The Days Of Old (Genesis Creation)

Of the many issues that create barriers between Christians (usually) and skeptics is the age of the universe and the Earth.   Within the Christian camp there are two factions: Young Earth Creationists (YEC) — the universe and Earth are thousands and not millions or billions of years old.  And Old Earth Creationists (OEC) — the universe and Earth are millions or billions of years old.  My experience has taught me that YECs Christians look down upon OEC Christians with a degree of contempt, though this is not a rule.  This seems to be because they believe OEC are not taking the Bible “literally” enough and are placing science above God’s Word as an authority.  OECs tend see YECs as overly rigid with the text, in fact placing their interpretation above what God’s Word might actually say on the issue.  Before I proceed, I want to offer this disclaimer: Whether I think God could have created in six 24 hour days is irrelevant, of course He could.  The question is what did God do, not what could God do.  I thought I’d offer my reasons for my position as an OEC.

The primary text in question is found in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2:1-4 with the main focus being on the Hebrew word Yom which is translated day over the six creation days.  One problem that arises is when someone — usually a YEC or a skeptic — insists an OEC is not taking the text “literally”.  This particular digression is not helpful when reading these passages because Yom has multiple literal meanings.

  • day, time, year, today
  • day (as opposed to night)
  • day (24 hour period)
  • days, lifetime (pl.)
  • period (general)

Each of these usages are literal definitions of the word translated day.  The key then, is to determine which understanding is intended in the text.

I see a few problems with taking day to mean a 24 hour solar day.  The first is rhetorical: does God need an entire day for each creation event?  Say the plants were created at 9:30 a.m., what was going on the rest of the day and before and after each event?  Why would God create in an instant at some point in the day, then simply wait til tomorrow?  Or, if God created through out the day, why drag it out all day?  But if He would take an entire day to perform an act of creation, why then object to suggesting it took a long period of time?  These are relevant questions given the common YEC objection about what God can do and that He doesn’t need billions of years (but He needs all day, or all week?).

So in this respect, if God is able to create in 6 solar days (which I agree He can), He can also create in one day, or a blink of an eye, or even over the course of billions of years for that matter.  So it would at least stand to reason that the amount of time it took God to create is theologically unimportant.  I am anticipating an objection here.  That the six-day creation and one day of rest was intended to form a pattern for us to use.  But I agree that the creation events are meant to set a pattern.  However, it is unnecessary since God could have given a Divine command to accomplish the desired result.  I have an inclination there is a hesitancy on the part of YECs to depart from the 24 hour model because there seems to be an association between (or slippery slope toward) an ancient universe and Earth, with a Darwinian model of evolution.

What about the ‘evening and morning’ which accompanies each day?  If we are to take evening and morning to mean a 24 hour cycle we run into an obvious problem.  The sun, moon, and stars were made on the fourth day, but evening and morning were occurring from the first day.  How do we reconcile this?  There are two ways.

The (only) reconciliation which has been offered to me by YECs is that the light is being emitted by God.  Basically God’s visible glory was the source of the light until the heavenly bodies (sun, moon, and stars) were made.  I find this to be uncompelling for a couple of reasons.  First, this explanation is entirely imposed upon the text with no warrant other than to explain away an irreconcilable inconsistency in the text.  There is nothing to suggest the light is coming from God Himself.  God is said to see the light (v 1:4), precisely the place to have said God was the light if that was the case.  Genesis does not mention God as the source, nor does it suggest the source of light is replaced at some point in the creation week.

I suggest the luminaries were created at verse one (God created the heavens and the Earth), and made on day four.  This is not as perplexing as it sounds, and like Yom, the understanding is found in the Hebrew.  God created the heavens (bara’).  Bara‘ denotes an independent creation, as in an initial production.  Then on the fourth day, God made (‘asah) the luminaries.  ‘Asah denotes a fashioning, moulding or preparing for use, of an existing thing.  For example, an artisan bara’ clay and ‘asah a pot.  The clay is created, and the now existing clay is prepared and fashioned for use.  Likewise, the sun, moon, and stars were present at the initial creation event, and not made for use until the fourth day.

So how do we get three days of evening and morning prior to the luminaries being made?  The second day mentions waters that were separated by an expanse.  There is said to be waters below and above the expanse.  The waters above (quite easily extreme humidity) were enough to block the clear shining of the luminaries.  Much like when extensively thick clouds on a dreary day block the sun rendering it completely unvisable to the point where you couldn’t even tell where in the sky it is; but its light is still enough for there to be a differentiation between daytime and night-time.  This is also the case at night.  There are nights where the moon is not visible through the clouds but its light is.  On the fourth day, God made the luminaries for their purposes: day and night as we experience today, and for time keeping and seasonal change, etc.

One last note on the days of creation before moving on.  There is no mention of evening or morning mentioned for the seventh day, the day of rest.  Additionally, Hebrews 4:4 tells us that we are still in the seventh day.  So within the creation week there is at least one day of the seven is not a 24 hour day and is undefined by evening and morning.

All this is to say that the days of the creation week can be literally understood to mean undefined but long periods of time.  The duration of each day is not explicit, and are not necessarily equal periods of time.  And as I (slightly) argued above, the duration of the days are theologically irrelevant.

But says the YEC, Adam was created as an adult.  Likewise, God created the universe with the age we see.  I have two problems with this explanation for the apparent age of the universe, one philosophical, and one scientific.

Philosophically speaking, this claim is unfalsifiable.  By asserting the universe was created with age a relatively short time ago it is impossible to prove either true or false.  We should tread lightly making claims that we cannot test, be it with physical measurements, or philosophical reasoning.  Of course it doesn’t make the claim false.  For all we know, we could find out the universe is young and created with the appearance of age, but we aren’t justified in holding it with any degree of certainty especially if the Bible doesn’t even make this claim.

However, Adam’s creation with apparent age and the universe potentially being created with age gives us reason to doubt the youth of the universe.  For one thing, Adam was created with maturity, not age.  Adam (and Eve) needed to be created in such a state that he (they) could function in the garden.  Not that the couple couldn’t have been created as infants protected and cared for by God until they could fend for themselves, but they weren’t.  They were made as mature adults.  If there were a way to physically test the biological age of the two immediately after their creation, they would test young.  Though a mature adult, Adam was but seconds old as he rose from the dust.

The universe on the other hand, appears mature, and tests as mature as it appears.  Of course, I am aware of some inconsistencies in different dating methods.  But the inconsistencies are not such that would cast doubt on the general age of the universe.  Some tests project 12 or 13 billion years old, and some others 14 or 15 billion.  None of the testing results in ages in the millions or hundreds of thousands of years old.  The spectrum is just not that broad.  Sure, a billion years is no drop in the bucket as a period of time is concerned, but the data is not so erratic that we are merely speculating.

When we test things that look ancient, they also test ancient.  When we see stars light years away, they are light years away.  I see no reason for us to be so untrusting of our senses.  If our faculties are so suspect, then any conclusion from investigation of any kind cannot be trusted, not just when it interrupts our reading of Genesis chapter 1.

Lastly, and related to the age/maturity issue, is the matter of what the false impression of antiquity actually entails as it pertains to the character of God.  If the age of the Earth and universe are actually young, but only appear old, that means a certain amount of deception can be laid at the feet of God.  What we have are records of events that never really happened.  There are novae and supernovae that never happened even though our telescopes tell us otherwise.  We have records of beasts roaming the Earth which never actually did so dispite finding biological records of them within the layers of the Earth.  This may seem insignificant, but the way it works itself out is that God has given us the ability to investigate the world around us, but is sending us on a fruitless endeavor because we cannot come to accurate conclusions about the world around us.  God has set us up to fail.

Since the age of the universe is irrelevant to the message of Christianity, I find it a stretch to believe its antiquity is manipulated.  We have to ask ourselves why might God organize this ruse?  I don’t think He did.  Christianity does not stand or fall on the age of the universe.  It stands on the resurrection and person of Jesus.  More importantly, no essential Christian doctrine relies on the universe being young or old.  I think we could justly presume that even if the universe tested young, there would be no fewer un-believers.  People will find excuses for their rejection of God even if they didn’t have the age of the universe to quibble over.


  1. Indeed, I know several ex-Christians who left because their faith taught them the ridiculous notion of a young earth — and taught them that it was critical to their religion. Others, like myself, left because we felt contrived doctrines should not condemn the majority of all humans to hell. But are these “barriers” between Christians and skeptics or “exit gates”?

    But I wager that perhaps your audience in this exegetical post is fellow Christians who are OEC. But I doubt you will convince them. Do you really think your exploration here will dent their armor of God? Do you really share a method with them that allows for real, effective communication.

    Two statements of yours I found interesting:

    (1) We should tread lightly making claims that we cannot test, be it with physical measurements, or philosophical reasoning.

    We nontheists agree strongly, yet we hear no “light treading” but sonorous clumping about on other non-empirical topics like salvation, divine nature of Jesus and much more.

    Your closing line says:

    (2) Christianity does not stand or fall on the age of the universe. It stands on the resurrection and person of Jesus.

    This is what makes for all the wonderful sects in Christiantiy — disagreement on what Christianity stands on. Heck some Christians view the resurrection as metaphorical. And your YEC bedfellows will feel that not taking the Bible literally is a slippery slide that leads to hell. How do you guys decide what is important? You have no agreed methodology.

  2. How do you guys decide what is important? You have no agreed methodology.

    This is a crucial point, it seems to me (and this, from a Christian). The determination of “literal” and “allegory” appears to be largely whimsical and especially subjective, when it comes to Bible study.

    John, if I may ask a question:

    Of course, I agree that we need not woodenly adhere to a literal understanding of “day,” and that doing so misses the points of the story (that is, God as Creator, God as partner with humanity in care for this beloved creation, etc).

    But if “day,” as you argue, need not be a literal 24 hour time period, why can’t “Adam” (which can be translated, “man” or “humankind”) ALSO be figurative?

    What consistent criteria do you suggest we employ whereby we can sort out “well, ‘DAY’ here is obviously figurative, not a LITERAL day, but ‘ADAM’ must only mean one man, created as an adult, and CAN NOT be understood figuratively…”?


    • Dan you are trying my nerves. Where in this post do I suggest “day” is not literal? This post is about the days specifically, not the creative actions on the particular days, except where it was necessary to understand the length of days. Dan, read this clearly: it might be best if you stay away from this post. If you take this comment thread off topic even once, your return here is done. Given that my patience with you has already drawn short, I suggest you keep off this particular post.

      Let me make this clear right up front. The word translated as “day” has multiple “literal” definitions. The days of the Genesis creation are literal in the sense I described, they are not allegorical. I addressed the creation of Adam with maturity rather than age.

      • Just a note to other commenters: since this particular topic will require fairly in-depth responses to questions and comments, I will respond as I have sufficient time.

  3. The idea that the earth “appears old” is based on man’s assumptions about it being old to start with. Only more ignorant YECs make the claim about “appearance of age” of the earth.

    All of your statements have been addressed by YEC ad infinitum. All one has to do is spend a bit of time at sites like Answers in Genesis and Institute for Creation Research. These organizations have top-notch scholars and scientists as members who do their research and publish articles etc.

    The reason God used six days was as an example to set before us a week in our time frame; you do realize that the week is the only section of time not based on some astronomical condition? While an hour is just an arbitrary division of a day and could conceivably be of any length, a month and a year are based on the timing of the moon around the earth and the earth around the sun. A week is a span of time specified by God with the 6-day creation.

    If you don’t take the six days as literal, then how old was Adam on day 7? As noted on a previous comment, just these two articles fully explain that the intent of Genesis IS literal days:

    The ONLY reason for OEC and refusing to acknowledge literal 24-hour days is so as to conform with naturalistic speculations and assumptions of so-called “science.”

    It is all about proper hermeneutical principles. If you decide that the first two chapters of Genesis aren’t literal, then what makes you decide any part of the Bible is? Do you just pick and choose what fits with your worldview?

    • Glenn,

      You know I’m not a fan of fisking, but I’m going to do it just to make sure I get to all your points. I hope you look past my hypocricy for the moment.

      The idea that the earth “appears old” is based on man’s assumptions about it being old to start with. Only more ignorant YECs make the claim about “appearance of age” of the earth.

      I don’t think I can accept this. From the “dawns of time” so to speak, man didn’t really know how old the Earth and universe were. As measurements improved in accuracy, we discovered the age of the universe. The age of the universe and Earth was continually pushed back because of the improvements in measurement techniques, not because of a “need” so to speak.

      All of your statements have been addressed by YEC ad infinitum. All one has to do is spend a bit of time at sites like Answers in Genesis and Institute for Creation Research. These organizations have top-notch scholars and scientists as members who do their research and publish articles etc

      I have spent some time at those sites and I honestly find them very uncompelling. I cannot speak for the credentials of the researchers, they appear to resist any of the findings of modern science. My position is, if the Bible is true then it will comport to reality. I get the feeling from YEC (a term I don’t mean dirisively at all) that they think they’re giving something up if they grant age to the universe. But I don’t think we do. Whether the universe or the Earth is old or young, it doesn’t affect Christianity at all. Just because the universe is 14 billion years old, it doesn’t mean evolution by natural selection is true. If the earth is 4 billion years old, it doesn’t mean the Bible is false. We lose nothing. For example, scholars and theologians argued that the Earth was flat and that the sun circled the Earth based on Biblical passages. Of course you do not ascribe to geocentrism, but why not? The Bible says the sun rises and sets, it describes the four corners. Scientific discoveries have aided us to realizing these passages were intended to convey something other than geocentricism and a flat Earth.

      No I am not, NOT saying the Genesis account is figurative or in any other way non-literal, which is why I went into the words themselves. There is more than one LITERAL definition of Yom.

      The reason God used six days was as an example to set before us a week in our time frame; you do realize that the week is the only section of time not based on some astronomical condition? While an hour is just an arbitrary division of a day and could conceivably be of any length, a month and a year are based on the timing of the moon around the earth and the earth around the sun. A week is a span of time specified by God with the 6-day creation.

      But I addressed this as well. God did not need to take six 24 hr days just to set a pattern. It could have been accomplished through divine command. The Jews had dietary commands through command, for example. I just don’t see it as a compelling reason to accept 24 hour days, especially since Daniel’s 70 week prophesy was not 70 “literal” weeks, so it’s not like there isn’t anything we can point to where one period of time is used to describe some other longer period.

      If you don’t take the six days as literal, then how old was Adam on day 7? As noted on a previous comment, just these two articles fully explain that the intent of Genesis IS literal days

      Well, I have already said, I do take the days as literal. You and I disagree on which literal definition we use. How old was Adam? That’s going to depend on a few things. We don’t know how long day six was, it could have been a few weeks, months years or decades. The Bible doesn’t make that clear. Additionally, we are still in the 7th day according to Hebrews. But, lets just assume the sixth day was 24 hours long, and the seventh day was the next day. Adam would have been 2 days old. One day old on day 6, 2 days old on day 7. Adam was created with maturity, not age. He may have appeared in his 20s or 30s when created, but his actual age is a different thing. On the other hand, the universe has age, not just maturity.

      The ONLY reason for OEC and refusing to acknowledge literal 24-hour days is so as to conform with naturalistic speculations and assumptions of so-called “science.”

      It is all about proper hermeneutical principles. If you decide that the first two chapters of Genesis aren’t literal, then what makes you decide any part of the Bible is? Do you just pick and choose what fits with your worldview?

      If it was about conforming to naturalism, I’d be an atheist. Children arent born from virvins, and dead men dont rise. Lepers are not healed with a touch, and the blind arent given sight by spitting in dirt and rubbing it on eyes…if conformity to naturalism is the goal. Also, remember, I don’t think the age of the universee makes anything more conforming to naturalism, age doesnt validate naturalistic evolution by natural selection.

      The first half of this post was use of hermeneutical principles. I do think the first two chapters are literal, and the same accusation of picking and choosing for fit world view could be levied back at YEC, right?

  4. John…

    Dan you are trying my nerves. Where in this post do I suggest “day” is not literal?

    Man, relax, brother John. It’s a new year, a new beginning, a new chance to not get so worked up about things. I meant no offense, there’s no need to let my words try your nerves, brother.

    To answer your question, Where do you suggest “day” is not literal?…

    “I see a few problems with taking day to mean a 24 hour solar day.”

    There, for one. That is the one of the points of the post, I thought. That we need not assume that “day” in the creation story means a literal day as “day” is understood in the English language.

    If I have misunderstood you, I DO apologize. Are you saying that you DO believe “day” in Genesis means a literal 24 hour day, as we understand “day” to mean in the English language?

  5. John…

    The days of the Genesis creation are literal in the sense I described, they are not allegorical.

    “Literal in the sense you described,” but that is not the literal meaning of the word “DAY” as we use it in the English language.

    Day (Merriam Webster):
    1. the time of light between one night and the next
    2. the period of rotation of a planet (as earth) or a moon on its axis
    3. the mean solar day of 24 hours beginning at mean midnight

    These are the LITERAL ENGLISH meanings of the word “day” when used “and there was evening and morning – the first day.”

    I’m not sure of what you’re pointing out here, John. I apologize and hope my confusion does not cause you distress. You appear to be using non-standard definition of the word and yet saying you mean it literally.

    Do you see how I find that confusing?

    It’s rather like if I were to say, “That is a BEAR that I wreslted and I mean “bear” literally. Literally, that is, in the sense that by “bear” I mean a “dog.” That would NOT be a literal rendering of the word dog or bear, in that sense.

    I’m sorry that I find that confusing, but I’m just being honest, my friend, that is confusing to me.

  6. Okay, then striving carefully to be on topic and not upset you, I’ll respond to your comment here…

    The days of the Genesis creation are literal in the sense I described, they are not allegorical. I addressed the creation of Adam with maturity rather than age.

    Given, then, that the HEBREW word “adam” can mean mankind, can we assume that “adam” was not speaking of a literal individual, but that the story is speaking LITERALLY of “mankind,” not ONE man?

    If not, why not?

    • Dan

      For one thing, everywhere Adam is discussed in the bible it refers to a person “Adam”. Not a general mankind. Jesus referred to Adam as a real person. Paul referred to Adam as a real person (1 Tim 2). The context is that the first human was specially created on day six, not generally mankind. Adam is spoken to have been one person, and Eve was the next, they had offspring that were not referred to as “Adams” but each had names.

      Glenn, I haven’t forgotten about your comments, I will address them more in depth when I’m home and have some time to put in.

  7. Dan, If I am off topic, then so are you for even bringing Adam into the discussion.

    Adam & Eve had to be two literal people from whom all of the population of the earth started or else everything else collapses. The fact that you take them to be myth just proves all we’ve ever said about your view of scripture – it’s pick and choose to fit your liberal worldview.

    I’m done with discussions with you here – period. You are a fool and Scripture says not to answer a fool according to his folly. You are a waste of my time.

  8. Dan

    The discussion is about the length of days not Adam. . The bible provides genealogies from Adam and back to Adam.

  9. Terrance H. says:


    Good post. I don’t have the patience to deal with YECs, but it’s good you do.

    I might be able to accept faith for myself if I throw out the entire Old Testament, or at least most of it.

    I watched a PBS Nova program on the history of the Bible recently. I started watching as an atheist; two hours later I began to question my disbelief. The Bible has a strange history and it’s by no means the ultimate truth, since there are other Gospels and books that were not included. I plan to wrire on it soon. I have to get a bunch of reasearch together and finish reading the Gospel of Thomas.

    But I might be able to get faith back in time, but I’ll never accept what mainstream religion has to say about God. It’s mainstream religion that have turned so many off to the idea; it certainly wasn’t science, at least not for me. I tend to hold that science has a lot of answers derived from suppositional arguments ( e.g., dark matter). Soon science may be able to provide more convincing data. We’ll just have to wait and see. But I think science can be used to justify faith eventually.

  10. Dan

    Glenn was addressing the topic all the way up until you departed and made it about Adam instead about the creation days. Even looking back he called you a fool. Frankly I am holding back much stronger language. I suggested you withhold from commenting on this specific post, but you couldn’t help yourself.

  11. Dan

    Either discuss the age of the universe or kindly recuse yourself.

  12. We are agreed on the note that YECs are mistaken in their estimation of the age of the earth, John and that they are mistaken for reasons of bad exegesis.

    I thought this post was also discussing HOW you get to your estimation, which gets to biblical interpretation. If this is not the place for that, then I’ll address my other questions in your “discussion” page. Thanks.

  13. Marshall Art says:

    For my part, I have made no decisions about the age of the earth as it is quite a moot point. My point has always been that it is quite possible that mankind is unable or too imperfect to accurately gauge the age of the universe; that what we think is age is only what a created universe looks like. This does not mean that God purposely designed it so as to fool us, but that we are not yet capable of measuring something so vast and miraculous as the creation of universe. We are measuring the physical universe with devices and knowledge only of the physical, when it was all created by supernatural means. Then, we are dictating how it must have been in order to justify our findings. And as if that wasn’t enough, we speculate as to whether or not it is logical that God would take all day to do what He could in the blink of an eye. He can take as much time as He likes. It’s a perk of being THE Supreme Being. The bottom line is that neither side of the issue has any right or proof enough to say more than “it appears to me to be the case that the universe is X years old” and no more.

    • Marshall

      My point isn’t what I need it to be or what I need to justify for my sensibilities. And like I said and I think you’ll agree, the age of the universe isn’t theologically impactful in a significant way. And it is not a matter of what God is able to do, but a matter of what He did do. I personally don’t have a problem accepting a young universe, after all, I already believe a virgin gave birth to a man who was killed and rose from the dead. I’m not shy about affirming miraculous claims.

  14. Terrance H. says:


    That’s not fair to say – at all. These were Biblical experts, some of whom Priests and Pastors, being interviewed. It was incredibly fair to religion, perhaps too fair, and from what I’ve gathered thus far through independent research, entirely accurate. Not to mention that the program did some Christians only fail to do, i.e., open my mind up to the idea that perhaps Christianity isn’t a big lie. As I said, I began the program as an atheist; two hours later (it was a two-part special), I began to question my disbelief.

    I’ll have a post on it soon enough and you’ll see what I’m talking about. It’s too hard to explain right now what about it made me rethink my position.

    • T

      Without a lick of hyperbole or exaggeration those channels in every show about Christianity or religion they choose liberal clergy or scholars. More often than not the person, even though professes to be a believer, is skeptical of the enterprise. Usually types like the commenter Dan Traube. I’m not trying to defame him, just noting they are more likely to have scholars with his views than scholars with mine. Its a skewed representation is all I’m saying.

  15. Terrance H. says:


    If the information is accurate, what the hell difference does it make who they choose? Is your definition of “liberal scholar” someone who doesn’t believe humans roamed with dinosaurs, or what?

    I’ll have all the information in the post, including the exact name of the program and where to watch it. Then you can decide.

    • T

      Liberal scholars like the Jesus Seminar. Crossan, Spong, Ehrman etc. People who claim to be believers but whose views line up most often with skeptics and atheists when it comes to interpreting the bible.

      Did you not get from the post that I am not a YEC? why would you make the dinosaur comment?

  16. Dan, you have argued that a very large portion of the OT is myth, you are pro-homosexual, pro-samesex marriage, pro-women pastorship, how much more liberal can one get?

  17. John, I’ll suggest respectfully that one can get A LOT more liberal than Dan Trabue is (and I only know him from the comments he has made here). The very fact that someone who supports gay marriage engages respectfully with conservative Christians (some of whom do not, from what I can see, engage respectfully in return) should already tell you you’re not dealing with some invariably hostile uber-liberal. Perhaps there is a lot of history and baggage in these exchanges that I do not know — but from what I can read here, my sympathies to Dan’s steadfast attempt to engage respectfully and not to make you mad. With apologies for failing to address the age of the universe…

    • Kendrick

      My problems with Dan have nothing to with his attitude. I don’t disagree that he is respectful and isn’t hostile. He is very amiable in that respect. But I have repeatedly told Dan why he bothers me, publicly on this blog and in private email.

      I also know there are Christians more liberal than he, I just observed he is liberal and have yet to hear an opinion from him that isn’t. But that’s not even why I can’t stand him.

    • Kendrick,

      Dan is more liberal than you can tell by this short comment string. And he plays the victim if you say anything against his ideology. And he is often NOT respectful and uses very abusive language if you challenge his ideology. I know from personal email and from his comment strings on my blogs, let alone the many other blogs he has been on. Some have gotten fed up with his behavior (as have I) to where we have banned him.

  18. You said:

    “The (only) reconciliation which has been offered to me by YECs is that the light is being emitted by God. Basically God’s visible glory was the source of the light until the heavenly bodies (sun, moon, and stars) were made. I find this to be uncompelling for a couple of reasons. First, this explanation is entirely imposed upon the text with no warrant other than to explain away an irreconcilable inconsistency in the text.”

    God said “Let there be light, and there was light.” Whatever the source of that light, it was there. Your argument above seems to be a strawman.

  19. John, I think you are guilty of eisegisis. Your explaining away of the literal week and literal 24 hour Sabbath is unpersuasive. Your “literal” day meaning “period” has to be imputed to every instance Jesus spoke of “from the beginning.” He said God made them male and female “from the beginning” not from billions of years from the beginning. He spoke to the Pharisees in John 5 and said that if they would believe in Moses, they would believe in Him. Moses wrote in Exodus 20:11 that God created the heavens and the earth in six days and rested on the Sabbath. It is unpersuasive to believe God worked six “periods” and rested on the Sabbath “period” and then required everyone to work six “days” and rest on the Sabbath “day.”

    Jesus seemed to treat Old Testament historical accounts as fact and not mythology. These historical accounts include Adam and Eve as the first married couple (Matthew 19:3–6; Mark 10:3–9), Abel as the first prophet who was killed (Luke 11:50–51), Noah and the Flood (Matthew 24:38–39), Moses and the serpent in the wilderness (John 3:14), Moses and the manna from heaven to feed the Israelites in the wilderness (John 6:32–33, 49), the experiences of Lot and his wife (Luke 17:28–32), the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah (Matthew 10:15), the miracles of Elijah (Luke 4:25–27), and Jonah and the big fish (Matthew 12:40– 41).

    Why is it so difficult to believe creation was a literal day, understood the way it generally is?

    Also, although young-earthers sometimes do argue “the appearance of age,” it is a fallacy to believe the universe “appears” or “dates” old. You argued that Adam was created “mature” but that the universe “appears old.” Age, however, is a concept, not a characteristic. Age cannot have “appearance.” How can you say “The universe appears old and is therefore old” (or likely to be old) when we have no other universes by which to judge appearances? This fallacy is our own deception. It is not God’s. God created the universe as it is. Our false assumptions in determining its age leads us to false conclusions about God.

    • DT

      Here is the problem I knew I’d run into. I do not treat Genesis as myth, or figurative. I am not sure what I have to do to have people understand that. Do you disagree there are multiple definitions that the word Yom carries? Do you disagree that these are all literal definitions? From the beginning he made them male and female, how does that disagree with what I wrote? It doesn’t so why is that important?

      Your entire second paragraph is a strawman against my argument. I dont view the OT as mythology, all those events were historical events.

      Why is it so difficult to believe creation was a literal day, understood the way it generally is?

      This is the problem right here. You and other YEC keep referring to “literal day” as though any other meaning than 24 hrs is completely foreign. Didn’t God say “in that day…” “So and so saw my day…” He wasnt talking about one particular day, it referred to a period of time in history. The only people who have an understanding of the way day is “generally understood” is English speaking people. The Hebrews knew Yom doesnt have a “general” understanding. It is used in different ways hundreds of times. By clicking on the link to the word is a word study, it gives the LITERAL definitions plus all the times and ways the word for “day” is used. There is no general understanding.

      Your final address is also not my argument either. The universe looks old, AND it also tests old. It is more than the appearance. We see age all the time, a 90 year old man has an appearance of age. Think about real and forged antiques. Tue antiques have the appearance of age, but if they were tested for their age, they would also test old. Same with the universe. What I am getting form YEC is that the universe is a forged antique. It looks old, but in fact its not. Do you remember the movie Benjamin Button? He was born looking very old, and grew younger. But at his birth, had he been biologically tested for age, he’d test minutes old, not the 90 years old he looked. Same with Adam. He was created with maturity, not age.

      So you seem as though Christians lose something theologically by not holding to a young universe. What is it you think we lose?

      • John,
        I had to look up on the ‘net to find out what “fisking” is! I guess I’m way behind the times.

        The problem with man’s “measurements” of the earth and universe is that there is no factual data. It is all based on speculations about assumptions. All time-measuring devices start with a uniformitarian assumption which cannot be proven – and have often been proven to be wrong!

        Interesting that you find Creationist scientists “uncompelling” and yet unquestionably accept as fact that which is speculation and assumption. The Bible doe comport with reality in that reality is a young earth. No one can prove differently. What is interesting is the studies done by Russell Humphreys on white holes and event horizons and how they can account for a seemingly old universe. In a nutshell, time is a variable and time as we know it began when the event horizon crossed earth, starting day one of the creation. And the days were literal 24-hour days.

        The claim that scholars and theologians believed the earth was flat is an old canard with little truth – only a small minority believed that, as demonstrated here:

        I agree there is more than one definition of “yom” but the definition is determined by context. As I posted on your previous blog, “Dr. James Barr (Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford University), who himself does not believe Genesis is true history, nonetheless admitted as far as the language of Genesis 1 is concerned that: ‘So far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Gen. 1–11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that (a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience (b) the figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the biblical story (c) Noah’s Flood was understood to be worldwide and extinguish all human and animal life except for those in the ark.'”

        Additionally, AIG says this:
        “The context of Genesis 1 clearly shows that the days of creation were literal days. First, yom is defined the first time it is used in the Bible (Genesis 1:4–5) in its two literal senses: the light portion of the light/dark cycle and the whole light/dark cycle. Second, yom is used with “evening” and “morning.” Everywhere these two words are used in the Old Testament, either together or separately and with or without yom in the context, they always mean a literal evening or morning of a literal day. Third, yom is modified with a number: one day, second day, third day, etc., which everywhere else in the Old Testament indicates literal days. Fourth, yom is defined literally in Genesis 1:14 in relation to the heavenly bodies.”

        The whole point of YEC is that there is no need to come up with an old earth, which is based only on uniformitarian speculations, because the Bible is straightforward in the context of when Creation took place. If one is not trying fit their belief to accept so-called “science,” then there is no reason for OEC beliefs.

        One last thing, only the ignorant KJVO-style YEC claims “forged” antique – so that is a strawman. The only real “age” to deal with is not the earth’s (who says what is old about the earth? – uniformitarian speculations!), but the universe with the light-years, e.g. However, as noted above, there are solutions to the problems which astrophysicists have come up with.

  20. Marshall Art says:

    “Perhaps there is a lot of history and baggage in these exchanges that I do not know”


  21. I understand that you think that “period” is a “literal” interpretation. The problem is you are not consistent in interpreting “day” to mean “period.” In every other instance where the text implies a 24-hour period you do not look for clever ways to use the “literal” interpretation of “period.”

    The strawman I said you might be arguing is that people argue the light in existence has to emanating from God and there is no other explanation. You beat down the argument that the light comes from God without even considering other possibilities.

    I am not accusing you of believing Genesis to be a myth.

    I mean understan “day as it is generally understood—as a 24-hour period.”

    Have to respond more later.

    • DT

      I understand that you think that “period” is a “literal” interpretation. The problem is you are not consistent in interpreting “day” to mean “period.” In every other instance where the text implies a 24-hour period you do not look for clever ways to use the “literal” interpretation of “period.”

      You’ll have to clarify for me. Do you mean through out the bible, or perhaps when it is used in Genesis chapter 2, where the creation account is narrated in a different manner?

      If I understand you, you believe that all death happened after the fall, and that even animal and plant death did not? This is an entirely different facet to this discussion that I could post on. But I think 24 hr days creates more problems than it solves. It forces ad hoc explanations of things. Such as Adam naming all the animals in one day. All of them? The text says he pondered and considered each. Thats a lot of animals, insects, birds, etc. to ponder in a day, unless we now add some kind of super intelligence and extra speed. He also became very lonely. This happened over the course of one day while he was busy with everything else? Then at Eve’s creation, it was at long last that he had a companion? The wording doesnt suggest one 24 hr day. It only carries that implication in English.

  22. You make an unwarranted assumption that the the universe “has an appearance of old age.” How do you know it “appears old?” You have no reference point with which to make that comparison. There are no other universes to compare this one to. Benjamin Button “appeared old” at birth because you can compare his features to what an “old person” has. But you cannot make the comparison with the universe because we do not know what an old universe looks like. All we know is what this universe looks like.

    I am not one of those YECs who say the universe was forged old. I do not believe a belief in a young earth is necessary for salvation. Only a heart yielded to the Lordship of Jesus Christ as the only all-sufficient substitutionary sacrifice is the key to salvation.

    BUT, hermeneutically speaking, adding millions (billions) of years to the text diminishes the authority of scripture. Adding millions of years opens the door to contradictions. Take thorns for instance. According to scripture thorns made their appearance after the the fall of man but “the scientific evidence” places thorn fossils in rock layers thought to be millions of years older than the first appearance of man. These thorn fossils also “test” old. Are scientists mistaken only in this area, or is scripture wrong? Or is there some interpretation that thorns coming after the curse really were there all along? Seems to me an eisegetical situation again.

    The problem of death arises when you add millions of years since death is a result of the curse as well. How are all these “old” fossils possible before the appearance of man? Fossils require the death of the object.

    What old earth beliefs do slowly and subtley, theistic evolution does brazenly. Theistic evolution is completely incompatible with a Judeo-Christian belief. (I am not accusing you of believing in theistic evolution.)

  23. Wow. I think (but am probably wrong) I understand what you’re saying – and it pushes me further away. The literal story (whatever that is) matters most, and anything that introduces contradiction or difficulty is undesirable – like millions or billions of years – and so hold fast to the literal story, making liberal use of God’s infinite capacity to make anything true. And if anyone (like John) seeks to square Biblical and physical understanding with the science of observation regarding the universe, then note that the science of observation is hamstrung by the impossibility of having anything to compare the universe to, ergo, science cannot possibly have anything to say about the age of the universe (not because science cannot measure but because science cannot ever possibly compete with God’s capacity to make anything true) – then whatever my God-story is, is true. QED.

    I think John is right that nothing of significant theological consequence turns on the age of the universe. But if the starting point is God can do anything (including turn science on its head and confuse humans), then there’s no point in having these kinds of discussions (which is why I was troubled by what seemed to be your point).

    • Kendrick

      My point was offering my view. If the Bible is true, then it will comport with reality. It’s not just true in spiritual things, but all things of which it speaks. The age of the universe is not about what God can do, it is about what did He do. When we know how fast the speed of light travels, and light says it took the stars to appear to us in X number of years, then unless we have forged age, the Earth is at least that old. When we see within the contents of the Earth ancient bones which can be dated (not just bones, but you know what I mean) to a few million years, then the Earth is at least that old. Now as far as testing, even though there may be some differences in conclusions, no tests show such significant differences that they should all be rejected and conclude Adam mingled among dinosaurs.

  24. I want to point out that as a previous post noted, the “age” of the universe can indeed be old as we measure time and that doesn’t affect anything, because as the time event horizon passed earth, we began “earth time” with the literal 24 hr days. The material making up the earth may or may not be as old as the rest of the universe in this theory posited by astrophysicists, but day one was day one of the creation of time.

    There is no unsolvable problem with literal 24-hr days. It doesn’t say Adam named ALL of the animals – my understanding from reading those who know the language, etc – the scholars – state that Adam named what we would call domestic animals. Doesn’t take long at all. The wording does indeed MEAN 24 hr days.

    Death entered the world for man and animals – not plants. Plants do not have the “breath of life.”

    The dinosaurs were part of the sixth day of creation and did indeed live contemporaneously with Adam.

    John, what you refuse to accept is the FACT that there are no FACTS in time-measuring theories. All methods of measuring the age of the universe/earth are based on speculations about assumptions. You are willing to place full faith and credit into assumptions rather than in the Word of God.

  25. A few questions for Glenn, who posited…

    The dinosaurs were part of the sixth day of creation and did indeed live contemporaneously with Adam.

    Are you serious? Ignoring the whole “science” angle, do you really think that dinosaurs existed in Bible days and NO ONE TALKED ABOUT THEM in the Bible stories? A LOT?

    Sure, there is mention of Leviathan (probably alligators or hippos) and some mentions of “dragons,” (again, probably NOT literally a dragon, SINCE DRAGONS DON’T EXIST, but more likely a jackal or some other wild animal). But what of Saber Tooth tigers (not a dinosaur, but also much before 6000 years ago) or pteradactyls or T-rex or any of the many other dinosaurs: Do you really think they would not be a HUGE topic of conversation in the Bible IF they co-existed with humanity in bible times?

    When do you think dinosaurs went extinct, Glenn, and for what reason? Is it your opinion that God created dinosaurs on the Thursday of Creation Week and that they lived for, what – one thousand years and then died off?

    Did Noah load up the dinosaurs on the Ark? God commanded Noah to get “every kind of” the animals of the earth, right, so I would presume that includes dinosaurs? Or had they already died off by Noah’s time (what? A few hundred years after Creation Week?)

    Do you think dinosaurs co-existed with the Egyptians? With the Mesopotamians?

    Ignoring the science, where is the ancient literature discussing all these dinosaurs co-existing with humanity? You’d think they would have made a pretty big impression on folk, right?

    • Dan,

      There is discussion of Leviathan and Behemoth in Job, and Leviathan is mentioned in the Psalms. If you read Job, there is no way these can be mythical beasts because God said he created them. And if you think Leviathan is an alligator or hippo, then you aren’t paying attention to the description which cannot be either animal, just as the description of behemoth cannot describe anything other that a huge animal now know as a dinosaur. “Dragon” is a word the KJV translators used to describe many of the types of creatures we now know as dinosaurs – since the latter word was not invented until the middle of the 19th century.

      Why do you find it necessary for the scripture to have a lot of discussion about various animals – do you write and talk about animals on a daily basis?

      Most of the dinosaurs became extinct in the periods after the Flood. There is a great book, “After the Flood,” by Bill Cooper in which he researched stories from all over Europe and there are many reports over the centuries of people encountering animals which we now call dinosaurs. It is a field in which if you’d do a bit of research, you’d find that you’d learn a lot which would dispel your ideology. Noah had two of each animal on the Ark, which means he had dinosaurs. The lizard-type dinosaurs (which are the only real type since the word means “terrible lizard”) take many, many years to grow (did you know that lizards don’t stop growing until they die?) – Noah would have had young ones. Unless you want to say God lied when He said Noah took two of each (actually more than two of each animal, but that’s not germane here). And, by the way, there are still reports today of huge animals in areas of Africa and South America, which match the ID of types of dinosaurs. Perhaps you might also read Michael Oard’s “Frozen in Time” study of the wooly mammoth, and Jack Cuozzo’s “Buried Alive” about the so-called Neanderthal man, etc. But you’d have to step away from your pre-conceived ideas of Genesis being mythological and actually do some study of the YEC research. Put away the secular evolutionists’ glasses and look through Biblical glasses.

      Oh, and land animals were created on Friday – not Thursday; day 6.

  26. Flying critters and water critters were created on Thursday (day 5), and many dinosaurs would fit those categories.

    IF we were talking about a literal creation story.

    • Dinosaurs, by definition (terrible lizard) are land animals. Those other critters aren’t dinosaurs, just ancient critter types.

      And it IS a literal creation story, but then, you’d have to accept the Word of God as it is and not dismiss that which you don’t like as merely myth. As noted, you need to study the other side of the issue.

  27. Noah had two of each animal on the Ark, which means he had dinosaurs.

    Mm-hmmm. Two argentinosaurs (measured about 120 feet from head to tail and may have weighed over 100 tons), two Sauropods (about the same length – but with a 40′ long neck and weighing “only” 50 tons), two hadrosaurs (~50′ long, 20-50 tons), two Apatosaurus (at about 90′), two T Rexes (only 40′ each) , some brachiosaurs and so on, all these massive animals on a boat that is ~450′ long. IN ADDITION to two elephants, giraffes, hippos, rhinos…

    The largest of these dinosaurs would have quickly filled up that space, so from a purely logistical point of view, Glenn, how would they all fit in there (not to mention the FOOD that all these massive animals would have eaten?

    • Dan,

      Take your questions to Answers in Genesis – they have responded to these questions a zillion times. They have scientists and theologians on their staff, scientist from all sorts of disciplines.

      Excellent book about Noah’s ark and what it was capable of carrying is “Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study” by John Woodmorappe, who had degrees in geology and biology.

  28. Of course, since God is doing it, all God had to do was shrink them all down to hand-sized and then, no problem!

    • Dan, you are being ignorant. Even dinosaurs start out small. If you really want the answers, go where I sent you. Then you can have the scholars give you the answer. If you just want to mock, then remain in your ignorance.

  29. Why is that not a viable answer, Glenn? Do you doubt God’s ability to shrink animals down to hand-sized? Doubter! Blasphemer!

    (and to be clear, I’m joshing with you, not mocking you – making a tiny-dinosaur-sized joke that hopefully makes a point. Laugh a bit, my brother…)

  30. As to your source, Glenn, if you have any non-biased, peer-reviewed studies, I’d be glad to consider them. I hope we can all agree that people who start out with an agenda looking for data to “prove” their agenda, that this is not how science or research ought to work and any such data should be regarded as questionable at best and at least possibly fraudulent.

    • There is no such thing as “non-biased” studies of cosmology. The secularist are biased towards evolutionism and uniformitarianism.

      They are peer reviewed studies, but as anyone knows, they will never be “peer reviewed” in a secular journal – they never allow creationists to publish in their journals. Perhaps you need to do a wee bit more research into AIG and Institute for Creation Research; as previously noted, they have staff scientists in every field that you’d wish to review. AIG has an an excellent technical journal also.

      Don’t accept the lie that secular scientists are unbiased.

  31. If a scientist (a REAL scientist) COULD prove the world was 6,000 years old, they would absolutely do it. Can you imagine the acclaim, the money that would come your way, the recognition?

    You hold too high a view of humankind to not think that some scientist wouldn’t jump all over that kind of glory if they could.

    Do you know any non-religious scientists who aren’t trying to prove their pre-existing presumptions who agree with this? One?

  32. Yes, before sin there was no death and before man there was no sin, therefore before man there was no death. I think were are just going to have to agree that you are wrong about this. :)

  33. Marshall Art says:

    “If a scientist (a REAL scientist) COULD prove the world was 6,000 years old, they would absolutely do it.”

    They could no more “do it” than secular “REAL” scientists have done it. Said another way, no one has proven anything about the age of the earth. It is as I’ve said: the best anyone can say is that based on their research it appears as if the earth (or universe) is X number of years old. Both groups of scientists, “REAL” or otherwise, are working from the same base of data and drawing different conclusions. But Dan sides with those who believe the earth is billions of years old and obviously hasn’t taken one moment to review alternate studies.

    So, if ANY scientist could prove the age of the earth, I’ve no doubt they would absolutely love to present the proof they’ve found. Unfortunately, it is not likely that a young earth scientist would get the time of day in an environment positively ruled by old earth science supporters. And old earth scientist would have little trouble having his “proof” taken to heart without a great deal of scrutiny by too many.

    As for “peer reviews”, they are very political and not necessarily proof of anything other than the fact that those who did the reviews concurred with the research and its methodology. It is no where outside the realm of possibility that a reviewer might hold the opposite opinion that the research being reviewed has disputed and then gives a poor review in order to protect his own standing. Not uncommon at all.

  34. Friends, it’s one thing to say that 99% of the established scientific community is mistaken. That makes you sound way out there, but, okay, whatever.

    But when you start suggesting a conspiracy amongst a group that size to keep the “real” facts from getting out, you move from “way out there,” to SO far out there as to be wholly irrational.

    One man’s opinion.

    • I hate to agree with Dan here (even though we agree for different reasons), but atheistic naturalism didn’t infect the scientific community to the point of corruption until after committed Christian scientists had already been making discoveries about the age of the universe.

  35. Dan pulls out the old logic fallacy of “no real Scotsman.”

    All origins theories are just that – theories. The secular scientific community does not have any facts about origins. Dan can make the claim that they do all he wants, but you study their dating methods you will learn there are no facts in them – just assumptions. The make assumptions based on uniformitarian and evolutionist worldviews, and the speculate off the assumptions. The claim that the earth is billions of years old has no factual data. Neither Christian nor secular scientists can prove their position, but when the evidence is looked at objectively, it fits the Creationist model much more than it does the non-creationist model.

    Is there a “conspiracy” to prevent Creation scientists from presenting their data in secular journals? Must be! Intelligent design proponents (a large percentage of which are not Creationists of OEC or YEC positions, and many not even Christians) cannot get in the journals either, as demonstrated by the documentary “Expelled.” If you disagree with evolution and uniformitarianism, you will not be allowed to present your data. That is proven across the country on virtually a weekly basis as the secular side claims “separation of church and state” – as if scientific data itself is sectarian.

    Again, the age of the universe our time really has nothing to do with the beginning of time when day one started.

  36. Is there a “conspiracy” to prevent Creation scientists from presenting their data in secular journals? Must be!


  37. Marshall Art says:

    Conspiracy? I don’t look at it that way, but Dan’s last is typical of the attitude by the those who support old universe beliefs. To say that young earth scientists are “out there”, suggesting they have mental issues corrupting their research, is also typical, arrogant, condescending and, to say the least, unChristian. I get the distinct impression that Dan has not taken even a moment to look at any of Glenn’s links. To Dan, and so many others, numbers means truth. If MOST scientists think the earth is a gazillion years old, it IS true and the numbers of scientists who think so as much evidence as any data they put forth.

  38. Marshall, if there were 10,000 doctors in the world, and they all had considered the evidence about cigarette smoking and 7 of those doctors thought that cigarettes were perfectly harmful while 99,993 thought that was an absurd claim, I’d be beyond doubtful for the reliability of those 7 doctors. IF, as it turns out, all 7 of those doctors were smokers or employed by tobacco companies, I’d really not be interested in their research. Further, if those 7 doctors (and their supporters) all claimed “conspiracy!” about efforts to get their “studies” included in real studies, making the claim that somehow, ALL 99,993 of the other doctors were conspiring together to suppress “the truth,” I’d worry about their rational thinking abilities.

    It’s not a matter of my having complete trust in doctors or scientists or experts of any sort, but rather, that at some point, claims that are SO far outside of the mainstream of expert thought have to be treated with sincere doubt. The ball would be in THEIR court to go above and beyond to prove their points.

    I’ve read about the AIG people. They appear to me (and many others) to be a bit wacko, trying to find evidence to support their presuppositions, rather than going where the evidence goes. That is not how science is done and anyone setting out to “prove” a pre-existing opinion and claiming that it is science, those people are just rationally not given much credibility.

    Do YOU trust, for instance, tobacco-industry-paid scientists who have managed to “prove” something outside the mainstream of evidence? That would seem to be a naive position to take, one that is rather pollyanna when it comes to human nature.

    You are free to believe something that is in the margins of scientific thought, you are free to think the earth is 6,000 years old or that aliens are creating a race of yetis in Montana, or whatever other pseudoscience you want to believe. I find such claims to be dubious and prefer to go with peer-reviewed sources, rather than from a source that has an agenda.

  39. Oops, where I said…

    “7 of those doctors thought that cigarettes were perfectly harmful while 99,993 thought that was an absurd claim,”

    Obviously, I meant, “perfectly SAFE…”

  40. Brother Glenn, you are welcome to your own opinions, but you’re not welcome to your own facts…

  41. Dan, Nothing I said was NOT factual. If you have evidence to the contrary, produce it. Origin science has no factual evidence. Dating methods are all based on assumptions and speculations about those assumptions. NO one was there at the beginning except God (which is why HIS Word is fact).

    • Glenn,

      I think you may have stacked the deck in this particular discussion. You have already decided that scientific analysis of the age of the universe and earth are based on false presumptions and therefore any evidence is dismissed out of hand. So how could someone present evidence to you that you won’t a priori reject? What kind of evidence are you looking for?

  42. You said…

    (unless you consider the Bible as fact, which I do).

    I was just pointing out that, WHILE it is factual that the Bible is a book and WHILE it is factual that there is a Creation story (two, in fact) in it, how literal or figurative the story is is a matter of opinion. You don’t take each line in the Bible as a fact, no one does. Instead you (me, everyone) sort out that THIS line is probably more factual, THAT line is more figurative, etc.

    You don’t, nor does anyone, take the Bible 100% literally, as if each line was a fact. Thus, you don’t consider the Bible “as fact,” right? Rather, YOU INTERPRET using YOUR OWN OPINION/JUDGMENT (or, to use your own word, speculation). As you should. Reading it literally literally could lead to all sorts of weirdness.

    That’s all I meant. Peace.

  43. Don’t go playing games, Dan. Those of us who have a high view of Scripture, those of us who hold it to be literal in its entirety (literal meaning the historical grammatical way of hermeneutics taking into consideration the genre being history, poetic, apocalyptic, etc, historical is taken to be literal history, poetic and apolcalyptic taken as the author intended, etc.;i.e., it the author intended it to be figurative, then it is exegeted that way) take Genesis in its entirety to be literal history. God was there – and THAT is a fact.

  44. Well, Glenn, I would have to say that this is a matter of opinion. You would be hard pressed to find anyone who loves the Bible more and takes it more seriously than the folk at my church. All one has to do is take a look at their lives and hear them speak of the Bible to know what a high view of the Bible we have. But of course, you don’t think we have a high view of the Bible. That is why I would say that this is a matter of opinion, not fact. And you’re welcome to yours.

    You ARE right, though, that “those of [you] who hold it to be literal…” in the sense that YOU MEAN and the way YOU DEFINE it, DO take Genesis to be literal. That is factual. It’s just that you don’t take it literally literal. You sort out what is reasonably (in YOUR opinion) to be considered history, poetic, etc. JUST LIKE WE DO at my church.

    We ALL take the parts that seem reasonably factual/literal to be factual/literal. And those parts that we don’t think are reasonably taken factually/literally, we DON’T take them that way. We all do this.

    And none of us take it literally literal. We’re all united in that sense.

    We just disagree about what is reasonably taken to be figurative and what is reasonably literal.

    God was at creation? Well, of course, all of us who believe in God believe this to be factually true. We’re united on that front, as well. That IS our opinion. We can’t prove God was there, so it’s not objectively, factually provable, but it IS factually our opinion. One you and I agree upon.

  45. John,
    It isn’t that I’ve “Stacked the deck” or won’t accept scientific findings. THe problem is that there are no scientific facts as to the age of the universe, let alone the age of the earth. That is a fact about origins science. The evolutionists and uniformitarians for the most part will deny that their speculations are that, but occasionally you will find one who tells the truth. Real science is something which can be tested, observed and repeated and falsifiable; origins science can’t do any of that.

    Again, possible age of the universe is usually based on light years, etc, but as I have previously pointed out, the age of the universe IN OUR MEASURING SYSTEM may very well be billions of years old, but time was not created until “Earth time” started on day one of Creation. This is a theory from astrophysicsts and unproven but fits the data. But when we talk about the age of the earth we talk in “earth time,” after time was created and the earth’s history begins at Genesis 1. There is NO proven data which gives the age of the earth. It is mere speculations based on assumptions needed to fit the uniformitarian/evolutionist worldview.

    The problem is that people have been brainwashed into thinking the data is fact, just as they have been brainwashed into thinking evolution is fact. Study the issue a wee bit and you will learn this. It isn’t a secret.

    As for Dan’s latest claim about the Bible, I find it difficult to believe anyone can really love the Word of God while relegating it to mythology and dismissing as not literal anything which disagrees with them. But that’s not something I will discuss further here.

  46. Your ad hom, brother Glenn, is off topic and it would be good for you to not discuss these ad homs here (or anywhere) further. But for the record, it is no more “dismissing the Bible” to classify something that appears to be mythic in nature than it is “dismissing the Bible” when one classifies something that appears to be poetic in nature. Both use figurative language and both are okay, IF that is what they are. Just because you find something difficult to believe does not mean that it is not so.

    Factually speaking.

  47. Dan, would you PLEASE learn what ad hominem is – it is attacking the person, not their ideology. I was attacking the ideology of the people of your assembly, the same way I attack YOUR ideology. The ideology is NOT the person. Quit playing victim.

  48. Glenn, you’re still off topic.

    Here’s what you said…

    As for Dan’s latest claim about the Bible, I find it difficult to believe anyone can really love the Word of God while relegating it to mythology

    That is 1. Off topic (my opinion about the Bible is NOT the topic of discussion) and 2. an ad hom, because you’re questioning my love of the Bible. 3. That is NOT attacking my ideology, it is an attack upon my integrity which is a chasing OFF topic by denigrating someone’s character.

    Now, brother, let it go.

    • Dan, you brought up the issue of love for the Bible to “prove” you don’t have a low view of it. One’s “love” for something is indeed part of their ideology. Learn what “ad hom” means.

      You are right, scientists shouldn’t begin with an agenda – but ALL of them do. Some refuse to let the evidence take them where it leads so they do not have to acknowledge a creator – i.e. a designer. All scientists have a worldview with which they approach the evidence. Secular scientists are out to prove the world is billions of years old so as to fit in the lie of evolutionism. Christian scientists are out to prove God created the world as the Bible claims – in six days. If you think there is no bias in secular scientists’ research, then you are very, very naive.

  49. Marshall Art says:

    Here’s a good example of an “ad hom” as Dan would define it:

    “They appear to me (and many others) to be a bit wacko, trying to find evidence to support their presuppositions, rather than going where the evidence goes.”

    This is an example of the arrogance and condescension toward which I alluded earlier. To Dan (and many others like him), those who believe the evidence and data support the opposite opinion as that held by Dan (and many others like him) begin with a presupposition and force the data to align with it. Could he not prove my point more distinctly? I think not.

    I believe I’ve stated it before, but those scientists who support a young earth opinion believe that the evidence led them to that opinion. Unless Dan (or any of the many others like him) can provide evidence otherwise, I’ve no reason to suspect they are not sincere.

    As for myself, I don’t know how many times I need to say it, but obviously once more is definite: I don’t have an opinion on the age of the universe. I don’t dwell on the topic at all. What must pass for an opinion is that I don’t believe either side of the issue is any better than the other that either can say with certainty that their position is true or fact. Neither cannot, but can only say that to them the earth’s age “appears” to be…whatever. My opinions focus on those who trust “science” over Scripture, believing that what we believe must first conform to science, and then make Scripture align with it. Dan is clearly of this group.

  50. Scientists ought not begin with an agenda and strive to find “proof” to support that agenda. This has nothing to do with trusting “science over Scripture,” and everything to do with being willing to go where the evidence leads.

    If you find it “arrogant” and “condescending” to think that those who seek to “find” science and evidence to support their pre-existing opinions, you are welcome to that opinion, but it seems an entirely reasonable one to me.

    I am sorry, but conspiracy theorists DO come across as a bit “out there.” Do you disagree?

  51. For anyone interested in the other side of the debate – YEC vs OEC – I recommend this excellent study:

  52. One’s “love for something” is part of their ideology?

    Maybe we need to define ideology? When I say, “ideology,” I’m referring to, as Merriam Webster says, “a systematic body of concepts especially about human life or culture”

    Not one’s feelings about a book. Saying that a Christian doesn’t love the Bible is a way of demonizing the person, not attacking their ideology, since in their ideology, they DO love the Bible.

    And you are succeeding in keeping this on Dan’s feelings/beliefs rather than the topic, so, having defended myself (not to play the victim, as you keep falsely suggesting, but to defend the truth of the matter – Glenn, believe it or not, I don’t really care what you think about me, my brother. I don’t know you, you don’t know me, your feelings about my thoughts – especially your false hunches – don’t hurt me in the least. They do, on the other hand, hurt Truth, as false reports always do…), I’ll suggest you give up the ad homs (by definition) and stick to the topic

    • Dan, every time someone says something about your belief system, you immediately claim it is an ad hominem attack. Then you claim you are being victimized by being “demonized.” That’s another word you don’t understand the meaning of.

      You claim love for a book isn’t part of one’s ideology – that is patently absurd.
      Quit your whining and address the issues. If you don’t want other issues addressed, then don’t bring them into the conversation. Whether or not your church members love the Bible was not germane to the topic. You brought it in and complained of me being off-topic when I addressed it. Your actions are so very hypocritical.

  53. 1. I didn’t bring it in, you did. I merely corrected your false statement.

    2. I’m not whining, I’m correcting demonstrably false assumptions/claims with factually true statements.

    3. If “Bob” believes that God is made of fudge but tastes sour, saying that “Bob” has no evidence to support the conclusion would be an honest appraisal of “Bob’s” ideology. Saying, “Bob, you hate the bible and have a low opinion of it..” is an ad hom attack on BOB, not on his ideology.

    Understand the difference? I’d suggest you let it go, brother Glenn, and just deal with the topic, rather than your opinions and hunches – however whimsical and unsupported – about people’s opinions and loves.

    • Dan,

      YOU brought it up with THIS statement: “You would be hard pressed to find anyone who loves the Bible more and takes it more seriously than the folk at my church.”

      I responded with: “I find it difficult to believe anyone can really love the Word of God while relegating it to mythology and dismissing as not literal anything which disagrees with them.”

      I doubt if anyone but YOU would call this an “ad hominem” attack. My doubt is based on the actions of relegating something to mythology and dismissing that which one disagrees with. My “attack” was not about a person, but it was about their actions. HELLO!!!

      When one plays pick and choose with what they believe is true about the Bible, that is by definition a low view of Scripture. To say someone has a low view of Scripture is not an ad hominem attack. If so, then you’d have to say someone liking airplanes is an ad hominem attack, or you’d have to say it is an ad hominem attack if someone says a person believes abortion is wrong. Even if the claim about another’s belief is in error, it is not an ad hominem attack, it is a deduction based on what the person states about their beliefs.

      My observations about your discussions is that you lack any idea of what logic is. Now get back on topic. I’m finished with this absurd discussion.

  54. I made that comment, Glenn, in response to YOUR comment…

    Those of us who have a high view of Scripture, those of us who hold it to be literal in its entirety… take Genesis in its entirety to be literal history.

    Your comment about “we” who have a high view of Scripture brought MY response about how folk like me DO love the scripture/have a high view of Scripture in order to point out the fallacy that “we who a high view of Scripture” all agree that it is literally factual. That claim is demonstrably false, since others who have a high view of Scripture disagree with your opinion.

    And I’ll be glad to quit correcting your false claims as soon as you quit making them and just stick to the topic at hand.

  55. You know, don’t you, for all your “true scotsmen” charges, that this is exactly what you’ve done with your “those of us with a high view of Scripture… taken Genesis to be literal history…” false claim, right?

    I respond, “well, not ALL folk with a high view of Scripture, myself and my community for instance don’t agree with that claim…” to which you respond, “Well, all TRUE scotsmen…,” right? How is that not a “true scotsmen” fallacy?

    Also, you JUST SUGGESTED that I don’t love Scripture, when, as a matter of fact, I DO. Have I misunderstood you? Are you NOT trying to imply that I (and folk like me) don’t love Scripture? Are you willing to concede that, even though I disagree with YOUR OPINION on this interpretation, that I could still love Scripture? If so, I would apologize for inferring wrongly.

    ALSO, you just claimed that I “started it,” with your love scripture red herring when, as I just demonstrated, you were the one who went off topic and I merely corrected your false suggestion.

    ALSO, you keep falsely accusing me of “whining,” when, as I suggested, I’m merely correcting your false understandings/charges. I do so because I assume you are interested in the Truth and so, where you obviously misunderstand and misrepresent me (or folk like me), I correct the false understanding. I would assume that you, as an honest person, would appreciate that correction, instead of making a charge of “whining” which, as you can now see, is a mistake/false charge.

    Okay, Brother Glenn? Why not just apologize for the misunderstanding and move on, this is just a bit embarrassing how you dote on me so…


      To even suggest I would “dote” on you is offensive to me.

      And it isn’t just about Genesis and the creation story, you have consistently demonstrated on blog after blog, that you indeed have a low view of Scripture. To claim otherwise is self-deception. You claim Genesis is mythology, and I know of NO ONE who holds a high view of Scripture who would accept that. You claim God doesn’t mean what He says when he says homosexual behavior is a sin no matter what the circumstances – that is a low view of scripture; i.e. dismissing what you find objectionable. I can’t even remember the many other topic with which you disagree with the literal Word of the Bible; usually everything that interferes with your liberal, social gospel teaching. That is NOT an ad hominem attack or slander or a lie. It is observed and observable behavior and teaching from you on all the blogs where you comment, and even on your own blogs (at least they used to have that type of false teaching when I last looked a year or so ago). If you want to deceive yourself into believing it is just one person’s opinion over another rather than a matter of objective truth, then so be it. I deal with Mormons and Jehovah’s witnesses who also claim their interpretation of Scripture is the only factual one, and who also claim it is all opinion.

      Now, you can have the last word. I have to remember Proverbs 26:4.

  56. For my part, I’m not bickering. I’m merely correcting misstatements/statements that are incorrect/wrong/false. I assume that you both, being honest men, want facts correct, when the facts are known/knowable. Am I mistaken?

    Would you prefer that I just let off topic false statements stand? I don’t get the benefit of that, but your call, of course.


  57. John, please delete lightly, if at all. Yes, they’re bickering, but it’s interesting and edifying. They’re trying to define terms, coming from very different viewpoints, and those of us with our own viewpoints can be educated by how people talk to each other. I haven’t been this interested in a thread in a while. If you’ll forgive me, I think how people talk to each other matters more than what they say. Opinions are like… you know… everybody has one. But what makes it possible to talk with people who have different opinions? I respect Dan and Glenn more because I see them talking, often angrily and even more often insisting the other didn’t understand — but nevertheless driving toward some kind of understanding, some kind of connection, despite their sharp differences. We don’t do this to parade our “rightness,” right? Else we’d be absurd. We do this to talk with each other. We do this to learn. We do this to grow. We do this to open into possibilities we don’t have by ourselves. You’ve created a great space for different viewpoints to share their opinions — and then, more importantly, to talk about how people with different viewpoints can talk with each other. Don’t squelch that.

    • Ok Kendrick

      I restored the deleted comments. I had seen the back and forth between them as more of a distraction than progress. But, if you as an onlooker find it somehow beneficial (for more than the entertainment of two professing Christians fighting), then I’ll leave the discussion because that is the point. Thanks for jumping in and offering that.

  58. For my part, I’m not fighting. I’m simply trying to clarify some mistakes.

    For instance, Glenn…

    You claim Genesis is mythology, and I know of NO ONE who holds a high view of Scripture who would accept that.

    True Scotsman fallacy. Just because those who agree with you would not accept Genesis creation story as myth, does not mean that those who DO accept it don’t hold a high view of Scripture. You and your friends do not constitute the whole of those who hold a high view of Scripture.



    I can’t even remember the many other topic with which you disagree with the literal Word of the Bible

    More off topic ad homs. MY interpretations of the Bible are not the topic of conversation. I’m not sure what you’re not getting on that point, friend. But to deal with this distraction…

    1. Jesus commanded us not to store up treasures for us on earth. I strive to hold that teaching pretty literally. You? (If you’re like most conservative bloggers, I’d guess that you are FINE with ignoring that literal teaching).

    2. Jesus taught us to overcome evil with good and to love our enemies. I strive to take that literally. If you’re like most on the religious right, you’re probably okay with Christians trying to overcome evil with evil (ie, fighting violence with violence, even including violence against innocent folk as in Hiroshima).

    3. Jesus told us not to make vows or oaths. I take that literally. You? (ie, would you swear an oath on a jury? Would you pledge an oath to the flag – pledge allegiance?)

    In short, I strive to take Jesus’ teachings pretty literally because I am a follower of Christ.


    Or maybe instead of answering that question in a way that you might find embarrassing, you could just quit commenting on your hunches about my motives and loves and just stick to the actual topic.

  59. Kendrick, I’ve never had any anger towards Dan – just frustration; as do all bloggers who have dealt with him and banned him from their sites, including mine.

    I find nothing embarrassing about responding to you. I find you to be a waste of time, like dealing with a cult member. And by what you teach, you fit the definition of cults. You dismiss everything as “ad hom” and “lies” and “misrepresentations” so as to be the victim. As I said, for those following this discourse, you have proven what you are on numerous blogs and private e-mails. What you are, by definition, is a false teacher and a heretic. That is not “ad hominem” any more than if I told a bank robber he was a thief. Your twisting of Scripture rivals that of the JWs and Mormons – that isn’t “ad hom,” that is a description of your teaching methods – your eisegesis. And by claiming God approves of homosexual behavior, you blaspheme God and Christ.

    I am wasting no more time with you. Good day.

  60. Marshall Art says:

    “Scientists ought not begin with an agenda and strive to find “proof” to support that agenda.”

    So then, it is up to you to prove that young earth scientists begin with an agenda or that old earth scientists don’t or do so with less frequency. Until you can provide this evidence, you are making attacking their integrity without cause, but with baseless suspicion, the very thing you accuse your detractors.

    But I agree with Glenn, that one would be hard pressed to prove any scientist does not begin with some level of preconceived notion which he hopes to prove. The real question is whether or not he would falsify or ignore evidence that proves his notion incorrect. THIS is what your above copied and pasted statement more than implies. For this, proof from you is required.

  61. As Ken Ham has said, everyone is biased. But the important thing is, “which bias is the best bias to be biased by?”

  62. Rational thought, I’d suggest.

    Being biased by religious/cultural prejudice is no better than being biased by racial or sexist prejudice.

    I notice you didn’t answer my questions, Glenn. Should I assume you don’t take Jesus’ teachings literally, then? Instead of responding to my (admittedly off topic) questions, you respond with more objectively false ad hom attacks. Which is your right. I would just suggest we’d all do best to respond directly to the topic, rather than our guesses about others’ motivations.

    On that front, the old adage remains true: Best to keep quiet and thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt.


    Until you can provide this evidence, you are making attacking their integrity without cause, but with baseless suspicion

    I haven’t attacked anyone’s integrity. Pointing out that they begin with a religious agenda is not the same as attacking their integrity, just pointing out something they no doubt agree with as factual. Are you suggesting that they are NOT starting out to prove the Bible’s literal creation story is literally factual?

  63. Glenn…

    I find you to be a waste of time, like dealing with a cult member.

    I’m sorry you feel thusly, brother Glenn. I certainly don’t find my time spent talking with you (or trying to, seeing as how our conversations are mostly one way) a waste of time. I believe you to be an interesting, committed brother in Christ and am always willing to converse with you.

    Peace, and a happy new year to you all.

  64. Marshall Art says:

    “Are you suggesting that they are NOT starting out to prove the Bible’s literal creation story is literally factual?”

    I make no such suggestion either way, because I have no way of knowing their motivations. I assume (or at least hope) their motivations are to learn the truth and facts, and have the same assumption (or hope) for those who follow. You assume they want to prove something and assume so in a manner that suggests chicanery. If you wish to believe that they begin with a presupposition and work toward proving it, then the same must be said for the scientists with whom you align yourself. In fact, you don’t merely assume they are trying to force their results to match their notions, you take it for granted. Thus, to be honest and consistent, you’d have to say the same for the old earth researchers as well. That doesn’t speak well for any of them and gives me less reason to give the subject of the age of the universe the time of day.

  65. The difference is that the scientists have no reason to begin with the assumption of an old earth and nothing to prove. The Young Earthers hope to prove that the science matches their preconceived notions of a literal Genesis. I’m pretty sure they say as much.

  66. You see, for folk like that (and I KNOW these people, I WAS these people), if the Genesis story is not literally true, then the whole Bible may as well be false. Their very faith depends upon making the science fit and for that reason, they are desperate to make this be true.

    I grew up with these people Marshall, I know them pretty well. I’ve heard the desperation in their voices, the despair at the notion that Genesis could possibly be NOT literal and how that would wreck their faith.

    As John said, the Bible rightly understood ought to comport with facts.

  67. The scientists who want to prove an old earth do indeed have something to prove – they have to prove that evolution is true or their whole world view collapses. OEC have to prove old earth so as to not look foolish to science – same motivation which started the “gap theory.”

    YEC does comport with real science and reality, and the evidence does support it.

    • OK Glenn

      Can you point to scientific discoveries which show a young earth? If you’re going to link, please just summarize the discoveries along with the link?

      I also wonder if the only scientists who do honest science aren’t exclusively associated with AIG, that would seem very odd to me.

  68. John, you start with the wrong assumption, and that assumption is that the earth IS old.

    When the Bible tells us something, we don’t look to prove it – we accept it. Do we look to prove Jesus is God, or that he rose from the dead? The Bible gives us the information as to how old the earth is – that is my proof.

    As for evidence, no factual evidence contradicts the YEC position. People have been brainwashed to think the earth looks old because evolutionists/uniformitarians have said it looks old. There is not one FACT in any scientific discipline which proves the earth is old, and that is really the issue here. All the so-called “evidence” for old earth is nothing more than looking at the data with bias, and interpreting it in an old earth framework. People blindly accept the claims of scientists who say that particular dating methods prove the earth is old, but the dating methods are based on blind assumptions, and one can assume anything to “prove” a case. Why bother with facts when you can sway your audience with assumptions?

    As for AIG, they just happen to be my favorite site, but there are numerous Creation science organizations with credentialed scientists on staff. The other BIG one in the USA is the Institute for Creation Research (ICR).

    Again I say, if it wasn’t for the evolutionists and uniformitarians (not all uniformitarians are evolutionists, but most are) telling you the earth was old and that Christians are foolish to believe otherwise, Christians wouldn’t be looking to fit in this “science so-called” into the Bible.

    • Here’s the big problem then Glenn

      You are saying all you have then for your YEC view is your interpretation and no confirming evidence. What I have is my interpretation plus confirming evidence that is consistent with my interpretation.

      Tell me how your approach is different from the Mormon response to lack of evidence for cultures in America?

  69. No John, what I am saying is that the Bible is the standard, it is the Word of God, and is the starting point – or should be – of our assumptions.

    All origins science is based on personal bias – the worldview of the person examining the evidence. All actual evidence can easily be interpreted to support YEC. However, in order for OEC and uniformitarians to interpret the evidence to support their view, the have to make up “facts” based on their assumptions, and then claim they have the truth. There is no factual data which confirms the OEC/uniformitarian position of the age of the earth – NONE.

    The Mormon claim is supposedly based on historical time periods for which we have factual evidence refuting their claims. Their BOM can be refuted easily just from internal evidence, let alone outside archaeological and other studies.

    Origins science is different – the only factual data we have from that time period is the BIble – God’s Word. People are too quick to dismiss it because so-called science makes claims which are unproven and yet because it comes from “scientists” it is accepted as fact.

    GIve me one FACT confirming the OEC/uniformitarian position for the age of the earth – there are none – NADA. Your interpretation of the evidence is based on your assumption that the Bible is not to be taken as written because “scientists” told you so.

  70. I think you meant “fallible” for the translations.

    However, I already demonstrated that the Hebrew meant a literal 24 hour day. Up at Jan. 4th, 11:34 AM I cited a Hebrew scholar.

    • Glenn

      What will your reaction be if I cite Hebrew scholars who confirm my position, where do we go from there?

      • John,
        Liberals can find liberal scholars to confirm every liberal position about the Christian faith. That isn’t the point. The particular scholar I cited is biased against the young earth position and yet he accurately interprets the text and testifies about his knowledge of other scholars interpreting it the same way.

        I also provided links which demonstrate why the context of Gen. 1 has to be literal 24 hour days because of the way they are defined. And if they were only unspecified time periods, the the commandment about working six days because God created in six days would make no sense.

        I know this is not a salvation issue, but it gets to the meat of proper exegesis of the biblical texts. And the only reason anyone brings in old earth ideas to the text is because of the century-plus of brainwashing of the evolutionists and uniformitarians who have led people to believe that “science” trumps the text. However, anyone caring to research the subject (and I have studied this issue for a couple decades now) will quickly discover that these “scientists” have no facts to support their positions. They have only biased assumptions. And yet Christians are quite willing to accept their biased assumptions just because one has to be biased to believe the Bible. Again, it depends on which bias is the best bias to be biased by! The evidence does indeed support the YEC position – it doesn’t “confirm” it (neither does any evidence confirm OEC) – but it does support it.

  71. This belief may not be vital to salvation, but it is vital to submit to the authority of God’s Word. And if you do not submit to its authority on this issue how can I trust your submission and beliefs on others.

  72. Also – when God institutes commands for the Israelites, and also his church, often times his reason is because He is the God who “brought them out of the land of Egypt,” or I am the Lord your God. Sometimes that is his only reason for asking them to follow his laws. In the same way, he uses – because in six days God created the heavens and the earth, and on the seveth he rested. – Often times this reason is tied to his Sabbath requirements. Why would God ask his people to work 6 24-hour days, and rest 1 24-hour day, and site the reason for this as his creation, if the creation wasn’t really days? Collecting Manna in the desert was also the same way – collect on 6 days and not the 7th. I know you cited something about patterns, but the language is plain. The idea that the earth is billions of years old is new. None of the prophets, priests, or apostles indicate anything to support this thought. If anything Jesus himself speaks extensively on the Sabbath day, and creation and speaks plainly of days. I’m sure it is difficult to find one Christian prior to 1900 who would support such a theory.

  73. vincedeporter says:

    This is a very well reasoned article John. I agree with you.
    I also agree that this subject is irrelevant to Christianity.

    I do have some questions, but I need to work at this time.
    Thank you for steering me to this logical and well-researched article.

  74. One more AIG article here also:

    Vince, I’d suggest you look at that article and all the Christian Scholars, including Jesus, from the N.T. times to now, and how THEY understood Genesis prior to the modern liberal approach.

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