Why Address the Age of the Earth?
by Eric Lyons, M.Min.
Through the years, many Christians have questioned the relevance of discussing the age of the Earth. Does it really matter if the Earth is thousands or billions of years old? What is the big deal? What does the Earth’s age have to do with Christianity?
First, the Bible implicitly teaches that God’s creation is young (Luke 11:49-51; Mark 10:6; Romans 1:20; Exodus 20:11; etc.; see Lyons, 2006). Although this truth certainly is not the main theme of Scripture (that honor belongs to our Lord Jesus Christ), Christians should respect this Bible teaching, just as we should respect the fact that Methuselah lived to be 969 years old (Genesis 5:27), or that “Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish” (Matthew 12:40).
Second, the age of the Earth is extremely pertinent to the creation/evolution debate. Evolutionist Michael Le Page explained the significance of this subject matter in a recent issue of New Scientist, titled Evolution: The Ultimate Guide to a Beautiful Theory. One of the main “sorts of findings and experiments that could have falsified evolution,” but supposedly has not, is “a young Earth” (2008, 198:26). Of all the things that the popular, atheistic evolutionary journal New Scientist might mention that could possibly defeat the “goo-to-you” theory of evolution, the second on its list was “a young Earth” (p. 26, emp. added). Le Page wrote:
A young Earth would also be a problem for evolution, since evolution by natural selection requires vast stretches of time—“deep time”—as Darwin realised. Some thought evolution had been falsified in the 19th century when physicist William Thomson calculated that the Earth was just 30 million years old. In fact, several lines of evidence, such as lead isotopes, show the Earth is far older than even Darwin imagined—about 4.5 billion years old (p. 26).
According to evolutionists, if the Earth is relatively young (thousands or even a few million years old), their billion-year, time-laden theory crumbles. Consequently, one should expect that, since the Bible teaches the Earth is young (only thousands of years old), Christians would use God’s Word, along with many scientific facts supporting a young Earth (see DeYoung, 2005; Thompson, 2001), to disprove the General Theory of Evolution. Bible believers who choose not to utilize such information in their defense of Creation are rejecting one of the weapons the Creator has given His people to confront the ungodly, unscriptural theory of evolution. The fact is, the age of the Earth is a very pertinent topic to discuss in the 21st century.
[NOTE: For information on radioisotope dating, carbon-14 dating, etc., see DeYoung, 2005.]
DeYoung, Don (2005), Thousands…Not Billions (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).
Lyons, Eric (2006), “Man Has Been on Earth Since…,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3068.
Le Page, Michael (2008), “Evolution: A Guide for the Not-Yet Perplexed,” New Scientist, 198:24-33, April 19.
Thompson, Bert (2001), “The Young Earth,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1991.