As mentioned in the previous article, the age of the earth is not commonly classified as a “cardinal” or “fundamental” Christian doctrine. Hopefully, the previous article also sufficiently demonstrates that elongating the earth’s age to millions or billions of years is inharmonious with Scripture. As such, one’s view of the age of the earth typically affects and reflects one’s view of Scripture.
And the age of the earth has become a favorite battleground for atheists to meet those professing allegiance to Christ and belief in the Bible. Most people have simply heard “the earth is billions of years old” so many times, the notion of it being less than 10,000 years old sounds farfetched to them. And this is largely why many professed Christians are reticent to defend what the Bible says about the age of the earth (contra Philippians 1:17; 1 Peter 3:15). However, those who claim that the earth is billions of years old do so without one shred of solid proof.
Most fail to consider that the earth would have been created with the appearance of age. Adam and Eve were created as adults, not as children. Trees were created fully grown, not only as saplings or seeds. Riverbeds were already carved, rushing full of water (Genesis 2:10). The light from stars many light years away was already visible on the earth the very day the stars were created (1:14-15). Likewise, certain geological features of the earth would certainly have made the earth seem as though it had been around for a while from our vantage point.
A key assumption of those who conclude the earth must be very old is uniformitarianism—the notion that since the universe’s formation, all nature continues in uniform, unchanged patterns. Or, as Peter described certain “scoffers,” they say, “All things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (2 Peter 3:4). But Peter goes on to describe the global flood of Noah’s day as evidence that things have not continued as they were from the beginning of the creation. Such a cataclysmic event completely changed “the world that then was” (verse 6), and did so in a remarkably short period of time. The massive erosion would have led to rapid burials of animal and marine life, essential to the preservation of fossils. The rapid temperature changes caused animals to be frozen alive, and even tropical animals with tropical plants in their mouths have been found frozen alive, dating from thousands of years ago.
And common dating methods are commonly flawed. In the years following the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980, rock formed. By radiometric dating methods, this rock has been shown to be up to 2.8 million years old. Yet we factually know that this rock is less than 30 years old.
There are numerous reference materials and website available that critically examine the arguments of old earth advocates and dating methods, and the reader is encouraged to consult such sources to look more deeply into these matters.
It is generally outside of this publication’s purview, and certainly outside of this writer’s expertise, to wade in much further on the scientific side of these matters. “Nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Timothy 1:12).
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