While nearly all geology professors on the university level accept the concept of the ancient age for the earth, I hold the young-earth position, and do so without compromise, for several reasons:
First, I am absolutely certain that Scripture specifically teaches the young-earth doctrine. The genealogies in Genesis 5 and 11 must mean something; the word “day" in Genesis 1, Exodus 20:11, etc., can only be interpreted legitimately as a literal day; death entered the world only after Adam sinned; the flood of Noah's day deposited the rock and fossil record worldwide; Christ alluded to a recent creation; etc. A Bible believer must believe all of Scripture.
Second, I am equally certain, after lengthy study of and research in the facts, theories, and methods of geology, a reasonable familiarity with the data and methods of radiometric decay, etc., that there is no geological or physical evidence that demands an old earth. There are many interpretations of certain geologic data which propose an old earth, but there is always another, usually better, interpretation of the same data which points to a young earth. The scientific evidence is actually somewhat generic with respect to age; it can be interpreted both ways. I am convinced that the better scientific interpretation is of a young earth. There are problems yet to be solved, but the bulk of the evidence points to a young earth, and no scientific facts are incompatible with that view. Conversely, I am aware of much scientific evidence which is seemingly incompatible with the old-earth view.
Next, the old earth is an integral component of evolutionary ideas, which I regard as patently false. Even evolutionists agree that evolution is unlikely. Only as one shrouds it in the mist of time does it take on the aura of respectability. Vast time is necessary for an evolutionary model to be convincing, and I feel it is for this reason that such emphasis is placed on establishing this extreme view of the past.
Lastly, the old earth concept is a requisite of evolutionism, which is an unmitigated evil. The disgusting and failed systems of fascism, racism, Marxism, social Darwinism, imperialism, etc., etc., have all been based squarely on evolution and the application of an evolutionary world view to society. Likewise, the modern ills of promiscuity, homosexuality, abortion, humanism, new-age pantheism, etc., etc., flower from the same evil root. It is, in essence, the anti-Biblical, anti-theistic world view.
There can be no justification for a Christian adopting the old-earth concept. Most Christians who do hold it, do so because they have been taught nothing else, and are usually relieved when they discover the evidence referred to above. To those Christian leaders who hold and perhaps teach the old-earth concept knowledgeably, I would urge them to abandon their compromise of Scripture, to eschew the evils of a failed scientific theory, and join in the battle for truth!
*Dr. John Morris is the President of ICR.