In previous columns, I have dealt with the mistakes, uncertainties, ambiguities, contradictions, and general unreliability with radiometric dating of fossils. The dates produced by many modern methods are often dates that are called “scientifically correct” but embarrassingly inaccurate! A perfect example of this is the Richard Leakey case. He discovered Skull 1470 near the east shore of Lake Rudolf in Kenya and thought the skull was 2.6 million years old. The next decade would take him and his “skull” for a long ride.
Leakey’s Skull 1470 was initially dated at Cambridge Laboratory (England) with the potassium-argon method. The first date was 221 million years, but it was rejected because it didn’t fit the evolutionary scenario. Further testing produced dates from 2.4 to 2.6 million years. Leakey could accept that date since it was closer to his evolutionary teaching although he preferred a younger date. (Many millions of years difference in those dates and the first date!) After more tests they got another date of 1.8 million years from the University of California, Berkeley. Now, that’s more like it. That date fits their fairy tale! Isn’t it interesting how they can adjust their “science” to fit their philosophy? And did you notice that a bone finder can “shop around” at various testing agencies to get the date he wants? Leakey now accepts a date of about 2 million years.
The testing on Skull 1470 produced dates ranging from 290,000 years to 221 million years. Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe. You take your choice. Now you can understand why some have described the potassium-argon clock as being a clock without hands–without even a face.
It is interesting that radiometric dating laboratories require that all samples to be “dated” must be identified as to their location in the geological column! After all, the testers need to know what date the “finder” will accept. Approximately 8 out of 10 specimens (“dates”) are discarded by radiometric dating labs because they are well out of range of age they “ought to be” considering their location in the geological column. The geological strata date always has priority over any modern dating system. The testers have even asked, “What date do you think is reasonable?” Isn’t science grand? But none dare call it quackery.
I’m thrilled that Creationists don’t have to depend on such dubious, distorted, dishonest nonsense to know about our world. One does not have to believe in a young Earth to be a Christian but Christians should take the biblical position on everything. Origins of the Universe and the Earth are very important. We don’t need to trust in radiometric dating or even natural “clocks” to determine whether the Earth is young or old. The Bible is very clear on that issue.
Bible expositors tell us that the word “day” in Genesis can also mean a long period of time. They are right and they are wrong. The first meaning of “day” is the time between the rising and setting of the sun. The days in Mesopotamia were not named but numbered except for the 7th day, the Sabbath. The word for day is used 2355 times in the Old Testament and when used figuratively it always is defined by an associated term such as the day of judgment, the day of adversity, etc.
Whenever “evening” and “morning” are used in the Old Testament, they always refer to normal, 24-hour days; however critics triumphantly sneer that there could be no day and night without the sun! But day and night don’t depend on the sun but upon the existence of light. Gen. 1:3 reveals that God created the light. So there was light in addition to and preceding the creation of the sun. So, with light and the newly created Earth, there would be a “day” and a “night” as the Earth rotated. How could God have made it any clearer?
Hebrew scholars agree with creationists concerning the literal days of Genesis. Professor James Barr, a renowned Hebrew scholar and Oriel Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture at Oxford University, said in a personal letter, “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 through 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 [not the movie Noah] was understood to be world-wide and extinguished all human and animal life except for those in the ark.” So Hebrew experts stand with Creationists, not evolutionists!
Genesis 2:13 tells us that God “rested” on the seventh day after concluding His six days of creation. Now, did God “rest” a day or a billion years? And if it was a billion years, then how does that become a legitimate symbol for the Hebrews taking the seventh day as their Sabbath as God instructed them in Exodus 20:10-11? No sane person suggests that the Jews rested an “age” but a single day. If God rested an indeterminate age then maybe God is still resting; however, John 5:17 tells us that God is still working! Twisting the Bible like a pretzel is not wise or productive or safe.
Furthermore, Adam was created on the sixth day, and lived in the garden the remainder of that day, then he lived through the seventh day, and was driven out of the garden days or months later. Did he live through parts of three or more different geological ages? If so, he would have lived at least five hundred thousand years! Now they lived a long time in those days, but not that long!
But there are other reasons the days in Genesis 1 were literal 24-hour days. On the third day God created grass, herbs, and trees, and every student knows that plants discharge life-giving oxygen and absorb poisonous carbon dioxide. The oxygen discharged by the plants is used by animals and people who then throw off carbon dioxide that is used by the plants! Did that symbiotic relationship happen accidently?
However, if the days were really ages, the plants could not have lived without carbon dioxide since animals were not created until the fifth day. Furthermore, grass and trees (created on the third day) could not grow without the sun, and the sun did not shine until the fourth day. Did the world spin millions of years without sunlight? There is the additional problem of flowers that were created on day three having to wait long ages until insects were created so the flowers could be pollinated. If the day was an age, the flowers, grass, and trees could not have lived, so the days must have been literal 24-hour days.
In Mark 10:6, Jesus was discussing marriage and divorce with the Pharisees when He said, “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.” Here Christ makes it clear that men have been on the earth “from the beginning.” Since Christ declared that Adam was “from the beginning” it must mean that the Earth is about 6,000 years old since the Bible genealogies support that fact. It’s a matter of math. So Bible believers need nothing else to support a young Earth.
You can stand with the atheist/evolutionists if you want as they belch their kooky nonsense but I plan to continue standing with the One who made the Earth “in the beginning.”