I am interested to know what is your opinion on the Earth’s approximate
age in view of the fact that creationists believe it to be not more then
a few of thousand years. They oppose the scientists’ claims that the Earh
could be as much as 4,5 billion years old. They oppose this on the basis
of the current speed of space dust accumulation on the earh’s surface.
They say that if the scientists’ theory would be true, the buildup would
by today reach the moon. They reenforce their claim also by saying that
there were human fossils found in the same layer as dinosours and that
this disproves the theory of dinosoures living in a period million of
years ago. They say that they lived in the same time that humans did. I
see that the evolution theory is faulty in many of its aspects, but
concerning this particular matter I am having trouble believing that the
today scientists could have gotten it so wrong. The gap in time is so big.
I think that scientists use methods for age determination like the
halftime of degradion of radioactive isotopes. Cold this be so off? The
creationists believe that everything, the plants and all the species, was
created pretty-much all at once, and that the whole system couldn’t
function if it was to be otherwise. The book of Genesis teaches us that
God created the Universe in 6 days. In my view this could very well
be thought of as 6 eras. This would agree with Jewish customs. They used
symbols to produce pictures in story-telling. Also the usage of the word
day in it’s traditional meaning, for the first 3 days of creation might be
strange, because the Sun was created in the fourth day. In other parts the
Bible teaches us; What is time to God? A thousand years for God is but a
day. In my view it would be plausible that when creating the Universe, God
wanted to give some time to one element of his creation to reach a certain
level of development before introducing another, in order for the whole
thing to blend in more organicaly. In that view the days of creation would
be much longer than just one single day. These are not at all maters that
would anyhow influence my faith, God could have it any of these ways, but
it seems somewhat odd that Earh would only be some 5-10 thousand years
old. It might be useful to have the record straight when talking to


I can see from the way you ask the question that you have
thought about these ideas for yourself a lot. Let me say that, in
general, I agree with your line of thinking here.

First of all, I answer your question in great detail in my
book Is There a God? Questions of Science and the Bible. This book is
coming out in a new edition in December or January. It will be available
at I also touch on it briefly in my book, Reasons for
Belief, available now at the same address.

I am a chemist and a physicist, but not a biologist, so I will
address these areas primarily. I have looked at the evidence carefully
and have read numerous books by young-earth-creationists. I have reached
the conclusion that every piece of evidence which can be interpreted
reliably points toward the conclusion that the earth is very old. The
fact is that a number of methods all give about 4.5-4.6 billions of years
old. This consistency makes it reasonable to conclude that this is the
probable age of the earth, although it is a good idea to hold to some
skepticism on the exact age. I agree with you that it is reasonable,
especially given our knowledge of Jewish literary forms, to conclude that
the “days” of creation may be metaphorical days, referring to periods of
time. I believe that we should not be dogmatic about this. I cannot rule
out the possibility that God created the earth “with an appearance of
age.” However if God created the earth out of nothing just a few thousand
years ago, then he seems to have gone through a lot of trouble to make it
appear to have a scientifically verifiable age of 4.5 billion years. Many
facts support the belief that the universe and the solar system are very
old. There is the apparent distance of galaxies; some as much as ten
billion light years from us, implying the light left these galaxies ten
billion years ago. This would mean that the light left these extremely
distant objects before the earth was formed. Other evidence, including
uranium/thorium/lead dating, the earth/moon distance and others, point to
an old earth.

Young earth creationists are forced to distort or ignore a
massive amount of evidence which supports great age, and to distort or
misrepresent a smaller amount of evidence they claim supports a young
earth in order to make it appear to less knowledgeable readers that the
scientific evidence supports a young earth. Bottom line, there is
literally zero evidence that the earth is 6-10 thousand years old. This
is a great simplification, so I would recommend my book. I would also
recommend that you read at least one book by an author in the young earth
camp so that you can understand their arguments for yourself. You should
not take my word for it!

As for the specific examples you give, there is no reliable
example of human and dinosaur fossils being placed together in situ in
rock strata. The argument on space dust hitting the earth is specious and
the careful creationists do not even use this argument any longer. The
numbers do not support their conclusions. Anyway, it is not my desire to
attack those believers who support a scientific young earth view. I agree
with you whole heartedly, this is not a salvation issue. Old earth or
young, Jesus is Lord of the heavens and the earth. It is more helpful for
us to move on to weightier matters such as the salvation of human souls
for eternity. By God?s grace we will.

I am doing well. I was in your neck of the woods last month attending the
ITS conference in Athens. We flew over Croatia, I believe. I would love
to visit Zagrebsome time. I trust it is a beautiful city with its
Medieval and Renaissance buildings. Did you see my new book yet? It is
titled From Shadow to Reality. The book covers the prophetic relationship
between the Old and the New Testaments. It is also at

John Oakes

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