How old is the earth?
First, let’s summarize the creation account from Genesis 1 – God’s description:
- Day 1: God created 3 main things: Space – God created to place His creation into. Earth- There was nothing else in all of space, just the Earth. Light – God said, “Let there be light”, and there was light. This light and darkness (and a rotating Earth) gave us the first day and night.
- Day 2: God did one main thing: God separated the waters below (covering the entire Earth) from the waters above (the atmosphere).
- Day 3: God did two main things: Dry land – God caused the dry land to appear. Plants – God created plants, the future food supply for His creation.
- Day 4: Four main things God created to place in space: Sun – Light bearer from that day on. Moon. Planets. Stars. – The entire rest of the universe.
- Day 5: God created the creatures that live in the sky and the sea: Flying Creatures – birds and flying reptiles and mammals. Sea creatures – fish and also swimming reptiles, mammals and other types of sea life.
- Day 6: God did two main things: He created land animals. God created the first two people – Adam & Eve. At the end of day six, God looked at everything He had made and called it ‘VERY GOOD’! His creation was now complete.
- Day 7: God rested.
So, did God describe 7 literal days or were these just representatives of millions of years?
God uses a relatively large amount of space in Genesis 1 to make it very clear that He created the universe in six days. There is no mention of billions-of-years or any great period of time. However, many people still wonder whether or not the modern scientific belief that the earth and universe have existed for billions of years can be harmonized with a literal interpretation of the Bible.
Most Christians have heard the argument that the word “day” in Genesis does not mean a literal 24 hour type day, but rather that the “days” represent 6 great ages of time. This is often referred to as the day-age theory. Many people have wondered whether this argument is valid. It is true, after all, that the Hebrew word for day (yom) can have several different meanings, depending upon its context. However, when all the facts are gathered, it is abundantly clear that God communicated with precision that all creation took place during the time period of six, normal, 24-hour type days.
- The Hebrew word for day (yom) can have several different meanings. The meaning is always clear when read in context.
- The first reference to “day” in the creation account is in the context of a 24 hour cycle of light and dark, “And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day” (NASV, see Genesis 1).
- When the word “day” is used with a number, such as day one, day two, etc., it always refers to a literal, 24 hour type day. This is true 100% of the time. This holds true all 359 times that “day” is used with an ordinal modifier (number) outside of Genesis chapter 1.
- There is no Biblical indication that “day” is used differently in the beginning chapter of Genesis than it is throughout the rest of the book, or the rest of the Old Testament.
- The “days” in Genesis 1 are always specifically used in connection with the words “evening and morning.” This phrase is used with “day” 38 times in the Old Testament, not counting Genesis chapter 1. Each time, without exception, the phrase refers to a normal 24 hour type day. It is also important to note that this phrase is never used in the Old Testament in a manner which is obviously metaphoric.
When the phrase “evening and morning” is coupled with a numbered modifier and the word “yom”, there is no stronger way of specifying a normal day. We understand that Genesis is describing six Earth rotations, not an unspecified period of billions of years.
We see therefore that a study of the Hebrew text of Genesis 1 states in clear language that creation took place during the period of six, normal 24-hour type days. Further evidence of this conclusion is given in Exodus 20:11. This passage, written in stone by the finger of God Himself, states, “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day.” God, the only witness to the creation events, testifies that all things were created within a literal six day period.
Ultimately, whether one accepts this information or not probably depends more upon their interpretation of science than of the scriptures. For without the consideration of modern scientific theories of the age of the universe, there can be little reason to question the clear communication of the Bible.
As stated by Pattle P.T. Pun, a leading progressive creationist, “It is apparent that the most straightforward understanding of the Genesis record, without regard to all of the hermeneutical considerations suggested by science, is that God created heaven and earth in six solar days, that man was created in the sixth day, that death and chaos entered the world after the fall of Adam and Eve, that all of the fossils were the result of the catastrophic universal deluge which spared only Noah’s family and the animals therewith.” [Pattle P.T. Pun, “A Theology of Progressive Creationism,” Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation, Vol. 39, No. 1 (Ipswich, MA: March 1987), p. 14]
As in all areas of theology, God allows each believer to decide which side to take on a controversial topic. It must be noted, however, that the Scriptures are emphatically clear on this issue. The billions-of-years timescale estimated by modern scientific theories cannot be harmonized with the literal interpretation of the Bible by resorting to the misguided notion of a day-age.
(Information pulled from: http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-c002.html)
So then, just how old is the earth if it’s not millions of years old?
The Biblical age of the Earth is about 6,000 years old (using scripture itself as a guide).
Mankind did not evolve 4 million years ago on an earth which is 4.5 billion years old in a universe which was “big-banged” into existence 18-20 billion years in the distant past. Jesus Christ, the Creator Incarnate, said He made mankind male and female in the beginning (Mark 10:6), and that when the heavens and the earth were commanded into being (Gen 1:1), they “stood up together” (Isa 48:13) not billions of years apart !!
Let’s look at scripture for proof…
- Beginning with the archeological landmark event of the fall of Jerusalem in 588 B.C. and counting backwards the prophesied number of years between this event and the division of Solomon’s kingdom (390 yrs. + 40 yrs., according to Ezekiel 4:4-7), brings us to 1018 B.C.
- From the end of Solomon’s 40-year reign to the start of the Temple in the 4th year of his reign takes us back another 37 years to 1055 B.C.
- From the start of Solomon’s Temple “in the 480th year” (1 Kings 6:1) back to the Exodus from Egypt (hence 479 years previous) brings us to near 1534 B.C.
- From the Exodus out of Egypt to Abraham’s entering Canaan from Haran was exactly 430 years to the day (Gen 12:10/ Exodus 12:40/ Gal 3:17), thus around 1964 B.C.
- Since Abraham entered Canaan at age 75 (Gen 12:4), he was born approximately 2039 B.C.
- From Abraham’s birth to Noah’s grandson (Shem’s son), Arpachshad’s birth, 2 years after the Flood started, was 290 years (Gen 11:11-26), this places the onset of the Flood at around 2331 B.C. [definitely 4,300-4,400 years ago].
- The genealogy of Genesis 5:3-32 precludes any gaps due to its tight chronological structure and gives us 1,656 years between Creation and the Flood, thus bringing Creation Week back to near 3987 B.C. or approximately 4000 B.C.
Why do scientists say that it’s millions of years old? They use ‘Carbon Dating’ to validate their arguments.
What is Carbon Dating and how accurate is it?
Used to estimate the age of ancient artifacts and human and animal remains, radiocarbon dating is regarded by many as one of the miracles of modern science. Some, however, have serious doubts about the credibility of this technique.
Radiocarbon dating works by comparing the amount of normal carbon that is found in a sample with the amount of radioactive carbon. Both carbon and radioactive carbon are found in every living organism. While carbon is quite prevalent in these organisms, radioactive carbon is present only in tiny amounts. Some contend that the relative ratios of carbon and radioactive carbon that are found on the earth have remained constant over time and that, using known rates of decay; we can estimate age on the basis of changes in this ratio in a particular artifact or remains.
Radioactive carbon is absorbed by living organisms throughout their entire life. When the organism dies that absorption stops and the radioactive carbon begins to break down. Because this break down occurs at a known rate it is theoretically possible to compare the amount of regular carbon and the amount of radioactive carbon and estimate just how long an organism has been dead.
Although the theory of radiocarbon dating is interesting, there are several inherent problems with the process. The first of these problems is the fact that the original ratio of carbon and radioactive carbon is unknown. The second problem is that the possibility of contamination of the sample over time is quite high. The older the sample the higher the probability of contamination, in fact! What this means is that using carbon dating to date very old samples is really quite impractical given our current level of knowledge and technological capabilities.
While carbon dating continues to be considered by many as a viable way of obtaining authoritative dates for a wide range of artifacts and remains, there is much room for error in the process. Even the use of accelerator mass spectrometry to analyze the relative levels of carbon and radioactive carbon has resulted in flawed determinations. It is not uncommon for different laboratories to determine quite different ages for the same artifact! While some of this deviation could possibly be explained by contamination or erred methodology in the labs themselves, it is apparent that the problems with carbon dating are much more complex than that.
Very simply put, too many things are unknown to allow the carbon dating process to be as accurate as many proclaim it to be. Factors as diverse as changes in the earth’s magnetic field and changes in the amount of carbon available to organisms in times past could translate into perceivable differences in the carbon ratios in artifacts and remains from ancient times. Even changes in the atmosphere itself could impact this carbon ratio. We know that changes such as these have occurred over time. They are still occurring today in fact.
The fact that carbon and radioactive carbon are independently formed means that their ratios to one another could have changed substantially from ancient times to today. To base our knowledge on the age of the earth and its various constituents on information gleaned from a technique that depends on carbon and radioactive carbon ratios is very simply unrealistic.
(Information pulled from: http://www.essortment.com/hobbies/carbondatingac_szhq.htm)