A Comparison of the Old Earth and Young Earth Creationist Models
|Author: Ben Anderson
Just a short overview of my position on the old/young earth issue:
Either is possible, but I lean toward a young-earth view for the following reasons:
- A literal 6 day creation is the most clear and simple interpretation of Genesis and other scriptures that speak of creation and the 6 days thereof.
- Most or all of what we view from a geological viewpoint that would seem to point to an old earth can be explained or interpreted in light of the fact that a great flood (and its geological/meteorological aftermath) utterly transformed the earth and totally altered the geological “record”.
- The fossil record can be largely or entirely viewed as a result of the flood.
- While there are some unresolved issues/problems with a young earth view, there are an equal number (or more) problems with an old earth view. This fact is largely ignored by “secular” science.
- A young earth view is the historic view of the Church and Rabbis in Judaism. Both Rabbis and the post-apostolic fathers wrote of the earth as being young. Some, in fact, believed it would last for 7000 years (2000 years of nations (chaos?), 2000 years of Law, 2000 years of Grace, and 1000 years of Messiah).
- Old-earth dating methods are inconclusive, often conflict, and often produce bogus results (giving ancient dates on recent lava flows, living shellfish,etc).
- Old-earth views often discount the Flood as of little significance when interpreting geological strata (most “secular” geologists do not believe such a global flood even happened). For example, oldeartherswould view the Grand Canyon as the result of millions of years of sediment deposition and erosion. Young earthers would view the area as a result of massive sediment deposition during the flood, accompanied by land upheaval and massive river flows during immediate post-flood era. Consider what a raging torrent the Colorado River must have been as the flood waters receded!
- A “day-age” interpretation of Genesis 1 has some logical problems:
— Just how many millenia did plants live (created “day” 3) without sunlight (created “day” 4), which all land plants are dependent upon for light, warmth, reproduction, photosynthesis, and their day/night cycles?
— Many plants are almost totally dependent upon insects for pollenization and reproduction. Some also depend on birds and animals. Such plants could not have survived for more than a single life cycle much less millions of years (again, plants came on “day” 3, insects day “6”… millions/billions of years later?).
— God did not “give every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth…” as food for “all the beast… birds… creatures… [and] everything that has the breath of life in it…” until day 6. Why would God wait millions/billions of years to declare this? The phrase “And it was so” seems to indicate that it was at the moment that God spoke that this law was established for both man and beast.
I’m open to other opinions. [My friend] has made some excellent points that bear consideration. But the evidence that we see on earth can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Old-earthers see it through their rose-colored glasses, young-earthers through theirs.
So I ask, what does the text most plainly say? What has the Church historically taught? To me, both say “young earth”. So, for now, there I stand.