Argument against Apparent Age

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Skyler

Puritan Board Graduate
Personally, the reason I think many people believe in old earth, is ever since the theory of evolution came around.

Before then, people in general agreed that the earth was only 6000 yrs old...

I'm curious to know where you found that statistic.
 

rookie

Puritan Board Sophomore
Personally, the reason I think many people believe in old earth, is ever since the theory of evolution came around.

Before then, people in general agreed that the earth was only 6000 yrs old...

I'm curious to know where you found that statistic.

Not a statistic, and not supported....just leaning towards logic. I have a few friends that believe in the gap theory, and their logic is based on what "science" has found
 

Skyler

Puritan Board Graduate
Not a statistic, and not supported....just leaning towards logic. I have a few friends that believe in the gap theory, and their logic is based on what "science" has found

In discussions like this, making unsupported assertions like that really isn't helpful.
 

CharlieJ

Puritan Board Junior
There's nothing wrong with re-evaluating our interpretation of pieces of Scripture by comparing it to what we learn from other sources. Most Christians throughout history believed, for both theological and non-theological reasons, in a physically geocentric universe. Today, the overwhelming majority of Christians do not. When new data arrived that removed the non-theological reasons for geocentricity, the theological reasons suddenly looked a lot more inconclusive, and Christians found other satisfactory ways of handling the data.

So, in one sense, it doesn't really help to appeal to what Christians thought before modern geology, astronomy, and biology. They didn't have the data that we do that raises the questions and allows us to think differently. Of course, one can question the data, and many do, but we can't afford simply to ignore it.

Also, old-earth scientists were not just a bunch of evolutionists. James Hutton published his work on old-earth geology in 1785. Sir Charles Lyell set the methodological tone for modern geology in Principles of Geology in 1830. Darwin didn't publish Origin of Species until 1859.
 

uberkermit

Puritan Board Freshman
To those who have contributed to this thread, and support at least the possibility of an old earth, may I ask what your view on creation is, i.e, literal 6 day (24 hour days) or something other than that?
 

Sviata Nich

Puritan Board Freshman
To those who have contributed to this thread, and support at least the possibility of an old earth, may I ask what your view on creation is, i.e, literal 6 day (24 hour days) or something other than that?

I don't take a hard stand, but I tend to think the the six creation days were not 24 hours.
I'd add that I don't believe in chance or randomness (thus I don't believe in evolution). I do believe Adam and Eve were real people, that there was a garden of Eden, and that humanity is 6,000 years (or so) old.

I think Hugh Ross makes a few interesting observations that make me think the creation days were longer than 24 hours...
[video=youtube;n-syxid39kg]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-syxid39kg&feature=related[/video]
 

Skyler

Puritan Board Graduate
To those who have contributed to this thread, and support at least the possibility of an old earth, may I ask what your view on creation is, i.e, literal 6 day (24 hour days) or something other than that?

I lean heavily towards a literal 6-day creation, but it's not a hill I would die on. I support the possibility of an old earth, but I have no strong leanings one way or the other.
 

sastark

Puritan Board Graduate
There has always been a debate (a Christian debate), and long before the time of Darwin.
Quite true. I believe it was the Scopes trial that resulted in Christians feeling like they had to make a stand regardless of whether or not they had the revelation to support their position. "Young earth" suddenly became the "old time religion" that people had "always" believed.

Respectfully, JWithnell, you could not be more wrong about this. In fact, Clarence Darrow who was defending Scopes (and evolution) was shocked when the star witness for the prosecution (the anti-evolution side) said he did NOT believe in a young earth. Here is a part of the transcript from the trial. Darrow is asking the Questions and William Jennings Bryan is Answering:

Q--The Book you have introduced in evidence tells you, doesn't it?
A--I don't think it does, Mr. Darrow.
Q--Let's see whether it does; is this the one?
A--That is the one, I think.
Q--It says B.C. 4004?
A--That is Bishop Usher's calculation.
Q--That is printed in the Bible you introduced?
A--Yes, sir....
Q--Would you say that the earth was only 4,000 years old?
A--Oh, no; I think it is much older than that.

Q--How much?
A--I couldn't say.
Q--Do you say whether the Bible itself says it is older than that?
A--I don't think it is older or not.
Q--Do you think the earth was made in six days?
A--Not six days of twenty-four hours.

Q--Doesn't it say so?
A--No, sir....
The Court--Are you about through, Mr. Darrow?

Source.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Uberkermit
To those who have contributed to this thread, and support at least the possibility of an old earth, may I ask what your view on creation is, i.e, literal 6 day (24 hour days) or something other than that?

I'm a Six Day-er, but believe there is the possibility of a "gap", as the earth and universe itself aren't said to be created on the First Day but before. Not a "ruin-reconstruction gap".
 

MississippiBaptist

Puritan Board Freshman
I know Calvin has a good answer to the question/argument but a simple reading through Genesis 1 can leave a reader scratching their heads. Our day is based upon the earth's rotation of the the Sun, but the Sun was not created until the fourth day. So how can three days pass before the object which is the basis for our day even exists? Questions about creation do not just come from Darwinism or naturalism but from the reading of holy scripture itself.

I don't think the sad thing is that people believe the earth is older than 6,000 years but that people don't believe in a sovereign God who created, guided and is in total control of His creation.

Another way to view this argument(perhaps a help): The rotation of the earth did not establish the 24 hour day; rather, the sun and earth as part of God's creation are aligned with His pre-creation definition of a day. To my theistic evolution friends I ask, "Why do you think that the rotation of the earth inaccurately reflects God's definition of a day." Then I move on to Exodus 20.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
I don't take a hard stand, but I tend to think the the six creation days were not 24 hours.
I'd add that I don't believe in chance or randomness (thus I don't believe in evolution)
:ditto: I honestly don't know about 6 days, but I think any belief in a random universe is, if not blasphemy, close to it. How could a sovereign God just let HIs universe go? The work in intelligent design appears to be the best science out there -- not afraid at looking at what is, but not placing the assumptions upon it of the creationists or evolutionists.

Respectfully, JWithnell, you could not be more wrong about this. In fact, Clarence Darrow who was defending Scopes (and evolution) was shocked when the star witness for the prosecution (the anti-evolution side) said he did NOT believe in a young earth.
I apologize for not clarifying my statement. I don't think the trial itself stated a young earth or an old earth, but it polarized people who beforehand wouldn't have thought about taking a stand one way or another. Even in modern times I've heard people refer to the "monkey trials" and how heathens were infiltrating the schools when it's obvious that the earth is only X number years old.

If you think back to the first few decades of the 20th century, people were largely excited about what "science" was producing, even if based in Darwinianism. Eugenics had followers (and laws!) across the United States.

I don't think this issue will be easily settled, but where brothers have differences it gives the opportunity to think and consider the issues.
 

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
If you think back to the first few decades of the 20th century, people were largely excited about what "science" was producing, even if based in Darwinianism. Eugenics had followers (and laws!) across the United States.

True, and in fact, the textbook that was being used in the Dayton school was a eugenic's textbook: George Hunter's A Civic Biology. He said many things in that book that would never be tolerated today (such as saying the Caucasian race was superior to other races). Certain segments of society were referred to as "parasitic." He mentioned that the laws of natural selection could be applied to such individuals and even wrote:

If such people were lower animals, we would probably kill them off to prevent them from spreading. Humanity will not allow this, but we do have the remedy of separating the sexes in asylums or other places and in various ways preventing intermarriage and the possibilities of perpetuating such a low and degenerate race. Remedies of this sort have been tried successfully in Europe and are now meeting with some success in this country.
 

JoannaV

Puritan Board Sophomore
I know Calvin has a good answer to the question/argument but a simple reading through Genesis 1 can leave a reader scratching their heads. Our day is based upon the earth's rotation of the the Sun, but the Sun was not created until the fourth day. So how can three days pass before the object which is the basis for our day even exists? Questions about creation do not just come from Darwinism or naturalism but from the reading of holy scripture itself.

I don't think the sad thing is that people believe the earth is older than 6,000 years but that people don't believe in a sovereign God who created, guided and is in total control of His creation.

Another way to view this argument(perhaps a help): The rotation of the earth did not establish the 24 hour day; rather, the sun and earth as part of God's creation are aligned with His pre-creation definition of a day. To my theistic evolution friends I ask, "Why do you think that the rotation of the earth inaccurately reflects God's definition of a day." Then I move on to Exodus 20.

Agreed. We find out how long a day is because we observe the sun rising in the morning and setting in the evening. But it was God who made it that way so we would be able to know how long a day was...

Nathan, it really depends on what specific thing they were talking about. In general, we can maybe say that "apparent" age is a misnomer, as the "apparent" age is only apparent to science that is based upon an incorrect basis.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
It seems that God created day and night on the first day of the week so that he could work on days. You can't work on Six Days without having any days. To that end He created light.

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that [it was] good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. (Genesis 1:3-5)

Genesis 1:3-5 is as much about the creation of day and night as it is about the creation of light.
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
That argument seems sound to me. It's something that has bothered me a lot, and one of the reasons I don't put much weight on young-earth creation science.

I reject macroevolution on theological grounds, but the young/old earth debate is a different question, especially given some of the "time dilation" theories that have been propounded. There is so much fudge on both sides of the fence that I'd rather just sit on the fence and eat cake.

I am in a similiar boat. Not a YEC nor a full blown Francis Collins evolutionist either. If apparent age is "acceptable belief", may we also believe in "apparent evolution" if evidence points in that direction?

---------- Post added at 07:23 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:09 PM ----------


I think this article is rather silly. It assumes that there was no aging before the Fall.


I don't understand the absolutist, ironclad claim of "no death" before the Fall. To avoid being too graphic, what becomes of fruit that is plucked off of a tree and then eaten? Even assuming vegetarianism, what was the fate of fruit that Adam and Eve plucked, chewed up, digested and...... Surely the fruit "died" of sorts. Did no herbavore creature eat any bugs that were eating a tree?
 

sdesocio

Puritan Board Freshman
Nathan, Depending on your position hold to a young earth view and an apparent age view might not always be the best option. The argument for apparent ages works as a defense of the literal 24 hour days found in Genesis.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Zack, when you eat an apple the apple tree doesn't die. When you cut your hair, you don't die.
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Zack, when you eat an apple the apple tree doesn't die. When you cut your hair, you don't die.

No, but the cells do. No flowers, plants, grass nor anything were ever smashed in the Garden? At least post Fall you can graft or transplant all or part of a plant and it will often survive. You can also eat it of which most all of it will die save a seed( if it is fruit that is eaten) is passed and it sprouts. Even when a person or animal takes off walking he can uproot vegetation.
 

ChariotsofFire

Puritan Board Sophomore
Zack, when you eat an apple the apple tree doesn't die. When you cut your hair, you don't die.

No, but the cells do. No flowers, plants, grass nor anything were ever smashed in the Garden? At least post Fall you can graft or transplant all or part of a plant and it will often survive. You can also eat it of which most all of it will die save a seed( if it is fruit that is eaten) is passed and it sprouts. Even when a person or animal takes off walking he can uproot vegetation.

I disagree:

1. God is capable of creating a world without any death.
------ including cellular death (this is just to say that God is capable of this, not that it is necessarily the case)
------ including bugs and flowers dying from being stepped on
2. We should be careful in comparing our present world to the pre-fall world. We don't know exactly how the pre-fall world operated.
3. We can use what Scripture tells us about the pre-fall world such as:
------ God created it good
------ Romans 5 indicates that it was without death.
4. We can use what Scripture tells us about the life to come to know what God thinks is a good world (ex no death)

So why no death?
1. The fall.
Romans 8:18-23 speaks to how the fall effected not just human beings, but the entire creation.
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time nare not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for othe revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation pwas subjected to futility, not willingly, but qbecause of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that rthe creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that sthe whole creation thas been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have uthe firstfruits of the Spirit, vgroan inwardly as wwe wait eagerly for adoption as sons, xthe redemption of our bodies.

Romans 5:12-13
12 Therefore, just as tsin came into the world through one man, and udeath through sin, and vso death spread to all men5 because wall sinned—13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but xsin is not counted where there is no law.

2. Death is bad, and therefore life is good. God created the world good.
---- heaven gives us a clue that death is bad (no more death, lion laying down with lamb, etc.). This is a good clue that God thinks death is bad.

Isaiah 11:6
The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.

3. It's foolish to think the only bad kind of death is human death. It's a terrible thing, when for example, my cat dies. The animal feels pain and is subject to the groaning of creation awaiting the final glorious day when death shall be defeated.
 

Ryft

Puritan Board Freshman
Should the young-earth creationist not attempt to date anything that appears to be older than 6,000 years?

Charlie Johnson already underscored the problem (Msg. 26) that young-earth creationists saddle themselves with by this mature creation argument when he indicated the problem of empirical equivalence; that is, there would be "no empirical difference between a tree created 100-years 'mature' and an actual 100-year old tree." Johnson's point cannot be overstated.
 

ChariotsofFire

Puritan Board Sophomore
Should the young-earth creationist not attempt to date anything that appears to be older than 6,000 years?

Charlie Johnson already underscored the problem (Msg. 26) that young-earth creationists saddle themselves with by this mature creation argument when he indicated the problem of empirical equivalence; that is, there would be "no empirical difference between a tree created 100-years 'mature' and an actual 100-year old tree." Johnson's point cannot be overstated.

The old-earthers have just as big a problem. If God made a young and mature creation, then there's no way to actually prove it's old. If the 101 ring tree is actually 1 year old, how can they interpret the evidence empirically any better? They'll be thinking the tree is older than it actually is. There's no way to conduct old-earth science looking at a young, maturely created creation. Johnson's argument sounds good, but in the end, it doesn't really tell us anything. All it tells us that both sides aren't going to figure it out empirically.

Besides, the young earth Creationist doesn't interpret the evidence like a naturalist. We don't go look at the evidence without the knowledge that there is a God, who also gave us special revelation. In his special revelation he told us plainly and clearly that the earth is young. It's in his Word we see that the earth was created mature. So, we look at the evidence around us, and it looks just like God said it looks: young and mature. You take any scientific piece of evidence, and it's going to be interpreted through that lens.
 

Ryft

Puritan Board Freshman
The old-earthers have just as big a problem.

No they do not, because a recent mature creation is a young-earth theory (and therefore not a part of any old-earth view). It is a problem for old-earth creationists only if it is true, which is the very question and therefore must not be begged.

Besides, the young-earth creationist doesn't interpret the evidence like a naturalist.

I'm sorry, and which old-earth creationist does? Could you please point to an old-earth creationist who looks "at the evidence without the knowledge that there is a God, who also gave us special revelation"?
 

athanatos

Puritan Board Freshman
Trying to claim "apparent age" cannot be supported either through the scriptures or through science. We know that God does not contradict Himself. So if He says there's an historical Adam who fell into sin, there is an historical Adam, period. But that is not addressing why the earth looks as it does. To argue that the earth has an apparent age or you can't believe in an historical Adam is an argument from necessity and doesn't prove anything.

[...]

Could God have made earth look like it has an apparent age. Certainly! But to say that he did so is where we run into problems with special and general revelation. Quite frankly, the whole "creation science" debacle has put Christians in a bad light and I believe it's fair to say that some who have taken up theistic-evolution have done so because it appears on some levels to have more academic credibility.

I am not sure "apparent age" really is a problem for revelation any more than creation itself is a problem for revelation. If God made it and it looks a certain way, our presuppositions determine what the appearance would imply. As such, the appearance of looking really old doesn't make God out to be a liar, nor does it give credence to the position that God would be deceiving us, despite our better use of faculties.

Also, should there be a difference between maturity and decay? Moreover, progress and time elapsed?
 

ChariotsofFire

Puritan Board Sophomore
The old-earthers have just as big a problem.

No they do not, because a recent mature creation is a young-earth theory (and therefore not a part of any old-earth view). It is a problem for old-earth creationists only if it is true, which is the very question and therefore must not be begged.

Besides, the young-earth creationist doesn't interpret the evidence like a naturalist.

I'm sorry, and which old-earth creationist does? Could you please point to an old-earth creationist who looks "at the evidence without the knowledge that there is a God, who also gave us special revelation"?

Hmmm, well maybe I didn't put forth a sound argument, but I'm deeply saddened to see all this evolutionary thought in our circles. I would maintain that old-earth creationists are influenced by naturalism / evolution.
 

Ryft

Puritan Board Freshman
The appearance of looking really old doesn't make God out to be a liar, nor does it give credence to the position that God would be deceiving us, despite our better use of faculties.

If you were a classic car collector and I was selling you a 1957 Chevy, would I be deceiving you if I refrained from telling you that I fabricated that vehicle from the ground up only last week? It would seem that I was.

When we observe a star in our telescope that is 2.5 million light-years away, and sometime later we notice the star go supernova and finally vanish completely, under the "apparent age" theory God would be deceiving us about a 2.5 million-year-old historical event that did not actually happen; it only looked like it did.

I'm deeply saddened to see all this evolutionary thought in our circles.

Sorry, what evolutionary thought? We are talking about geology and astrophysics, etc., which is not evolution.

I am not altogether sure how evolutionary thought could be disheartening, at any rate. Perhaps you could be encouraged to elaborate on that a little? For example, would you be deeply saddened to see embryology thought in our circles, when the Bible says about God, "You knitted me together in my mother's womb" (Psa 139:13)?

I would maintain that old-earth creationists are influenced by naturalism/evolution.

What do you make of old-earth creationists, such as myself, who are presuppositionalists that take God and his word seriously and hold it to be inerrant? There certainly may be old-earth creationists who are influenced by naturalistic assumptions and Darwinian evolution—I can certainly think of some—but you paint with much too broad of a brush here.
 
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