“So far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1-11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that creation took place in a series of six 24 hour days” [ Professor James Barr, Oxford ]
Scientific modelling of a ‘young earth’ helps to explain mummified arctic forests and polar coal, the ice age, human migration, human aging, long-term global warming, earth tilt change, civilization collapse, salinity of oceans, fossils and global flood evidence …
Many biblical texts support the Young Earth (YE) model. Of course, a young earth is not compatible with conventional radiometric dating (which yields billions of years for the age of the earth). But is conventional dating correct (see Appendix)?
What is Young Earth Creationism?
The origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle [ Francis Crick, Nobel Laureate ]
The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible [ Albert Einstein ]
A person who believes in creation but also in an Old Earth (OE) – billions of years – would be described as a theistic evolutionist. They believe OE theory and in the claimed processes of evolution, but maintain that the initial matter and scientific laws were brought into existence by God (Genesis 8:22, Psalm 74:16-17, Job 38:4-7,33, Jeremiah 33:25). They would also take a figurative (non-literal) interpretation of the Genesis account of creation.
Creationism believes that the universe and all living organisms originate from the Creator God of the Bible. Some refer to this as Intelligent Design. On this definition a theistic evolutionist could also be described as a creationist simply because they believe God created all things. But the usual assumption of Creationism is also that no macro-evolution is involved, and so all living organisms were created substantially as they now exist, although it is accepted that small changes (micro-evolution) within created ‘kinds’ (Genesis 1:25) do occur.
On this definition it is not necessary to assume an old earth and Young Earth (YE) Creationism is the belief that the universe and the Earth are just 6,000 to 10,000 years old as inferred from a literal interpretation of the Old Testament.
Creationism appears to be virtually absent from the mainstream denomination churches such as Anglican, Catholic, Baptist Union, Methodist, United Reformed Church and the Church of Scotland [British Centre for Science Education]
Despite the scepticism of mainstream churches, Creation Science aims to provide scientific support for YE Creationism. There are several key organisations working in Creation Science e.g. The Institute for Creation Research (ICR), The Centre for Scientific Creation, The Creation Science Movement. The following also provide scientific support for the YE theory: Northwest Creation Network, Answers in Genesis (AiG) and Creation Ministries International.
Why Study Young Earth Creationism?
The western media, particularly in Europe, strongly promotes Darwinian evolution and an old earth. The secular scientific community does likewise e.g. the Royal Society, which counts 21 Nobel Prize winners among its Fellows, claims that Creationism is unscientific and wrong and that evolution is right.
On the other hand, there is also a growing number of professional, peer reviewed well published scientists who favour YE Creationism. And only some 37% of people in the UK believe that evolution is ‘beyond all doubt’ and nearly 50% of the US population hold anti-Darwinian beliefs [Spencer & Alexander, ‘Rescuing Darwin’, 2009]. So despite heavy lobbying, the layman (like many in the scientific community) remains unconvinced. But has the layman studied the subject sufficiently to defend his or her doubt?
If the subject of Creation has not been studied, then biblical fundamentals are easily undermined by secular arguments. If fundamental concepts in Genesis are undermined, such as the concept of man as a special and unique creation, the concept of man’s sin and The Fall, the concept of a righteous God who judged the world through a Flood, and the concept of the need for redemption, then the rest of the biblical cards tumble. Who then needs Christ as Saviour? Theistic evolutionists attempt to marry these essential biblical concepts with evolutionary science, but how much have they studied the science of Creationism?
Essentials of a Young Earth Model
Like the theory of evolution and an OE, any YE theory or model will be incomplete and uncertain, and so models will vary. Nevertheless, there seems growing scientific support for a generic YE model, and increasing doubt over OE theory. Moreover, there appear to be definite events and features that should be incorporated into any YE model. In no particular order we have:
- A catastrophic global flood – Noah’s Flood
- Unusually warm oceans
- Severe tectonic plate movement and volcanic activity
- Sudden change in the tilt of the earth’s axis
- Severe climate changes
- A single, short Ice Age following the Flood
A Generic Young Earth Model
The following is a generic model combining features and concepts from a number of similar YE models, and in particular from the YE models proposed by Setterfield and Brown. The objective is to present plausible concepts rather than one particular model.
1. Before the Flood
Some maintain that before the Flood the earth’s axis tilted only some 5°, resulting in virtually no seasonal changes and one large stable Hadley Cell of circulating air currents [Creation Science Movement pamphlet 236]. The earth was probably universally warm, with no deserts, ice caps or major mountains. There was probably less sea and more land. Lush vegetation grew worldwide, so providing for future coal and oil deposits even near the poles. Some maintain that before the Flood the earth probably did not experience rain (Gen 2:5). Rather, rapid radioactive decay heated the earth’s mantle below the crust, driving out the water locked in the minerals. This water seeped through the earth’s thin granite crust and appeared as a mist, watering the ground (Gen 2:6).
In the hydroplate theory this water also resided in vast interconnected subterranean water chambers (as implied in Ps 33:7 and Ps 104:3) some 10 miles below the earth’s surface, between the upper granite crust and the earth’s mantle. It is claimed that over time the subterranean water in these chambers built up and increased in temperature and pressure (about half the present volume of water of the oceans eventually resided in the chambers). Eventually it became supercritical water (SCW) – very high energy explosive water. The increased pressure stretched and weakened the crust, eventually rupturing it and breaking the crust into plates (tectonic plates in standard geology, or hydroplates in some YE models).
2. Flood Mechanism
According to the hydroplate theory, at the start of the Flood the crust ruptured essentially along what is today referred to as the global Mid-Ocean Ridge (a range of subterranean mountains). As the pressure in the subterranean chamber dropped, the SCW exploded and cooled, creating a powerful jet of water like fountains reaching far above the earth’s surface. The fountains returned to earth as torrential rain: the Bible refers to this as ‘the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened’ (Gen 7:11). The high kinetic energy of this fountain propelled subterranean rocks and mud into earth’s atmosphere, at the same time widening the rupture in the ocean crust.
After 40 days the flood waters suppressed the jets of water, stopping the rain (Gen 7:12), but the ocean floor continued venting SCW and so flood waters continued to rise until the 150th day (Gen 7:19-24). Warm muddy flood waters gathered vegetation, moved it geographically and then buried it in layers. Subsequent continental drift then compressed and heated it, providing the right conditions for further coal and oil formation.
Receding waters: As the mid-ocean ruptures widened, immense subterranean forces suddenly forced compressed rock upwards, creating the Mid-Ocean Ridge. In turn this forced the newly formed plates to slide rapidly away, ‘choking off’ the subterranean water vents (SCW) as they settled onto the subterranean chamber floor. The Flood waters therefore stopped rising, corresponding to the 150th day.
The sliding plates eventually compressed, raising mountains like the Himalayas, raising the Atlantic floor, lowering the Pacific floor and creating deep ocean trenches. These new ‘basins’ between continents acted as drains for the receding flood water (Gen 8:2-3). The settling of the plates therefore lowered the sea level, uncovering land bridges between continents and permitting man and animals to cross between continents for several centuries.
During the Flood the moving crust generated huge voltages (piezoelectric electricity) and the resulting electrical discharges within the crust generated C-14 plus new radioisotopes. These entered the atmosphere and were absorbed by subsequent generations. The isotopes produced defective protein molecules in body cells. These genetic faults built up over time and man’s age progressively reduced. Also, the C-14/C-12 ratio started slowly rising to today’s value.
A popular alternative Flood mechanism that fits with standard geology is Catastrophic Plate Tectonics (CPT). The process starts with material from the upper mantle suddenly sinking to the lower mantle (possibly through asteroid impact). The net effect is to push up the oceanic crust at about the location of the Mid-Oceanic Ridge. The oceanic crust splits along the Mid-Oceanic Ridge, and heat from lava entering this gap heats the water above it causing a supersonic burst of steam (as in Gen 7:11). This steam shoots in to the upper atmosphere where it cools and falls back as torrential rain. The runaway subduction of the oceanic crust drags down the continental crust causing the water to start flooding the land.
Note that both models claim that the earth’s oceanic crust was fractured and subterranean heat generated powerful worldwide ‘fountains’ of water and subsequent torrential rain.
A third mechanism assumes multiple asteroid impacts into the oceans during the year of the Flood [creationwiki.org/Catastrophism]. These generated flooding tsunami’s and massive amounts of water into the atmosphere, resulting in torrential rains.
3. Flood Date
The date of Noah’s Flood is much debated. AiG quote 2304 BC. But using Ussher’s date of 4004 BC for creation, and adding the ages of patriarchs in the Bible (summing to 1656), the Flood began in the year Methuselah died, around 2348 BC i.e. 4004 – 1656. Others claim a date sometime in the third millennium before the birth of Jesus Christ – probably between 2500 BC and 2300 BC. At the other extreme, some use archaeology to date the Flood before 8500 BC.
It is interesting that radiometric dating of the geological column, corrected for accelerated decay rate, gives a Flood date within the range 2304 – 8500 BC. This sedimentary rock is worldwide and corresponds to a catastrophic flood. It is dated around 600 million years (Cambrian era) and corrected for accelerated decay this converts to 3536 BC.
4. Fossils & Frozen Mammoths
Muddy sediments in the subterranean water quickly settled, rapidly burying plants and animals, which then became fossils. This water also had dissolved minerals such as calcium, which was deposited as thick limestone layers on the earth’s surface. As the waters rose, the most immobile life (bottom dwelling sea life and fishes) became the first victims, whilst the most mobile and intelligent life (primates and mammals) were last to fall victim to the Flood. The fossils were deposited in what is commonly called the Geological Column, with low levels of life e.g. fishes at the bottom (Cambrian period) and primates and mammals at the top (Tertiary period).
Some claim that near the poles the rain fell as muddy hail storms (an ‘ice dump’), rapidly freezing and burying large animals like mammoths and rhinoceroses. It is claimed mammoths were frozen within minutes in temperatures below -150° F [Jody Dillow, “The Catastrophic Deep-Freeze of the Beresovka Mammoth,” Creation Research Society Quarterly 14 (June 1977): 5-12]. But another theory is that most mammoths died in the Ice Age following the Flood.
5. Post Flood – Asteroid Impact
At the end of the Mesozoic era, around 65 million years ago (corrected for accelerated decay to 3005 BC) a major asteroid impact ended the dinosaur era. This hit Yucatan off the coast of Mexico and created a global firestorm. But some mammals, birds and reptiles survived by sheltering in water or underground.
Immediately after the Flood, lower sea levels permitted man and animals to cross land bridges. But then, according to hydroplate theory sea levels started to rise, flooding land bridges. The post Flood period corresponds to the Paleozoic and then Mesozoic eras on radiometric dating. Initially the oceans were unusually warm, creating a humid atmosphere. As radioactive heating continued, parts of the mantle became molten and generated a period of severe volcanism. This created a generally dry and windy climate which favoured reptiles (dinosaurs).
6. Earth Axial Tilt Change
Like a push to a spinning top, it is claimed that the earth’s axial tilt suddenly changed around 2345 BC, link. This date has strong support from historical records, and the approximate date of 3005 BC for the Yucatan asteroid impact is sufficiently close to associate both events. Some propose that this impact increased axial tilt to 28° or more, link. From 2345 BC the earth’s axis then began the slow precession (the axis of rotation describing a cone) back towards the 23.45° tilt observed today, and simultaneously moderating the climate.
An alternative explanation for a sudden tilt change is provided by sudden large mass movement. Following the Flood, the sliding hydroplates were suddenly crushed and thickened, creating major mountain ranges like the Himalayas. This sudden mass movement ‘jolted’ the spinning earth, causing it to suddenly tilt.
Increased tilt had a dramatic change on the climate, creating more climatic extremes e.g. Europe would point further way from the sun in winter and more directly at the sun in summer. This altered animal life (favouring mammals) and also vegetation, permitting forests to grow near the poles and eventually leading to more coal and oil formation at these latitudes.
7. The Ice Age
After the Flood, oceans were warmer than today due to hot water and volcanic magma spilled onto the floor of the Pacific Ocean from the Mid-Ocean Ridges. Warm oceans produced extensive evaporation and precipitation (being greatest at high latitudes), which on the cold continents resulted in extreme snowfall rates that built up glaciers. Increased glaciation reflected solar radiation back into space, which led to cooling. Large scale volcanic activity, which resulted in atmospheric dust, also reflected solar radiation and enhanced the cooling effect. At this time strong dust bands were laid down in the ice.
A constant accumulation of ice is assumed throughout the glacial period. It is estimated that it took about 500 years for snow to accumulate to a depth of 2,300 feet in the northern hemisphere at its deepest [creationwiki]. Ice generation results in a significant lowering of sea level – possibly by some 300-400 feet – and so to some extent this may have offset the gradual sea level rise after the Flood. The end of the Flood has been placed at around 2350 BC, [answersingenesis] and (using biblical data) the Ice Age has been dated between approximately 2300 BC and 1800 BC, [creationwiki].
8. Global Warming
Once the oceans had released their excess heat, glaciation rapidly terminated and sea levels rose, flooding land bridges (in biblical terms, rising sea levels ‘divided the land’ – Gen 10.25). Heat balance considerations indicate that a glacial maximum could have occurred within 250 – 1300 years, which is consistent with the view that the ice age duration was about 500 years. From then, ice would have started melting, reducing glacier length. It is possible that Job observed the initial melting (Job 24:19). This is continuing today and ice melt is the reason for today’s observed sea level rise. (Note that since there are still ice caps the earth is still technically in an ice age).
Scientific Support for the YE Model
SUBTERRANEAN WATER GENERATION: Minerals contain water locked up in their structure e.g. serpentine rock, usually found in the oceanic mantle, contains about 13% water. This water is given up by heating. As already mentioned, there is strong scientific evidence that after the Genesis Creation, radioactive decay was much more rapid than today – a result of the claimed much higher speed of light, link. Putting the two together, this rapid decay generated heat which drove out the water from mantle minerals, turning them to olivines. Today, the earth’s mantle is composed mainly of olivine-rich rock.
GEOLOGICAL COLUMN & GLOBAL FLOOD: The geological column is a thick layer (typically hundreds of feet deep) of sedimentary rock i.e. it has been deposited by water. It is found virtually worldwide in the form of up to ten layers of sandstone, limestone and shale, these strata being referred to as Cambrian (oldest) to Tertiary (latest). Geologically, the Cambrian layer is dated around 600 million years old, but when this is corrected for changing radioactive decay rate, the date is around 3500 BC. This date is much closer to the commonly quoted Flood date (2500 – 2300 BC). It is interesting to note that Archbishop Ussher’s date for Noah’s Flood is 2348 BC.
Fossils in the Cambrian strata appear fully formed with no ancestral forms, implying abrupt creation! Also, in order for an organism to be fossilized, the remains normally need to be covered by sediment as soon as possible. The fossil record is therefore evidence of a single global cataclysmic flood and not the record of a series of slow changes accumulating over millions of years. Polystrate fossils, vertical fossilised trees spanning multiple strata and found all over the world, give strong support for a catastrophic global flood. But there is much more supporting evidence, such as extremely large “boulders” (erratic boulders) weighing 10,000 tons which were transported many miles by some mysterious force.
COAL: Polystrate fossils sometimes span many coal seams, providing strong evidence that the coal did not take millions of years to form. Moreover, sometimes the trees found in coal beds didn’t grow there, indicating that they were washed there by a catastrophic flood. On the other hand, buried redwood forests (with roots indicating that they grew in place and were not transported) are found well inside the Arctic Circle, and coal is found near the South Pole. This indicates that these areas were once temperate, a concept compatible with a temperate earth before the Flood, and a temperate climate nearer the poles immediately after the Flood when the earth’s axis tilted.
OCEANIC RIDGES: A mid-oceanic ridge resides all over the world – a continuous 40,000 mile range of undersea mountains winding through all the world’s oceans and forming the largest active volcanic feature on earth. These locations are possibly where the earth was globally fractured releasing subterranean fountains of water. The ridge could have been fractured by meteorite impacts, since there is evidence of meteor and volcanic activity in the geological column. The ridges are locations where two tectonic plates/hydroplates are diverging and new basalt crust is being formed.
HYDROTHERMAL VENTS (BLACK SMOKERS): These typically form along the mid-ocean ridges, such as the East Pacific Rise and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Water escaping from below the earth’s crust (from what was the floor of the subterranean chamber) comes through the ocean floor at temperatures as high as 464°C. This superhot water, thick with dark dissolved minerals emerges from the ocean floor in ‘funnels’, giving rise to the term ‘black smokers'[ Andrea Koschinsky et al., “Hydrothermal Venting at Pressure-Temperature Conditions above the Critical Point of Seawater, 5°S on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge,” Geology, Vol. 36, August 2008, p. 617].
At a depth of 3,000 meters the hydrostatic pressure is more than 300 atmospheres, at which point seawater becomes supercritical at a temperature of 407°C, possessing physical properties between those of a gas and those of a liquid. So the ocean floor still gives SCW, the explosive form of water as proposed in the Flood Model.
DUST SPIKE: Most scholars agree that a straightforward reading of the Bible indicates that Noah’s Flood must have taken place in the third millennium BC – probably between 2500 BC and 2300 BC. So we look for scientific data to support the model around this date. A very significant dust spike occurs around 2500 BC in ice cores from Peru, as might be expected from severe volcanic activity around the time of the Flood.
LAND BRIDGES: According to YE modelling, land bridges permitted man and animals to cross between major land masses. Today there is plenty of evidence of submerged land bridges. The Bering Strait is a water way that separates Russia from North America. It lies above the Bering Land Bridge, a submerged landmass only some 50m below the surface that once connected the Siberian mainland with North America. Similar land bridges are postulated between Britain and Europe, between New Guinea and Australia, between the Philippines and Indonesia, between Sri Lanka and India, and between the Southeast Asian mainland and the Indonesian islands.
ORIGIN OF AN ICE AGE: Classical theory holds that the variation in the intensity of solar radiation is the most likely cause of the glacial/interglacial cycle. The Milankovich theory provides such variation since in 13,000 years the earth’s axis will have precessed such that when the northern hemisphere points towards the sun i.e. in summer, the earth will also be closest to the sun (at present the northern hemisphere summer occurs when the earth is furthest away from the sun). And in the northern winter the earth will be furthest from the sun. The northern climate will then be more extreme (hotter summers and colder winters). But cool air is dry and does not lead to copious snowfall (viz Antarctica). Also, ice ages do not occur every 26,000 years!
The causes of an ice age are therefore still debated, with many theories. In contrast, the post Flood mechanism, with unusually warm oceans leading to copious rainfall, and heavy snowfall near the poles, coupled with reflective volcanic dust in the atmosphere seems very plausible.
MUMMIFIED ARCTIC FOREST: A mummified forest has been found on northern Canada’s Ellesmere Island. Tree rings were very narrow (indicating stress), and logs, leaves, needles and seedpods are found ‘exquisitely preserved’ – which does not fit with OE dating of millions of years. But the Flood-Ice Age model provides a plausible explanation: the water in some temperate corridors being still warm permitted forest growth as ice built up elsewhere. The forest was then rapidly destroyed (and preserved) by a landslide [as proposed by National Geographic News]. This was then followed by perpetual cold during the Ice Age. This relatively short time-frame would permit ‘exquisite preservation’.
EARTH’S AXIAL TILT: Axial tilt (obliquity) defines earth’s seasons (Gen 8:22). And an axial shift even by a few degrees will severely change earth’s climate – a larger tilt could result in more severe seasons.Currently the earth’s axis tilts at about 23.5 degrees with respect to the normal to the orbital plane or ecliptic. It is usually stated that this tilt varies according to a 40,000 year cycle defined by the empirical Stockwell-Newcombe-Lieske formula. But this formula gives increasingly low values of tilt compared to measured values when we trace back several thousand years, link.
Observed values of tilt follow a log-sine curve and show an asymptotically large tilt around 2345 BC – some 3 degrees or more above the present. This suggests something, perhaps a large meteorite, disturbed the earth around this date, altering its tilt (a log-sine curve is the rule a gyroscope takes when returning to stable motion after impact). Satellite imagery has detected a severe asteroid impact off Mexico’s Yucatán’s coast in the Caribbean. OE dating places this event some 65 million years ago, corresponding to about 3000 BC once correction for change in radioactive decay rates is applied.
MELTING GLACIERS: Studies of glaciers in the Andes and the Himalayas have shown that glacier melt has now exposed plants that have been frozen for over 5,000 years. This implies a generally continuous melt from around 3,000 BC. And in 1991 Otzi the Iceman was discovered in the Italian Alps in a gully at the edge of the melting Niederjoch glacier. His body (preserved by ice) is C-14 dated at around 3300 BC, link. In this protected area beneath the glacier, the ice of the glacier moved above the iceman, allowing him to stay securely in place. But then glacier retreat, the most for 5,000 years, exposed his body.
Both these observations are in accord with the YE Ice Age Model which maintains that glaciers have been on quasi-continuous retreat ever since the Ice Age after the Flood some 4,300 years ago.
[Note: c3300 BC corresponds to some 1000 years before the Ice Age and so appears to be inconsistent. The date discrepancy can be explained by the rapid increase in atmospheric C-14 after the Flood – a factor not accounted for in standard C-14 dating.]
SUDDEN COLLAPSE OF CIVILIZATIONS: Archaeological evidence points to the sudden collapse of ancient civilizations in the Middle East around 2200 BC, link, link, link. The 6th Egyptian dynasty (2345-2181 BC) appears to have suddenly ended in confusion in the reign of pharaoh Pepi II. The years following the death of Pepy II are obscure and none of the names of kings of the short-lived 7th dynasty are known. The confusion lasted several centuries. Some attribute this to global cooling, starting c2200 BC and lasting some 300 years, with arctic conditions in Iceland and a shift to a drier climate in SE Europe. A pronounced shift in atmospheric circulation has been detected c2150 BC.
Sudden collapse is also seen in the Akkadian Empire which ruled Mesopotamia from the Tigris-Euphrates Rivers to the Persian Gulf c2300-2200 BC. Biblically, Akkad (Gen 10:10) was a city of Nimrod’s kingdom, along with Babel. Some propose that climate change (possibly through warming of ocean currents) and severe drought lasting some 300 years caused massive migrations to the south and the subsequent fall of the Empire. The sudden fall has been dated around 2281 BC [geoscienceworld.org] or 2150 BC.
The time of the collapse of these civilizations correlates with axial tilt change c2345 BC, and subsequent severe climate change culminating in the Ice Age c2300-1800 BC.
GEOMAGNETIC FIELD DECAY: The earth’s liquid iron outer core (between the mantle and the hot solid inner core) generates the earth’s magnetic field. According to computer models (the dynamo theory) the complex movements of the liquid iron generates a changing magnetic field. It is the waxing and waning and ‘N-S polarity flipping’ of this field that is much debated.
Using archaeomagnetic data (from iron oxides in man-made objects) and paleomagnetic data (magnetization in rocks), creation science has shown that rapid fluctuations in magnetic intensity have indeed occurred just after the Flood, with a maximum intensity reached around 0 BC. Since then the field has rapidly decayed. These effects are well-modelled by the YE dynamic-decay theory. According to this theory, the field energy (trillions of kWh) has always been rapidly decreasing and it is this fact that yields a young earth. Estimation of the earth’s maximum energy and extrapolating the current energy decay rate backwards yields a young earth of less than 10,000 years. It is interesting to note that measurement of the earth’s magnetic field strength show a 10% decay over the last 150 years, link.
HUMAN AGING: A major model of human aging is based on human cells and how the many proteins inside a cell coexist and interact. It is claimed that defective proteins result in aging and that ‘proper aging’ depends upon proper protein folding.
Put another way, it is claimed that protein misfolding is strongly related to age-related degenerative diseases, and that misfolding can arise from radioisotopes that speed up or slow down protein folding [creationscience.com]. Moreover, damage caused by radiation can be cumulative, link. So it is scientifically plausible that a significant increase in radioisotopes in the atmosphere after the Flood could cause the observed progressive reduction in the age of man after the Flood.
OTHER SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE: In addition to the above points, scientific studies of lunar isotope samples, atmospheric Helium, meteorite evidence in strata, slowing earth rotation, water table levels, erosion of continents and salinity of oceans all support the YE model.
Biblical Support for the YE Model
1. THE FLOOD
- At creation there were subterranean waters or ‘seas’ below the earth’s crust (Ps 24:2, 136:6).
- Initially the earth’s crust rested on ‘beams’ or pillars which were themselves set in water, forming subterranean ‘chambers’ (Ps 104:3).
- The subterranean chambers acted as ‘storehouses’ or water ‘containers’ with ‘doors’ deep inside the earth (Ps 33:7)(Job 38:8).
- At the time of the Flood these deep storehouses ‘burst open’ or were ‘broken up’ with great force, creating ‘fountains’ of water in the atmosphere and subsequent rain (Gen 7:11)(Job 38:8)(Prov 3:20).
- The Flood was global: ‘all the high mountains everywhere’ were covered (Gen 7:19).
- The Flood waters ‘prevailed’ or increased on the earth for 150 days, or exactly five 30-day months, after which they started to ‘decrease’ (Gen 7:24, 8:3).
- The Flood waters ‘hurried away’ or rapidly receded with a noise like ‘thunder’, and simultaneously ‘the mountains rose’ and ‘valleys sank’ (Ps 104:7-8).
- The new geological plates moved and sank forming ‘boundaries’ which cut off or ‘closed up’ the subterranean waters forever (Ps 104.9)(Gen 8.2).
- Immediately after the Flood, land bridges enabled man and animals to spread to all continents, ‘filling the earth’ (Gen 9:1).
- But a few centuries after the Flood, particularly in the ‘days of Peleg’, rising seas flooded land bridges and ‘divided’ the continents (Gen 10:25)(1 Chron 1:19).
- Pre-Flood man lived typically to 900 years whilst post-Flood, beginning with ‘Shem’, man’s age progressively dropped to nearer 70 years (from a build-up of radioisotope damage), (Gen 11).
- After the Ice Age, melting snows were visible as ‘snow waters’ to post-Ice Age inhabitants like Job (Job 24:19).
- As in Job’s time, today there are ‘springs’ in the sea or black smokers – reminders of the powerful supercritical water (SCW) that burst through the earth’s crust (Job 38:16).
- Jumping millennia, Jesus Himself referred to the Flood and to Noah’s ark! (Mat 24:38).
2. THE FALL OF MAN
A central Christian doctrine concerns The Fall of man, and Christians view this in essentially two ways depending upon their concept of the age of the earth. But first, let us examine a central theme of The Fall, mortality.
MAN’S MORTALITY: Predicting man’s ‘Fall’, God says:
But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely dieGenesis 2:17
Here, the Hebrew word for ‘die’ is ‘muwth’ (pronounced ‘mooth’), meaning to kill or destroy with reference to a dead body. It refers to mortality and does not primarily imply spiritual death (separation from God), although theologically it must include it. The introduction of physical death is strongly suggested in Gen 3:19 – ‘to dust you shall return’. Paul also takes this viewpoint:
Through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sinRomans 5:12
Here, the Greek word for ‘death’ is ‘Thanatos’, the ancient Greek personification of physical death. So, given freedom of choice, man chose incorrectly and actual physical death – the return to dust – entered God’s good creation.
THE THEISTIC EVOLUTIONIST VIEW: So when, and through whom did this ‘Fall’ to mortality occur? If the biblical Adam is understood to be solely allegorical, the theistic evolutionist might try and associate The Fall of man and subsequent physical death with the early evolution of man millions of years ago. Certainly, the term ‘Adam’ often means the species ‘mankind’; when the noun occurs with the definite article (‘ha adam’) it has to be translated mankind. So we might envisage an early form of mankind sinning in God’s sight, falling from grace and suffering death as the consequence. Tennyson’s ‘nature red in tooth and claw’ then graphically illustrates the birth-death processes required in subsequent Darwinian evolution.
But this view is inconsistent with the strong biblical theme that Adam was indeed a real man with very special abilities, a very special theological role, and a very clear genealogy. The first permissible use of the proper name (a person, Adam) occurs in Gen 2:20. Here Adam must have used extreme intelligence to name all the creatures God had made – a good illustration of God’s ‘very good’ creation!
Theologically, Adam had no biological Father – he was the son of God (Luke 3:38) – and so he was also a type of Christ who also had no biological Father. Adam’s theological role is explained clearly in Rom 5:14-15 and 1 Cor 15:45. And according to scripture Adam was created ‘as is’ on the 6th day without the need for long-term evolution. Finally there are the detailed genealogies of Gen 5 and Luke 3 which trace Adam’s descendants; if Adam was not a real man, why such detail? Certainly Paul took Adam to be an individual, a human being, in Rom 5:12.
Bearing this in mind, the theistic evolutionist could conjecture that, at some point in time, a real man, Adam, existed as a special form of biologically evolved man. He was special in that, for the first time in evolutionary history, man became a living spiritual being (Gen 2.7) capable of knowing and worshipping God. But then Adam sinned and death entered the world. The problem here is that Darwinian evolution prior to Adam demands a carnivorous world and the existence of physical death! To accommodate this, the theistic evolutionist is forced to re-interpret Gen 2:17 and Rom 5:12 as implying spiritual death only – but as we have seen, this is not the root meaning of these verses.
THE CREATIONIST VIEW: A literal interpretation of Genesis suggests that all living land creatures, including man, were created as herbivores rather than carnivores (Gen 1:29-30). The concept of killing for food is absent from the early Adamic world of the Bible. It is interesting that, today, vegetarianism is on the rise and common nutritionist opinion states that consuming less meat in your diet is beneficial to your health! Many colleges for nursing are focusing on similar diet options for children to combat the obesity problem in the U.S.
It is also interesting to note that a ‘herbivore existence’ and the emphasis on ‘no harm’ re-appears during the Millennium, when the lion eats straw rather than kills for food (Isa 65:25). So Tennyson’s phrase ‘nature red in tooth and claw’ does not appear to be God’s ideal and certainly did not exist in God’s ‘very good’ creation (Gen 1:31) – which included man. This early, idealistic Adamic world conflicts with the evolutionary model. Theologically, physical death (and by implication a carnivorous world) only entered through Adam’s sin and so could not have existed prior to this. So it is difficult to conceive of millions of years of man’s evolution prior to the real man Adam since this implies such creatures never died! The world would be heavily populated by both animals and man by the time Adam came along! This point alone suggests a young earth.
THE SCHOLARLY VIEW: If we accept that Adam was indeed the first man, dispense with ‘millions’ of years, accept six literal days of creation, accept a global Flood and a single Ice Age, then we seem to obtain a more consistent worldview – all backed up by Creation Science and YE models. Ussher dated Adam’s creation at 4004 BC, making a young earth about 6,000 years old! And simply counting the ages of the patriarchs from 4004 BC suggests 2348 BC for the Flood. After all, this is the generally accepted understanding of the Hebrew in Genesis. In a letter dated 23 April 1984 to David C. C. Watson, Hebrew Professor James Barr at the University of Oxford wrote:
Probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Gen. 1-11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that (a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience (b) the figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the biblical story (c) Noah’s flood was understood to be world-wide and extinguished all human and animal life except for those in the ark.
Or, to put it negatively, the apologetic arguments which suppose the “days” of creation to be long eras of time, the figures of years not to be chronological, and the flood to be a merely local Mesopotamian flood, are not taken seriously by any such professors, as far as I know. The only thing I would say to qualify this is that most such professors may avoid much involvement in that sort of argument and so may not say much explicitly about it one way or the other.Professor James Barr, Oxford
Earth Dating Anomalies
Scientific anomalies in conventional earth dating techniques are discussed at The Age of the Earth. The discussion suggests that the huge discrepancy between OE and YE dates arises from the refusal of OE science to recognise the biblical Flood as a single, catastrophic worldwide event in recent history, and in the OE assumption of ‘uniformitarianism’. Some of these anomalies are discussed in the following video: