How old is the earth?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by milby, Feb 7, 2011.

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  1. milby

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    I was talking to a guy the other day who I would describe as an agnostic. He brings up the bible in conversation alot when I talk to him so I am trying to be a good witness without turning him off. He is very intellegent does not accept something on faith alone.

    He asked me how old I believe the earth is and when I said I believe in the creation timeline in Genesis he said if I did not believe the earth is billions of years old as science has proven then he would have to disagree with me on the bible.

    How would you have answered this. I am relatively new to the study of scripture and have no "theology degrees"....yet:)
     
  2. Crabtownboy

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    Other threads have been over this before. Anyway I agree with your friend and do not believe that the Bible is contradicted. I know Genesis is open to interpretation and I believe the word translated as "day" does not necessarily mean 24 hours. The Hebrew word used can mean time periods longer than a day. Genesis was written so that a pre-scientific people could understand it. It was never meant to be a scientific explanation. If God had given a scientific explanation no one then would have understood and it would have been discarded as gibberish ... IMHO.

    I believe the most important words in Genesis are "In the beginning God ....
     
  3. Aaron

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    The earth is as old as dirt.
     
  4. mandym

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    If he said science has proven that age then he does not know science. Evolution is only a theory although while throwing in that caveat in an obscure manner evolutionists try to present it as truth.

    But rather than be side tracked by the age of the earth you just need to point him to Christ. Jesus said "When I am lifted up I will draw all men to the Father." The age of the earth has nothing to do with that. It is a distraction not grounded in the urging of the Holy Spirit.

    Keep pointing him towards Christ and lift him up in prayer as often as you can. The rest is up to God.
     
  5. quantumfaith

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    The age of the earth and evolution are only related in the sense that "evolution" in Darwinian terms (and others) require great amounts of time. However, the science of the age of the earth (and universe) and evolution are distinct branches of science. There is no "kabal" existing between scientists to "rig the data" to complement one another.

    I personally, believe the earth to be approximately 4.5 billion years old, and the age of the universe to be approximately 13.78 billion years old. There is much well grounded science to suggest that totally unrelated to evolutionary biology.
     
  6. glfredrick

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    The proper answer is that the Bible does not give us the age of the earth, so we don't know for sure.

    What we do know is that God told us that He created the heavens and the earth, and that He did it in 6 days, with a day of rest following. He said that all that He created was "good" and when He created humans (male and female) He said that His creation was "very good." this "very good" earth was cursed by God when mankind entered into sin against God. All that we (and science) observes post-fall into sin, is an observation that is not of the original "very good" universe and earth, which may lead to conclusions that are not completely valid concerning the age of the universe, the age of the earth, or some of the tenets of science that indicate such.

    We tend to see the age of the earth as much younger than current science would dictate, and we both use the same evidence to arrive at our conclusions.

    We feel that the scientific observational data that points to the universe having an "actual" beginning is nothing more than an observation of God's creative effort. God said, "let there be light" and "light" is what scientists who study our cosmos have discovered. The universe, by nature, "must" have a beginning, or else it would be an actual infinite, and such is actually impossible. The discussion of why goes beyond the scope of this short post, but it involves trying to add a number to an already infinite amount of numbers, making things like time meaningless.

    We agree with the science that points out certain anthropic principles that indicate that our entire universe, and our earth were both very finely tuned for human habitation. Over 130 of these anthropic principles have been discovered and the probability of any one of them coming about by chance are far less than impossible. The probabilities for the fine-tuning of the universe far exceed the total number of particles in the universe to a range in excess of 10X10 to the 125th power (multiply 10 x 10, 125 times or more) for each of the principles measured by science. These include things like the weak and strong nuclear force, the space between electrons, the amount of gravitation, the amount of energy in the universe, the rate of expansion, the distance between moon and earth, other planets, the earth and sun, the solar system to other stars, galaxy to other galaxies, etc.

    We agree that all things reproduce according to "kind" which is now confirmed via the study of DNA and genetics. We agree that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made" and as the science of micro-biology expands and new discoveries are made, the extent of that phrase is mind-boggling. The machines that work in the inner parts of each cell are sophisticated and inter-active in a way that virtually tosses any evolutionary tenet out the window as being untenable.

    Finally, we agree that there are more ways of "knowing" than mere scientific experiment, and that, in large part, most science involved in the study of the cosmos is not derived from "experiment" but rather from applied logic and philosophy based on inference and observation -- in other words, metaphysics (religion). We can know by evidence, by observation, by testimony, and by inference of truthful propositions, and we do know that there is no scientific experiment that can possibly answer the question, "Why are scientific experiments the only sure way of "knowing." That issue is derived from philosophy, not observation or experiment.
     
  7. Aaron

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    I would have said, but you DO agree with the Bible. You don't believe men should be allowed to murder, steal, make up lies against people or otherwise be unfaithful to one another, do you?

    He will HAVE to say "No."

    Well then you believe Exdous 20:13-17. If you believe the Bible is accurate there, maybe it's accurate in the places you were told it's inaccurate.

    That's how I would have responded. If he pressed me on the "science," then I would question him about the dating methods and how they're applied and how he knows about them. If he cites other people, then I would stop him and say, "You're just trusting them to tell you the truth. Maybe they are, but you don't really know. You're simply putting your blind faith in them. So lets talk about what we both know."

    If he was really interested in knowing how the dating methods might not be accurate, then I would recommend books on the subject by people who know.
     
  8. quantumfaith

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    :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:

    Thanks for bringing up the Anthropic Principle. For me the absolute strongest "naturalistic" argument for OUR Creator.
     
  9. Aaron

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    blah, blah, blah, blah.


    I prefer to get to the heart of the matter, and we're told that men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. So morality is the bottom line when discussing the veracity of the Scriptures with unbelievers. They are predisposed against the Scriptures because of morality, not science falsely so called.

    What does any of us really know about the physical universe that we haven't been told? (I mean beyond the basic things like water will wet you and fire will burn.) I'm sure there are sincere questions out there, and the logic or fallacy of an argument can be readily discerned once the light is shined on it, but the reason the Scriptures are rejected and practically anything else is greedily swallowed is because of one's heart.

    The fact that the Bible "keeps coming up" in the aforementioned agnostic's discussions tells me there's a prick he's kicking against, and it ain't the age of the universe.
     
  10. saturneptune

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    Best response of the thread. Since the Lord created everything, He knows for sure. As for me, I will go along with the seven 24 hour days. As far as the dating methods, they are fairly accurate as far as conditions as they exist today. (ie, time, space, deminsion, etc) How do we know what conditions existed at the point or after Creation? All I know is that the Lord did it, the Bible says 7 days, and all these geniuses that come up with other theories were also created by the Lord. Maybe I am wrong, but if I am, guess what, it will not have one effect on my eternal destiny.
     
  11. preachinjesus

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    The earth and all of creation appear to be billions of years old.

    It is impossible for us, including scientists, to know the exact age of earth and creation. If God creates with age (which the two creation accounts in Genesis teach) than how could we know differently if He created something looking billions of years old then putting mankind into that creation or if He did something different?

    It is beyond our ken though the evidence points to the creation appearing to be billions of years old. :)
     
  12. Amy.G

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    Adam was created as an adult, not an infant. If God can create a fully mature human, surely He can create a fully mature earth.
     
  13. mandym

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    Amen!:thumbsup:
     
  14. Winman

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    I believe the earth around 6000 years old. We can count back to Adam from geneologies given in the Bible and show this to within several hundred years. There are many scientific evidences for a young earth as well such as civilizations suddenly appearing around 5000 years ago with no evidence of such before. The population of the earth argues for a young age.
    I had a friend years ago who wasn't really sure what to believe. He was highly educated, and had been taught evolution, and this gave him difficulty in believeing the Genesis account. I loaned my friend a book by Henry Morris showing many evidences for a young earth. About a year later he accepted Christ and has been serving the Lord since.
    Some folks just need to be exposed to the evidence out there for a young earth, there is much of it for the person who is truly seeking answers.
     
  15. Alive in Christ

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    I would have told him that the earth, and the entire universe for that matter, is of course in the general area of 6-10 thousand years old.
     
  16. quantumfaith

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    Amy, by this do you mean that God perhaps created a world that to us appears old?
     
  17. Amy.G

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    Yes. If we had seen Adam when he was created, we would have said he looked like a young man. But in actuality, he was only seconds old. He was not a baby.
     
  18. quantumfaith

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  19. InTheLight

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    OK, if God created a world that was meant to appear to be millions of years old, who are we to argue with him?
     
  20. freeatlast

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    First I would try and see if he was open to those scientists who say the earth is young. If he was i would provide him with the evidence. if he was not open I would tell him that God allows him to keep the door shut, but it is very expensive and then dust my feet off and leave and pray the Lord to change his heart and send another..
     
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