On the Discovery Channel I saw a show on the subject of Hawaii. The show touched on how the Hawaiian Islands were formed. According to the dominant view among geologists, the crust or plate on which the Hawaiian islands rest, is slowly moving north and each island was formed when the crust or plate below the future island was over a hot spot in the mantle, through which mantle was able to escape to the surface of the earth. Therefore, the southern islands would be the youngest, but the northern ones the oldest. An island is now slowly forming out of the ocean floor south of the big
island of Hawaii and will eventually, given time, form the next island in the chain. On the other hand, wind and rain constantly erode these volcanic islands back into the sea. According to this theory, former islands can be seen all along the sea floor in a line running NE from Hawaii up to the
Aleutian Islands – check out Google maps. How can the Young Earth View account for the evidence that can be seen by anyone using Google maps? Did God create things that way to provide
unbelievers with false evidence and in that way give them over to their unbelief, etc.? If so, then many former believers in a young earth have been "deceived" by this evidence. Do you care to comment on this?
You are quite perceptive to notice that the young earth view is completely incapable of explaining the evidence with regard to the history of the Hawaiian Islands. The young earth view cannot explain the existence of the Grand Canyon, or of sedimentary layers in general, or fossils or build-up and erosion of mountain ranges or an unlimited number of kinds of evidence, including the geology of Latvia and the Baltic Sea basin. Bottom line it is IMPOSSIBLE to justify geological evidence with the scientific young earth view. For this reason, we are left with two possible options:
1. Completely ignore the scientific evidence and go on pretending the earth appears to be young.
2. Seek to understand how biblical passages might be consistent with an old earth.
I very strongly recommend the second option. Most Bible scholars who study Genesis and the Hebrew language will agree that it is completely consistent with the Hebrew language and Hebrew literature to interpret the "days" of Genesis one as metaphorical. These days are best understood as periods of time over which God did his work. I describe in much detail this view and how it is consistent with good Bible exegesis in my book "Is There a God?" You can get a copy at www.ipibooks.com. First God made light, then he made the earth, then he separated the land from the water, then he created life in the seas, then on land, then he created people. Genesis one is consistent with science if we remember that the Old Testament is not a science book, but a book about God. The point of Genesis 1 and 2 is a theological treatise about God, not a Western style scientific paper. Despite this, the general outline of Genesis 1 is in remarkable agreement with what we know from science.
I understand that many conservative Christians assume the young earth interpretation of Genesis one is the correct one, but I personally disagree with this conclusion.
No, God did not create things in order to trick unbelievers with false evidence in the old earth. He did not put dinosaur fossils 100 million + years old to fake us out. I do not believe that God works that way and I assume that you agree with this.
I hope this helps.
John Oakes, PhD