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An answer to the question “What is the age of the earth?”

A reader recently asked me, in a rather confrontational way, what I believed about the age of the earth. Because I did not want this website to become involved in unnecessary controversy, I answered his question truthfully, but not fully, that I am agnostic on the issue ― I don’t know the age of the earth. On further reflection, I have decided that the question deserves a more complete answer even at the risk of offending someone. There is no short explanation of how I arrived at that answer, but I have cut the explanation down to the bare minimum in the paragraphs below, so if you are interested in the question, please read on.

The issue of the age of the earth, in itself, is of little significance. What difference to our daily lives does it make if the earth is six thousand, or four billion years old? These issues that have become entangled with it are of supreme importance however: the Judeo-Christian-Islamic monotheistic creation account versus Pantheistic, and atheistic-naturalistic cosmology, and stemming from those diverse cosmological sources arise all the issues of human life ― the nature of man, of God, of human relations, of law and government. I will return to those issues later.

Unfortunately the age of the earth has become a major, and public, battleground between not only contending ideologies, but individuals and groups who have made careers stoking this controversy. The conflicting contentions of the partisans have caused a polarization to positions that may not be supported by facts. It is to one of those issues that I am addressing the following comments.

Some people may have the impression that a true Bible believing Christian has to be a “Young Earth Creationist” (holding the view that the six days of creation in Genesis are literal 24 hour periods, and the total age of the earth is about six thousand years based upon the computations of Bishop Usher). That impression simply is not true. I am a born again sinner saved by the grace of God through the blood of Christ Bible thumping Fundamentalist, and still, I believe those “days” are not intended to be taken as literal days, and the earth is much older than six thousand years. My views fall closer to, but not necessarily fully within, the “Old Earth Creationist” camp, which generally accepts the latest ‘scientific’ findings on the age of the earth. Many, and I suspect most, Christians, hold some such views on the age of the earth, but the vehemence of the Young Earthers’ battles with professional atheists obscures that fact. And I fully understand, and sympathize with those who admire the Young Earth champions, even though I can’t agree with them.

You may wonder why I am so sympathetic with something I don’t believe in. It is precisely because of the havoc wreaked upon the world by those professional atheists who have engineered an illusion of incompatibility between science and the Christian faith, and the resulting destruction of our society, of human value, human life, sound education, and assault upon personal freedom endowed by our Creator. For generations now, our Christian culture has, in general, meekly accepted their abuse. Now comes the Young Earthers with the pugnacious temerity to challenge the atheistic orthodoxy of government, academia, and media ― hooray for them! But 24 hour creation “days” is not the hill to die on, and I would not want seekers after the Christian faith to be dissuaded by this false impression, so please consider the following brief observations.

1. A Young Earth cosmology was never a criterion of the Christian faith. Many of the early church fathers, some who died for the faith, held views contrary to that. The fundamental creeds of the church are silent on that issue; they deal with belief in the nature and mission of Jesus the Christ. A diversity of opinion on the issue of the Genesis ‘day’ has always been accepted in the church, and it should be today. I am demonstrating that Christian freedom right now.

2. Perhaps more to the real point of the concern ― it would be wrong to assume that being ‘liberal’ rather than ‘literal’ on the creation days implies any lack of support for true Biblical doctrines such as creation by God of the cosmos, of the fall of man, and of the redemption by Christ.

I have not forgotten the origin of mankind―special creation or natural evolution? Evolution, let’s be specific: Darwinian origin of species by natural selection of random mutations, is considered to depend upon vast amounts of time for its credibility, hence much of the opposition to an old earth. Age is not the issue here however. Darwinism’s only real support isn’t found in science, but in religion; in the rebellion of man against God, and man’s delusional attempts to hide from God, as described in Genesis. In thousands of years or trillions of years Darwinist Evolution is a fantasy, one denied by the fossil record and by modern biological discoveries (despite the outrageous lies of its proponents). I won’t try to prove that assertion here, I am merely suggesting that Evolution should be taken off the table in the age of the earth argument. I will have few words more to say about the creation of mankind later, and for those who do want to pursue the truth about Darwin’s speculation, I make a few recommendations in a post-script.

3. As a Bible believer, I am committed to faith in its message, and I find that it does not command a literal six day creation, or a young earth. The Hebrew word translated as ‘day’ is used in several ways even in the creation account; for a 24 hour earth rotational cycle, for the daylight portion of the cycle, and for an indefinite period of time related to some particular event. There are many other such words used in different ways in different contexts throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, as there are in most, if not all, languages. Insistence upon understanding Genesis days only as 24 hour periods is purely arbitrary.

4. Furthermore, if we assume that the writer of the book of Genesis is logical and factual, which I do, then a 24 hour day creates many unnecessary inconsistencies in the text (not to mention with the geological record). For instance, the sun, apparently, was not created until the fourth day. I am at a loss to understand 24 hour days without the sun; both as light giver and gravitational center of the solar system.

It would be naive to assume that the writer of Genesis, with or without divine inspiration, was so ignorant that he didn’t understand the rising and setting of the sun as denoting ‘day’. The Bible, in fact, displays surprising understanding of natural processes, for instance, in Ecclesiastes 1:7 we see the hydrologic cycle described: All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. We see that bit of science paired with a complex metaphorical comment on life in the next verse: All things are full of labor; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. The text and the very grammatical structure of the book reveals a highly advanced culture, intellectually, if not in technology. We must look beyond these obvious seeming contradictions to understand it.

5. We have two great impediments to solving the riddle of the creation ‘day’. We have to remember that Genesis was written thousands of years ago in a largely alien language and culture. Beyond that it was either dictated by some angelic being of whom we know nothing, or was copied from some older source of which we also know nothing.

The second impediment is far greater than the distance in language and culture, it is the distance between God and man. Man is a prisoner of the Fourth Dimension ―Time; God is not. One of the cardinal attributes of God is that, as Creator, He stands outside the physical universe and time itself. Timelessness is beyond my understanding, and any who say they understand it are either liars or fools, and probably both. A precise technical explanation of the Creation act, even to modern science would be pointless, so we can expect only a very abridged account.

6. If these ‘days’ are not to be taken ‘literally’ as of 24 hour periods, then what are the alternative views consistent with belief in the true revelation of the Bible? There are many theories on that subject, too many and too complicated for this short commentary, so I will touch upon them only in a brief and general way.

There is the suggestion that the days were not meant to refer to sequential time periods at all, but some other organizing principle; several have been suggested.

A more popular view of the Creation account is as allegory. That view is held by many Christians in broad and not well defined terms. To understand that, we must separate allegory from myth; they are not the same. An allegory expresses truth, one might say it universalizes a truth. We seldom think of them as such, but the parables of Jesus are allegories: the prodigal son, the good Samaritan, the lost sheep, the sower and the four types of soil. These are all stories expressing truths, put in a form people can understand.

Then too, there is the fact that only God was present at the Creation, and if God is outside time, the whole creation was, from God’s perspective, (for lack of better terminology) instantaneous and simultaneous. In which case, the time periods would be artificial constructs to explain the creation in simple, human terms.

I cannot conceive of the acts of these ‘days’ being fully independent and consecutive, as a literal reading seems to make them, so ‘simultaneous’ seems to me to be a key ingredient, perhaps with the completion or milestone of some act being memorialized in each ‘day’.

Making the proper distinction between literal, allegorical, and…well, simply not understood is a challenge, but we must take the things we are sure of, and not let our journey be stymied by what we don’t understand.

7. Are there any arguments for an old earth within the Genesis account? Yes, I think so, one that comports perfectly with the geological record. I will delve briefly into that now.

The first command given to mankind (Gn. 2:28) is “Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it”. It is God’s stated purpose to create a people for himself. So how did He go about it? Did He create six billion humans instantly? Well, no… and then again, yes, depending upon one’s perspective. To God, it was an instantaneous creation; to mankind, no. But the point is this, God accomplished his will through a process; natural procreation. The same can be said for “every living creature” (before the creation of man); “God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.” Genesis 1:22. Any process takes time, some more than others.

So what other processes might God have set in motion that would give some hint of time? God knew the needs of his creation, and supplied us abundantly with balanced gravitational and centrifugal forces, sunshine, air, water; all of which required process. But there are other needs more in my line as an old geologist.

God knew that mankind, and the rest of the animal creation would need food. Genesis 2:5 reveals that there were plants before there was man “to till the ground”. So God had provided soil for his creation also. Very little grows on dry land without soil. But soil is the result of a geologic process. We can truthfully declare that God can instantly create soil out of nothing because God can do anything. But does that negate the necessity of a time consuming process? Surely we can balance that apparent discrepancy with the understanding that to God it was instantaneous, and man was not there to time it.

God knew that mankind would need energy resources beyond that supplied by the Sun. He also knew that the forests and fields would eventually be destroyed by the rising demand for fuel. So He has used time to provide us with vast forests, or at least their carbonized energy resources, stacked up, awaiting man’s need, and intelligence and ingenuity to develop. I think God is proud of his creation as they discover and use his bounteous provision to ‘subdue’ the earth. But the provision of coal resources required process, and process requires time.

Likewise with tools. Man was designed with the intelligence, ingenuity, and curiosity to need evermore, and ever more complex tools. His first simple tools were made of flint, or chert. Flint, at least the most widely used type, requires a lengthy process of weathering rock, concentration of silica in seabed sediments, crystallization into a mineral/rock, uplift and erosion so it would be available to primitive man. It is the same with iron ore, and the other metals and industrial minerals up to and including the ‘rare earth’ metals in such demand by the advanced technology required to supply the needs of billions of people; they all needed process and time.

Just a brief mention here about the origin of man. I believe in the special creation of mankind as God’s highest creation, but I see no substantive difference in special creation and the directed evolution of the human genome. As I said earlier, evolution by natural selection of random mutations is nonsense suitable only to hide from the truth of God’s legitimate authority as creator. If we concede that God uses time consuming processes to accomplish His will, then I can imagine the development of the human genome as a logical process of building upon, by divine intervention, the developing genetic code according His design. I am not wedded to that idea, but until some better explanation comes along is suits the purpose of satisfying my intellectual curiosity.

So here we have, at least to my mind, a Biblical justification for an old earth; time was needed for the accomplishment of God’s purpose. I don’t know how old earth is, but certainly much older than a few thousand years. I doubt the precise accuracy of some of the old earth models, including the ones accepted by most Old Earth Creationists. The Young Earthers have pointed out many problems with the models, and many of the “constants” I was taught, like atomic decay rates, and the speed of light in a vacuum, are being found not to be so constant after all. So I will remain an agnostic on the age of the earth, and I find that no problem at all either in my faith or my life.

Finally, I want to return briefly to the serious implications of those issues entangled with the age of the earth, and the veracity of the Biblical creation account. What are we as human beings? I have thought a great deal about that and written about it in other venues. The following quote is from my website It recounts the opinion of a supposedly great scientist and certain enemy of Christianity:

I want to take just a brief look at what a new edition hails as

“THE SEMINAL WORK OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY ON ITS 75TH ANNIVERSARY…” (Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents, frontispiece). I am sad to say there is some truth to that boast, such ideals precede Freud however. Let us pick out only two parts of this remarkable work.

First, Freud’s rejection of the traditional family relationship, which I will pass over with the brief quote: “Only the weaklings have submitted to such an extensive encroachment upon their sexual freedom…” (Freud p-95). That hardly needs explanation, but perhaps a moment of reflection might be in order on what that philosophy means to the principal building block of society – the family.

Of the second, we will take only a somewhat longer look. This is Freud’s judgment on the Biblical injunction, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”. Freud did a lengthy introspective discussion of this concept and found it to be an impossible demand, as impossible as “Love thy enemy” – for it was ultimately the same thing. Man’s only possible relationship, by nature, is enemy. To men, as Freud saw it, “…their neighbor is for them not only a potential helper or sex object, but also someone who tempts them to satisfy their aggressiveness on him, to exploit his capacity for work without compensation, to use him sexually without his consent, to seize his possessions, to humiliate him, to cause him pain, to torture and kill him. Homo homino lupus” (i.e. Man is a wolf to man). (Freud, p-104)

This description of the nature of man could have been penned by an old-time Lutheran preacher. But with them, such a nature is the result of the fall, not biological determinism, and men are redeemable and able through spiritual renewal to overcome their depraved natures. Not so in Freud’s view. It was, in Freud’s opinion, the attempt to follow such biologically absurd precepts as ‘Love thy neighbor’ that lead men to the mental anguish, psychoses, and insanity modern man suffers. Furthermore, “…anyone who follows such a precept in present-day civilization only puts himself at a disadvantage vis-à-vis the person who disregards it.” (Freud, p-151)

Freud is right, of course, in his analysis of “natural man”. The ability to love your fellow man, even your enemy, comes from the old time religion. When one believes, really believes in the power and promises of God, then the envy, lust, fear and anger that breed hatred fade into insignificance. Faith, hope, and love (“charity” in the KJV) are the important things St. Paul advises us, and the greatest of these is love. I would add, the culmination of these is love. Faith gives us hope of joy beyond our wildest imagination. That hope frees us for love. Freud never discovered that.

Freud is much more complicated than pictured here, but this is an accurate tally of his bottom line on the nature (the biologically determined character) of man. What constraints are placed upon this nature are for the practical necessity of forming a community only, not for the sake of following some received moral code.

Are we simply biologically determined, or is there more to us? Thomas Jefferson and his revolutionary friends thought more of us when he penned:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed …

Jefferson returned to that theme a half century later in a letter to Thomas Weightman on the 50th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence with this assertion that the time was at hand when it would be universally accepted that:

…the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately…”.

Unfortunately his hope was betrayed; even now the world, including America, is caught up in a counter-revolution. Many are the governments that hold to the first set of principles, “Man is a wolf to man”. America itself is sliding farther and faster in that direction, to the “Left”, the anti-God ‘Left’. The opposite of socialism, communism, progressivism and other ‘isms’ that can be grouped as ‘Left’ is Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. The truth, as opposed to the illusion of all these, let’s just say ‘Socialist’ systems, is total control of the masses by government, and total control of government by an elite few. You may be certain that these ‘booted and spurred’ few hate the Biblical view of mankind, and they even hate the provisions God made for the growth of humanity, fossil fuels for instance. For this reason, as well as deeper spiritual reasons, the concept of Biblical Creation is worth fighting for, but, as I said before, six literal creation days is ‘not the hill to die on’.


PS, There is a lot of good information about this controversy but I highly recommend the works of Dr. James Tour, Dr. John Lennox, and Dr. Michael Behe; both in books and on youtube. Don’t be put off by what wikipedia and the cohorts of the Left say about them, recognize them as simply enemies of God desperately hiding behind a phantasm.

Crystal Healing Stone Countertops!

stone counter top

Natural stone counter top containing countless mineral crystals.

Yes! Even in your mundane daily chores you can be surrounded with millions, perhaps billions (depending on the type stone and amount of counter space) of amiable mineral crystals all happily chanting their mantras, radiating auras of peace and harmony, healing dry skin, chapped lips, liver complaints and broken legs. At least that’s how it should be if New Age crystal peddlers are correct that mineral crystals possess some form of benign “life” or spiritual force.

Ok, perhaps the idea of crystal healing countertops is a bit far fetched even in the “New Age” of benighted enlightenment. Besides that, I should think that if the counter top crystals were alive in some sense they would be more likely to radiate an aura of pain and anger at having been ripped from the depths of Mother Nature’s womb where they formed and put on display in an alien world of air and light. But of course, no one hawks “crystal healing countertops” anyway – just various ridiculously overpriced mineral bric a brac, baubles and bangles “said to”, “thought to” and “considered to” work miracles.

But consider this: Some crystal gurus pretend to make a plausible “scientific” argument likening the crystalline structure of silicate minerals to DNA; even though DNA is a qualitatively different and infinitely more complex structure. If a crystalline structure is determinative of a life force then the countless crystals in all natural stone countertops are alive. And so is just about everything else! What a cacophony of agitated auras that would be, if it were so. But crystal lattices are merely the expressions of the chemical bonds that give structure to every innumerable speck of matter. In the Beginning, God created the heavens and the earth – matter in other words; then from that dead matter He breathed life into all that is living.

Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him (Jesus) from the dead.

Acts 17:22-31





unique moss agate

Agates, Like people, are all one -of-kind.

Hello out there, and thanks for dropping in – its lonely here without you. I just finished reading C.S. Lewis’s magnificent book, The Problem of Pain and I want to give it a big plug; and yes, it does have some connection with agates, or at least with this website. Besides reproaching myself for not having gotten around to that little gem years, decades, earlier, I was pleased to see the remarkably astute Mr. Lewis expound upon a point I have made on this website (don’t worry, I would never be so gauche as to boast that ‘great minds think alike’). In Speaking of Agates and God…and Man, I attempted to draw some rough analogies between agates and mankind. One of those analogies is that every agate and every human being are complex, and unique creations, and that just as we can pick out one small pebble on a gravelly shore and find the unique beauty in it, God, with infinite time and patience can find the uniqueness and beauty in each of us. In either case, man and agate, the uniqueness and beauty are the products of experience – growth, change, emptying and filling, brokenness, healing.

Among many other thoughtful and eloquent observations in The Problem of Pain, Lewis adds great depth to the concept of the uniqueness of the human ‘soul’. Soul being the Biblical term for the totality of the human being – body, mind, spirit, and the sum of his experiences. My opinions on the subject you can find in Speaking of, but I am going to post below a few of Mr. Lewis’s that I find particularly apropos.

Lewis sets the stage for his musings on individuality as a God given aspect of human nature that will follow us (minus our sin nature) into the Blessed Realm by recounting experiences we have all had, and then proceeds to expound upon their significance.

Again, you have stood before some landscape, which seems to embody what you have been looking for all your life; and then you turned toward the friend at your side who appears to be seeing what you saw – but at the first words a gulf yawns between you, and you realize that the landscape means something totally different to him…Are not all lifelong friendships born at the moment when at last you meet another human being who has some inkling (but faint and uncertain in the best) of that something you were born desiring, and which, beneath the flux of other desires and in all the momentary silences between the louder passions, night and day, year by year, from childhood to old age, you are looking for, watching for, listening for? You have never had it. All the things that have ever deeply possessed your soul have been but hints of it – tantalizing glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear. But if it should really become manifest – if there ever became an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself – you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say ‘Here beyond all doubt is the thing I was made for’. We cannot tell each other about it. It is the secret signature of each soul, the incommunicable and unappeasable want, the thing we desired before we met our wives or made our friends or chose our work, and which we shall still desire on our deathbeds, when the mind no longer knows wife or friend or work. While we are, this is. If we lose this, we lose all.

This signature on each soul may be a product of heredity and environment, but that only means that heredity and environment are among the instruments whereby God creates a soul. I am considering not how, but why, He makes each soul unique. If He had no use for all these differences, I do not see why He should have created more souls than one. But be sure that the ins and outs of your individuality are no mystery to Him: and one day they will no longer be a mystery to you. The mould in which a key is made would be a strange thing, if you had never seen a key: and the key itself a strange thing if you had never seen a lock. Your soul has a curious shape because it is a hollow made to fit a particular swelling in the infinite contours of the Divine substance, or a key to unlock one of the doors in the house with many mansions. For it is not humanity in the abstract that is to be saved, but you – …

Blessed and fortunate creature, your eyes shall behold Him and not another’s. All that you are, sins apart, is destined, if you let God have His good way, to utter satisfaction. …God will look to every soul like its first love because He is its first love. Your place in heaven will seem to be made for you and you alone, because you were made for it – made for it stitch by stitch as a glove is made for a hand.

It is from this point of view that we can understand hell in its aspect of privation. All your life an unattainable ecstasy has hovered just beyond the grasp of your consciousness. The day is coming when you will awake to find, beyond all hope, that you have attained it, or else, that it was within your reach and you have lost it forever.”

The photo? Oh, just a pretty agate I found in a bucket of scraps at a friend’s place. Ever seen one exactly like it?

Current Post and Comments Page

Now it’s your turn, my dear readers, to let me know what you think about my website (and it’s contents, of course). I welcome your comments, constructive and critical, as long as they are polite and make some point. All comments must be manually approved by me before publishing. In addition to bad language and bad manners causing a rejection, I won’t allow comments on comments or nested comments. Your dialogue will be with me alone. At present, I don’t have an email link on this site, but as all comments are seen by me first, if you have something for me alone, just note that it is not for publication.