By Nathan Jones
Is the age of the Earth old or young?
We asked this question on our television show Christ in Prophecy of Mike Riddle, the founder and director of a wonderful ministry called the Creation Training Initiative. It's a biblical discipleship ministry that teaches Christians how to defend their faith using Genesis and the teaching of a literal 6-day Creation.
Age of the Earth
Nathan Jones: Mike, one question we get a lot, and I even read it posted recently on our YouTube channel, is that people are always bashing Christians for our belief contrary to what Science claims to have proven in that the earth is millions and millions of years old. People want to know why we don't just get off this Young Earth belief and accept Science's conclusion for how everything came about through Evolution. How do you respond to people like that?
Mike Riddle: That is a very big question. People do believe, not only non-believers unfortunately as there are many Christians out there as well, that scientists have proven the earth is billions of years old. That comes from a misinterpretation or misunderstanding of the limits of science. Scientists cannot prove the age of the earth.
We divide science into two main areas. One is called Observational Science or Operational Science. That's how we build our jet engines and how we make our medical technology and how we develop computers. Those are things that we can observe. We can touch and feel them.
Then there is another area of science called Origins Science, or Historical Science, which covers those events that happened in the past. People obviously were not there to observe them happening. Therefore, we have to piece the clues together. In other words, dating the origins of anything long past is based on assumptions or our interpretation of the evidence.
That there are different types of sciences is what people do not understand. The scientist cannot prove the age of the earth, because according to Science he would have to have been there to observe it being made. Incidentally, what many scientists are not looking at is the overwhelming amount of scientific evidence that shows the earth is very young.
The real issue for believers is that they are not starting with the Bible. When I read the Bible beginning with Genesis, it starts off telling us that God created everything in six days. God uses the word "day" there. What God did to make sure we understand they were literal days is that He put a number with each day: first day, second day, third day, fourth day.
I like to ask people: "How many times did God use a number with the word 'day' in the Old Testament?" It's 410 times, and not one of those occasions does 'day' mean a long period of time!
God even made it easier for us because He defined His days as each having an evening and a morning. There was "evening and morning, the first day." There was "evening and morning, the second day." Everywhere in the Old Testament account we see the phrase "evening and morning." Each day then could only mean one 24-hour day.
But, God didn't stop there. What a wonderful God we have! When He wrote down the Ten Commandments, in commandment number four He wrote this down, "For in six days the Lord made the heaven, the earth, the sea and all that it is in them therefore..." I like that word "therefore," for if we don't accept God's days of creation as being literal days, then commandment number four doesn't mean what it really says and it becomes open to our interpretation. If commandment number four is open to our interpretation, then how can we trust the other nine?
Nathan Jones: Commandment number four being about keeping the Sabbath day.
Mike Riddle: Right. By giving up our foundation in Genesis, we now have given up a literal interpretation of the Ten Commandments. This becomes a serious issue.
Dr. Reagan: There was one observer of the Creation, and He has told us how He did it. It is God Himself.
Mike Riddle: Exactly!
Dr. Reagan: But, there are no scientists who were there to observe the earth being formed, so they really haven't proved their origins theories?
Mike Riddle: No, they can't prove the age of the earth because scientifically they would have had to have been there to observe the earth being formed. What they do instead is they look for evidence that would tell the story. We all look at the same evidence, but then we interpret what we see. People interpret based on our own worldview. That becomes our starting point. As for me, I start with God's Word as my authority.
In the third segment of this Creation training series with Mike Riddle, he'll explain why believing in the Genesis account of the Creation should matter to Christians.