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Age of the Earth
This article is from an outside source
Does the Bible teach that the earth is only about 6000 years old?
The best place to start is not with Genesis 1 and the six days of creation, arguing about how long those days may have been. That immediately gets people into an issue that divides believers. The best place to start is with the Scripture that teaches the meaning of creation rather than the timetable: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1, NIV) Phillip E. Johnson, "Dismantling Darwinism," interview with Jim Dailey, Decision magazine, vol. 44, no. 8, August, 2003, pp. 24-27. Quote is from page 26.
One of the unfortunate aspects of disputes about origins, in my view, is that "creationist" has come to mean "believing that the earth is not very old." This meaning is widely used in both Christian and other circles. I prefer the term "young-earth creationist" for such beliefs, because it is possible to believe that God was involved in creation, but that it took place over a very long period, or that it took place millions or billions of years ago. However, most people are far more interested in conflicts. This is true of both Christians and atheists, on the subject of origins. You aren't going to get many invitations to speak in churches if your topic is "I believe God worked to create things the way they are over a long period of time." You aren't likely to get a lot of attention in scientific periodicals if your topic is "As far as I can tell, Christianity and scientific beliefs are completely compatible." But claims that you can prove that science is out to destroy the Bible, or that creationists are out to destroy science, get attention. The resulting polarization sells books, fuels seminars and institutions, and marginalizes some who believe that God's work has gone on over long periods, that scientific ideas on the subject are generally correct, and that scripture is compatible with most scientific theories.
Probably the most influential book on origins, over the last half of the previous century, was The Genesis Flood, by John C. Whitcomb, a seminary professor, and Henry Morris, an engineer, published in 1961. Their book claims, among other things, that the flood of Noah's time is responsible for most of the geology seen on earth today. It is clearly a young-earth creationist work. It influenced the founding of most or all of the young-earth creationist institutions of this day, such as the Institute for Creation Research, the Creation Science Quarterly, Answers in Genesis, and others. Many Christians have been influenced, directly or indirectly, by these institutions, usually taking what is said at face value, without examining the evidence or the arguments carefully.
Please--I must say that it is possible to be a sound practicing scientist who believes that the earth is not very old. But, unfortunately, this conflict has made many scientists suspicious of Christians, and the reverse. Many good-hearted Christians are convinced that a belief in an earth that is millions or billions of years old is not at all compatible with scripture, that the theory of evolution is full of holes, and that all scientists are atheists. Some honest scientists are convinced that all Christians are ignorant yahoos, and that, if the Bible really teaches such things about subjects that they know something about, there is no need to pay attention to it when it speaks about things they don't know much about, such as the claims of Christ. In both cases, they may have been misled by extreme views from the "other side."
The Age of the Earth
The question of how old the earth is is very important. If it is only thousands (even hundreds of thousands) of years old, there just hasn't been enough time for all organisms to have arisen from a single common ancestor. There may not even have been enough time for humans and apes to have arisen from a common ancestor. On the other hand, if the earth is billions of years old, this wouldn't prove that either of these had occurred, but it would make them possible. There is another reason for the importance. God presumably doesn't teach us things for no reason. If He has clearly taught that the earth is a certain age, then that must be important.
Further, if the earth is only thousands of years old, then erosion and deposition, and other slow geologic processes, can't have been responsible for many of the geologic phenomena which we observe.
A Church Father on the Age of the Earth
Augustine is considered to be one of the most important theologians of the early church, other than the apostles, perhaps the most important one. He wrote on The Literal Meaning of Genesis. I have not seen the entire book, just the first chapter, which the link in the previous sentence connects to. Based on that chapter, and on the commentary which is connected to the next link, St. Augustine was not convinced that the days of Genesis 1 had to be literal days. See this commentary on Augustine's writing by Davis A. Young for Young's summary of other views of Augustine. I quote Young:
1. It is historically inaccurate to maintain that modern science alone forced the church to come up with ideas about Genesis 1-3 that differ from the allegedly traditional views. Many of Augustine's interpretations are plainly at variance with what are commonly perceived in evangelicalism as traditional views of Genesis. And, I might add, he was never accused of heresy for his views. It is plain that we cannot accuse Augustine of departing from the plain meaning of Scripture in order to make peace with science as we know it. Obviously, Augustine was not looking over his shoulder at scientific geology or paleontology. It is therefore all the more remarkable and significant that he adopts positions generally not perceived as the traditional church positions.
2. Given that a theological thinker of Augustine's genius arrived at the views he did after years of careful study of the text, it is incumbent upon us to approach the early chapters of Genesis with far less dogmatism and far more humility and caution than we often do.
I also quote Augustine:
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 non-sense 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 the 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 on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason?
It seems clear, based on this quote, and on Young's conclusions from his study of the entirety of The Literal Meaning of Genesis, that Augustine took Scripture very seriously, and was also willing to listen carefully to what the science of his day had to say. He demonstrates that the idea that 19th century science the only thing that caused some Christians to consider non-literal interpretations of scripture is false.
Ussher's Chronology (See also English Translation of Ussher's Biblical Dating)
Actually, scripture nowhere says how old the earth is, at least not directly. (It also doesn't say how God created, or why.) Why, then, do so many believe that the earth isn't very old? There are two scriptural reasons. Both assume that the creation of Adam and Eve took place very close to the beginning of the earth. One of these scriptural reasons is that it is possible to use the genealogies in Genesis to come up with an age for the earth. Bishop Ussher famously did that. I personally have a bible with Ussher's chronology in it. He calculated that creation took place in 4004 B.C. The other scriptural reason is the description of creation events as being a week, or rather six days, in length, and the belief that this week included most prehistoric events. The terms suggesting a week for creation occur not only in Genesis, but also in the Ten Commandments, so it is impossible to dismiss the idea as simply based on non-literal material from the beginning of Genesis.
Both these reasons ignore the Gap Theory, which says that the original Hebrew of Genesis 1 indicates that there was a period of time, perhaps a very long period of time, between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. For references, go here and here.
There are problems with Ussher's chronology, which uses biblical statements of the form "so-and-so lived 200 years, and begat whoever. Whoever lived 180 years, and begat someone," and adds up the times. Many of these statements are given in Genesis 5.
One problem is that, apparently, the chronologies in the Bible were not given to establish time. They were, many scholars believe, given to establish God's dealing with lineages of people, and can't really be taken to establish time. This was the view of Francis Schaeffer, one of the most respected Bible-believing Christians of the past century. There is evidence of this within scripture itself. For one thing, the genealogies given in Matthew 1 are in four groups of 14 generations, as if they were presented in some sort of pattern. One might think that it is possible that there really were 14 generations between Abraham and David, etc., but there weren't. In some cases, perhaps all, the generations are telescoped. Matthew 1:8 says that Jehoram was the father of Uzziah, but he was the great-great-grandfather of Uzziah, according to 2 Chronicles 21:4-26:23. In Matthew 1:11, Jehoiakim is left out, according to comparisons with the OT. Matthew isnít the only place where this sort of thing happens. I Chronicles 6 tells us that Levi was Kohath's father, and that Kohath was Amram's father, and Amram was the father of Aaron, Moses and Miriam. However, according to Genesis 46:11, 26, Kohath was already born when Jacob's descendants entered Egypt, and according to Exodus 12:40, the Israelites were in Egypt 430 years. Moses was 120 when he died, just before the Israelites crossed the Jordan (Deut. 34:7) and they had been wandering in the wilderness for nearly 40 years at that time, so Moses must have been born when the Israelites had been in Egypt about 350 years. If that is true, then there had to have been people left out of the list in I Chronicles 6, because Exodus 6:18 and 6:20 give the lengths of Kohathís and Amramís lives, at 133 and 137 years, respectively. If people were left out of these lists, then how can we assume that they weren't also left out of the lists in Genesis, also? God must have given these lists for other purposes than bookkeeping. Presumably they were given because God wanted to show that He was working with a particular line of people, said Schaeffer.
The meaning of Exodus 12:40 ("Now the length of time the Israelite people lived in Egypt was 430 years," NIV), seems clear, but is not without controversy. Matthew Henry's and Robert Jamieson's commentaries on the verse (Both are available through the Blueletter Bible. To access, enter the reference, then click on the L, for List Commentaries.) state that the actual length of the captivity was 200 years. So do others, writing much more recently. I first became aware of this interpretation through a letter to the editor of Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith by William A. Gilbert, "Genesis Age Gaps?" (56:153-4, June 2004.) Gilbert cites Galatians 3:16-17. ("The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. . . . What I mean is this: the law, introduced 430 years later. . . ." NIV) So do others, including M. J. Agee, in her Old Testament Bible Chronology, and a Bible study by Cyril Tennant. Galatians 3:16-17 may, indeed, read as if the time between the covenant between God and Abraham, and the Exodus, was 430 years. The interpretations just cited are understandable, based on that passage. If they are correct, the discrepancy pointed out in the previous paragraph, where not enough generations are listed between Levi and Moses, disappears. However, I don't believe that the matter is unambiguous. The reason is scripture, itself. Genesis 15:13 reads as follows: "Then the Lord said to him, 'know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years.'" (NIV) I am not a Hebrew scholar, but this reads like it means a captivity of Abraham's descendants, in Egypt, amounting to considerably more than 215 years. Other Bible scholars agree. (See reference to Francis Schaeffer, given in the previous paragraph, and the article by Hill, below.) One such is Eugene H. Merrill, writing in Bibliotheca Sacra ("Fixed Dates in Patriarchal Chronology," 137:241-251, Jul-Sep 1980), who said that "This places the Exodus in 1446 B.C. . . . There is, moreover, the statement in Exodus 12:40 that Israel was in Egypt 430 years, thus yielding the date of 1876 for Jacob's migration there from Canaan." (p. 242).
In order to reconcile Paul's statement in Galatians with Genesis 15:13, various suggestions, possibly correct, are given, by Agee, Tennant (see previous paragraph) and others. One such is that the captivity of Abraham's descendants began with Ishmael. I have trouble with this, because it seems contrived, and because Genesis 17:19 says that Isaac, not Ishmael, is the son of the covenant. Also, the next verse says that Ishmael would become a great nation, which was fulfilled, in part, by the time of Genesis 25:12-18, apparently written about Ishmael's status at the time of Abraham's death, and although Ishmael is described as being the enemy of his neighbors in this passage, the account says nothing that would suggest captivity. It was, after all, Ishmaelites, independent traders, not slaves, who took Joseph to Egypt (Genesis 37:25-28). Another way of reconciling Genesis 15:13 with Galatians 3:16-17 is to say that when Genesis 15:13 said "a country," it is legitimate to interpret Canaan and Egypt as a single country. I find this a strange interpretation, also. I'm not sure what the final explanation is, but the weight of the evidence seems to be with a more literal interpretation of Genesis 15:13 and Exodus 12:40. Hill, Merrill and Schaeffer, and others, seem to agree.
What to make of Paul's statements in Galatians? It would be foolish to ignore this verse. One possibility, which I put forth tentatively, is that one of the "promises" included was the promise to Jacob, in Genesis 46:2-5, where God spoke to Jacob at Beersheba, on the way to Egypt to join Joseph, and promised him that his descendants would return to Canaan as a mighty nation. If so, the Exodus would have been 430 years later. That seems no more contrived than some of the arguments for a shorter captivity.
I believe that scripture teaches that 430 years elapsed between the time when Jacob and his family went to Egypt, and the escape from that country, and, therefore, that there is at least one gap in the genealogy in I Chronicles 6. I certainly could be wrong, but this is, at least, a tenable position.
As the NIV Study Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1985) puts it, in its introduction to I Chronicles:
Analysis of genealogies, both inside and outside the Bible, has disclosed that they serve a variety of functions (with different principles governing the lists), that they vary in form (some being segmented, others linear) and depth (number of generations listed), and that they are often fluid (subject to change).
One fact that became apparent during my study of this matter is that some bible scholars were working from a previous assumption, namely that periods of a thousand years have been important in biblical history. This is apparently at least one of the reasons why Ussher, and others after him, put the original creation in 4004 B. C., and Christ's birth in 4 B. C. Scripture does not seem to require this emphasis on millennia.
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia excerpt published here says that the length of the stay in Egypt was either 215 or 430 years, without taking a firm position on the issue.
Carol A. Hill, writing in the December, 2003 issue of Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith ("Making Sense of the Numbers of Genesis," 55:239-251. The American Scientific Affiliation, which publishes this periodical, will probably have it posted on their web site some time in 2005.) claims that there are further problems with taking the chronologies of Genesis literally. Among other things, she points out that there are patterns in them, like, but not identical, to those mentioned above for the chronologies in Matthew; that, to people of the culture where Genesis was written, numbers based on 60 were especially significant, and they may have been used to indicate aspects of the life of a person, not his actual lifespan; and that there are no ages given that end in 1 or 6, while all of the ages from Adam to Noah end in 0, 2, 5, 7, or 9. All of this suggests, again, that the ages of the patriarchs were simply not given to show chronology, but for other purposes.
Another scriptural reason for doubting that the Bible can be used for bookkeeping, like that Ussher tried to do, is that Genesis 46 says there were 66 people who went into Egypt (v. 26), and lists them, but verse 7 says daughters and granddaughters, plural, when there is only one daughter, and one granddaughter, who are listed. Even if these plurals hadn't been used, it seems extremely unlikely that all of Jacobís descendants, save these two, were male. Not only that, no wives are mentioned by name at all, even though verse 5, and common sense, tell us that wives were included among those who went into Egypt. So 66 isnít the real number, even though the Bible says that it is. How can this be? Surely those who wrote down scripture knew full well that 133 plus 137 doesn't equal 430, and that 66 is less than 66 plus wives, daughters, and granddaughters. More important, God, the inspirer of scripture, knew it, too. The conclusion I come to is that God had other purposes than the arithmetic when these numbers were given, and, furthermore, that the arithmetic isn't important. A recent article in Christianity Today indicates that biblical numbers such as 480 and 40 were not always meant be taken literally.
The conclusion seems to be that the
genealogies cannot be legitimately used to determine the time when Adam
and Eve lived, even assuming a strictly literal interpretation of
First, the relationship between the sequence of names and chronology is not always a straight line. . . anyone reading Exodus 2 would certainly feel that Moses was the oldest son. Nevertheless, we learn in Exodus 7:7 that his brother Aaron was actually three years older. . . . several passages make it obvious that the writers knew the chronology but that they still deliberately omitted several steps in the genealogy. . . if we compare I Chronicles 6:3-14 with Ezra 7:2, we find Ezra . . . omitted names. . . There is a third reason why it should be quite obvious that these genealogies are not meant to be a chronology. If they were, it would mean that Adam, Enoch and Methusaleh were contemporaries, and that just doesn't seem to fit at all. . . . we can say very clearly that the Bible does not invite us to use the genealogies in Scripture as a chronology. Francis Schaeffer, Genesis in space and time: the flow of biblical history. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1972, pp. 122-125.
Young earth creationists often ignore warnings such as Schaeffer's. For example, the home page of Answers in Genesis, on August 3 and 4, 2003, included the following:
dealing with difficult
by Gary Bates, AiG-Australia
When most people find out you believe that the earth is just 6,000 years old, you'll be engaged in 'vigorous' dialogue before you know it!
Bates was right about that! There are sound biblical reasons for dialoguing vigorously with someone who insists that the earth is just 6,000 years old.
In fairness to the views of Answers in Genesis, AiG has a rebuttal of a book by Hugh Ross. Part of that rebuttal is a defense of the use of the Genesis chronologies to establish time.
I recently reviewed a book, Biology and
Creation: an introduction regarding life and its origins (St.
Joseph, MO: Creation Research Society Books, 2002) by Wayne Frair, a
Christian scientist that I once met, and whom I appreciate. The book,
which, you will note, was published by the Creation Research Society,
includes this: ďWhen
the parent-offspring relations (genealogies) particularly in the Old
Testament are studied, a scholar can place time of the original creation
at about six thousand years ago.Ē
Well, it depends on the scholar. Other scholars can legitimately doubt this.
Does this mean that the earth is billions of years old, or that humans have been in existence for millions of years? Not necessarily. Perhaps humans have only been around for, say, 50,000 years. That seems compatible with the way the genealogies work. What it does mean is that although scripture is Godís divine word, all interpretations of it are not infallible, and there is more to the Bible than is apparent at first reading.
There is a third reason for not being able to get a date from Genesis. This is more controversial. Some biblical scholars, including some who know Hebrew very well and take the Bible very seriously, believe that there was a "gap" between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, during which, as I understand them, Satan fell from Heaven and the earth was ruined, then restored. This idea is known as the Gap Theory. Those who believe this can accept that the gap may have been very long. Not all bible scholars believe in the gap theory.
It is not clear from scripture whether or not Genesis 1 deals with the creation of the universe, or the creation of the earth and the solar system.
There are Bible-believing Christian scholars who are not convinced that the days of Genesis 1-3 can be taken as literal, consecutive, 24-hour days. One reason is that the word "day" is used in a sense other than 24 hours elsewhere in scripture, and in speech today, and probably in Bible times. Another reason is, they say, that too many events are said to have taken place on the sixth day of creation to fit into a 24-hour (actually, presumably about 12 hour) period. The most important reason given is that the purpose of the description in these chapters was not to set forth literally how and when God created, but to show that there is but one God, not many, and that He is rational and orderly, and, in doing so, to combat pagan ideas.
In his "Space and Time in the Genesis Cosmogony," Meredith G. Kline points out that there are indications, in Genesis 1 and 2, that the days were not meant to be taken literally, and he offers suggestions for why the creation story was written, in part, as if they were. Kline points out that Genesis 2:5 says that plants hadn't yet appeared on the earth, because it had not rained yet. He says:
The scenario conjured by the literalists' solar-day interpretation is, in fact, utterly alien to the climate and tenor of Gen. 2:5. Within the flurry of stupendous events which their view entails, each new cosmic happening coming hard on the heels of the last and all transpiring within a few hours or days, the absence of vegetation or anything else at any given point would not last long enough to occasion special consideration of the reasons for it. Within that time-frame such a question would be practically irrelevant. Gen. 2:5 reflects an environmental situation that has obviously lasted for a while; it assumes a far more leisurely pace on the part of the Creator, for whom a thousand years are as one day. The tempo of the literalists' reconstructed cosmogony leaves no room for the era-perspective of Gen. 2:5.
For other examples of authors who believe
that the "days" of Genesis 1 were not actually literal days, see the
"Making Sense of Genesis 1," by Rikki Watts, argues that much of Genesis 1 was not meant to be taken literally.
"How Long Were the Days of Genesis," by Thomas Key, argues, from scriptural evidence, that the days of Genesis 1 could not have been 24-hour days.
Two articles by Conrad Hyers, a religion professor, on the proper interpretation of the text of the first parts of Genesis. Part One, "Dinosaur Religion . . .," and Part Two, "The Narrative Form of Genesis 1 . . ."
In my opinion, which is based on what I understand about scripture, it is not possible to make any firm conclusions about the age of the earth from scripture. Any such conclusions depend on prior assumptions, which are questionable, based on the evidence of scripture itself. Other people, with far more knowledge of the Bible and its interpretation than I, are in agreement. The 1982 Conference on Biblical Inerrancy put forth 25 affirmations, and corresponding denials. One such is an affirmation that the events of Genesis 1-11 actually happened. In his commentary, Norman Geisler, who was a participant at the Conference, states: The article left open the question of the age of the earth on which there is no unanimity among evangelicals and which was beyond the purview of this conference. There was, however, complete agreement on denying that Genesis is mythological or unhistorical. Likewise, the use of the term "creation" was meant to exclude the belief in macro-evolution, whether of the atheistic or theistic varieties.
Scientists on Flood Geology
The Genesis Flood is representative of flood geology, the idea that the flood, in Noah's time, was a world-wide event which is responsible for most deposition of layers of rocks, including those containing fossils.
Not only do atheist geologists reject the conclusions of the book (Neither author was a geologist) but many Christian geologists do, too. This quotation, written by a geologist trained in geology by the Institute for Creation Research, was especially telling:
Nothing that young-earth creationists had taught me about geology had turned out to be true. I took a poll of all eight of the graduates from ICR's [the Institute for Creation Research] school who had gone into the oil industry and were working for various companies. I asked them one question, "from your oil industry experience, did any fact that you were taught at ICR, which challenged current geological thinking, turn out in the long run to be true?"
That is a very simple question. . . . A very close friend that I had hired, after hearing the question, exclaimed, "Wait a minute. There has to be one!" But he could not name one. No one else could either.
. . . It was my lack of knowledge that allowed me to go along willingly and become a young-earth creationist. It was isolation from contradictory data, a fear of contradictory data and a strong belief in the young-earth interpretation that kept me there for a long time. The biggest lesson I have learned in this journey is to read the works of those with whom you disagree. God is not afraid of the data. Glenn R. Morton, "The Transformation of a Young-Earth Creationist," Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 52, June, 2000, pp. 81-83. Quote is from pages 82 & 83.
Morton has, tentatively, also proposed that the flood was not a world-wide one, although it would have seemed so to Noah and the people who drowned, but that it was the flooding of the Mediterranean basin, which had been dry until that time. I do not have time or space to summarize or critique him on this topic. If interested, see his ďThe Mediterranean Flood.Ē (Some scientists have recently proposed, based on archaeological evidence, that Noah's flood was the inrush of Mediterranean water into the Black Sea basin, which apparently had people living in it at one time.)
There are Christian scholars who are not convinced that the flood was world-wide. The story of the ark is given, they say, to show that God doesn't tolerate evil, and that He does care for humans, and also for animals. That is the purpose of the story of Noah, they say. The purpose is not to tell us that there was a world-wide flood. Phrases about the whole earth are used throughout scripture, but apparently really mean, at least some of the time, only the known world, or the local area. If the flood was world-wide, where did all that water come from, and where did it go? If the flood was world-wide, how did animals from North America and Australia (for example) get to the ark across the intervening oceans? If they did get to Noah's location, how did they get back to their original sources without, apparently, leaving descendants in the areas between the ark and where they ended up? Why were the mammals in Australia all marsupials (until recent times) when almost no animals in any other location were, if all the animals on earth came from the same ark? How did salt-water fish survive a sudden change of the water to almost all fresh? How did the plants over the whole earth survive being drowned for months? How could the ark have had room to hold representatives of all the earth's animal species, and food enough for all of them, and how could eight people have cared for all these animals for months? One answer to all these questions, of course, is that God performed a miracle. An alternative answer is that the flood wasn't world-wide, but local. It is indeed possible that all humans lived in a fairly small area in Noah's time. (This idea, to be fair, has some problems of its own, particularly the question of why God didn't just have Noah and family, and the animals, walk elsewhere to safety. I don't have a good answer for that question, other than the possibility that, if they had walked out, the sinners, whom God wanted destroyed, might have walked out with them. A migration of animals would have attracted attention, and perhaps a following.)
In summary, although I don't have all the answers, I am not convinced that scripture teaches unequivocally that the flood in Noah's time was world-wide, and responsible for most of the phenomena discovered by geologists.
For me, the most important questions are not on the age of the earth, the reality of flood geology, and the like. The most important questions are "Are we here by blind chance, or as the result of divine purpose?" and "What am I going to do about it?" For me, the answers are "By Divine purpose," and "accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord."
to my page on Origins links, giving links to web pages with several different views
to my page on Theories of Origins, which categorizes the strengths and weaknesses of several theories of origins
to my page on scriptural principles that relate to science
April 6, 2005
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. The purpose of this is NOT to prevent use by others, but to prevent other users from restricting free use. I claim no ownership of materials in the above material which are quotations from other sources.
2005-11-30 Anonymous (Atheistic Evolutionist) wrote
So So, Biased to Creation/ID
2005-12-18 Steve (Young Earth Creationist) wrote
So So, Bogus, Biased to Evolution
To say that this article is bogus, is not true, but it is the only
option you provided that did not indicate the article is not accurate.
The article includes a lot that is true, but it uses a standard
technique of propaganda to use truth as a springboard to deception. I
don't think there is an intention to deceive as the article appears to
be sincere, but it shows a evolutionary bias that is built into our
culture. The article also appears to be written by someone who has not
read the Bible nor researched the scientific facts.
For example, concerning genealogies in the Bible. Yes, Hebrew genealogies do not always include every person. But that does not mean that all Hebrew genealogies must exclude some people. If you read the genealogy in Genesis 5, for example, you'll see that it starts with Adam and gives the age when a specific son was born. Each person in the genealogy is directly tied to the previous and next by a specific span of years. This is a detailed genealogy that includes specific ages allowing the amount of time the genealogy spans to be accurately determined.
Your commentary on radiometric dating ignores significant data and research that contradicts traditional hypothesis that are needed to support the hundreds of millions of years needed to support evolution. In particular the recent research conducted by the RATE Team shines a light on this subject. (The research is summarized in a book titled "Thousands Not Billions..." by Dr. Don DeYoung.)
There is no dispute concerning the data and concerning the measurements that go into radiometric dating. One area in which there is a dispute concerns how the data that is collected is used. Christians are saying that ALL the data that is collected should be used. Only by finding a theory that matches all thedata will we find the truth. On the other hand evolutionist scientists only use data that agrees with their predetermined ages for the rocks they are examing. For example, different methods of radiometric dating consistently give different dates for rocks. Each dating method is consistent with itself, reliably giving the same age each time that method of dating is used. But potassium dating may give an age of 900 million years and U238 gives an age of 1300 million years. What interesting to note is that radiometric dating based on beta decay consistently gives older ages than dating based on alpha decay. A scientist seeking the truth would ask "Why?" instead of just picking the age that best fits their hypothesis and ignoring the others.
Both coal and diamonds, which supposedly date from the late Carboniferous Age 300 million years ago, have been carbon dated to an age of about 44,000 to 50,000 years when the amount of Carbon-14 should have been zero. Instead of asking "Why?" scientists have "file drawed" this information because it did not fit with their hypothesis for the age of coal. A true scientist would ask why does one method of radiometric dating give an age of 300 million ages and Carbon-14 gives a 50,000 year age?
Let's start asking questions, and finding the complete answer, instead of putting on blinders and ignoring evidence that disagrees with the answer we want.
Mission to America
I agree that some of the material is questionable. But as stated at the beginning of the article, this is from an outside source and does not necessarily represent the views of this site. It is presented so that others can express their points of view and therefore allow the readers to form their own opinions from these various view points. Likewise, you are welcome to submit a counter view.
Your points about radiometric dating are noted. But again, the views in the article are not necessarily those of mine. You can read some of my views on this subject in the reviews of the RATE videos Radioisotopes & the Age of the Earth and Rock of Ages or Rock of Creation?
Thanks for your response