How Young Is the Young Earth? | The Institute for Creation Research
 
How Young Is the Young Earth?

According to the mainstream Big Bang idea, our universe abruptly sprang into existence some 15 billion years ago, sending matter careening through space. After millions of years it had cooled enough to coalesce into billions of rotating proto galactic-discs, and much later into stars. Over the billions of years, some stars underwent super nova, spewing material back into space, which later coalesced into second generation stars, some of which likewise exploded, leading to third generation stars like our sun. The planets are comprised of left-over star dust which didn't fall into the sun.

Even though our earth and its solar system is thought to be about 4.6 billion years old, it is much younger than the first and second generation stars, the galaxies, and sub-atomic particles shooting everywhere through space. Indeed, hardly anything is younger than earth.

Conversely, the Bible indicates that the creation of all things was accomplished in a six-day period just a few thousand years ago. The earth was created on Day One while the sun, moon, and stars were created on Day Four. Since thousands is less than billions, the term "Young Earth" has come to describe the recent creation position.

At a recent seminar, my friend, Mr. Tom Godfrey challenged me on the use of the term "Young Earth" for the following reasons:

First, according to our creationist perspective, nothing in all of creation is older than the earth, because it was created "in the beginning" (Genesis 1:1). Consequently, if the earth is young, then everything else is as young or even younger. According to the Big Bang idea, the universe itself is much older than the earth, so in their model the earth could be considered young in comparison. So for them, the descriptor has real meaning. Only by comparing a few thousand years with over four billion years as the age of the earth in two distinct perspectives can we rationalize the idea that the earth is "young." The validity of the term depends entirely on the existence of the two perspectives, both of which are assumed to be viable.

Second, consider a "new" building. Can we also call it a "young" building? I do not think so. A building can be old, but it cannot be young. We reserve the term young for things that are alive and growing toward maturity. Inanimate objects do not qualify, because they are at their best and full sized when first constructed.

So what term would be more appropriate than young? Terms like new and recent avoid the second problem, but not the first. If the earth is new, what can be old? What came into existence less recently from our perspective? The creation of the earth is the least recent event in history.

A dilemma indeed. I am not proposing we drop the terms young earth and old earth, for they are descriptive and well established. Tom suggests we call ourselves "historic-earth creationists," not only because it is accurate, but it acknowledges the true history of Scripture. Meanwhile, considering the term helps reinforce an important truth.

Cite this article: John D. Morris, Ph.D. 2004. How Young Is the Young Earth?. Acts & Facts. 33 (12).

The Latest
NEWS
No Evidence T. rex Hatchlings Had Feathers
The recent discovery of a tiny tyrannosaur jaw bone fragment and a claw has some scientists again pushing dinosaurs as birds.1 But is there...

NEWS
Inside March 2021 Acts & Facts
Why does ICR uphold the clarity of Scripture? How do we know that canyons were formed by the Genesis Flood? How do fossilized fish confirm biblical...

DAYS OF PRAISE DEVOTIONALS
Spring 2021
...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Human Hands
You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with ICR’s special Creation Kids learning...

ACTS & FACTS
Dross and Dilution
The first of seven great signs of Jesus’ deity recorded in John’s gospel is the wedding in Cana of Galilee (John 2:1-11). By the time Jesus...

APOLOGETICS
Do the Unpersuaded Have Enough Proof?
At a local Bible conference, a respected seminary professor unintentionally contradicted the apostle Paul. During the Q&A session, he opined that...

ACTS & FACTS
Gunnison's Black Canyon: The Flood Solves Mysterious Missing...
Brian Thomas, Ph.D., and Tim Clarey, Ph.D. The Gunnison River winds westward from the Colorado Rocky Mountains through dry and dramatic landscapes....

ACTS & FACTS
Do We See Complex Design in Mosquito Eggs?
Mosquitoes hatch from tiny eggs and spend a few days filter-feeding on things like bacteria, pollen, and algae. They molt three times as they grow,...

ACTS & FACTS
A Texas-Size Spider Mystery
The delightfully creepy spider belongs to a class called Arachnida—which is distinct from the “bug” class Insecta. Not surprisingly,...

ACTS & FACTS
The Fossils Still Say No: The Fins-to-Feet Transition
One of the alleged greatest transformations in vertebrate evolution is said to be the emergence of creatures that traded fins for feet and transitioned...