The Creation Explanation
|The Age of the Earth|
God....has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He
has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the ages. ...You, LORD, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens
are the work of Your hands; They will perish, but You remain; and they will all grow old
like a garment; like a cloak You will fold them up, and they will be changed. But You are
the same, and Your years will not fail.
A literal reading of the first chapter of Genesis imparts the distinct understanding that the creation of the entire universe took place in thespace of six days. That the days of creation were indeed time periods equivalent in length to normal solar days and that they were consecutive days is, in our view, established by Exodus 20:11. And while the genealogies of Genesis and 1 Chronicles are demonstrably incomplete at cerrtain points, it does not seem reasonable to believe that any unrecorded generations can total more than several thousand years at the most.
In view of the above biblical considerations, the greater part of those who are actively developing the new science-based apologetic for biblical creation agree that the age of the earth is of the order of ten thousand to perhaps twenty thousand years. This conclusion is admittedly dependent upon interpretation, but it is the kind of straightforward interpretation which has been practiced by Bible-believing Christians for thousands of years when they seek to harmonize various parts of the Bible.
Some of the scriptural data adduced in support of the view that the earth is young are outlined in Appendix B. In addition, two relatively new approachesto the interpretation of the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11 are described briefly.1 These studies of biblical chronology are the work of men who are devoted to the Scriptures and who accept them as divine authoritative revelation. Their results differ somewhat, yet both interpretations extend the tranditional chronology of Bishop Ussher a few thousand years. This is in line with what the text of the Bible seems to allow. The earth, we believe, is thousands of years old, not the millions and billions of years claimed by those who embrace evolutionary theories of origins.
The age of the earth is now commonly believed to be very great, about 4.5 billion years. The value accepted by secular scientists has gradually increased during the past century and a half to approximately 4.5 billion years. The great age of the earth and the universe is assumed in virtually every textbook and in every printed article or television program which touches on such matters. Among people who believe in creation rather than in evolution, there are those who accept this secular concept of a very old earth, but others consider that the earth and the universe are very much younger, as do the authors of The Creation Explanation. In this chapter various kinds of evidence are presented, and the great-age chronology is subjected to criticism. Perhaps the question of the age of the earth is not as open-and-shut as the secular scientific establishment and the secular media would have us believe.
1. Darwin, Charles, Origin of Species (J.M. Dent and Sons, London, 1971), p. 455.