Something to Think About : How Old is the Earth?
Genesis 3:1 says that “the serpent”, through whom mankind’s first recorded temptation came, “was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.” The word “crafty” can mean “skillful in underhanded or evil schemes”. Satan’s “crafty” (evil) intention to mislead and vitally harm the first innocent couple would take the form of skewing truthful information into false information.
Satan is so crafty at what he does that it can be very difficult to know what he’s doing until the damage is done. Such is the case with the often-occurring phrase—“millions to billions of years (MTBY).” This expression occurs casually and usually with no attempt at validation in all forms of media.
Satan began his assault on Eve by questioning the character and truthfulness of God in Genesis 3:1, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” His implication is that God is depriving her of something. Then, after Eve refers to God's consequence for partaking of the “forbidden” fruit—“You will die,” Satan blatantly contradicts Him—“You surely will not die!” So, Eve has now received thoughts into the “mind-dimension” of her soul that “God is a selfish liar.” As to how these thoughts affected the “emotions-dimension” of her soul we can only surmise―doubt, perhaps resentment, rebellion, etc. At any rate, from these two dimensions (mind and emotions) she would choose how to exercise the “will-dimension” of her soul.
Darwin’s theory of evolution called for vast eons of time to allow for an almost infinite number of mutations as the mechanism for slow progressive change from simple to complex. Accepting Darwin’s explanation of the “origin of species” as being scientifically correct and in conflict with the Genesis 1 account caused some people’s faith in the Bible to erode. Others set about to reconcile the two explanations by inserting MTBY into the biblical record. The concern was that the Bible not look out of step with science. The real concern for people of faith should be why so-called science is out of step with the Bible.
Prior to “in the beginning” (Genesis 1:1) neither time, space nor matter existed— only the Trinitarian God. The Bible then records Six Days of creative activity and a Day Seven of rest.
Although there is no record of an explicit command, “let there be planet earth,” the earth is mentioned in close conjunction with the frst recorded creative command, “let there be light” the account concluding with “there was evening and there was morning, one day.” Clearly, the earth along with evening/morning cycles came into existence on the same day. In Genesis 1:3 God said, “Let there be light. In 1:14 He said, “Let there be lights.” In the first command God decreed that there be a temporary measure of His intrinsic light on the new planet for the purpose of establishing the “night/day” cycles of the successive days. In verse 14 this cycle begins to be maintained by the creation of physical generators of light (the sun, moon and stars) for “signs…seasons, days and years.” MTBY can’t be before Day One because time (along with space and matter) didn't exist before creative activity began on Day One.
MTBY can’t define the length of the days as eons or how would the vegetation of Day Three survive while waiting for the sunlight of Day 4? And how would the fish and fowl of Day Five or the beasts and mankind of Day Six survive without the vegetation since all living beings were vegetarian (Genesis 1:29-30). The length of the creative day (yom) is clearly defined in the Sabbath Day Command of Exodus 20:8-11, 8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy… 10 in it you shall not do any work, 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.” This obviously can’t mean MTBY.
In an attempt to reconcile the Bible with so-called “scientific” theories regarding MTBY, some believers adopt what is called “the gap theory.” This theory says that between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 there is a gap of eons of time during which Satan rebelled and fell to earth where he ruined God's first creation. The rest of Genesis 1 is an account of God's rebuilding of what Satan ruined. Satan’s becoming a fallen evil angel in this so-called “gap of time” is not possible because the angels, including Satan, were present when, according to Job 38:4 the “foundations of the earth were laid” and were included in the summary of Genesis 1:31 which says, “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.” So Satan’s rebellion occurred sometime after Day Six rather than during a theoretical MTBY gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2.
The so-called “Gap Theory” is also in conflict with God's “very good” assessment when it comes to the fossil record which reveals the presence of suffering and death. Did God create and pronounce MTBY of suffering and disorder “very good”? Deuteronomy 32:4, “…His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He.” The fossils in the rock layers around the world record the results of mankind’s sins and God's just punishment of them with Noah’s Flood. If the Bible is wrong regarding the age of the earth, how can we trust it in other areas including the plan of salvation?
The apostle Paul says, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8). Every time you hear “millions to billions of years” remember not to be taken captive by the constantly dripping deceptive faucet of pseudoscience.
It’s Something to Think About.