How Old is the Earth Anyway? WDGS?

The age of the universe and, in particular the earth, is one of those ‘scientific’ issues that folks spend a lot of time thinking about with very little information to go on, for the expressed purpose of defining faith. I mean, it’s interesting topic, but there really is no practical reason for researching or debating this topic. The reason that it is important at all is that it is one of those topics that ‘define’ our…faith.

The issue is pretty simple- people that believe in ‘creation’ as told by God typically believe that the universe and earth are very young and are about 4,000 years to 6,000 years (or perhaps 9,000 years depending on what you take as the time period of a ‘generation’). And the people that don’t believe in creation as told by God typically believe that the universe and the earth are very old, somewhere between 13 billion and 15 billion years, depending on the estimate you use for cooling a very large mass of matter like the earth.

The answer to this question, plus about a buck and a half, can get you a cup of coffee, and that’s about it. But the reason for this debate is not a scientific curiosity, although it is advertised as such. The underpinnings of this issue have to do with the existence of God, how we got here and why, and what we are encouraged to believe from His Word. The short answer is that no one, no one, will ever be able to prove the existence of God, the age of the universe, or the purpose of life from empirical evidence. It takes faith to believe on either side of the debate, and God has created a situation where we must choose to believe or not.

What hangs in the balance inherent in these 'faith issues' is our existence after death, and He will not extend 'grace' to anyone who does not believe in Him. Back to the issue… God says that He made the universe, the earth and all there is in it in six days, and rested on the seventh day (Gen 1: 1-21, Gen 2: 1-3). He says in Genesis that His creation was complete in seven days- He gives the order of creation, lays out the provision for the living things, and then created man and woman and put them in the Garden of Eden.

There are some that say that the definition of a ‘God day (Gen 1: 5)’ is not a 24-hour cycle. They get this from Peter who said that a day in the house of the Lord is as 1,000 years- but Peter was just being poetic here trying to show how magnificent God is, he was not trying to address this issue of earth-age (2 Peter 3: 8). But looking at the story of creation, and I would encourage all of you to read it very carefully, I think God does a pretty good job of explaining this event to us in a way that shows us who He is, how He works, and that we simply cannot understand how you ‘make matter’ let alone how long it takes to make it. He simply says that He 'spoke' or ‘breathed’ the universe into existence, which, when you think about it, makes pretty good sense (Gen 1: 3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26, and 29).

You see, we have this all wrong. The unseen ‘spirit’ world is really what is real, not the physical world. That’s hard to believe, but it's true. When you study 'matter', atomic particles and sub-atomic particles, you discover that they are really these very interesting forces or different types of energy, and they are not really there. I mean, there is nothing ‘solid’ about solid matter. Matter is simply cleverly designed forces of attraction and repulsion. I think that most people believe that the material world is real, where the spirit world…who knows? They might believe that there may be something 'out there' or 'another dimension', perhaps multiple dimensions, yet we can’t prove it, just like we can’t prove whether God exists or not. So... who knows- why should I believe in God because of this stuff. Left with that, people believe what they want.

So therein lays the issue. This is all God’s doing. He could have told us exactly what He did in creation, but He didn’t thus leaving us with a decision as to what to believe. Remember, He gives us free choice or free 'will' to believe what we want (John 3: 16-18). That the essence of our ‘trial’ here on this planet; who or what do we believe? So, on the creation side of things, He says at some point 'in time' He created the universe including the earth and all its creatures, made Adam and Eve and put them in the garden, and that is that. Interestingly enough, He says that He did all that, does not talk about Adam and Eve having kids in Eden, and does not mention how long they lived there in that utopian state (Eden) walking with God in perfect harmony with the earth and God. He goes right to the original sin (Gen 3: 14-24), the sentencing of Adam and Eve, the expulsion from the garden with mankind being cursed, then right to the genealogy of mankind.

By the way, that’s where the age of the creationist world comes from- counting the years of these generations and all those that lived before the great flood (which also happed as God tells us by the way). So…in all this, we have some information about the age of the earth and how it was created, but we do not have any hard evidence or a complete story to claim. I don't think Christians can really claim that the Bible says that the earth is 4,000 years to 6,0000 years old. The story of creation is intentionally void of a complete timeline for both Christians and non-Christians alike.

On the old universe side of the issue, the age of the universe fits for two reasons: 1) decay of radioactive materials (the atoms change or decompose into other compounds over time on a regular frequency); and 2) the need for evolutionists to have a very long time for life to 'happen' and to ‘evolve’ from one species to another. On the issue of radio nuclei decay- the basic problem here is that, matter does not have to behave as it does now as compared to how it might have behaved during an event such as creation. The physical constants that we enjoy now certainly were not 'constant' during creation. Since we don’t really know the mechanism of creation, we don’t know the conditions that exist during creation or how matter acted in that state.

So, extrapolating backward in ‘time’ during different environmental conditions and physical constants or lack thereof, may not tell us anything. But, a long time period fits well into the ‘theory’ of evolution, which is also an unsupported theory. So, a very old earth works for the non-believer since evolution and an old earth fits into the belief that we didn't need a ‘Creator’ in the first place.

There is much pseudo-scientific information, scientific data, and writings like this one on this topic, but the bottom line is that it is only useful in deciding whether or not you are going to have faith in God as the Creator, and you accept His Lordship over you. You know that the global acceptance of the Darwinian theory of evolution was widely accepted without any supportive information because by accepting this information from smart guys in the University, this gave mankind a way out; folks don’t have to believe in God any more, and further, if there isn’t a God out there, we just moved up the food chain! And we, like Satan, so want to be gods. I use a lower case here because this has always been and will always be the case- mankind, along with Satan and the demons, all have a nature of independence from God, and if God is ‘proven’ to not exist, or at least was not involved in creation, well, that opens the door for us! Note- This isn't a bad thing and it should not affect Christians either way.

This debate is just one more 'tool' God uses to draw us in to Him for acceptance of Him and His love. Free choice. We will not have the answer to this issue and other equally challenging issues while we are here on earth and stuck with these very limited minds (as compared to the mind of God). But Satan the deceiver makes great headway with these theories that take us away from the One who loves us. In conclusion, here are a few thoughts to consider while you might, hopefully, stop thinking about this kind of thing:

  1. Science has no explanation of the creation of the universe, but God does.

  2. Science has no good reason for our existence, but God does.

  3. God says that it takes faith for us to believe in Him, and this 'conundrum' is used by Him to 'divide the sheep from the goats' (decide who will go to heaven and who will go to hell).

  4. Scientists are asking us to believe in what they theorize without proof; I think that means that they are asking us to have ‘faith’ in them and their intellect.

  5. Satan, the deceiver, will say or do anything to draw us away from God- truth does not matter to him. His common name in the Bible is the 'deceiver'.

  6. God only speaks the truth, and has already shown us how much He loves us by sacrificing His only Son for the remission of our sins- and if heaven and hell exist (and they do), we really need to be forgiven of our sins.

  7. Man offers theories on these spiritual topics without any plan, provision, or person that can offer us grace (eternal life versus eternal damnation); that’s kind of scary.

  8. The age of the universe and the earth do not matter, they are issues or debates that typically distract, confuse, and mislead people where their salvation hangs in the balance.

  9. No ‘scientist’ or belief in a ‘scientific theory’ from man will save you if there is a hell.

  10. There is no better explanation of creation, time, or our purpose for existing in this universe other that what is found in the Bible. This issue is one of the many that we could use to demonstrate the providential will of God and the permissive will of God. He has told us quite plainly that He is the Creator, in simple terms how He made the universe, the earth, all that there is therein including us, and asks us to believe Him and believe in Him- He asks us to have faith.

You cannot believe in God without faith. The providential will of God shows us that He is a sovereign God, and the permissive will of God gives us the free choice to believe in Him, accept His Son Jesus as Lord and Savior, and to spend eternity in heaven with Him. You know, the interesting thing is that He says in His Word that He created the stars and all what we see in the universe for two reasons:

  1. to show us his Glory- it's a reflection of Him (He is way better that what we see in all creation; Psalms 19: 1-6), and

  2. so that we would have ‘seasons’ and know what ‘time’ it is (Psalms 104: 19-23).

Further, since we will spend eternity in either heaven or hell, and since there is no ‘time’ in these places (there is no need for the convention of 'time' in the spirit world), it really makes no difference how old the universe is. In effect, ‘time’ is a convention for us to ‘use’ here while we are on the earth. But one thing is clear- now is the ‘time’ to choose Him, worship Him, and accept the gift of grace from Jesus, our Lord and Savior before it's too late. So, the issue of the age of earth really worth your salvation?


GENESIS CHAPTER 1 The story of Creation

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. 6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. 9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. 11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 13 And the evening and the morning were the third day. 14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. 19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. 20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. 21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. 23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. 24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. 29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. 31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

2 PETER 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

GENESIS 2: 1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

JOHN 3: 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

GENESIS 3: 14 And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15 and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. 16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. 17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. 20 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. 21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them. 22 And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever: 23 therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

PSALM 19: 1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. 2 Day untoday uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. 4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, 5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. 6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

PSALMS 104: 19-24 He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down. 20 Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth. 21 The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God. 22 The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens. 23 Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening. 24 O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.