Did God create everything as if was billions of years old?

Discussion in 'Natural Revelation and God's Creation' started by Tallifer, Mar 13, 2015.

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  1. Tallifer

    Tallifer Puritan Board Freshman

    (If someone can direct me to some other threads which discuss this already, I would greatly appreciate it as an infrequent visitor to this forum.)
    I have often considered the Omphalos theory of divine creation worthy of consideration. ( Omphalos hypothesis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia )

    God created the universe just as if it would have been if it had indeed evolved naturally.

    He is omnipotent and omniscient, and so able to perform this.

    He is all wise and thus desired a logical, natural and beautiful universe.

    His plan was for man to be from the beginning in his creation.

    He exhorts us to continually seek wisdom and knowledge in his creation, because he wants us to learn the principles and laws of nature. Therefore although the universe is not billions of years old, its entire almost instantaneous manufacture and not just its appearance are as if it had slowly evolved.

    Let us compare his swift, perfect and naturalistic creation to our own inferior creations. The more realistic a painter is, the more praiseworthy. Even more effort is required to make a realistic sculpture, and then an anatomical model. Each generation of computer game, each successive film, tries with ever more technological skill to achieve verisimilitude. When one’s avatar explores the imaginary world of a massively multi-player on-line roleplaying game, one can become quite submerged in that alternate reality. Similar to such ways but in so much a superior way is God desirous and able to create a perfectly natural universe.
  2. thbslawson

    thbslawson Puritan Board Freshman

  3. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

    I think Deut 29:29 is the best answer to this.
  4. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    Adam was special creation. He was created as a man. He was created with the aspect of maturity. He was physically mature, when only a minute alive. This is no more "deceitful" than the creation of water-into-wine (Jn.2:9-10; cf. Is.25:6) indicated vintage wine. Especially when we consider that an explanation is offered us by God.

    There are certain "clocks" (time gauges) within the universe that appear to register a vast age of the earth, mostly having to do with speed of light and distance. However, the "lengthy" gauges are not the only ones available; they are the only ones evolutionists prefer, because they seem to validate their assertions. Others get no mention, because they throw the "billions and billions of years" scenario off the rails. Uniformitarianism is the RULE when it provides comfort to the evolutionist; and OFF LIMITS (i.e. doesn't apply) when it happens to provided data that undermines his confidence.

    In a universe created with built-in maturity, we would expect to find a mixture of readings--some indicating series that have not had too much time (maybe merely thousands of years); and others that would indicate falsely under uniformitarian demands, too many years if the Bible is to be taken seriously. That is to say, the variant "clock" readings don't tend to present fundamental difficulties for the creationist; in fact they make sense under his interpretation.

    I think it needlessly surrenders ground to those with faith in blind, purposeless chance-plus-time to concede the universe "just happens" to look billions of years old. This puts the whole contention upon the opponents ground; it assumes the ground he claims to stand on is what he says it is, rather than quicksand and pitfalls. There are plenty of aspects of the universe that "billions of years" can't explain, and in fact the theory of "billions of years" would render impossible. The same is true for the idea that "everything looks like it evolved." Actually, it doesn't to a certain observer, and also to many many scientific minds.

  5. aadebayo

    aadebayo Puritan Board Freshman

    My favourite verse, it has been a comfort to me.
  6. aadebayo

    aadebayo Puritan Board Freshman

    It is impossible for finite and time bound humans to comprehend let alone fully understand the infinite wisdom and creative capabilities of God who is infinite in wisdom, understanding, ideas , power and majesty. Scriptures have provided us with enough information as to when and how God created the universe. As Hebrews 11:1 states, we need to have the faith as described in that verse, though we may not have all the information contained in God's creative wonder. Thomas almost fell away, but for Christ who gave him the opportunity to feel the palm of His hands.
  7. nick

    nick Puritan Board Freshman

    One thing that stumps scientist is "life from non-life" and the impossibility of that. I'm sorry, didn't Adam come from the dust of the ground? All the evidence for a worldwide flood and we come up with billions of years? Now that they can't figure out the answers on this planet they've moved on to aliens as the origin of life... ALIENS????!!!

    Our foolish wisdom is so close, yet so far.
  8. Afterthought

    Afterthought Puritan Board Junior

    I agree with Rev. Buchanan. I think it concedes too much to the other side (unless it is merely for the sake of the argument) to say that the universe was created as if it evolved naturally, since such presupposes that natural evolution can account for the universe today. There are a lot of threads that discuss this idea (I don't have time to find them), usually under the topics of distant starlight or the limits of science.

    With regards to "mature creation" ideas, it seems to me one should distinguish between apparent age and apparent history. The former is easy enough to understand with mature creation: something created mature, if its age were determined by empirical means, would appear to be older than it has existed. The latter though is difficult, since a mature creation explanation would require something that appears to exist empirically to have never existed (the light from distant stars is often brought up as an example; fossils are another); the effects are created but not the cause. And once we go there, people argue that God is a deceiver or that we can then not tell empirically if the universe was created 5 minutes ago. (I don't know if the former argument actually holds.)

    I suppose some could argue that mature creation implies apparent histories, and perhaps in some cases it does. This is basically arguing that the distinction between age and history is not valid because the former implies the latter. I think the distinction is valid in general though; I don't see how memories of events that never took place are necessarily implied by being created as a mature adult. Because of this distinction, when I've talked about the matter (e.g., asking questions in threads), I don't like to talk about how "old" the universe is (age) but rather the duration of time since the creation of the universe (history).

    As suggested in the above, there are different variants of mature creation ideas. "Mature creation" is rather modest in its claims; it merely posits that things were created in a mature state, rather than an immature state that by process grew into maturity. "Fully functional" is more specific: anything that has no function (e.g., man being able to live) in a completed Creation could not have been created but must occur by process under Providence. And the original omphalos idea, as "creation science" literature reports it, presupposes a cyclic view of the universe that God must interrupt in order to create. Hence a universe complete with fossils is created. I think the effects of the fall and God's freedom in decreeing are problems for that idea. Others would advance the usual (already-mentioned) problems of "deception" and "five minutes of history." Because I am not sure that, say, creating trees with rings is deceptive, I prefer to stick with "mature creation," and so not say any more than what I think can be said. (Although I definitely don't see how fossils could have been created at the beginning, so I wouldn't go all the way to the omphalos idea.)

    Edit: I was just thinking, perhaps a better way to phrase "as if the universe evolved naturally" would be to ask: Did God create the universe such that in its final form, it could be made by the operations of ordinary Providence (whether pre- or post-Fall)? This doesn't concede as much to the other side, although it might concede some still. It is a question I sometimes wonder about.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015
  9. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Senior

    God can do anything. If he can create an adult man, he can create a universe with far away stars whose light beams are in place across space.

    However, how about God created the earth and at the fall, there was a real fall. Creation fell. Decay entered the world, death entered the word.

    Check out Barry Setterfield and all the research on decay in the speed of light. Those stars are only thousands of years away. It is light speed that changed and fell, along with a whole lot of other things.

    I doubt we can even imagine life in the Garden, including physics, before the fall.
  10. joebonni63

    joebonni63 Puritan Board Freshman

    when God told Moses all this he told him so that a man would understand 6 days is 6 days not Moses look some of the days took a million years. I think the bigger question is do Christians have faith that God can do a simple thing like this.
  11. Tallifer

    Tallifer Puritan Board Freshman

    Many thanks for everyone's helpful replies, spiritual advice and information.

    I have no doubt that God created the entire universe in six literal days. The contrary argument about light from immensely distant stars led me to consider the possibility of the omphalos argument in favour of divine creation, or of "mature creation" as Raymond so helpfully put it.
  12. Jeri Tanner

    Jeri Tanner Puritan Board Sophomore

    Reverend Buchanan, can you (and any others) recommend some resources on this that would be helpful for families? And Lynnie, I just recently came across Barry Setterfield and found his website interesting; has anyone else here read his work?
  13. Free Christian

    Free Christian Puritan Board Sophomore

    Would have been a pretty dull sky at night if God hadn't created it to be seen as it is, taking millions/billions of years for the light to reach us!
  14. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    You will find many threads here on the PB on old and young earth. I hesitate to even try to point you towards any because of the number such threads and my personal bias which leans towards an old earth but a relative young Adam compared to the age of the earth.

    One thing I do know that I would be willing to die for is that the earth is older than Adam.
  15. Bill The Baptist

    Bill The Baptist Puritan Board Senior

    One thing I do know that I would be willing to die for is that the earth is older than Adam.[/QUOTE]

    Indeed, by about five days.
  16. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Indeed, by about five days.[/QUOTE]

    Why "about" do you have doubts? ;)
  17. Bill The Baptist

    Bill The Baptist Puritan Board Senior

    Why "about" do you have doubts? ;)[/QUOTE]

    No doubts, I just don't know precisely when on the sixth day that God made man, hence "about."
  18. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    No doubts, I just don't know precisely when on the sixth day that God made man, hence "about."[/QUOTE]

  19. nick

    nick Puritan Board Freshman

    Just to clarify: I was not implying you don't believe the biblical account of creation. Just throwing my two cents in.
  20. arapahoepark

    arapahoepark Puritan Board Senior

    Speaking of which saw this today:
  21. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Senior

    arap-trent...............do you have a link to that last quote? Thanks. Excellent!
  22. arapahoepark

    arapahoepark Puritan Board Senior

  23. Afterthought

    Afterthought Puritan Board Junior

    In the past, I have read through some of it here and there. One difficulty in evaluating his work is that it requires someone with technical expertise in that area, which I do not have, i.e., peer review. I realize he claims to answer people's questions on the internet and that he got tired of posting in Creation journals because he got tired of answering the same questions over and over. But nevertheless, lack of peer review hinders people without expertise in his area in determining what experts think of his work. With work of his nature, it is very easy to have a simple misunderstanding of the physics or data that completely overturns it, and such things can be hard for a person to spot when working on one's own.

    I'm not entirely sure, but it looks like he may have posted in some secular journals more recently? If so, that may help somewhat, if the journal was credible.
  24. aadebayo

    aadebayo Puritan Board Freshman

    Thanks for this, these are things that I have never thought of.
  25. convicted1

    convicted1 Puritan Board Freshman

    The flood did a lot to 'age' the earth imo. Imagine the destruction from the weight water had on it. Then there was the opening of the fountains of the deep. Earthquakes, too. I am a 'young earth age' guy, btw...
  26. chuckd

    chuckd Puritan Board Sophomore

    I find this explanation very appealing. Of course, we rest on the divine testimony with regards to how the world was created.
    By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. Heb. 11:3

    A couple questions,
    Do you have some examples of when uniformitarianism has provided data to undermine evolutionism?
    What do you believe happened to the dinosaurs? Did they go extinct prior to the ark?
  27. waltongreen

    waltongreen Puritan Board Freshman

    For more information about that water into wine comparison that Rev. Buchanan mentioned, check out this blog:

    Furthering the Dialogue on Creation: Some Thoughts on Doug Wilson’s Piece | Soliloquium

    The post itself is actually a critique of this position (omphalos hypothesis), but if you scroll through the comments or just Find Search for a "Rich Tuttle", this commenter pretty much takes on the author from the water into wine perspective Rev. Buchanan mentioned. He emphasizes the idea that the wine was actually old. It wasn't merely given the appearance of age, but it was actually aged though it had only existed for minutes. I found it very helpful.
  28. mgkortus

    mgkortus Puritan Board Freshman

    Rev. Buchanan, thanks for your response. I am curious though - what are the clocks and time gauges that you are referring to? What about carbon printing and geological time tables? None of these are based on the speed of light and distance.
  29. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    1) There are a number of things with known (that is to say, observably consistent in relatively stable conditions) rates of decay; others have measures of accumulation. When faced with issues like these, evolutionaries (methodological, uniformitarian naturalists) often reach into their "black bag of unknown naturalistic explanations" to supply a solution. It doesn't matter if the solution has that much feasibility; it just needs to sound good enough to be a stopgap measure. Call it the "Atheism-of-the-gaps." The mechanics of the "solution" are invariably left completely unfilled-in, and if the best ideas run afoul of laws of physics, etc., no problem--these are just kinks to be ironed out. This kind of blind faith is OK, because it doesn't resort to an Outside Entity.

    Examples: #1 Probability and Statistics as well-defined science. At one time, evolutionary origins had a vague back end. Millions of years sufficed to describe life on earth, and further millions could be added on (and were) to give whatever room was thought necessary. Big Bang cosmology has given the world vast increases of time from the first modern scientific proposals, but with the added inconvenience of a limiting factor, an omega point that virtually all admit eliminates eternal time and space. Truly atheistic evolution rejects ultimate teleology on principle, which eliminates the possibility on naturalistic grounds of directed "progress," design, or blueprint. This is what makes Intelligent Design a "heresy" of scientism, since it (only!) seeks to plug purpose into the evolutionary process, and that's not allowed.

    Hence, the probability factors for accidental life--to say nothing of the complexity and variety--decisively dwarf both the unfathomable depth and breadth of the universe with its manifold contents, and the epochs of time provided. This has led to "sober" cosmologists publishing their convictions of the existence of the "multiverse": however many discrete universes it takes to bring about this 10^nth chance product in which we live, move, and have our being. Other proposals include an "oscillating" universe, in which the Big Bang reverses itself after so long, and starts over, infinitely. The laws of physics and chemistry, governed by one branch of mathematics after another, crush the probability of life-by-chance down to absolute zero.

    #2 Comets. Comets are disintegrating; that's what we see by their "tail." There are multiple periodic comets known to astronomers, but in fact there shouldn't be any--if cosmic evolution is true--because they would have burned out eons ago. Unless... unlessssss (!) there must be a seed-bed spitting them out now and then, to get caught in our Sun's gravity well and pulled in until they burn out. The "Oort Cloud" is a evolutionary best-guess as to why, on uniformitarian principles, there are comets. We'll have to find the cloud (someday), in order to determine all the curious things about how it exists, its principles of operation, etc. In other words, the Oort Cloud is a "Just-So" story from the evolutionaries about comets.

    #3 Strata. Uniformitarian processes do not adequately explain earth strata, such as revealed famously in the Grand Canyon, etc. Evolutionists date various strata as successive ages, but offer no explanation as to why the strata are stacked in such planar layers, or how for instance progressive environments (lasting for ages) were characterized by predominance of one kind of rock or dust after another. Inversions ("older" layers on top of "younger" ones) and "missing" layers are also inexplicable on the presumption of extensive, pervasive, and long-lasting periods of static conditions presumed by uniformitarian a prioris.

    #4 Erosion. Erosion is a constant process (and one that opposes ages-long stratification theory). It is possible to date (relatively) the origins of the Grand Canyon in much less time than standard evolutionary epochs wish for it, based on ordinary hydrographic analysis; and there is a significant lack of evidence of erosion at each layer boundary, and other significant anomalies. The Niagara river/falls/escarpment has presented further challenges to evolutionary claims, starting with the very first popularized survey by Charles Lyell conducted in 1841. The local estimate of erosion (simply based on imprecise lifetime gauges) was around 3ft. per annum. Lyell found the length of the gorge was approx. 35,000 ft.; and according to his need to discredit biblical chronology, he stipulated the actual erosion must be closer to 1ft. per annum; ergo the gorge was at least 35,000 years old.

    The actual average estimate of erosion over a more restricted modern period is 5ft. per annum. Even allowing for fluctuations in the rate of erosion based on water volume, and varying hardness/composition of the strata, this figure yields a far smaller time scale for erosion of the Niagara gorge. Modern evolutionary thought, which incorporates a 12,000 yr old ice age, must still first increase and then greatly reduce the estimated rate of erosion in theoretical retrogression, just to make the evidence on hand fit with a time scale that has shortened Lyell's arbitrary guesswork (and dismissal of eyewitness testimony) by a factor of 4.

    Here is illustrated in several ways the ad hoc nature of the original evolutionary challenge. Less than 200yrs ago biblical chronology needed "only" be undermined by a single exponential factor; a few thousand years was all evolution required to be "true," and God's Word to be relegated to fairy-tale status. Today, Lyell's bona fide fairy-tale thinking is a footnote, if that (the man is considered a great pioneer of science, I guess because everyone falsified his data back then?). There is hardly any appreciable difference (depending on the criteria) between Creationist/Flood interpretations of the actual Niagara data, and evolutionary interpretations of the same that acknowledge an ice age only a few thousand years ago.

    There are other measures of decay that may be cited, such as the present decline in the earth's magnetic field. Reversed and increased on uniformitarian principles, the earth must have been waterless and uninhabitable (much) less than a bare 100,000 years ago, hardly cracking the present geological/zoological epoch. Has the magnetic field fluctuated, both increasing and decreasing over the ages (proposed evolutionary "fix")? What is the evidence for this? There isn't any; this or something like it is just required for evolution to be true. So, uniformitarianism is only good for when it can be postulated to support evolutionary ideas, and jettisoned as soon as it fails to supply a helpful condition.

    The ultimate point is not for us to "transgress" into the data-driven realm of the scientists, and pretend to be experts in geology or other areas in which we have not done serious study. It is to boldly insist on the honest recognition that all data is filtered and interpreted; so it matters a great deal what the composition of those filters are, and what are the a prioris that guide interpretation of the data. The great certainty near at hand to all is the human nature we all share. Creation and catastrophe are not "irrational" starting points, except in the minds of those with a vested interest in cutting such explanations out of consideration.

    If deliberate misrepresentation was used in the early-going to discredit a whole school of thought that evaluated the data coming in from a "Bible-is-reliable" standpoint, and later if the new dominant position is retrofitted with substitutions ad infinitum (as long as revelation is rigorously excluded), then biblical a prioris haven't actually been discredited by hard scientific study; just dismissed, and replaced by fantastic "Just So" stories, in lieu of anything more rational.

    The single, important thing for the evolutionaries is to keep "God" from interfering with their naturalistic program.

    2) I don't know what happened to the dinosaurs. I suppose most of the bodies/bones of these were buried in the flood. The post-deluge world was a vastly different environment than the one prior; perhaps greatly inhospitable. Therefore God let them perish in the flood. He was not under any obligation to deliver any, other than to fulfill his promises. And the manner of his fulfillment is also up to him. If any such species were taken aboard the ark, they may not have survived long after the flood. I'm not sure anything more needs to be said from the standpoint of one committed to the priority of revelation.
  30. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    I'm not an expert, and I won't claim to be.

    It is my understanding that much of the "geological time tables" is self-referential, and viciously circular. So from what I understand about it, it doesn't lead me to put much stock in it either from a rational standpoint or a revelational one.

    Going back a quarter-century when I had to study in college for tests in such subjects, one of the mysteries of our planet were pleiochroic halos, radiometric signatures left in granite rocks, the very bones of the earth. This mystery rested upon another mystery, namely how crystalline granite forms. Under then-current evolutionary theory, the earth began in extraordinary heat, and the granites of the earth solidified and formed over ages of cooling. However, no then-known (and perhaps still unknown) processes--especially lengthy cooling--can produce crystalline granite. Smooth granite, yes; but not crystalline. Conjecture is made that quick-cooling is needed to produce crystalline granite.

    But assuming one could produce crystalline granite under other (and probably lengthy) conditions, the presence of radiometric decay residue of elements with a half-life measured in hours is found frozen within the granite. On the presumption of millions of years of both formation and cooling/hardening, how is it possible for the rock to capture evidence of elements that would have had ample opportunity to escape such capture?

    I'm not about to say that such questions (or answers) "prove" supernatural creation, or relatively rapid or recent creation. But I will say that they, along with many other data points, make plenty of room for rational questioning of modern, naturalistic orthodoxies of first selecting the "important" data, then interpreting the data chosen.

    What I understand about carbon-dating ("carbon printing"? I googled this term, and came up with nothing), for items lacking a known target range, radiocarbon dating depends on a whole host of assumed constants; chief among them the known starting level of the measured element. Radiocarbon decay can be measured to tell you what the reading is NOW. It cannot tell you what the reading was at point-zero, when absorption stopped (presumably plant or animal death). This starting point is variable for various living things in various places in the present. Living things have been carbon dated as "long dead" by this method, and things with a fixed (or relatively fixed) origins (e.g. a tree cut down, and used to build a building in a known year) have been carbon dated as much older, and even much too young. The reliability, therefore, of carbon dating must in virtually all cases be calibrated by some method.

    Plus, carbon dating has an upper-limit, if I'm not mistaken. After a certain space of time, no more of the element exists to measure its decay. And cosmically, there is no living matter "out there" of which to measure its decay. So, light and distance become that much more important to those attempting to measure the parsecs in units relative to our experience.

    It has been reported that Leakey (of "Lucy" fame) sent his samples back to the lab over and over seeking the "right" age for his bones, until he had a result that pleased him. Given the track record, and the known weaknesses and limitations of the method, I'm not persuaded when someone claims a solid conclusion based especially on this measurement.
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