First, I would like to take issue with the second part of the question which is akin to the question, “have you stopped beating your wife?” To answer the wife beating question without qualification is to concede that you were beating your wife. To answer this YEC question as stated is to concede that I agree that there is overwhelming evidence against. So I will qualify.
Yes, there is data that is claimed by many to be solid evidence against a young earth, but just like “evidence” that claims to incriminate an innocent defendant, that “evidence” can be overturned if other evidence is brought forward which shows that the incriminating evidence is false or unconvincing because the prosecution was operating on faulty assumptions. The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him (Prov. 18:17). Many of these supposed scientific evidences against YEC are blown away like chaff when the tenuous nature of old earth assumptions are placed ‘in the dock’ and other evidences cast large ‘shadows of doubt’ in the case against young earth creation.
Evidences from Scripture
In answering this question, it is first imperative to look at the authority of God’s word. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:10). If the Scriptures,If the Scriptures, through a historical-grammatical hermeneutic, indicate the historicity of Genesis 1–11 and preclude the introduction of deep time, it is incumbent upon believers to embrace it while being highly suspicious of “evidence” claiming otherwise. through a historical-grammatical hermeneutic, indicate the historicity of Genesis 1–11 and preclude the introduction of deep time, it is incumbent upon believers to embrace it while being highly suspicious of “evidence” claiming otherwise. Conflicting evidence can be legitimately examined, but with skepticism. Here is a thought experiment. If some new Christian creed was put forward to replace the Apostle’s Creed, I hope all orthodox theologians would meticulously examine it for the slightest error before seriously considering the proposal. Let us consider a few important facts:
1) Genesis is written in the style of historical narrative. Its prevailing structure is not of poetry or allegory.
2) The Hebrew word yom is overwhelmingly used to mean a literal solar day. If it means a longer span of time, it is at most a generation or so and is apparent from the context. For example, your grandfather may say “in my day . . . ” If the inspired Hebrew author wanted to convey deep time (which he should if the cosmos is as ancient as our secular authorities tell us), he would choose other more appropriate Hebrew words; certainly not yom.
3) The genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11 prohibit insertions of the large amounts of time demanded by secular scientific pronouncements. Each patriarch’s age is given when they begat their son. Supposed missing generations doesn’t change the timeline because their age is given when they begat their descendant (whether it is a son, grandson, great grandson, etc.). Based on reasons 2 and 3, the notion of deep time cannot be shoehorned into the Genesis account.
4) If deep time is assumed to be true, then the biblical doctrine of physical death as a consequence of the fall must be rejected. This causes several serious theological problems. For brevity I will not delve into them now (however, I may address them, if necessary, in my rejoinder).
5) If Genesis 1–11 isn’t truly historical, then how do mythical characters beget historical characters? The genealogies are seamless but the old-earth scholar who seeks to mythologize Genesis 1–11 must decide when the mythical lineage transitions into real people. There are other exegetical reasons why we should trust Genesis 1–11 as history but that will suffice for now.
I now would like to turn my attention to a few scientific reasons for believing the earth is young and show why the “overwhelming evidence against it” isn’t overwhelming at all. This “evidence” doesn’t come close to the level of a “beyond a shadow of a doubt” case against young earth creation. The evidence can be reinterpreted using other assumptions more consistent with Scripture. To believe in a young earth, a real Adam, a real fall, a real curse, a global flood, etc. is not only the most natural position to arrive at by reading the text, it also does not have to turn a blind eye toward the physical evidence.
Evidences from Science
Let us consider a few physical evidences:
1) The most reasonable explanation for the existence and abundance of fossils throughout most sedimentary formations is global catastrophic flooding. Noah’s flood has immense explanatory power for what we see in the fossil record.Andrew A. Snelling, Earth’s Catastrophic Past (Dallas: Institute for Creation Research, 2009). Uniformitarian rates of sediment deposition, interspersed with periodic regional flooding do not account for the global scale of the sedimentary rock units deposited well above sea level nor do they account for the vast extent of fossil and bone beds they contain.On the contrary, except for the intense peer pressure exerted by the secular scientific consensus, young earth creation is the most reasonable, theologically-sound, and hermeneutically-responsible position in the marketplace of protological viewpoints. The horizontal extent of many rock units blanketing vast areas of the continents also testifies against regional flooding. The fact that extensive fossilization has occurred worldwide makes no sense (given a basic knowledge of taphonomyTaphonomy is the branch of paleontology that investigates the processes by which organisms are fossilized.) if one assumes slow deposition of sediment is the norm. Deep and rapid burial as occasioned by a global catastrophic flood is a much more reasonable explanation.
2) Conclusions about the age of rocks are only as good as the assumptions geochronologists use. There are a number of studies done by the RATE projecthttps://www.icr.org/rate/ that show that the standard dating methods do not unequivocally support the idea that the earth is extremely old. Here are just two examples. Scientists have found C14 in coal and diamonds assumed to be tens to hundreds of millions of years old. Based on the short half-life of C14, these findings are inexplicable if they are really that old. The passage of millions or billions of years would result in no measurable amount of C14 in the samples tested. Helium was found in zircon crystals dated to be 1.5 billion years old based on U238–Pb206 radiometric dating. This is also inexplicable based on the diffusion rates of helium. According to diffusion rates, these radioactive zircon crystals could only have been around about six thousand years. A particular uniformitarian rate is a sword that can cut both ways. These findings suggest a much younger earth than assumed by conventional science. In other words, I would argue that data invoked to support an old earth are interpreted according to unproven assumptions. Since these assumptions are open to doubt, then the old earth position is not founded on overwhelming evidence.
3) Although there were earlier discoveries of biological materials found in fossils, Dr. Mary Schweitzer hit the headlines when she discovered soft tissue (various proteins, blood cells, and blood vessels) in the femur of T. rex purported to be 68 million years old. This discovery has prompted much more searching of soft tissue in fossil material. This search has unearthed many similar discoveries to date.https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1eXtKzjWP2B1FMDVrsJ_992ITFK8H3LXfPFNM1ll-Yiw/edit#gid=0 Based on protein decay rates under the best of conditions, it should not be able to survive more than four million years. The ancient earth dogma is so entrenched in the sciences that researchers are trying to explain the inexplicable rather than draw conclusions most consistent with the data.
4) The mutations that accumulate in our genome—i.e., genetic entropyJohn Sanford, Genetic Entropy, 4th ed. (Waterloo: FMS Publications, 2014).—preclude the idea that Homo sapiens has evolved through several hundred thousand years. If our species went through that many generations, we should have gone extinct due to mutational meltdown (loss of fitness in a population resulting in eventual extinction).
These are just a few examples that demonstrate that the young earth position isn’t an untenable position to hold. On the contrary, except for the intense peer pressure exerted by the secular scientific consensus, young earth creation is the most reasonable, theologically-sound, and hermeneutically-responsible position in the marketplace of protological viewpoints. Given that all historical science must be guided by certain presuppositions, an honest, rigorous analysis of astronomical, geological, paleontological, and biological data (guided by presuppositions grounded in Scripture rather than in the bankrupt presuppositions of naturalism, Darwinism, and uniformitarianism) strongly points to young earth creation as the most coherent position to hold and defend.
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