[Update: 02/11/2018: the writer of Lamb’s Harbinger does not ascribe to theories of a young earth. The below is posted only as an exploration of those theories for explanation purposes in comparison to evolutionary theory. For an examination of the writer’s view on origins, please see The Fourth “Day” of Creation.]
The scientific dating of Earth sometimes gives the biblical skeptic fits. It is hard to reconcile dirt that tells you it is billions of years old with a biblical record that indicates the world and universe was created no more than 10,000 years ago. I want to say I don’t think the scientific data geologists have is incorrect, but their conclusions are contestable, and I want to state that I firmly believe the Bible. How can these seemingly opposing points be harmonized? I assert they are harmonized by an old-looking, young Earth. Ok, ok… before you dismiss me, please hear me out. Then you can rip on me all you want.
According to carbon dating, radiometric dating, or whatever method one wishes to invoke, the Earth appears to be several billions of years old. The proof is said to be in the dirt, whether asteroid dirt or earth dirt. And, the method uses the laws of nature (rate of decay) to prove it. However, not all of the data gathered by various methods agrees; nor do the methods agree between themselves. No one was around originally to see the initial state of Carbon and other elements. [See RESOURCES below] Plus, the rate of decay in certain elements is only giving a picture of the “what,” not the “how” or “why.” This question of why and how leads scientists to come up with origin theories like “the Big Bang” and macro evolution. Not only does the Bible grant the reader an explanation of origins, but it also can responsibly account for the scientific data concerning the universe and the age of the Earth.
That being said, one also needs to consider that many dinosaur skeletons have been unearthed in positions spanning more than one (or even 2) strata. When a dinosaur skeleton stands vertical and stretches across several layers of earth, which scientists use to date such fossils, then the logical conclusion is ‘one cannot reliably use strata to accurately date fossils.’ Such an ocurrance also demands that one not consider all methods of dating as equal. While methods of dating give us a general idea, cross examination of dating data and methods reveals contradiction..
Personally, I see no reason to fight against “the Big Bang” if one limits it to the stars’ and planets’ current pattern of expansion “outward,” increasing the size of the universe. A random blast cannot reasonably account for the order represented within the universe or for things like dark matter. Yet, I can agree with the expansion of the universe (as if from a blast), because science proves what the Bible clearly states repeatedly that God originally stretched out (lit. stamped out, spread out) the heavens (space/stars); and he continues to spread them out. [Job 9:8, Psalm 104:2, Isaiah 40:22, Isaiah 42:5, Isaiah 44:24, Isaiah 45:12, Isaiah 48:13, Isaiah 51:13, Jeremiah 10:12, Jeremiah 51:15, Zechariah 12:1]. The account of Creation in Genesis states that the first day of Creation witnessed God speak light into existence. The wording in Genesis 1:1-5 indicates this birth of light was rather instantaneous; one could imagine it being explosive. However, God speaks this light into an order which separates it from darkness, what He calls day and night. This does not negate but rather upholds the planetary orbits and revolutions, which we now describe as the cause for what we term “sunrise” and “sunset.” The Bible also records that God called this cycle evening and morning, indicating the same cycle we behold today. On the fourth day of Creation, one reads of God’s giving exact order (orbit and revolution — that which sets them as separate from darkness) to the “lights” of what we now know to be our solar system and stars which can be seen by humans from Earth. These are proclaimed as proper guides for seasons, days and years, indicating the same regulatory planetary cycles that we know. Again, the Big Bang and macro evolution cannot account for such order or the special circumstance of Earth.
The above accounts for expansion of the universe, but it does not answer anything concerning the age of all things. Seeing that scientific evidence agrees with the Bible as to the universe’s expanding, we need to give the Bible the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the origin and the age of the Earth.
I posit that God made everything in its fully mature state. All things were created in maturity, so that all things could be sustained by the ecosystems which God provided at Creation. There was not only a maturity to creation but also an order. Last of all, the first humans were created in maturity, before that the animals (marine and terrestrial) were created in maturity; before that the plant life (marine and terrestrial) was likewise created in maturity to support all of these; and before that, the water and dry land were made separate. Each of these building blocks of Creation were staged in maturity for the sustainability of what followed it. That directly implies that dirt and rocks were created with age, and this is precisely the reason scientists record the age of the earth at billions of years instead of thousands of years. And, if I may make free, it also ruins the joke that one is “older than dirt” as well as the conundrum of “which came first, the chicken or the egg.” But, all jokes aside, this adequately and responsibly defends both the what of scientific data and the why and how of a Creator who was all-wise in his creating a sustainable universe.
Furthermore, another reason for the appearance of age in the earth is due to what theologians term, “the Curse.” As Genesis 1 and 2 account for the dawn and establishment of Creation, Genesis 3 accounts for its becoming flawed along with mankind. This marring extends to the production of warped (call them mutated, if you will) and otherwise unwanted plant and animal life, which make farming difficult. Romans 8:19 and following states that the extent of the Fall of mankind reveals itself in Creation’s “groaning,” as if under strain and stress until the time humanity and Creation see their full redemption, when God makes all things new. Until that time, it endures a bondage to corruption, or decay. This is a large factor for why the Earth undergoes more violent and regular earthquakes, Tsunamis, El Nino, La Nina, increasingly frequent eruptions, glacial melting, global warming, etc. It is also the “why” for our sun’s slow but steady burn out. (Yes, I believe in global warming… which is an indicator of a dying sun.) The curse is also a basis for all disease and death. Whereas man rightly sees such weather-related and geographical phenomena as directly his fault, mankind has no idea how right he is. However, these natural disasters are God’s way of reminding mankind we are in a fallen and cursed world due to our sin, we are mortal and finite, and that time will come someday to a close; it is God’s way to urge mankind to repent and trust the God we’ve abandoned for reconciliation to Him through Jesus Christ. But, scientifically speaking, the Curse allows Creationism to responsibly account for the attribution of even more age (due to decay) than would be normally expected for such a young earth.