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What Would a “New” Earth have Looked Like?

Snow dusted mountains with lake reflections

[Originally published as Ah…That New Earth Smell!]

One of the arguments I have heard from Old Earth Creationists¹ is that the universe can’t be as young as 6,000 years, because it looks so old! They argue that the universe has the appearance of age, and so if God made the universe only 6,000 years ago but made it look this old, then He is intentionally deceiving us!

HOW (they ask in all caps) CAN WE POSSIBLY BELIEVE in a God who would make a universe that LOOKS SO OLD when it is NOT so old? Doesn’t that make God DISHONEST?

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And I’m all: “Hey, y’all think God made sin, death, disease, bloodshed and suffering and then called it “very good,” and you want to gripe because the universe doesn’t still have it’s price tag and factory wrapping?”

But I digress.Meme of wrapped present marked "New Universe Inside!"

I hear this kind of thing a lot, and when I was in middle school, I found it convincing. I bought into millions of years and Big Bang and all of that. Sure, I could look at a mountain and say, it looks sooooo old! Obviously it had been there for millions of years. I mean, it’s a mountain. So old. So obviously old.

Third, we’re assigning that “appearance” not based on actual appearance, but on assumptions. We’re told in school that it takes MILLIONS OF YEARS for a mountain to be pushed up by tectonic forces, and so the very EXISTENCE of a mountain is old to some no matter what it looks like. But what if those mountains were pushed up quickly during the Genesis Flood? Would they look different than they do today?

And we’re told that the moon gets hit X number of times per thousand years, and so the moon has to be millions of years old because of how many craters it has. How do you know God didn’t make the moon with craters on the day He made it?

I know, some of you think God would make the moon shiny and polished like an egg, but when we look at the moon through binoculars and telescopes, what is the most interesting part? What do we LOVE looking at?

The Craters. 

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There’s not a junior astronomer in the world who ever said, “That part of the moon is featureless and smooth! Let’s get a better telescope so we can see it’s lack of features even better!” If it weren’t for the craters, I think we all know Celestron is going out of business.

And I know there are a lot of things people can’t imagine happening quickly, like the formation of fossils and stalactites and the Grand Canyon, but all of those things are a matter of process and are not dependent on long periods of time.Grand Canyon under partly sunny skies

Even the Grand Canyon is better explained by a lot of water over a relatively short time than a little bit of water over a very long time. We have observable data that tells us that fossils can (and must) form quickly, rocks can form quickly, canyons can forms quickly, even radiometric isotopes can decay quickly! It’s all a matter of what process is causing the changes.

If you assume only slow, gradual processes, then the results will point to long amounts of time. If you open the door to fast and powerful processes, then you will be able to see that big changes can happen in little time. It all depends on what starting assumptions you choose to begin with. I mean, just look at what the iPhone has done in the past decade! Remember life before smartphones? Neither does anyone else.

Also, we have a lot of things which show millions of years cannot have happened in Earth history- like soft tissue and Carbon 14 in dinosaur bones. Those discoveries show us that 65 million years ago is more like 65 million minutes ago. Which is like, 123 years. Which is a LONG time ago, even if it doesn’t look like it.

Just to put a finer point on it, which is older? Engineer’s Canyon,Little Grand Canyon "Engineer's Canyon" Mount St Helens, photo credit: Steve Austin

or the cast of The Golden Girls?

Betty White meeting US President Obama, 2012Betty White was born in 1922. Engineer’s Canyon formed in the 1980’s. By the time that canyon started forming, Betty White was almost 60 years old! But wasn’t she still prettier than that canyon?

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I guess what I’m saying is, the old earth position has to be wrong because, in the 1980s, Betty White was prettier than a big hole in the ground. That’s not deception on the part of our good God who made the heavens and the earth, that’s just one of the beautiful stars that He made which we can find down here on earth.

And Betty White, if you’re reading this, Jesus loves you. Also, I have a lot of student loans left over from college, if you’re looking for a way to say “thank you,” and you’re still fabulously wealthy… well, send me an email.


  1. (that is, Creationists who think God used natural means over millions of years, generally speaking.)
  2. For more on the formations at Mount St Helens:

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Written by Bryan Melugin

Bryan runs, teaches science and theatre, makes cartoons and puppets, and wants everyone to know and love Jesus.

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