How Old is the Earth and Humankind?

How Old is the Earth and Humankind?

 What Does Science Say?

From a scientific point of view, the earth has been functioning for over four billion years. This age is based onevidence obtained from ‘radiometric age dating’ which measures radioactive decay of meteorite material and lunar samples in order to calculate a minimum age for the earth. Scientific evidence obtained from African fossils suggests that humanity, as we know it today, has only been walking the earth for around 200,000 years, making humankind a very small part, and rather late addition to, the earth’s history.

 

What Does the Bible Say?

If we are to pose this question from a biblical point of view, one might easily form a very different answer. The Bible describes man as having been made on the sixth day of creation. According to this account, humanity was created almost at the beginning of the earth’s timeline, rather than later. The biblical account also perceives the creation of human beings to be a significant event in the creative order, rather than an evolving afterthought. If we are to subscribe to the biblical timeline rather than the scientific timeline of evolution, we may find that our world is younger than we have been told.

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Evidence for a Young Earth

Much speculation abounds regarding the age of the earth. Much of this is driven by the idea that we can gauge more reliable evidence for the age of the earth from the Bible. According to this idea, Genesis provides an accurate, reliable account of creation which sees God create the earth and humanity over a period of six 24-hour days. Creationists also claim that scientific estimations for the age of the earth are filled with flaws and errors.

 

Here are just a few examples of where scientific methods may be falling short;

• Dinosaur bones have been found to contain red blood cells, which could not last more than a few thousand years. This dates dinosaurs well ahead of the 65 million years ago that science typically sets them as having inhabited the earth.

• Helium is escaping into the atmosphere due to radioactive decay, but the total amount is not reconcilable with an earth age of four billion years.

• The moon is slowly withdrawing from the earth at a rate of around 4cm per year. If the moon had begun in direct contact with the earth, it would only have taken just over a billion years to reach its current distance from the earth. This gives the moon a maximum possible age that is too young to be in keeping with scientific age assumptions about the moon, and with radiometric dates assigned to moon rocks.

• Salt is filling the sea at a faster rate than it is discharging. This means the sea is not salty enough to be billions of years old.

 

Is the Earth be Younger Than We Thought? 

Young earth creationists acknowledge that they cannot prove the age of the earth using any scientific methods, but what they do encourage is questioning of so-called scientific ‘data’, and the reliability of scientific methods in order to produce this data. Those who advocate for a young earth recognise the limitations that dating methods have, and acknowledge that all attempts at age-dating are guesswork, at best.

What young earth creationists promote is the use biblical genealogies as a method in which to attempt to date the earth’s lifespan. Those who subscribe to this view regard the Biblical accounts as historically accurate, thus forming a reliable record that we can use to understand our earth and its story.

 

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Studies have shown that almost half of adults living in the United States claim to hold the view that God created humanity as we know it today, within the last 10,000 years.

 

What do you think? Comment below with your thoughts, and be sure to sign the petition to establish Creation Day as a national holiday!

 

 

 

 

 

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