· “Creation” is defined simply as the work of God in bringing all things into existence. Only God is eternal—everything else in the universe had a beginning. True creation is creation ex nihilo (out of nothing) and is not merely a reworking of materials already in existence.
· “Evolution” is defined, in its broadest sense, as the theory that all things have been derived by gradual modification through natural processes from previous materials. According to this concept, all forms of life have developed from earlier, simpler forms, and even life itself spontaneously came into existence through a complex organization of previously nonliving chemical molecules.
Read Genesis 1:1-19.
1. Reread Genesis 1:9-13 (third day). Through separating and gathering again, how does God give more form to the earth during the first part of Day 3?
2. What more information do the following verses give to us about His work?
· Job 26:7-10—
· Job 38:8-11—
· Psalm 104:7-9—
· II Peter 3:3-5—
So, how might the Earth have looked midway through Day 3?
3. After forming the earth and space, God began filling it to take away its emptiness. Describe what He did next.
4. Give some examples of the types of plants described here.
5. Why were plants created? See also Genesis 1:29-30 and 2:9a.
Scientific Insight: Plants do not generally grow on bare rock. When God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation,” whatever was necessary for plant life to grow occurred. Yet, the generation of soil from rock supposedly takes many years. If you could go back in time to this point on the third day of creation, the earth would appear to be very old. This appearance of age is required for a mature creation to be fully functioning from the beginning. Yet, it definitely skews “age-dating” methods that rely on observation of present processes and the rate at which soil is now being produced.
6. God repeated the phrase “after/according to their kinds” 10 times in Genesis 1. Any phrase repeated that often is repeated for emphasis. What could the phrase mean? What is God trying to tell us in terms we are supposed to fully understand and not get wrong?
Scientific Insight: According to evolution, seed plants didn’t “evolve” until after bacteria, invertebrates, fish, amphibians and some land animals. Once again, the Days of Genesis cannot be matched up with the theoretical Geological Ages.
7. Read Genesis 1:14-19 (fourth day). With what does God fill the sky?
8. How and why did God create the lights in the sky? See what these verses say about it.
· Genesis 1:14-18—
· Psalm 33:6—
· Psalm 148:3-6—
· Isaiah 40:26—
· Jeremiah 31:35—
9. Considering pagan worship, why might God have waited until Day 4 to create the sun, moon and stars? See also Deuteronomy 4:19; 17:2-5.
Think About It: Did you know there is no scientific proof that the sun is billions of years old? “There is no evidence based solely on solar observation that the sun is 4.5-5 x 109 years old. I suspect that the sun is 4.5 billion years old. However, given some new and unexpected results to the contrary, and some time for frantic recalculation and theoretical readjustment, I suspect that we could live with Bishop Ussher’s value for the age of the earth and sun. I don’t think we have much in the way of observational evidence in astronomy to conflict with that.” (Dr. John A. Eddy, Astrogeophysicist, Solar Astronomer at the High Altitude Observatory at Boulder, CO)
Bishop Ussher (~1600 AD) calculated the earth/sun to be ~6500 years old based on Gen. 1-11.
10. God didn’t do a halfway job. Everything mentioned thus far was fully formed and functioning, each ready to do its preordained job. We’re not going to get all our questions answered although most do have logical answers already supplied through Scripture. Using Hebrews 11:1-6, discuss the role of faith in reading about God’s creation.
11. If God’s work on Days 3 and 4 happened as written, what evidence in the world would you expect to find?
Think About It: Scriptural compromising does not impress evolutionists. T. H. Huxley, who actively labored for evolutionism and against creationism, sarcastically comments: “If we listen to many expositors of no mean authority, we must believe that what seems so clearly defined in Genesis…as if great pains had been taken that there should be no possibility of mistake…is not the meaning of the text at all…A person who is not a Hebrew scholar can only stand aside and admire the marvelous flexibility of a language which admits of such diverse interpretations.” (Quoted from God Spoke to Moses, by O. T. Allis, 1951, p. 158)
12. On a dark night, spend some time outside, perhaps lying on sleeping bags or blankets with the rest of your family, watching the stars while reading Psalm 104 by flashlight. Note for sky watchers: Meteor showers are fun to watch. Check with your local planetarium for the dates to watch these. If you like to study constellations, also read Amos 5:8.
13. Ponder the marvelous diversity and complexity of plant life in general as well as their many functions in serving us—food, shade, enjoyment, etc. What are your favorite plants and why? Meditate on the Creator’s loving hands fashioning these for you.
· Read “Creation Answers: Age of the Earth” following this lesson.
“No Harm in Killing Time”
Let’s address the biggest hot button first—the age of the earth and universe. We’re going to kill some time. There’s no harm in killing time. Where do we get the idea that the earth is billions of years old? Not from the Bible. But, from the world’s teaching, using man’s theories to reinterpret God’s word.
Remember that true science is repeatable, testable, and falsifiable. We have the revealed Word of One who knows everything and who was there!
· No one can prove creation or evolution.
· Anyone can look at the historical record & build a model. Then examine facts in light of that model.
· When what is presented as facts doesn’t agree with the model, there may be a problem with the model or the facts (how they were derived).
Three past events that affected earth history from a scientific viewpoint and one event that affected the history of the nations:
· Creation—6 days, the celestial objects, land and sea, plants, animals, and man
· Curse—ground, pain and death, food chain, poisonous and nuisance creatures, affected the whole creation according to Romans 8:20-22
· Flood—affected the planet surface entirely for > 1 year, afterwards man’s diet changed to include eating meat; also the animals’ diet.
· Dispersion from Babel—the existing population was divided into language groups that spread out and repopulated the earth, taking the accounts of Creation, the Curse, and the Flood with them.
A warning light goes off in your head. How can I believe in a young age for the earth? Haven’t scientists proven that the earth is very old—billions of years? What about all the evidence that the earth and universe are billions of years old? It’s just too radical to believe in a young earth.
This is the answer: what evidence? There is more verifiable evidence that the earth is less than 10,000 years than that it is very old. Did you know that? Here is some evidence that kills time. There’s no harm in killing time. But first…
Why is there such an insistence in the science world and media that the universe and earth are billions of years old? Think about it. If you eliminate God and any divine aspect to creation, then you depend strictly on naturalistic processes. And, there’s the key—TIME! Evolution, if true, needs a long time for it to take place. So, the evolutionary scientist looks for any way to “prove” lots of time has passed.
What’s the prevailing theory? About 15 billion years ago (BYA) compressed matter exploded with a Big Bang. As this explosion took place, the elements in the periodic table cooked their way into existence and were hurled outward. They began to condense and to cool, galaxies were formed as well as nebula. Out of one of these spiral nebulas, a solar system condensed and in this particular solar system, the planet earth spun out of a molten fireball about 4.6 BYA. Where do they get 4.6 BY for the age of earth? Meteorites! Supposedly the sun and its planets condensed at the same time. Some meteorites are thought to be remnants of a planet that broke up after condensing. Therefore, meteorites are the same age as the earth. That’s the pet theory of the majority of evolutionary scientists.
What questions should you ask? What did God ask Job in chapter 38? “Were you there?” How did that compressed matter suddenly appear out of nothing? We’ve already looked at what God said He did and how. The biblical model is easier to believe. That God created everything mature and fully functioning from the beginning.
Okay, let’s talk about the evidence that evolutionary scientists use to “prove” that the earth is very, very old. They use 2 things—rocks and fossils. Here are some things you need to know.
· Neither rocks nor fossils have birthdates stamped on them when they are collected.
· Fossils are dated by the false assumption of evolution. The idea of evolution demands old age.
There are two basic ways to date rocks: 1) by how evolved the fossils in them are and 2) by radioactive minerals present in the rocks.
Rocks with fossils in them are dated by the assumption of evolution. Remember, the idea of evolution of amoeba to man demands long periods of time for it to take place. Where does this fossil fit on the evolutionary development scale? Primitive or advanced? The answer to this question often depends on the rock in which it is found. Those at the bottom of a sequence are considered to be greatly older than those at the top of a sequence. Fossils in the bottom layer are assumed to be older in evolution than those at the top. So, it’s circular reasoning.
You observe and measure a present process. Assume it acted the same way in the past. Calculate the time necessary to produce the present state.
There are about 100 “process” dating methods recognized. Nearly all of them (95%) suggest much younger ages for the earth and life than billions of years.
· Rate of decay of the earth’s magnetic field—Measured since 1829. The magnetic field’s strength decreases by half ~1400 years. Upper limit is ~20,000 years. Oops. Not enough time for evolutionists. Can’t use that one.
“Unless the earth’s magnetic field has been altered or energized by an unusual magnetic event in the past, about which we know nothing, the present decay rate yields an upper limit of 20,000 years or so for the age of the earth…Since this chronometer is based on worldwide measurements, monitored for a long time, and showing a dramatic trend, it perhaps represents the very best application of uniformitarian principles. The weight of the evidence is on the side of the young earth, not on the side of the old earth.” (Dr. John Morris, The Young Earth, p. 83)
· Counting supernova remnants—There’s not enough for an old universe. Only evidence for about 7,000 years worth. Evolutionists definitely can’t use that one.
· Measuring mud on the sea floor or salt in the sea—There’s not enough of either for a billions year old earth.
· History is too short—We only have written records spanning 4000-5000 years with fully functioning language from the beginning. The Biblical time scale is much more likely.
The process clock that gives the oldest “time” is radioactivity. Method known as Radioisotope Dating. Only rocks that contain radioactive elements can be used for Radioisotope Dating. That’s usually rocks that were once molten—like lava or granite. Not usually those with fossils in them. Fossils can be used for a different type of radioisotope dating, but we’ll get to that later.
Before the discovery of radioactive minerals last century, there was already a belief in millions of years. But, the use of radioactivity to date rocks suddenly gave scientists “old ages” and “proof” that the earth is older than the biblical 6,000 years—billions of years older. The news media promotes this “proof.” So, let’s look at it more closely.
The radioactivity clock starts when the rocks are cooled and hardened. How many of you remember studying radioactivity in chemistry or physics or maybe earth science? This is what it looks like using the best-known example. Radioactive uranium (parent) decays to nonradioactive lead (daughter). Measure time it takes for half of the uranium to become lead. Called a half-life. The half-life for uranium is ~4.5 billion years. Find a rock. Measure the amount of Ur and the amount of lead. Figure out how long it has taken for that amount of lead to be produced from the uranium.
The radioisotope method for obtaining age of a substance formed in prehistory is theory but presented as fact. Four major assumptions are involved in the radioisotope method, assumptions that will lead to the conclusion that the researchers want. Each is questionable.
1). Known Initial Concentrations—no lead was present in the rock when it was formed.
2). Closed System—neither uranium nor lead leached in or out of the rock over the years.
3). Constant Decay—that the decay rate was constant over time.
4). Enough Time to Produce Present State through Measured Processes— Evolution demands old age. An evolutionary scientist uses the dating method that gives the desired date for the sample.
QUESTIONS ABOUT THEM
1). Some lead occurs naturally in rocks when they are formed.
2). The uranium isotope can be leached out of, and the lead can migrate into, many rocks over the years.
3). The decay rate can perhaps be changed by neutrino bombardment and other causes.
4). Time is history, and history cannot be observed scientifically. There is no way for a scientist in the present to come up with an age for things of the past without written historical record!! Creationist or evolutionist.
Several different tests are performed on a sample rock. The results may look like this:
· Uranium-Lead Method says the rock is ~500 million years.
· Potassium-Argon Method says the rock is ~700 million years.
· Rubidium-Strontium Method says the rock is ~325 million years.
Once the results are returned to the researcher, dates are discarded that do not coincide with the expected “age” of the rock. This is how it works. We should not be concerned about such “proof.”
Conclusion: The radioisotope method for obtaining age of a substance formed in prehistory is theory. Rocks and fossils don’t come with birthdates on them. An evolutionary scientist uses the dating method that gives the desired date for the sample.
We know that radioisotope dating does not always work because we can test it on rocks of known age. Someone actually watched these rocks form.
· 1986 Mt. St. Helens lava dome—a rock sample gave K (potassium)/Argon ages between 0.5 million and 2.8 million years old. Proves that significant Argon was present when the rock was formed. So, assumption #1 is wrong.
· Sunset Crater, Arizona—the volcano erupted 1065 A.D., lava flows dated by Indian records and tree-rings. Indian artifacts and relics are found within the rocks formed by the eruption. K/Ar method: 210,000-230,000 years old.
· Mt. Ngauruhoe, New Zealand—the volcano erupted in 1949, 1954, and 1975. Rock samples from the lava flows dated at 0.27–3.5 million years old.
· Hualalai Volcano, Hawaii—the people on the island watched the rock form during a volcanic eruption in 1801. 12 dates were taken which ranged from 140 million years to 2.96 billion years. The average date was 1.41 billion. If this happens with known rocks, then why could this not also be the case for other dates?
· Mt. Kilauea, Hawaii—erupted recently. K/Ar method: 21 million years.
Here’s what a geologist says:
“It seems that whenever igneous rocks form today, they usually have daughter elements already present and already appear to be somewhat ‘old.’ If this assumption doesn’t work on those times when we can check it, how can we be confident that it works on those occasions when we cannot check it?” (Dr. John Morris, The Young Earth, page 56.)
Another form of dating called isochron dating involves analyzing four or more samples from the same rock unit. Instead of counting atoms, it uses ratios and graphs. It does not depend on the Initial Concentration being zero. Scientists using this method should be able to analyze the whole rock sample and the individual minerals within the rock and come up with the same age. Most often, they aren’t even close.
· Example #1: Scientists took samples from two lava flow formations in the Grand Canyon—the Cardenas Basalt and the western Grand Canyon lava flows. Researchers used the most current and accepted techniques, had them analyzed by several unbiased commercial labs that knew nothing of the source rocks. The one on the top repeatedly dated older (by 270 million years up to a billion years) than the one on the bottom. That’s impossible. Once again, the results call into question the technique. Something is terribly wrong.
· Example #2: Another interesting example that shows to what extent scientists will go to get the desired age for a sample: Apollo 11 brought back some moon rocks. The rocks were dated using 4 different methods at almost 4-billion years. Apollo 16 brought back some moon rocks that were dated at 18-billion years. To fix the problem they subjected those rocks to acid to melt out the lead and then re-dated and got 4.5 billion years. (Mike Riddle, quoting from Science magazine Jan 30, 1973)
There are hundreds of credible scientists who are not evolutionists. A team of very highly trained, very credentialed scientists, who also happen to be creationists, has been examining this issue for 10 years through something called the R.A.T.E. project. They examined every dating method for its validity without evolutionary bias. This is what else they’ve discovered:
Most granites contain the black flakey mica mineral called biotite. Embedded within these black biotite flakes are tiny zircon crystals. Zircons are very hard and have a very high melting point so are pretty permanent once crystallized. The embedded zircon crystals contain radioactive uranium atoms. Over time, the uranium nucleus ejects an alpha particle (2 neutrons and 2 protons combined). When the zircon crystals are large, the alpha particles stay within them and become helium atoms. Uranium/Pb (lead) decay produces lots of helium because alpha particles are ejected 8 times. Helium wiggles through crystals and leaks through cracks easily. It bonds to nothing and heads for the atmosphere. The decay of U/Pb is a slow process. Since helium migrates out of rocks rapidly, there should be very little to no helium remaining in the granite. But, it’s filled with helium, and 58% of the helium still remains in the granite.
Lots of samples were taken from many locations deep within the earth up to the surface and analyzed by unbiased commercial labs. One explanation is that sometime in the past the decay rate was greatly accelerated so much that helium was being produced faster than it could escape. Here’s the conclusion:
“Based on the measured helium retention, a statistical analysis gives an estimated age for the zircons of 6000 ± 2000 years. This age agrees with literal biblical history and is about 250,000 times shorter than the conventional age of 1.5 billion years for zircons. The conclusion is that helium diffusion data strongly supports the young-earth view of history. (Donald DeYoung, Thousands…Not Billions, p. 76)
Because of radioactivity, helium is being added to the atmosphere at 13 million atoms / square inch / second! Assuming no initial Helium in the atmosphere, the maximum age of earth could only be 2 million years. Not enough time for evolution.
When the zircon crystals are tiny, the alpha particles are ejected out into the surrounding biotite flakes. The ejected alpha particles are like tiny “bullets” which damage the surrounding biotite leaving discoloration outlining a beautiful, multi-ringed halo because it decays in a number of steps. Eight of the isotopes in this ‘decay chain’ emit alpha particles when they decay, forming eight rings. It’s a bit like a sequence of guns, each of different power, firing an eight-gun salute. When this salute or decay chain is fired millions of times in every direction, the bullets from the different guns make eight concentric rings. When you cut through that sphere and look at them, it looks like halos around the central atom. Granites around the world contain dark uranium halos. It has been determined that to fully form a dark uranium radiohalo requires a billion alpha particles or about 100 million years of radioactive decay at today’s present rate.
Next to the uranium halos are often found “orphan” halos from 3 daughter isotopes all Polonium—Po-210, Po-214, Po-218. In 1981, the Deputy Director of the USGS, Brett Dalrymple, described these in court testimony as “a very tiny mystery.” Here’s why: these 3 polonium isotopes only last from less than 1 second to 3 minutes to 138 days so they had to form very rapidly.
But, the uranium has to deliver 100 million years’ worth of alpha particles BEFORE there’s enough polonium to decay to form its own halos. So, at least 100 million years’ worth (at today’s rate) of uranium decay has to occur within days to form the polonium radiohalos. Coexisting uranium and polonium radiohalos in many granites around the world had to form at the same time and so are observable physical evidence that this abundant nuclear decay had to have occurred at an accelerated rate—in the past. And, the granites that host these radiohalos also had to form at the same rapid rate. The rock had to form almost instantly for the radiohalos to be preserved, basically created, whereas conventional geology maintains granitic rocks crystallized and cooled over millions of years. The evidence does not support that. There is no other satisfactory explanation.
These radiohalos prove two things: 1) in the past, nuclear decay rates were greatly accelerated and 2) rocks with radiohalos in them had to harden almost instantaneously, or within less than a year.
Conclusion: Radioisotope dating has not been disproved. It has been called into question, flaws in its foundation exposed, and its results shown to be inconsistent. According to John Morris, author of The Young Earth, radioisotope dating is in trouble, but it is still a very formidable concept in the minds of many. In fact, few labs are doing the K/Ar method anymore because its results are so wrong. Bible-believing Christians don’t need to be intimidated by rock ages of billions or millions of years supposedly proven by radioisotope dating.
You may have heard about C-14 dating. Carbon-14 is a radioactive isotope of carbon, also called radiocarbon. Cosmic rays from the sun bombard nitrogen in the upper atmosphere turning it into carbon with 2 extra neutrons—C-14. Ad lib about being radioactive. This mixes with the regular stable C-12 in the atmosphere and eventually finds its way into all living organisms. Once an organism dies, the clock begins.
The C-14 in the dead organism decays back into nitrogen. The isotope has a half-life of 5730 years. Meaning half the original C-14 decays to nitrogen in that time. After another 5730 years, only 1/4 of the original remains. After 60,000 years, no measurable C-14 should remain at all. That’s the theory. It can be used only on materials containing carbon—bones, shells, wood, and coal. Not used to date the age of the earth or rocks.
Radiocarbon dating measures the amount of C-14 in a fossil. Only the amount of C-14 changes over time. If a fossil has a lot of C-14, it’s young; if it has very little, it’s old. One still has to take into consideration the same kind of assumptions embedded in the other radioisotope dating methods:
1. Constant Decay Rate—This is testable and observed to be constant in the present. The half-life measures at 5, 730 years. In the present. Not testable for the past.
2. Closed System (no leaching in or out of C-14 or N)—Once again, this is not testable unless you are sitting there watching it.
Some recent anomalies found using the C-14 method on living creatures—
1) Freshly killed seal
2) Living clam shells
3) Snail shells
C-14 ANALYSIS OF “AGE”
1) It died 1300 years ago.
2) 2300 years old
3) 27,000 years old
Conclusion: Environmental conditions affected the C-12/C-14 ratio in these of known age. When testing a sample of unknown age from a largely unknown environment, how can we exclude similar sorts of effects?
3. Known Initial Concentrations of C-12/C-14—assumes the ratio of C-12/C-14 in the atmosphere and biosphere has always been the same throughout the years.
The assumption is that the amount of C-14 produced in the atmosphere is used up by organisms at the same rate. This is called equilibrium. This is a critical detail because it gives the starting amount of C-14 in the fossil. The current ratio of C-12 to C-14 is 1 trillion to 1. So, when an animal dies today, it has 1 trillion C-12 atoms for every 1 C-14 atom in its body.
But, there’s a problem: the inventor of the C-14 method (Dr. Willard Libby) discovered that C-14 is being created in the atmosphere 25 percent faster than it is being used up. He shoved this aside as experimental error. Years later, other researchers repeated his experiments and came up with the same conclusion. So, the basis for C-14 dating, consistent ratio between C-12 and C-14, is false. Assumption three is false. So, scientists have no basis to know the initial concentration of C-14 in any sample except a living sample today. And, even that doesn’t work.
4. Time—Anything older than 60,000 years on an evolutionary time scale should have no detectable C-14 at all. Anything over 1 million years in age should have not one single atom of C-14 in it. If it does, it’s good evidence that it is not millions of years old.
· Example #1: carbonized wood from Glen Rose. Same layer as dinosaur footprints (99 million years old). The C-14 analysis showed the wood to be ~12,000 years old.
· Example #2: In May 1989, an Allosaurus was excavated near Grand Junction, CO. It was located in a rock layer supposedly 140 million years old. These bones, heavily blackened, contained 3% carbon and were tested to show a C-14 date of < 16,000 years.
· Example #3: An Acrocanthosaurus dinosaur found near Glen Rose, Texas dated at < 10,000 years ago. Yet, the rock in which it is found is supposedly ~99 million years old.
· Example #4: Skeletons from 11 ancient humans dated at ~5,000 years or less.
· Example #5: In 1993, scientists found trees buried in lava flows (69 feet deep) Wood was C-14 dated at 44,000 years. The lava was dated at 37 million years. Can’t be. Should agree.
· Fossils from every level of geologic time have measurable Carbon-14, even after all possible contamination from the current environment was eliminated. This discovery was already well documented in the standard scientific peer-reviewed radiocarbon literature before the RATE project even began. But, the general public is never given that information. Not only that, but all of the samples had about the same amount of C-14 in them. The C-14 is there, quite simply, because it hasn’t had time to decay yet. The world just isn’t that old! No harm in killing time, is there?
· Coal samples spanning a large fraction of the fossil record have similar amounts of measurable C-14 but should not have. Statistically, they saw no difference in the C-14 levels from the youngest to the oldest samples. This suggests the plants all grew on earth at the same time and were buried at the same time.
· Here’s one other bit of information: C-14 has been detected in diamonds; scientists say diamonds formed 1-3 billion years ago deep within the earth. Diamonds are practically impossible to contaminate. Not one atom of C-14 should be there unless the earth is young.
This is the conclusion of one radiocarbon researcher:
“The troubles of the radiocarbon dating method are undeniably deep and serious . . . It should be no surprise, then, that fully half of the dates are rejected. The wonder is, surely, that the remaining half come to be accepted…While the method cannot be counted on to give good, unequivocal results, the numbers do impress people, and save them the trouble of thinking excessively.” (R. E. Lee, “Radiocarbon, Ages in Error,” Anthropological Journal of Canada)
Conclusion: Archeology is also affected by C-14 dating. Some artifacts of known age have been measured and plotted on a calibration curve that extends back about 5000 years since that is the age of the oldest carbon-containing sample of independently know age: an Egyptian mummy. Scientist measures C-14 in sample, plots on curve then reads age in years of artifact. Unfortunately, C-14 dates on objects don’t often agree with historically derived ages. Many archeologists, therefore, prefer to date an artifact according to what he/she believes it to be historically rather than rely on C-14 results.
Here’s what you need to remember about C-14 dating:
· Three of the starting assumptions are false.
· Fossils from every level of the geologic record have measurable levels of C-14.
One more thing: Scientists speculate that it would take about 30,000 years for an atmosphere with no C-14 to reach equilibrium. Earth’s atmosphere is still 25% away from equilibrium. Could that also be an indication that the earth is young?
It is clear from the text (both Hebrew and English) that God began His creation of the sun, moon, and stars on Day 4 and finished them on that same day— “it was so.” Some try to translate the word “placed” in Gen. 1:17 as “cause to appear,” however, this is a twisting of the Hebrew word, and the context does not support such a translation. So, the stars were seen on the first day of existence.
· Actually, the creation of light before the sun is evidence of authenticity of Genesis 1. Only an eyewitness would dare to write such. Not likely to be contrived by later editors because it contrasted their own understanding of the world.
· Regarding star distance, the astronomer’s task of assigning a distance to heavenly bodies from earth is a complicated one and not without assumptions that may have “old universe” ideology built right in. Always question how those distances were derived. Shorter distances are generally measured by triangulation, and the limit for accuracy is for stars up to only 200 light-years away. Greater distances may be determined by the presumed sizes and intensity of stars, something called “red shift,” and many other factors, some questionable.
· Regarding starlight, consider that the earth and universe were obviously created with the appearance of age and ready to function immediately according to design and need. The plants were brought forth from the earth mature with seed and fruit. The animals and mankind were capable of reproducing immediately. The heavenly bodies (the Hebrew word includes just about anything in space, including stars) were created with individual and collective functions—dividing the day from the night, serving as navigational aids, for illuminating the earth, determining the passage of time, to separate light from darkness. Notice “it was so” in Gen. 1:15. This means that even if the distances are correct, the stars would merely have given the appearance of having been here longer. Therefore, both the stars and the light beams connecting them visually to the Earth may have been created at the same time. Food for thought!!
· Then, there are supernovas (violent star explosions), some of which are hundreds of thousands of light years away in distant galaxies. Yet, these are observed from earth as an occurring event. How? This has no easy answer. On the other hand, since supernovas supposedly happen about once every 25 years, there should be the remnants of over 2000 in our galaxy if the universe is as old as claimed. Only 200 are actually observed. Fits the young earth model better.
· There are still a lot of questions about the speed of light in deep space, whether light has traveled at the same speed throughout the past, how light is affected by gravity of the heavenly bodies, etc. Scripture tells us that God stretched out the heavens in 15 passages (Job 9:8; Psalm 104:2; Isaiah 40:22; Jeremiah 10:12). Science also tells us that the universe is expanding. That would affect distances as well.
An early church father, Theophilus, had this insight for us today:
“On the fourth day the luminaries came into existence. Since God has foreknowledge, he understood the nonsense of the foolish philosophers who were going to say that the things produced on earth come from the stars, so that they might set God aside. In order therefore that the truth might be demonstrated, plants and seeds came into existence before stars. For what comes into existence later cannot cause what is prior to it.” (Quotation from Theophilus “To Autolycus,” 2.8, Oxford Early Christian Texts)
1. The earth has not been scientifically proven to be billions of years old.
2. The Bible teaches a literal 6-day creation.
3. Many scientists believe in a literal 6-day creation about 6,000 years ago.
4. New evidence from nuclear decay supports a young earth model.
5. There are many scientific evidences for a young earth.
Look for the facts. Discern facts from interpretation. Mark the facts. Then, mark the interpretations or assumptions. Question the assumptions used to derive the facts and/or interpretations. Consider the same facts with the assumption of Biblical history.
See “Creation Answers: Interpretation Practice” after the lesson “Creation: Humans, Home and Family, Part 2.”
1. Thousands, Not Billions by The R.A.T.E. Project Team at Institute for Creation Research
2. The Answers Book (any volumes) by Ken Ham and associates
3. Dating Rocks and Fossils, video presentation by Mike Riddle
4. How Old Is the Earth? Eugene Sattler
6. Radioactive ‘dating’ in conflict, Andrew Snelling, Creation, December 1997.
7. The Young Earth, Dr. John Morris
8. The Young Age of the Earth DVD
9. Starlight and Time, Dr. Russell Humphreys