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6,000 Years +/-

The age of the earth is a tough topic.  Most people believe that the earth is billions of years old.  They believe this not necessarily because they have extensively studied it themselves, but more than likely because they've been told in ridiculous repetition that it's old.  Even in my adulthood, I can't hardly go a week without hearing it said or reading it in print somewhere.  The news can't get enough of every study they can get their hands on that tells us something about our "distant" past.  Countless children's books and shows on public broadcasting channels start right out of the gate with "Millions of years ago..." almost completely replacing the phrase "Once upon a time."  I certainly can't blame a person for thinking that it's old.  Nor can I blame them for not doing any of their own research.  Why should they waste their time determining something that the "experts" have already accepted as a given?

Broaching the subject gets even harder for a Christian.  We're torn between all that we've heard and been taught by our secular educations and what we read in the Bible, assuming we read our Bibles.  Genesis presents a creation week that God created everything in six days and then rested on the seventh.  Our educations, on the other hand, tell us that everything sort of happened on its own over the course of billions of years.  Christians who would rather fit in both crowds (like me for most of my adult life) postulate that God did create everything over the course of billions of years, a sort of God-directed evolution, if you will.  And, while that sounds good and seems to promote an "everybody's correct on the subject" platform which is awfully popular, it has a major flaw for the Christian: The Bible doesn't say billions of years; it says six days.

I'll touch on that in a moment, though.  Maybe you, the person reading this, are not a Christian, and you don't really care what the Bible says on the subject because you don't view the Bible as an authority on the subject of the age of the earth.  I get that.  You're being consistent with your beliefs and I can admire that.  So, let's first just look at the secular side of it.

I wrote about uniformitarianism in my last blog and explained how even scientists themselves must admit that it's nothing more than a belief and yet it is continued to be used as a platform from which to build all scientific theory.  In short, uniformitarianism is the belief that the rates at which things happen today (which can be observed) are the same as they have always been in the past (which cannot be observed).  This assumption is being used in geology, biology, astronomy, virtually all modern sciences.  But, it's not science.  It's a belief about the past that is not testable, not observable, and not provable.  So, rather than start with assumptions of ages, let's start with a clean slate and examine some evidence ourselves and apply some logic and reason.

Let's look at biology, more specifically, yourself, for example. Unless there is something abnormal with your biology, if you engaged in well-timed procreation activities with the opposite sex you could expect to successfully reproduce offspring.  But, what would you reproduce?  A human, right?  How do you know?  You know because you observe, as do all of us, that all creatures on this planet produce only their own kind.  No human has ever nor will ever produce a puppy.

Science textbooks allow this widely-known fact to go unmentioned while they instead teach that all life came from the same source.  However, this inherently means that creatures do not always produce only their own kind.  Rather, the textbooks teach us that we produce ever-so-slightly different creatures with every generation.

Genesis 1:20-25, on the other hand, accounts for this as it says that when God created all creatures they would produce after their own kind.  The textbooks would have you believe differently from both what God said and from what you know to be true through your own observations.

The textbook's take on the matter leaves much to be desired in regards to sensibility.  In fact, it raises more questions than it answers.  If all life has a common ancestor, the first living thing, how and why did it have the ability and will to reproduce itself?  Don't just speed read through this, please think about it.  It's truly unfathomable when you really weigh it mentally.  Assuming that life could be spawned by accident, a perfect storm of the right conditions, they guess, how did it know to reproduce to maintain life?  Why didn't it just die?  We're expected to believe that NOT ONLY did such an incredible event take place that initially spawned the first life despite a veritable zero chance of possibility but that the first life ALSO knew to keep this new-fangled thing called life going by unfailingly reproducing itself.  Really?  Statistically speaking, that belief is laughable.

Let's explore genetics a bit, as well.  Ever wonder where all the different people groups came from?  Science books, and unfortunately our culture, call them 'races' of people, but let's look into this a bit from an historical perspective.  Before the popularization of the theories of evolution and a singular common ancestor, everyone understood the obvious which is that humans are humans.  They all look different whether from different continents or even from parents to children.  To some degree, we are all unique from others, our own immediate families included.  Yes, we can be lumped together based upon our skin pigment, hair color, eye shape, etc.  But regardless of our differences, it was well understood that we were all of one kind, species, race, whatever you want to call it.  However, since these theories have spread and have been taught to generations, new ideas have arisen concerning the human race.  To explain the visual differences in humans from different geographical locations, it was suggested that different people groups evolved at different rates.  Is this ringing bells from your childhood education?  I hope it's sounding an alarm.  Here's why.  The problem with such an idea is that it inherently means that some humans are more advanced in evolution than others.  Swallowing hook, line, and sinker that the textbooks are correct on this subject, justifies the belief that some people groups are more like their "ape-like" ancestors than others.  It's a racist philosophy.

Many people think that the case is closed on the subject of race.  They are completely unaware of the ongoing and heated scientific debate that has been boiling since Darwin's publication of the Origin of Species.  In 1995 it was announced by several biologists that "race has no biological basis."  Instead, they claimed that 'race' was completely a social construct.  Richard Lewontin, a Harvard geneticist, argued in 1972 that, since there was greater genetic variation within any given race than between races, the very concept of race was not a useful way to understand genetic variation in humans.  Did you catch that?  There is more genetic variation within a so-called race than there is variation between different so called races.  Furthermore, the visual differences we see between people from different geographic areas make up a mere fraction of a percent in the human genome.  In fact, in terms of organ transplants, a person is statistically more likely to find a viable match from someone in a different people group than from someone in their own group.

Once again, if one were to take the Bible's word for it concerning the subject, what geneticists and biologists are finding makes much more sense.  In contrast, the theory of evolution is complicating the subject with juxtapositions being made fueling a debate that cannot be settled sense the observable science does not support the evolutionary worldview held by the majority.  It's clear that these academics are not allowing themselves to be led to the conclusion that the evidence would lead them.  This is a rejection of the scientific method.

How does all this biology talk play into the age of the earth, you ask?  Well, it sort of doesn't directly.  Sorry about that.  But, I will show you how it does indirectly.  Due to the astonishingly low .1 percent difference in the human genome (total amount of human DNA) it would suggest that we haven't had very much time to establish much genetic variation.  It would also suggest that all humans therefore came from a single source of human DNA.  Combining genetic variation and mathematics, the evidence supports that human DNA has only been around thousands of years, not hundreds of thousands of years and descended from other primates millions of years ago.  And, if humans are "young" then the science used that claims they are "old" is flawed.  The Bible's written account is supported while the model provided by evolutionists contradicts what is found in genetics.  If you apply these mistaken ages to other sciences and their "findings" then everything on earth gets much younger.  It's becoming more clear that the billions-year-old-earth standpoint is inconsistent with the findings of genetics.

I realize that I have really over-typed your patience, but I'm hoping that you're reading this and seeing some good evidence to make you start to question what you've been taught.  I believe that there is probably less than 1 percent of people who have actually done their own research to form their conclusions on their beliefs.  The vast majority are taught what to believe and they've never questioned it.  There is a famous saying that I learned in public school attributed to Isaac Newton that states "If I see further it's because I stand on the shoulders of giants."  It's obviously referring to a person being able to pick up where others left off and build upon what they've already done.  But, there is a terrible error looming here.  What if someone was wrong?  What if they veered off the path of logical pursuit and into the territory of agenda-driven philosophy?  Wouldn't all who "stood on their shoulders" be prone to making the same mistakes?

One of the interesting things I've found about science is when I was reading about reification, a logical fallacy that is when something abstract is referred to as something concrete.  Referring to unprovable theories as fact would be a good example of this. I stumbled across this on Wikipedia when reading about reification:

The concept of a "construct" has a long history in science; it is used in many, if not most, areas of science. A construct is a hypothetical explanatory variable that is not directly observable.  The degree to which a construct is useful and accepted in the scientific community depends on empirical research that has demonstrated that a scientific construct has construct validity (especially, predictive validity).[9] Thus, if properly understood and empirically corroborated, the "reification fallacy" applied to scientific constructs is not a fallacy at all; it is one part of theory creation and evaluation in normal science.

So, did you catch that?  Science gets a free pass to tout fallacies as truth as long as they are measurable and can produce predictable results.  But, what's a predictable result on a fallacious test?  I'll tell you what it is.  It's receiving the results that you predicted you would get.  That's a fallacy in itself.  It's circular reasoning.  You got what you wanted because your criteria is set up to correlate to your desired result.  And they humorously call it "predictive validity".  The irony is that when tests are performed that contradict their desired results they simply ignore them as if they don't exist.  Such as, when diamonds thought to be 1-3 billion years old and related to earth's early history are tested for radiocarbon and shouldn't have any but do in fact have significant detectable levels that date them around 55,000 years old by their own standards, no one in the scientific community cries foul.  No one pulls the emergency brake to reexamine their assumptions.  They don't even attempt to fix what they say about diamonds.  They just go on claiming what they want to claim despite their inconsistencies.

In astronomy, one needs to look no further than our moon to find a huge problem with "old earth" philosophy.  Astronomers have found that the moon is slowly moving away from earth in its orbit.  So, in the past, the moon was closer to earth.  If the earth is only about 6,000 years old then there isn't a problem because in that time the moon would have only been about 800 feet closer to earth in its beginning.  However, astronomers also believe the moon to be 4 billion years old.  This poses a major problem since the moon would have been touching the earth less than 1.5 billion years ago.  I searched the Internet for an "old earth" response to this problem and the only thing that I could find was a comment on a Physics page where someone stated that this wasn't a problem at all because while the earth was still very young 4.5 billion years ago and still mostly liquid, another planet collided with it and all the pieces formed the moon.  There was more to the comment but I'm floored by how easy it is for people to believe such theories.  Why is it so much easier for them to make up "possible" scenarios and claim them to be fact.  Especially, since this doesn't deal with the problem at all.  It fails to answer the question and only raises more questions.

And lastly, how about anthropology?  The world's population is a fun one for me.  Why?  Because I like math.  And, I like Microsoft Excel.  Excel allows me to do complicated math formulas faster which is why I like it.  Subconsciously, I think I probably like it also for its grid.  It looks like graph paper, and I like graph paper.  But, back to what I was talking about before I started listing off all the nerdy things I like, the world's population is a great topic because anyone who can do basic math can see that something is amiss with an "old earth" philosophy.  Let's start with some obvious basics.  The world's human population is growing.  Duh, right?  But, we don't know what the earth's population is at any given moment.  It's estimated that the world's population is growing by 2 every second.  This means that more babies are being born than people are dying on average at any given moment.  Let's build a model to makes sense of world population growth.  For our model we will assume that the population doubles every 150 years.  That's a super conservative figure, by the way.  The US Census office estimates that it's closer to doubling every 40 years.  However, for the sake of argument, let's stick with a conservative figure.

Before I begin, though, I'd like to clear something up about exponential growth that most people don't think about in terms of graphs.  Look at the graph here.  Most people, myself included, see this graph on world population and take away from it that the world's population is growing at a rate leaps and bounds faster than it ever has.  They assume that this must be due to a combination of technology and modern medicine.  But, understand that this is what all exponential graphs look like.  This is why people don't get compounding interest.  There's a mathematical riddle, of sorts, that people are fond of that basically asks a person if they'd rather have a million dollars or a penny that gets doubled for thirty days straight.  Most people would go for the million, but are smart enough to know that there's a trick they aren't seeing and that they're probably choosing unwisely.  And, their hunch is right.  The penny doubling for 30 days winds up to be over ten million dollars.  You can check this out yourself with any basic calculator (.01 X 2, hit = 30 times).  So, understand this: it's true that the population is growing leaps and bounds in recent years compared to centuries past, however this is because there are more people to create more babies NOT because people are having more babies.  The RATE of growth surely changed but its unlikely it has changed much.

So, back to our model of world population, let's assume that the flood described in Genesis really happened.  So, afterwards, we have 8 people (Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives) and a devastated planet with which to start over around 2500 BC.  If we assume the aforementioned conservative rate of doubling the population every 150 years and we start with the three sons and their wives, what we get is the graph you see here.  This calculates to just shy of 8.6 billion people in the year 2000, not too far off from the roughly 7 billion currently estimated, right?  Also, the graph appears to match the one we saw above, though as I mentioned before all exponential graphs will look like this.

According to Wikipedia, anatomically modern humans (known as Homo sapiens sapiens) began 200,000 years ago.  Luckily, Excel is awesome and I can quickly change my spreadsheet to graph out what just two first humans 200,000 years ago would have produced today using the same super-conservative population growth rate.  But, I ran into a problem.  My screen isn't large enough to show the whole number.  In fact, by the time it got to just 100,000 years ago, the world's population calculated to a number with 190 digits!  So, let's try again with an even MORE conservative growth rate.  Let's change the growth rate from doubling every 150 years to doubling every 1,000 years.  That's crazy slow.  Think about it.  In 1,000 years you can easily expect there to be 25 generations at a generation every 40 years.  25 generations and finally double?  But, even with these crazy numbers, the population today would be 61 digits long!  Don't forget that our present population only has 10 digits.

What's also wild to think about is that Wikipedia also claims that our supposedly most recent ancestor, the Neanderthals (or Homo sapiens) began 500,000 years ago.  What happened to all of them?  Did they all die?  Because, if they evolved, then my goodness, I don't even want to attempt that Excel spreadsheet.  But, if they all died (300,000 years worth of population growth, mind you), what killed them?

Evolution's only hope concerning this anthropological problem is that you can't do math.  What's truly ironic is that those who believe in an old earth and the evolution of mankind will argue with the math I have provided and say that I can't assume that the rate of population growth has remained constant and that there were times in mankind's past that natural disasters occurred that wiped out huge swaths of the global population.  The reason that it's ironic is because they would be being inconsistent.  Remember how I started out this blog mentioning uniformitarianism as an underlying fallacy that leads modern science astray?  It leads them astray because they don't account for natural disasters or unknown factors to have affected any of the evidence they are looking at.  So, the irony is that if they were at all consistent, they would have no explanation for the question 'Where are all the people?'  I've even thrown them a bone by only starting with 2 humans with their time frame.  They maintain it was more like 10,000 to 50,000.  But, no matter how you fudge the numbers, the math just doesn't work.

Hopefully, I have given you enough to chew on, enough to entice you to look further into what you believe and perhaps ask yourself why you believe what you do.  We shouldn't ever find ourselves ardently believing something without a viable explanation to back up those beliefs.  God doesn't ask us to do that.  He isn't scared of our questions and doesn't hold back information from us.  Rather, I believe that God gets excited the further out we look, the deeper in we look, and the harder we search for truth.  He's not unreachable nor unknowable.  He wants us to find Him.  He wants to show us the way.  But, too often, we're good just to be where we are.  We're content with just thinking we have it all figured out.

The Bible is correct.  The earth was created by God.  It was created just like His word tells us it was.  For those Christians who have always believed in an old earth, please take notice that Jesus knew the earth had a beginning and he placed man and woman at that beginning, not billions of years later (Matthew 19:4).

The science books have done us all a great disservice.  They have an atheistic worldview that removed God from His rightful glory of creating all things.  They would have you believe that you are an accident and that your life is utterly meaningless and that when you die there will be nothing more.  But, deep inside, we all know that none of that is true.  We all know that there is meaning, that we have purpose, that there is more than just the physical.  Everything in us speaks to it.  The Holy Spirit speaks it to us.  Don't continue to rob God of the glory that is His alone.

Like all my blogs, feel free to leave a comment if you have a question or a rebuttal or whatever.

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