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Part 1

Introductory remarks

This is the first of a series of articles in response to the book, “Dinosaur Blood and the Age of the Earth,” authored by Fazale Rana, Ph.D. (biochemistry). Rana is better known affectionately as “Fuz” Rana. My primary purpose in this series is to refute the primary speculation Fuz Rana advances in his book. Rana claims that the astonishing finds of soft original tissue of dinosaurs (and other organisms being routinely found all over the world now that we are actually looking for them) have been preserved intact for scores of millions of years and even hundreds of millions of years. Soft tissue from sub-Cambrian beard worms, supposedly 500 million years old, has even been found. Yes, that’s soft organic tissue that has endured for supposedly half a billion years!  To put it in the modern vernacular: there’s something wrong with this picture–very, very wrong!

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The format of this series will be a chapter by chapter response to Rana’s book. But first…


Soft Original Dinosaur Tissue

I regard the discovery of the existence of soft, extant, original organic tissue from dinosaurs (and other supposedly millions of years old organisms) as the premier scientific discovery of our time because of its significance. These discoveries plainly disprove the scientific models commonly accepted by secular scientists in combination of 1) the age of the earth and 2) the nature of the fossilization process and 3) the sciences of chemical kinetics and forensics, that is, the study of the rates of organic tissue decay.

It is now admitted on all sides, because of these discoveries, that something has to give, that something is wrong about our understanding about one or even all three of these scientific models. (But professor, did not the secular scientists tell us emphatically with absolute assurance that they had all this definitively worked out decades ago?) It is not difficult to guess which of these three models is going to be revised by our secular, atheistic, academic establishment, committed as they are to the religion of Naturalism.



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As I began to prepare my response to “Dinosuar Blood and the Age of the Earth,” I realized that it would be helpful to the reader who is unacquainted with this matter to place Rana’s book in context. It is not possible to evaluate the claims Rana makes in “Dinosaur Blood and the Age of the Earth” without understanding from whence Rana’s views arise. “Dinosaur Blood and the Age of the Earth,” did not arise from a blank slate, ex nihilo, as it were. It has a root, a foundation from which it springs. A response to Fuz Rana is, to a great extent, a response to Hugh Ross. Fuz Rana is a member of the Reasons to Believe organization headed by Hugh Ross, so I deemed it beneficial and relevant to make some preliminary observations about Hugh Ross and the views he promulgates, since these are the views at the foundations of Fuz Rana’s book, “Dinosaur Blood and the Age of the Earth.”

Who is Hugh Ross? Hugh Ross is a professional astronomer and a pastor and an author who defends the “day-age” view of Genesis 1. The “day-age” view is the doctrine that the seven days of Genesis 1 with their evenings and mornings are not 24 hour days, but represent long ages of geologic time of many millions of years. Hugh Ross lays out his beliefs about theology, creation, evolution, the age of the universe, the age of the earth, etc., in his book. “A Matter of Days.” Among other things, Hugh Ross believes in Big Bang cosmology, an ancient universe 14 billion years old or so, an ancient earth about 4 billion years old or so, long ages of death and suffering prior to the creation of Adam and Eve, the existence of “bipedal primates” preceding human beings, that human beings have occupied this planet for about 50,000 years, and that Noah’s flood was not a global flood. Thankfully, Hugh Ross does repudiate evolution, at least. This is hardly going to be a complete analysis of Ross’s views, but a focus upon the more basic and controlling aspects of his views and a few representative examples from his book, “A Matter of Days.”


Hugh Ross vs. Biblical Authority: Aiding and Abetting the Enemy

One extremely significant and, indeed, pivotal, aspect of Hugh Ross’s argumentation in “A Matter of Days” is his basic interpretive approach to Scripture. For Bible-believing Christians endeavoring to correctly understand and interpret Scripture, you can’t get a more important and fundamental consideration than that. If your basic method of interpreting Scripture is flawed, then everything else which flows from that will almost certainly be flawed, as well.

The overwhelming majority of us who call ourselves born-again, Bible believing Christians adhere to the doctrine of the verbal Divine inspiration of Scripture. This view, or rather its inevitable logical outcome, is expressed in the Reformation rally cry of “Sola Scriptura.” We regard the Bible as the Word of God and, therefore, as the final authority on all it declares. The Bible is, itself, the ultimate judge of all other truth claims; and the Bible, being the Word of God, is itself its own interpreter. To understand and interpret Scripture faithfully and correctly, and to resolve doctrinal disputes, Scripture itself must be consulted and compared to Scripture. This is the Protestant Reformation legacy of the doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture. It is required of us, as accountable stewards of God’s revelation, to honor Scripture as the authority that it inherently is, not only in proclamation but in practice.

Does Hugh Ross adhere to this proclamation? Notice carefully the substance and specific content of my question. I did not ask if Hugh Ross believes that the Bible is the ultimate authority and judge of all other truth claims; and I did not ask if Hugh Ross confesses that Scripture is the ultimate authority and judge of all other truth claims. I asked if Hugh Ross adheres to this proclamation. It is one thing to say something; it is quite another to do it and to put it into practice faithfully.

It is my contention, having studied Ross’s book, “A Matter of Days,” that whatever Hugh Ross may proclaim or believe about the authority of Scripture, he does not adhere to the authority of Scripture in practice in his handling of and interpretation of Scripture. And I will cite Ross himself below in statements that I believe will definitively show that he subordinates the authority of Scripture, the Word of God, to the “authority” of that which is outside of Scripture.

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Unless I have overlooked relevant comments, the first place in “A Matter of Days” where Ross begins to reveal his approach to biblical authority and the proper interpretation of Scripture is on page 35. Ross takes Christian Reconstructionist commentator Gary North to task regarding his approach to Scripture. This is a very revealing and telling comment by Ross:

“Reconstruction theology, as taught by Gary North and others, combines Puritan beliefs about law, politics, and end-time events with theologian Cornelius Van Til’s apologetics theory called presuppositionalism. According to some of its advocates, presuppositionalism says all human reasoning and interpretation of scientific evidence must be subordinate to a “biblical” interpretation of reality. Some young-earth creationists adopt an extreme form of presuppositionalism, asserting that any scientific interpretation of the record of nature can be discounted in light of their young-earth interpretation of the words of the Bible.” (pg. 35, bold emphasis supplied)

Dear reader, do you see what Ross is doing here? Hugh Ross obviously has a problem with this interpretive methodology because it places the Bible as the supreme authority–and Ross will have none of that. Gary North’s presuppositionalism here is simply the Reformation doctrine of “Sola Scriptura,” which proclaims that the Bible is the Word of God and, as such, it is the supreme authority in all that it proclaims, and is the standard by which all other truth claims are to be judged. As is obvious from Ross’s disparaging remarks, Ross has a problem with “Sola Scriptura,” and prefers some other authority, the “authority” of “scientific interpretation of the record of nature,”– in a word, himself, since he is the scientist providing the authoritative scientific interpretation. This is where Ross draws a line in the sand. Ross does not want his reasoning to be subordinate to a biblical interpretation of reality.

I find Ross to be subversive and manipulative in his polemics here, in that he attempts to equate the principle of biblical authority as being nothing more than the interpretations of young earth creationists. Moreover, Ross, in these words, betrays himself as having an intuitive awareness that there is a dichotomy here, a divide, a distinction between human reasoning and interpretation of scientific evidence vs. a biblical interpretation of reality. Ross, himself, states the antithesis, the conflict. It is the Bible vs. human interpretation of scientific evidence.

Another place where Ross touches upon the authority and interpretation of Scripture is on page 87. I am only interested in the very last phrase here. However to avoid the charge of quoting Ross out of context, consider this lengthy extract:

“The Bible clearly affirms that God’s handiwork displays His character…

“According to Christian theology, then, an honest investigation of nature leads to discovery of truths about God and His otherwise invisible character qualities. People are ‘without excuse’ because the physical universe speaks in a trustworthy manner. God could not remain consistent with His character and hold people accountable for their response to revelation in the creation if, indeed, the record of nature is a distorted message.

“In no way does God’s revelation via the universe detract from the importance of His written revelation. Nor does this belief in the trustworthiness of nature’s message imply that God never intervenes in the natural realm by performing miracles. It does mean that when He performs such miracles God does not remove, hide, or distort physical evidence for them. While one might argue that God could have altered the laws of physics at the instant Adam sinned against Him, theology again demonstrates that He would have left evidence to that effect. Since Jeremiah and Paul explicitly stated that the physical laws are fixed (Jeremiah 33:25; Romans 8: 19-22), and since the astronomical record shows no evidence of an alteration, we can conclude God did not change them. What He ‘could have done’ becomes irrelevant. (See pages 139-184 for a discussion of astronomy’s inviolable testimony of natural history.)”

Veterans of this subject will immediately recognize Ross’s confusion, and fallacious logic, and faulty inferences at this juncture on multiple points. Ross may be a competent astronomer but he is a lousy theologian (and even competence at his profession of astronomy does not make him right). Ross refers to “astronomy’s inviolable testimony of natural history” as if astronomy were given to us in verbal propositions like the Bible; and as if the data of astronomy is not filtered through the lens of fallible human interpretation and limited knowledge. Ross speaks as if the “testimony” of astronomy somehow conveys to our minds exhaustive knowledge of all things, and that is hardly what Psalm 19 and Jeremiah 33 and Romans 8 are saying.

Anyone who adheres to the Reformation doctrine of the inspiration and authority of Scripture, and its interpretive corollary, “Sola Scriptura,” must strenuously object to Ross’s approach here. Ross’s approach subverts the authority of Scripture. Whether willful and deliberate or not, Ross is essentially rejecting the authority of Scripture by this interpretive methodology and replacing the authority of Scripture with the “authority” of human interpretation of astronomical data–Ross’s claim of fidelity to biblical authority notwithstanding. Ross, of course, will vehemently object to this evaluation simply because he holds formally to the proposition of the Divine inspiration of Scripture. However, by Ross’s interpretive methodology the proclamations of Scripture must inevitably be subordinated to conform to an understanding of nature from outside of Scripture.

The idea which lies at the root of Ross’s statement here is that our ability as humans to understand the testimony of astronomy is both complete and infallible—or, more to the point, that Hugh Ross’s ability as a human to understand the testimony of astronomy is complete and infallible. Ross is once again substituting the authority of the Word of God with another authority, once again his own authority, since he is holding himself up as the authoritative interpreter of “astronomy’s inviolable testimony.” There are plenty of astronomers, both Christian and non-Christian, who do not agree with Ross’s interpretation of astronomical data. I find Hugh Ross to be weighed in the balances and found wanting regarding the authority of Scripture. And I find it significant that Hugh Ross finds it necessary to approach Scripture in this manner to validate his claims. That should tell us something about the legitimacy of the things he is claiming.

Another place where Ross is quite explicit about an extra-biblical source of authority replacing the Bible as its own interpreter is on page 148. Ross states:

“Scientific verification can help determine which creation-date interpretations are viable and which are not.”

YIKES!!!!!!! If this were a video, the sound track would have the sound of cars slamming on their brakes and screeching to a halt at that quote from Ross. Any good theologian worth his salt will tell you that it is SCRIPTURE which interprets Scripture. And any honest scientist will affirm the long-standing truism of scientists that all scientific propositions are TENTATIVE. This proclamation of Ross’s is particularly pernicious. This is a gross, explicit replacement of the Bible’s authority with another authority, and a subordination of the Bible’s authority to an outside authority. Once again, Ross places the ultimate authority outside of Scripture, while claiming at the same time to uphold the authority of Scripture. Ross’s interpretive methodology here, whether deliberate or not, is insidious in its subtlety and its subversive effect. This is implicit idolatry. While Ross claims to bow to the authority of Scripture, the Word of God, he simultaneously SUBSTITUTES the authority of Scripture with another, different authority.


Going a little deeper: A couple specific exegetical examples

As we proceed to examine Hugh Ross’s specific biblical exposition, we do well to remember his interpretive foundation, and that this interpretive foundation controls his conclusions. Ross argues from an interpretive foundation controlled by a fundamental interpretive methodology which is profoundly flawed. Now, I do not believe that being wrong about creation doctrine makes Ross a heretic (although I can certainly understand why some accuse him of being so) and I do not believe Hugh Ross is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but I do believe that Hugh Ross is a sheep carried away by the wolf. What I do know beyond even the slightest possibility of doubt whatsoever, is that some of the things Hugh Ross teaches about the Bible are flatly contradictory to the Bible. And it is his fundamentally flawed interpretive methodology which has allowed for that to happen.

I am going to begin this analysis from a passage, Genesis 1:29-30, that some may regard as a more secondary or subsidiary side branch in the journey of biblical interpretation, but I trust the reader will see the reason for this as we proceed.


29 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so.—Genesis 1:29-30


What does Hugh Ross believe? Hugh Ross believes that the “days” of Genesis 1 are actually long ages of many millions of years. Hugh Ross believes in a very ancient earth as is indicated in the following quotation:

“The 3.8 billion years of plant and animal death and extinction that preceded humanity provided for the needs of civilization. Through that death and decay, God gave humanity enormous biodeposits…”—pg. 103, “A Matter of Days.”

Obviously, from Ross’s perspective, the Great Flood had nothing to do with it.

One of the debates that rages in the biblical creationist vs. old-earth “creationist” controversy (yes, scream and yell if you like, but I do not regard old earth creationists as biblical creationists, despite their sincere intentions to be so) is the question of whether there was death among the animals before the entrance of sin into the world by Adam, and whether the original creation was “red in tooth and claw” (as Alfred Lord Tennyson put it) with predatory animals preying upon other animals for millions or billions of years.

Hugh Ross and other so-called old-earth “biblical” creationists, insist that the earth is billions of years old and that there were millions or billions of years of history before Adam and Eve in which the current state of affairs among the wild animals prevailed with carnivorous predation as the normal and natural state of affairs. Hugh Ross and others of like mind even tell us that such a state of affairs was very good in God’s eyes! It was a “perfectly balanced ecology,” you see! This doctrine by Hugh Ross, et al, constitutes a flat-out claim that the Bible is wrong when it declares in Genesis 1:29-30 that the animals of the original creation were vegetarian in diet. Of course, Hugh Ross claims that his doctrine comes straight out of the Bible.

Genesis 1:29-30 tells us that, upon the creation of land-dwelling animals on the sixth day, the original diet of “every beast of the earth,” and “every bird of the air” and “everything that creeps upon the earth,” was herbivorous, vegetarian. The Bible is clear to the point of being emphatic and beyond even the possibility of misunderstanding on this point. So WHY is there debate upon this point among those calling themselves “Bible-believing Christians” when the Bible is clear and explicit on this matter? The answer, obviously, is that there are those who are Bible-believing Christians, and there are those who are not Bible-believing Christians but who deceive themselves into thinking that they are Bible-believing Christians. Hugh Ross is such a one.

Consider this passage of Scripture:

10 A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.”—Proverbs 12:10

Note well, that the treatment of animals is clearly portrayed in this passage as an ethical issue, a question of righteousness. Cruelty to animals is clearly declared to be an UNrighteous thing. It is a righteous man who regards the life of his beast. And it is a wicked man who is cruel to his animals. I have always maintained that you can tell a lot about a man by the way he treats his animals.

The sacrificial system of biblical Israel, the system of animal sacrifice for sin, is not based upon an indifference to the animal creation, or consigning them to a place of insignificance. Quite the contrary. If this is what we think, we have missed the very essence of the institution. The whole point of animal sacrifice is to stress the utter tragedy of sin and the consequences to the whole creation which it brought. A living, feeling, sentient being worthy of our compassion must die because of sin. That is how serious sin is in God’s eyes. If we try to justify the institution of animal sacrifice to unbelievers (or ourselves) on the basis that, after all, it is “only” an animal, and it is only an allegorical representation, then we have entirely missed the significance of the institution. Contrary to what many people think, the Israelites were not insensitive or calloused or unbothered by the reality of suffering and death among the animals. Hugh Ross, on the other hand, thinks such suffering and death is actually a very good thing!


A Thorny Issue

Consider one of the curses the Lord imposed upon Adam because of his sin:

17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” –Genesis 3:17-19

The fossil record is filled with abundant examples of thorns and thistles. The Bible tells us that thorns came about after the sin of Adam as part of the curse upon the ground. Hugh Ross claims that the fossil record precedes human beings by billions of years. We have a very simple choice here: do we believe the Bible? Or do we believe Hugh Ross? Hugh Ross is an antagonist against the Bible on this point, as well as many others.


Genesis 2:4 and the creation week?

“These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.”

In his zeal to distort the creation days of Genesis 1 to long eons of time, Ross attempts to solicit Genesis 2:4 as support for his doctrine.

“The wording of Genesis 2:4 reads in the literal hebrew,”These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created in the day of their making.” Here the word “day” (yōm) refers to all six creation days, a period longer than 24 hours. ” –pg. 76, “A Matter of Days”

This, too, is interpretation and not at all an obvious rendering. Ross is clearly inferring something, surmising something, which is not explicitly stated in the text. On the literal face of it, Genesis 2:4 speaks only of the first day, when the heavens and the earth were created, does it not?

Does not Genesis 2:4 clearly refer back to Genesis 1:1? Ross interprets the verse as implying something it does not explicitly state. What is Ross’s proof that the word “day” in Genesis 2:4 refers to the entire creation week? Whatever may be deduced from the verse by way of inference, the explicit and specific items mentioned reference what was done on the first day, the creation of the heavens and the earth. That much must be conceded since that is empirical fact. Anything beyond that is inference, and the inference is only as good as the logic of the one doing the inferring. I assert that Ross’s logic at this point is faulty.

Since Ross delves off into interpretation of this verse, let me give my own sense and rendering of Genesis 2:4: “These are the generations of” = “These are the things which came from (were generated from),”

“the creation which God created on the first day” = “when they were created on the day of their making,” (i.e., the heavens and the earth.

OR, alternately:

“There was a day when God created the heavens and the earth, and everything just recounted was what was generated from what God did on that first day of creation.”

Is not this sense of the verse plainly in keeping with the literal language? Contrary to Hugh Ross, we most certainly do NOT have an unequivocal reference to the entire creation week in the word “day” (yōm) in Genesis 2:4. I assert that since the explicit language of Genesis 2:4 specifically reiterates the particular nouns in Genesis 1:1 (the heavens and the earth), the most natural and unforced understanding of Genesis 2:4 is to understand “yōm” as a reference to Day 1 only of the creation week when the heavens and the earth were created, and the balance of the verse as referring to everything that ensued upon, or was “generated from” that one day. The proper understanding of the verse is that simple. Unlike Hugh Ross and others, we do not need a whole labyrinthine book of linguistic contortionism to explain it. Basic context and simple logic resolve the interpretation here.


Some Personal Observations

When I first joined the ranks of active creationists declaring the truth of Biblical creation, one of my goals was to avoid “intramural,” in-house conflict and controversy with other Christians and, in fact, not to sideline into too much biblical theology because of the various doctrinal positions of various denominations and groups. I like clarity and focus and also want to avoid muddying the waters with related but distinct issues. My goal was to stay focused on the doctrine of Creation and relevant empirical sciences and to put forth negative critiques of Naturalistic evolution. Since the polemics of this issue are nearly universally (correctly) perceived as a “creationist vs evolutionist” controversy, the refutation of evolution is essentially an affirmation of Creation.

As I have matured in my reflections on the creation-evolution controversy it has become increasingly obvious to me that the issue of time and of the age of the earth is utterly essential to evolutionary dogma. For evolutionists the dogma of a very ancient earth is at the top, or very near the top, of their most sacred of sacred doctrines. Evolutionists do not use that terminology, of course, but that is precisely how they regard the doctrine of an ancient earth billions of years old. The place the doctrine of an old earth plays in their system of thought can be gauged by the fact that the most unbelievably vile and profane vitriol comes out of the mouths of evolutionists when you question their dogma of a very ancient earth. (Think I’m exaggerating? Just peruse YouTube videos for a while and follow the replies.)

The critical icons of an ancient earth have been falling one by one. One such evolutionary icon, radiometric “dating” of rocks and fossils, has been shown to be founded, firstly, upon dubious assumptions and, secondly, has been empirically demonstrated to produce age “results” of billions of years on lava rock of known young age of tens or hundreds of years—a “proof of the pudding” kind of evidence, if you ask me. Since such results were obtained, for example, from lava-rock from an eruption of Mt. Kilauea in 1801 giving an age of 3 billion years, does this dating result not serve as at least a rough calibration standard to judge the ages of rock of unknown age? The evolutionists, of course, will have none of this (and neither will Hugh Ross). Though bearing directly upon the reliability and credibility of the current calibration standards, the evolutionists simply ignore these discordant results. Empirical facts contrary to evolutionary dogma are no obstacle for evolutionists! The paradigm is regarded as unquestionable no matter what. Unfortunately, Hugh Ross is in league with the evolutionists on this point and upholds radiometric dating as unassailable proof of ancient ages.

Another such icon of evolution is the fossilized remains of animals and plants, dinosaurs being the preeminent example. Since there were no (recognized) historical accounts of dinosaurs [That’s completely false with copious examples to the contrary, but a separate matter for another time.] it was easy to convince people not acquainted with the historical and archaeological evidence that dinosaurs came from an era in the very ancient past. After all, no known human being could claim to have seen a living example. (Hint: the historical references to dragons are, in fact, references to dinosaurs.)

Based upon this time assumption, and upon the known, empirical science of chemical kinetics and forensic science, it was “known” that all traces of any organic material completely degraded scores and hundreds of millions of years ago. The biology and chemistry of such extinct organisms must remain forever an unanswerable question, except what might be inferred from fossilized bone…Or does it? This brings us full circle to dinosaur blood, which I will deal with more fully in subsequent installments of this series.

The age of the earth and the age of the universe is NOT a peripheral or unimportant issue. The Bible proclaims itself as being a book of the history of the earth and of the universe. God’s salvation plan for humanity unfolds itself within that history and is intertwined with the history of the world. Chronology is central to the biblical worldview and the doctrine of redemption. Hugh Ross’s exposition on this point, if “exposition” it can be called, is decidedly anti-biblical. Ross attempts to marginalize and trivialize the significance of biblical chronology (see pg. 12, etc. of “A Matter of Days.”). If one follows the inevitable logic of Ross’s position, we wind up ultimately with a logical negation of the Gospel.

Does one have to believe in a young earth and a young universe to believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ and be saved? Well, if one wishes to be rationally consistent with the full biblical testimony, the answer would be yes. Human beings, thankfully, are not always rationally consistent. Thank God for blessed inconsistency! Some Christians believe the Gospel of Christ’s atoning sacrifice for their sins despite holding to a tainted and inconsistent view of the historical foundations of redemption.

On this topic, consider this commentary from the creationsunday website (

“Never mind that, statistically speaking, folks who embrace millions of years of goo-to-you-by-way-of-the-zoo evolution go on to abandon the Christian faith, just as atheist Richard Dawkins did1. The reason for this rejection of religious truth is easy enough to see; just as Jesus told Nicodemus, “If I tell you of earthly things and you believe not; how will you believe when I tell you of heavenly things?” (John 3:12), those who reject the “earthly things” of the Bible concerning Creation, the Fall and the Flood of Noah often go on to reject the “heavenly things” of the Bible, like the Gospel itself. As atheist Frank Zindler noted2:

“The most devastating thing though that biology did to Christianity was the discovery of biological evolution. Now that we know that Adam and Eve never were real people the central myth of Christianity is destroyed. If there never was an Adam and Eve, there never was an original sin. If there never was an original sin, there is no need of salvation. If there is no need of salvation, there is no need of a Saviour. And I submit that puts Jesus, historical or otherwise, into the ranks of the unemployed. I think that evolution is absolutely the death knell of Christianity.”

You see, a literal, historical Genesis is the foundational basis of the Gospel itself.”


In the final analysis, I find Hugh Ross guilty of aiding and abetting the enemy.

Go to Part 2

In Part 2, we will examine Rana’s Introduction, “What’s the Issue?

Featured Image: The Creation of the Animals by Rafaello Sanzio 1518 – 1519 A.D.

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Written by Tom Shipley

I am a former atheist and was an evolutionist during my college days, but came to faith in Christ at the age of 20. I regard my pro-creation activities as part of the work of the kingdom of God. I believe that a very tough, strident and unapologetic stance against evolution is called for though I may soften my tone if and when Mark Armitage and David Coppedge, fired for their creationist beliefs, are given their jobs back. Articles copyright Tom Shipley. All Rights Reserved.

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  1. Tom, thanks for the article. But just because life is young does not mean the earth is young. Igneous inclusions from deep within the earth testify to deep time in the planet’s makeup. I am a six day creationist but not a one-week creationist. For God to create in six days over 13 billion years makes sense by what we see, but for God to create all in a single week of consecutive days simply does not square with the facts. Of course I do not believe in evolution, and of course, Adam is our oldest ancestor and only about 6000 years removed from us. Unfortunately for us creationists, it appears that God created life at the tail end of a long drawn out creation process (that took only 6 days, by the way), and here we are left with trying to explain why evolution cannot be a satisfactory alternative answer. But we are not up for he challenge – it is just too hard. So we compromise (albeit, unwittingly) by claiming that the earth is only around 6000 years old. We harm ourselves by insisting that the planet be only as old as the animal life it contains. All the while, the rocks say different. Evolutionists harm themselves by insisting that life must be roughly as old as the radioactive materials it contains. But soft tissue says different. Both stances, I believe, are wrong. I think we are living on a planet probably billions of years old with only thousands of years’ worth of animal life history. I had this discussion with Don Batten and at the time he didn’t really have a satisfactory answer, except to say that the idea was dangerous. Dangerous or not, the idea may very well be the accurate one. For that reason, I had to leave my YEC beliefs behind. I think it is an idea that will eventually come around, but it will probably be a number of years yet. Good luck in your endeavors. You will reach those who are already persuaded of a young earth, but sincere young Christians who have sincere doubts about a young age for our planet will only hit a brick wall in trying to find sincere answers from you and others like you. Some with a solid faith will survive. Others won’t, but YEC’s will probably just label them “compromisers” and move on (just like Don labeled me). What is sad is that some will feel that in abandoning their YEC position they must abandon their faith as well. But your sincerity will ultimately save you, and I will trust that others who do not see things exactly your way will also find a sincere way to deal with origin issues while maintaining a strong faith in Jesus.

  2. Randy, thank you for your articulate response. You did not mention in your response whether or not you believe in the Divine inspiration of Scripture. Based upon your comments, I assume you do not? You are entitled to disbelieve the Bible if you want to.

    Be that as it may, let me take MY stand upon Scripture and not upon the pitifully ill-informed opinions of mere mortal men. We are told in the Word of God in Mark 10:6-7

    “6 But FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE CREATION God made them male and female.
    7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife.”

    In opposition to this you say: “God created life at the tail END of a long drawn out creation process.”
    Clearly, both of these statements cannot be true. They are exact opposites. You say it was at the end, and the Bible says it was at the beginning. I hope you will pardon me if I choose the Bible’s version of things, instead of yours. I simply do not have as much faith as you in human wisdom.

    You said: “Igneous inclusions from deep within the earth testify to deep time in the planet’s makeup.” I assume you meant to say, igneous INTRUSIONS?

    It may have been more edifying for yourself if you had consulted Dr. Andrew Snelling instead of Don Batten on this one. See Snelling’s article here:
    Here are his concluding remarks:

    “Any claim that the eruptions of basalt lava flows are a timescale problem for the Genesis Flood on a young earth can now be easily dismissed. If it only takes basalt magmas between two and eight hours to travel from their upper mantle sources to erupt through volcanoes at the earth’s surface, then many basalt volcanic eruptions could have easily occurred during the Flood year. Furthermore, the volume and scale of the basalt lavas found in the geologic record, such as the so-called flood basalts of the Deccan and Siberian Traps,12 testify to the global catastrophism operating in the Flood year, in contrast to today’s occasional, small, and relatively insignificant basalt eruptions.

    “The bigger question is how so much of the upper mantle rock partially melted quickly enough to generate those enormous volumes of flood basalts. However, during the Flood year the pre-Flood ocean floor ruptured into plates that sank into the mantle via thermal runaway subduction, the resulting mantle-wide convective flow generating huge mantle plumes and rapid melting of enormous volumes of upper mantle rock beneath the mid-ocean rift zones.13 Thus catastrophic plate tectonics during the Flood is the only viable explanation for the many basalt flows found in the earth’s rock record. And this new experimental evidence confirms the rapid ascent and eruption of basalt lavas, consistent with the Biblical framework of earth history.”

    Igneous intrusions from deep within the earth testify to the YOUTH of the rocks and this planet.

  3. Hello Tom. You are incorrect on all counts. I believe in the plenary Divine inspiration of Scripture and always have. Mark says “from the beginning of creation” but so does my idea where Adam was created on Day 6 about 6000 years ago. Anything done on Day 6 when God was still creating obviously includes “the beginning”. And no, I definitely mean magma inclusions, not intrusions. I have no argument with Snelling about young lava flows during the flood, but my idea says that every single one of those young flows had xenoliths included in them from deep within the mantle. Those are called magma inclusions and will invariably date the planet and not the lava flow. And they certainly cannot be used to date fossils or life! It would be like trying to say the clothes Grandma is wearing today must be as old as she is simply because she has them on. That is how nonsensical it is to try and date a young fossil by a nearby lava flow which invariably contains very old planet material. So your last statement is almost correct in that igneous intrusions testify to youth, but only the youth of the flow, not the true age of the planet.

    • Thank you, Randy, for your thoughtful comments. I stand corrected on the terminology, “inclusions” is quite correct terminology. Needless to say, I’m not buying into your interpretation and “logic” regarding the phrase “from the beginning of the creation.” If Genesis 1:1 through the sixth day of creation represents untold billions of years, then Adam and Eve were hardly created “from the beginning of the creation.” In this, you ask us to accept an absurdity.

      The processes inside magma chambers are extremely complex, far more complex than I EVER hear anyone mention, and fraught with considerations that throw exceedingly great doubt on one of the major assumptions of radiometric dating, namely that the beginning conditions can be known. Check out David Plaisted’s article here: The attempt to date rocks by radiometric dating is consummately naive and presumptuous.

  4. I may not be politically correct. I think today’s secular scientist can explain how you and I and this planet came about about as well as granny on the beverly hillbillies could forecast weather. God said that the evening and the morning was the first day. the evening and the morning was the second day, and so on. It takes faith to please GOD. And only the faithful can see. Job found out if he asks God how and why. He can ask me lot of questions I cant come up with an answer for.

  5. Thank you, Randy, for posting this response. I’m not quite sure what I think of it. I tend to think the simpler explanations of mysteries are usually the best explanations (Occam’s Razor). The jury is still out on how we can see distant starlight in a 6000 year old universe, but my own personal suspicion is simply that the speed of light has slowed down drastically since the beginning. (See:

    One issue about which the jury is NOT still out is the Big Bang. The Big Bang theory has been empirically and definitively disproven by the research of Halton Arp, whose astronomical research demonstrates that those mysterious high red-shifted quasars exist in PHYSICAL ASSOCIATION with nearby low redshifted galaxies. To wit: the red shift of galaxies and quasars, which is the basis for Big Bang speculation, is not due to the Doppler effect (i.e., speed of recession), nor to distance. The red shifts are intrinsic to the objects. See the books, “Seeing Red: Redshifts, Cosmology and Academic Science,” by Halton Arp and his “Catalogue of Discordant Redshift Associations.” See also these videos:


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