adam seeing that the animals have mates... longs for one of his own, God puts Adam in a deep sleep, Adam gets his operation, he recovers, God introduces Eve to him, Adam proclaims her "bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh", God now gives them all His instructions (including filling the earth - I'm sure Adam's first few hours with Eve were, well, interesting - I think any man would pass on the animal naming for a while), and most also place the temptation of Eve and man's fall all on the daylight portion of this single 24-hr day! Whew what a day! One more thing... why did Adam have to care for the garden before Eve is created on the 6th day? Especially since it's less than 6 "days" old... actually (according to the young earth view) it's less than 1 "day" old.
Lets go back and think a bit more about Adams creation... most envision that Adam was created an adult. This may or not be the case - it's an assumption - the Bible is silent as to Adam's created "age". Man raises children, would not the almighty be capable? Even if Adam was created an adult... would he have been created both speaking and recognizing speech? And further, not just recognize words but a full understanding and comprehension of language? Was he born with a gardeners skills, and how to make tools? For if not, how long would Adam's "education" have lasted? More than a single day I bet. Most recognize this problem, and argue that Adam was somehow a genius or even super human. There is no Biblical basis for this and in fact the Bible seems to indicate the exact opposite. Genesis in fact, has his knowledge purposely and intentionally "limited" by God! He was much more child like I imagine (mentally, even if not physically). He didn't even know about good and evil! His knowledge had to have limits (hence the tree of "knowledge" of good and evil). the Bible even says "his eyes were opened"
Let's not forget that Genesis implies (Genesis 3:8) that Adam had walks and talks with God. He had to be given instructions as to his responsibilities in the garden etc. If God had "prewired" him with all the memories of how to understand and utter speech... why stop there? Implant into his mind ALL that he should know... if you instill any pre-knowledge at all - why subsequently resort to less efficient methods (spoken instructions)?
Let's now go back to the creation of Eve for a moment. Eve is arguably created "fully functional". So you might demand consistency that Adam was too (created an adult)... again this is an assumption. We DO know that Eve is created differently... as Adam is formed from the dust of the ground, whereas Eve is created from a part of Adams side (rib is a mistranslation). It would seem plausible that Eve may have been something akin to a rapid clone where God uses Adam's DNA to create Eve... I'm not making this up Genesis says she is "made" from Adam. Surrounding all this is a Biblical indication that Eve is not created right away (at least not the same day). Genesis 2:23 says, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh ..." The word "now" in this passage is the Hebrew word "pa am". It is usually translated as "now at length" or "at last." This is a case where some of the meaning is lost in translation. This word would be appropriate only after a long wait - it would not be appropriate if Eve came along a mere few hours or minutes after Adam's own creation.
The 7th day is not 24-hrs:
The seventh day in Genesis 1 and 2 is not closed out like the other six are. The "evening and morning" phrase is missing.
All the other "days" however long they were, definitely had a start and end to them. This day is NEVER closed out anywhere in the Bible - in fact the only other references to this "day", are talking about how it continues to today! Consider the two following passages:
Sample from Hebrews 4 verse 4-5 (read the whole chapter though)
"For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest."
Sample from Psalm 95 verse 11 (read the whole chapter though)
"Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest."
It would seem that there is an ongoing rest for the people of God. This indicates, that the seventh "day" of the creation week has carried on through the ages, especially when coupled with the lack of closure on the 7th "day" in Genesis. It would be consistent then, given that the seventh day was a long period of time - the other six "days" would have been too.
Jesus himself portrays the ongoing Sabbath day. In John chapter 5 verses 17, Jesus is arguing with the Jewish religious leaders about healing people on the Sabbath (that is, the seventh day). His response is (John 5:17 NLT):
"My Father never stops working, so why should I?"
The point of this statement is easily missed... we readily see the claim by Jesus that God is his Father - and this claim itself was deeply offensive to the Jews. But most miss the main point He was making... that it was alright for him to work on the Sabbath (by healing people) because God, his Father, was still at work on his sabbath. There is no point to Jesus's argument unless both He, and the Jewish religious leaders, believed that God's 'sabbath' was still continuing even as He spoke.
Genesis itself has the creation "day" being longer than a literal day:
"These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,"
This is a summary of the creation account. In this verse the word day (Hebrew "yom") refers to all the "days" of creation. In Hebrew the word for generations "toledah" always refers to a long time period, never to anything as short as 144 hours, further, the plural form is used, demanding a series of long time periods. It has been used to refer to the time God has existed. Consider Ecclesiastes 1:4
"One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever."
We are informed explicitly and repeatedly, both in Old and New Testaments, that God's time is not to be confused with man's time. God's clock alone was running during the creation. A studious person could conclude that one of God's creation "days" was not a regular simple 24-hour period from the scriptural evidence alone... when you weigh in the scientific evidence, making the case convincingly for an ancient earth, I see no other conclusion.
This is only a rough sketch. Unlike the young earth chronology - it is not meant to be a rigid law that must be followed if you are to believe in an old earth. There is some possible flexibility within the creation account itself, as the order of creation does not follow exactly the same between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2.
This is only to give you an idea of a possible time line. Remarkable agreement exits between the scientific view and the biblical view if you just simply make the "days" longer than a simple 24-hr day.
15-20 billion years ago (Genesis 1:1) The beginning
5-6 billion years ago (Genesis 1:2)
4.6 billion years ago (Genesis 1:3) 1st Day Starts
4.5 billion years ago (Genesis 1:4)
4 billion years ago (Genesis 1:6) 2nd Day starts
2.5 billion years ago (Genesis 1:6) 3rd Day starts
1-2 billion years ago (Genesis 1:11)
1 billion years ago (Genesis 1:14) 4th Day starts
500 million years ago (Genesis 1:20) 5th Day starts
500 million years ago (Genesis 1:20) 6th Day starts
10-50 thousand years ago (Genesis 1:26)
Intelligent Design (or simply ID) is becoming a popular hot topic amongst Christians. For the first time (in a long time) Christians are making intellectual arguments that are making waves even within the scientific community.
Basically, the ID movement is a modern rebirth of much older teleological arguments. I feel these arguments for the existence of a designer (God) to have been given the best shove forward they have seen in over 200 years.
For example, I like William Paley's "watchmaker" argument. In 1802 William Paley wrote Natural Theology. In this work, he presented an argument for the existence of God based on perceived design in the world. He begins by stating that if one walks across a field and sees a stone it would be rather absurd to ask how the stone came to be there. Conversely, if during your walk in the field you came across a pocket watch (recently invented in Paley's time) it would be reasonable to ask how it came to be there. The point being recognizing the unnaturalness or non-randomness of the watch. How upon studying the watch - one could discern it as a machine bearing clear traits of design, such as the recognition of specificity of form, fit, function, purpose - even beauty. How could one possibly ignore or dismiss all the mechanics of numerous parts such as gears, springs, bearings, etc., all functioning together to move in a very precise way as to indicate the passage of time? The implication being that if there was a watch - there had to be a watchmaker!
Paley's watchmaker argument is beautiful in it's simplicity and clarity of thought. It was persuasive with many for over 50 years. The strongest rebuttals of Paley's argument centered around how a watch is not a good analogy to life - the fact that one is a machine and one is not. This eventually led to wide spread belief in the fallacy of the argument. In 1859, most thought Darwin had finally and completely refuted Paley in his Origin of Species.
Well, enter the 20th century! Modern scientific advancements and instruments such as the electron microscope along with work from scientists such as Professor of Biochemistry Michael Behe's Darwin's Black Box - have "resurrected" Paley's argument anew!
In Darwin's time the cell could not be probed - and was assumed to be extremely simple, basically a blob of protoplasm. Darwin could have not been more wrong - contrary to previous assumptions, life at the cellular level has proven extremely complex. So complex in fact, that Michael Behe has coined the term "Irreducible complexity" to refer to the tiny bio-mechanical structures found inside the cell - Paley's original argument has been vindicated! Behe's irreducible complexity forms a powerful argument against naturalistic Darwinian evolution.
Extremely small machines (at the molecular level) have indeed been identified inside the cell. Here are two great resources to see what this is about:
1. For an on-line example check out Access Research Network's page dedicated to Behe's Bacterial Flagellum Motor here: http://www.arn.org/docs/mm/flagellum_all.htm.
2. There is also a fantastic video available called Unlocking the Mystery of Life. You can check it out (including clips) here: http://www.illustramedia.com/umolinfo.htm.
Other interesting areas of ID research:
The biggest reason is that while the science of the young earth proponents is terrible, otherwise, the rest of their theology is correct. Couple this with well meaning Christians fed up with evolution who have traditionally been at a disadvantage scientifically, and you have baited the trap.
Christians have also been misled. Evolution is being used as a scare tactic, and a straw man to draw gullible Christians into young-earth creationism. An old earth does is not equivalent to belief in evolution. It is now obvious to most scientists that even a 4 billion old earth is not near enough time to go from random chemicals to man - you need an infinitely old earth. Scientists now realize that life seems to have started all at once (like with the Cambrian Explosion). Darwinian methods do not explain what they see.
I take no pleasure in speaking critical of other Christians, however, I cannot in good conscience let legions of Christians follow these young earth proponents (or their associates) without knowing the full truth. I reluctantly must say that I believe some Christians are doing SERIOUS harm. In my opinion, some have crossed over to deceit in their teachings. I will provide some information here and you can decide. In any case, you should become familiar with whose teachings you follow, and the extent and implications of those teachings. Some knowledge of who they are, where they come from, what they believe, and what they have wrote is prudent.
I believe Henry Morris and his Institute for Creation Research provide erroneous information (concerning the age of the earth, dinosaurs, etc.) You will notice (with research) that everyone he cites as agreeing with his views, or the authors of other books or publications he refers to - are all on his staff (or were at one time). He does not make this clear - I have found out through much reading. This would seem to indicate scientists agree with his opinion after a critical peer review - when nothing could be further from the truth. His science does not add up, and he continues to promote ideas that are scientifically unsound or even disproved.
He holds some rather strange beliefs. For example, here's a snippet from an article with a quote from Henry Morris at a 1986 Creation Science seminar describing Hell's location:
Henry Morris was asked about the bottomless pit of Revelation 9:1-11. [Morris] answered, "Whenever Hades or Sheol is referred to in the Bible, it's always down in the earth, the depths of the earth. So right there in the center of the earth, apparently there's a great opening that we can't really deal with in terms of our seismic instruments or other instrumentation. But apparently, it is there. You can take the Bible to mean what it says."
And I have seen materials on his web site, where He espouses the belief that perhaps all the stories of sailors encountering sea monsters and such are true. He sees them as proof of man's coexistence with dinosaurs.
He even has material on his web site stating that the old myths of half-human half horse people and such were possibly true. He explains these mythical creatures as Lucifer experimenting with God's creation and related to the Nephilim (the "giants" of Genesis 6:4). * Update: After John recently took over, this page has apparently now been pulled.
Morris even wrote in a book in 1978, "The Remarkable Birth of Planet Earth" (Bethany House Publishers), that the craters on the moon are the result of Michael's war with Lucifer in heaven!
This is the kind of person that "scientifically" backs a young earth. It is most unfortunate Christians are following him by the legions!
Material you can check out at ICR for yourself:
Henry Morris is a Southern Baptist who first founded the Creation Research Society (CRS) then in 1972, the Institute for Creation Research (ICR). He is the main proponent behind the modern young earth creation-science movement. His publication of The Genesis Flood with John C. Whitcomb is responsible for the recent revival of "flood geology" and "appearance of age" theories.
I also believe Ken Ham and his Answers in Genesis (AIG) organization provide erroneous information (concerning the age of the earth, dinosaurs, etc.) Ken Ham worked for Henry Morris' ICR for about 7 years. He holds almost all of Henry Morris' views. Ken however, is more aggressive and confrontational. From reading his articles and hearing his debates - I can tell you he constantly gets "cornered" scientifically. He resorts to pure emotion to get other Christians to rally behind him.
Since coming to America in 1987, Australian Ken Ham has become one of the most in-demand Christian conference speakers in the United States. Each year he gives talks on such topics as dinosaurs, Creation vs. evolution, etc.
He is the executive director of Answers in Genesis. He is the author of The Lie: Evolution and children's books such as D is for Dinosaur, A is for Adam.
Ken is also co-director of AIG's sister group in Australia, also called Answers in Genesis. From 1986 through 1993, Ken was "on loan" from the Australian organization (then called the Creation Science Foundation) to the Institute for Creation Research (ICR).
Material you can check out at AIG for yourself:
"AFRICA’S CONGO JUNGLE is becoming increasingly known as the reputed refuge of a mysterious creature called Mokele-Mbembe."One must wonder how they seperate the above dreamtime stories from these... Are they also to be deemed worthy of consideration::
"This would suggest that some of these animals may have still been living in Australia some two to three hundred years ago, or even more recently."
"The creature was said to be amphibious, laid eggs, and from the descriptions, appeared to combine ‘the characteristics of a bird and an alligator’ — i.e. a bipedal reptile..." One of the Aboriginals, named Mumbowran, showed ‘several deep wounds on his breast made by the claws of the animal’."
"Some parts of northern Australia’s vastness are still little explored, and large areas of it are closed to public access. Perhaps some creatures unknown to science are still to be found there. "
"Unfortunately, the Aborigines maintain, the ‘land eventually all dried up, the forests became desert, the swamps emptied, and Kulta died’. This actually fits the most common creationist models of the changing climate after Noah’s Flood."
"While the controversy surrounding Scotland’s famous Loch Ness Monster waxes and wanes, many people are unaware that lake monsters have been reported elsewhere."
"Man-eating kangaroos … confirming the stories For many years, Aboriginal stories of ‘savage giant kangaroos that preyed on men’ were dismissed by Europeans as nonsense. ‘Everyone knows’ that there can be no such thing as a flesh-eating kangaroo. The truth, however, is otherwise."
"Once again we have a seemingly ‘mythical’ Aboriginal account confirmed by the fossil record, and bringing so-called ‘prehistory’ into line with the Bible’s account of the true history of the world."
HOW THE SUN WAS MADE http://www.didgeridoos.net.au/dreamtime%20stories/sun.htm
FISH MOON http://www.didgeridoos.net.au/dreamtime%20stories/fish_moon.htm
HOW THE HILLS CAME TO BE http://www.didgeridoos.net.au/dreamtime%20stories/how%20the%20hills%20came%20to%20be.htm
Dr Dino/Kent Hovind/CSE:
I also believe Kent Hovind and his Creation Science Evangelism (CSE) organization provide erroneous information (concerning the age of the earth, dinosaurs, etc.) Unfortunately, Kent Hovind is also quite popular amongst fundamentalist churches and travels around the country lecturing and provides books and videos promoting young earth views. He also used to provide information on how not to pay your federal taxes! I personally read a page there http://www.drdino.com/irs.htm (now since pulled) where he gave tax advice (another pundit of the voluntary tax myth). He has been in trouble with the IRS multiple times. The only hint of his trouble is on Dr. Dino's page here http://www.drdino.com/cse.asp?pg=faq&specific=44 (This article no pulled) where he complains about Hank Hanegraaff, the "Bible answer man" accusing him of not paying his taxes (point # 9).
Even many young earth proponents distance themselves from Mr. Hovind. he claims to have a Ph.D. - but it turns out it is awarded from a degree mil! This is no joke click here http://www.oocities.com/Tokyo/Temple/9917/hovind/wild_hovind.html (This article now pulled) to see the split level that awarded him his degree for 100 dollars! Here is another link http://www.oocities.com/odonate/hovind.htm to read about him
He claims to have pictures of modern dinosaurs! Be sure to check out this link http://www.drdino.com/cse.asp?pg=articles&specific=15 (This article now pulled - although I found another site with the picture: http://www.algonet.se/~tourtel/hovind_seminar/part3b_images/Image108.jpg) look at the last dinosaur supposedly from lake Erie... It's obviously a plastic toy/model!
What's wrong with YEC/Former young earth testimonials:
It is noteworthy that organizations that used to send people out into the field to do research work for the young earth cause have stopped doing so (ICR stands for Institute for Creation Research). The reason is that the people they were sending out into the field to do research to prove the young earth view came back convinced in an old earth. The evidence they would discover would lead them to the truth - hence no one is being sent out into the field anymore. Some have published papers on why they left. Here are some examples:
Creation Publications and peer review?Many believe that the publication "Creation Ex Nihilo/Technical Journal /TJ/CentJ" (they keep changing the name) is a peer reviewed independent publication. This is not so. This publication is written and published by Ken Ham's Answers In Genesis organization. I have found that many do not realize this.
Are you still wondering why am I so negative against young earth creationists? In a nutshell it's their tactics with others with whom they disagree. I do not know if you have read some of their accusations regarding old earth creationists - but it is vile. If you want to see a sample read this paper by young earth Creationist Danny Faulkner (Ph.D. Astronomer) criticizing old earth creationist Dr. Hugh Ross. The paper is entitled "The Dubious Apologetics of Hugh Ross" you can read it here:
Here you can see my point by point comments on it - by request of Danny Faulkner himself at:
My comments went largely unanswered. His main point was a trivial dispute regarding what equipment was involved in MACHO discoveries. He neglects to recognize that Hugh said the scopes in dispute were used to CONFIRM the discoveries... he did not state they were used full time for the initial discoveries. Danny's few comments on my critique of his paper are here:
For a more thorough treatment of these tactics see AIG's Negative Tactics at: http://www.oocities.com/vr_junkie/aigtactics.htm
Here is my assessment of these typical tactics...
The YEC community sits around and pretends that the evidence points to a young earth - as if there is NO old earth evidence! It's the LARGE ELEPHANT standing in the center of the room that no YEC proponent dare mention! Proof of this abounds... Glenn Morton's testimony shows what will happen if you dare to even mention the "elephant". The YEC community is not honest with the science - and no matter how pure the motive - this ultimately makes you dishonest! As everyone at the higher levels of this debate knows - every HONEST scientist within the YEC fold will usually admit (although only privately) that the vast body of evidence points to an old earth conclusion.
In light of this fact, the "game" (as I see it) is to sling enough mud and see what sticks. The logic is to cloud the science along with the scientists reputations and motives to the extent that most uninitiated people will accept the YEC interpretations of the evidence. This is effective with many - as they keep telling them that this is the only biblically possible interpretation.
As has been admitted by notable scientific YEC proponents - No scientist has come to the conclusion of a young earth without being persuaded by a "biblically" driven YEC predisposition. This fact is most significant - for it declares that if the YEC interpretation of SPECIAL revelation is true, God's NATURAL revelation is defective - as it is incapable of leading even a single scientist to the correct conclusion!
With meekness as is illustrated in the following verse.
1 Pet 3:15
"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:"
We should make sure we have our facts straight, and our methods are correct as Christ illustrates in this verse.
We must be VERY careful in how we deal with atheistic scientists. The motivation for mocking, scorn and ridicule is foolish pride. We should be very careful not to alienate our mission field... our goal is to lead them to Christ - with each and every (usually false) comment of ridicule - it makes it that much harder or even impossible to reach them.
We should not judge, mock, or in other words make fun of scientists. Consider the following verse.
If we mock others thinking them fools we might wake up some day, and find that it is us who have been the fools. Consider the following passage.
Prov 1:22 and 26-27:
"How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you."
We have a dire need in regaining respect and credibility. For young earth creationism is so lacking in fact and logic - it is causing any reference to creation to be banned from our schools. Creation is becoming synonymous with fools! If we don't change our ways - our children are going to be absorbing nothing but atheistic evolution.
If we were in a better position of credibility, we could point out some of the false teachings in evolution. We could dispute some of the "facts" that are of a tenuous nature, etc. Unfortunately, our complaints fall on deaf ears due to our own beliefs in dates and ages that are completely unsound. This is one of the reasons so many must accept evolution - the only other alternative is seen as worse!
We need to "wake up and smell the coffee" regarding the age of the earth and universe, just like the church woke up to the Sun's central role in the solar system... We have way too much at stake.
I will be the first to admit that a "true" knowledge of origins is not a prerequisite to accepting salvation (at least not to all). But the young Earth proponents (like Ham and Morris) come VERY close to claiming that if you don't believe in their interpretations - you're going to hell. It would appear they approve of turning the age issue into a litmus test for being Christian. Should we be so quick to draw lines into the sand? Cannot we accommodate different interpretations of the more controversial areas of the Bible?
They claim that any altering of their literal meaning of Genesis 1 and 2 causes the whole Bible to unravel. I have personally watched a video as part of the "Precept Upon Precept" inductive Bible study course on Genesis chapter 1, where Institute for Creation Scientist Kurt Wise "cut out" every verse you would have to eliminate if Genesis 1 and 2's "literal" meaning were not true - needless to say he cut virtually every verse from the Bible.
Does the Gospel demand a young earth? Ken Ham (of Answers in Genesis) thinks so... In his article entitled The Necessity for believing in six literal days he says:
"As soon as Christians allow for death, suffering, and disease before sin, then the whole foundations of the message of the Cross and the Atonement have been destroyed. ... The whole message of the Gospel falls apart if one allows millions of years for the creation of the world."
I for one do not think the case for God and Creation is so weak... that it cannot tolerate an old Universe. I realize allot of this paper has been somewhat confrontational, but I think good Christians CAN disagree on this issue and remain civilized - and be united in our opposition into an atheistic totally naturalistic origin for the cosmos and life.
The important thing for us not to lose sight of is that we agree on "who" Created, and that it's not so important as to when, or how long Creation took. No one disputes God took time with His Creation (he could have made all in an instant) we are just arguing about "how long". Time, day and night are all relative. Einstein has proven that time itself is dependent on your motion and proximity to a large gravity source. God is outside of time. Time is a dimension of our Universe. Time (not our concept of it anyway) did not exist prior to Creation. It's nothing more than a measure of "rate" related to "speed" while traveling. So for us to impose our puny little time scales on him is in some respects ridiculous. It's even possible to reconcile that for Him it could be 6 days, and at the same "time" billions of years for us!
However the "new" beliefs in 6 24-hr days, all creatures including dinosaurs on the ark, and 6 thousand-year-old earth present a tremendous barrier to anyone with even a smidgen of education in any of the sciences. I would argue to suffer the possibility of an old earth... if only to make it easier for others to believe.
I would like to bring up a real life example of the effect of enforcing a young earth view:
I know a pastor of a large Baptist church which has a brother who is a geologist... This pastor (a YEC proponent) has been unable to reach his brother because he cannot accept the Bible as fact because he understands it to demand the YEC position - the YEC are VERY effective in getting this message out! Hence scientists are driven away from faith.
Now note that some YEC proponents admit that you can believe in evolution and still be a Christian... That said, what does it profit us to insist on six twenty four hour days for creation? How many unsaved do you think say:
"Oh - If only someone had told me that the days in Genesis were each 24 hours, I would have accepted Christ years ago!"
Now I can tell you that turning this argument around does make it possible for people to come to Christ. Once you remove some barriers and shed the indefensible position, you can allow people with scientific backgrounds to come into faith - and at the same time boost the respectability of Christians at large.
As further evidence of this, consider a quote from an open letter to young earth creationists - by a former young earth creationist, Paul Smith:
"When I see young-earth arguments becoming effective enough so that atheists are converted first to young-earthism and then to Christianity, I will reconsider using them apologetically. For the time being, though, I do not see this happening, and I do see arguments against Darwinism - and arguments from the Big-Bang - bringing atheistic biologists, philosophers and physicists into the Body of Christ."And for even more evidence that it has no persuasive power to thos who do not already believe, consider R.J. Riggins' statement:
"After years of intensive research, I have all but given up hope of finding a biologist, geologist, physicist, astronomer, paleontologist, or whatever, who--through his actual field or laboratory research--came up with such overwhelming evidence that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old... --that he came to the inescapable conclusion that it was all created recently. Then he looked around for who knew that all along. Then he became a fundamentalist Protestant...I see it this way... the old classic argument of the atheist and the Christian - where the Christian points out that he has nothing to loose if he is wrong - whereas the atheist has everything to loose if he is wrong. Apply this same argument to young earth creationism!
It never happens in that order. A person FIRST becomes a fundamentalist--either raised that way or converted--THEN learns what he is supposed to believe about the history of Earth and life."
I thank you for reading this paper, and hope that you are either challenged, inspired, or relieved! If you liked the paper and found it useful or informative... Please take a second and send me E-mail.
I leave you with the words of St. Thomas Aquinas: "The truth of our faith becomes a matter of ridicule among the infidels if any Christian, not gifted with the necessary scientific learning, presents as dogma what scientific scrutiny shows to be false."
Old earth reading (Christian perspective):
Old earth web sites (Christian perspective):
Young earth reading (Christian perspective):
Young earth web sites (Christian perspective):
If not, are you interested in how to become a Christian and be saved? If so, I encourage you to really READ and STUDY the following few verses. I consider them to be the most important in the Bible.
(John 3:16 KJV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Here are the steps: