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Thinking on the Age of the Earth

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • March 23, In the year of our Lord, 2016


  1. Evidence exists to show that the Earth is both relatively young and old.
    1. We treat the subject with equity or fairness
    2. by considering the evidence for both,
      1. which I do not believe happens at the present time
      2. when the world presents to us the age of the Earth or of the universe.
  2. What evidence exists for an old Earth (in the 4 billion year range)?
  3. What evidence exists for a young Earth (in the thousands of years range)?
  4. How do we decide which evidence to take and which to reject?


  1. Thinking on the Age of the Earth
    1. First, Is the Issue of Authority
      1. Do we accept the creature’s authority or the Creator’s authority?
        1. Why would you choose one over the other?
        2. If you chose the Creator’s authority, why do you?
          1. What is His authority?
          2. Is not His witness better than interpreting evidence?
      2. You look at a rock.
        1. How do you know its age?
        2. Does the rock tell you how old it is?
          1. We have both authority and interpretation to consider.
          2. We have to have the gumption to question findings.
    2. Second, Is the Issue of Interpretation
      1. You know how people will say to us:
        1. That’s just your interpretation? well,
        2. that is also true of interpreting the various dating methods.
          1. The rock layers:
            1. Were they laid down over great eons of time? or
            2. Were they laid down during one catastrophic event?
          2. Fossils:
            1. Does the record show one fossil turning into another one? or
            2. Does the record show distinct creatures?
              1. Is the fossil record a tree? or
              2. Is the fossil record parallel lines?
      2. Was Noah’s Flood global?
        1. If so, how does that affect the dating of rocks and fossils?
    3. Third, Have All Dating Methods Been Considered?
      1. Has the believing community considered all dating methods?
      2. Why does anyone reject one set of methods and accept another?
        1. How do we determine which methods to accept and which to reject?
        2. Does it simply come down to bias?
    4. Fourth, Listen Carefully
      1. Listen to how geologists and others they state things or matters.
      2. The Bible does not speak hesitatingly.
        1. The unbelieving community does.
        2. They think that means they are open.
          1. However, they are closed to a Creator.
          2. They know that further research and discovery often changes their conclusions.
    5. Fifth, Do Not Let So-Called Peer-Reviewed Authority Intimidate You
      1. Scientists, including evolutionary scientists, can lie, cheat, commit fraud, have ulterior motives, and a host of other sins, just like the rest of us.
      2. The Science web site to which I subscribe has acknowledged a great deal of fraud among scientists!
        1. Why would they ever commit fraud?
        2. I thought they were objective.
          1. Every scientist is just like the rest of us,
          2. we all have biases and motives.
            1. Sometimes they lie because
              1. it means more money,
              2. it means they are the first,
              3. it means they do not have to submit to a Creator,
              4. it means sometimes they do shoddy work,
            2. Does this mean that all scientists are evil?
              1. No, it is just that they have character problems
              2. just like the rest of the planet.
    6. Sixth, Question Their Findings
      1. Do you just sit there and gullibly swallow everything a preacher says?
      2. If not, why do we do it with those claiming to be scientists?
        1. Science has reached a god-like status in the Western World.
        2. Shall we accept this status without proper investigation?
    7. Seventh, Eisegesis Versus Exegesis
      1. Are they reading information into it or
      2. Are they truly taking out of it what is there?
  2. Use Filters
    1. Is it:
      1. Illogical?
      2. Unscientific?
      3. Unbiblical?
    2. Is he saying that something came from nothing?
    3. Is he saying that order came from chaos?
    4. Is he saying that life came from non-life?
    5. Is he saying that one kind of life turned into another kind of life?
  3. The Bible and the Age of the Earth
    1. Why again do we want to consider what the Bible says,
      1. along with what science says?
      2. The Bible is another piece of evidence or
        1. more precisely it is testimony.
        2. It is the testimony of history and of witnesses.
    2. The Day-Age Theory
      1. “Day” can be used metaphorically
        1. Daylight
        2. 24-hour day
        3. Period in history—back in the day
        4. Event—Day of Judgment
      2. How do we know which one to use?
        1. How do you know what definition to use with any word?
        2. Do you jump to other places to find out the meaning or…what?
      3. The context determines!
        1. Does Genesis 1 define?

          5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day (Gen 1.5).
        2. How else can we understand this, other than days as we know them?
      4. What happens when we come to Gen 1.14–19?

        14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day (Gen 1.14–19).

        1. If the days are millions or billions of years, what are the years?
        2. If “day” is an age, what is “night”?
      5. If the days are ages,
        1. what do we do about plants created on day 3, but
        2. the sun appears on day 4?
          1. If a day was an age,
          2. I think plants would have had trouble making food.
            1. Or did the light of verse 3 provide food for the plants?
            2. Even so, the long day and the long night would kill plants.
      6. What about Second Peter 3.8?

        8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day (2Pe 3.8).

        1. Did Peter say, “A day is a thousand years”?
        2. Or did he say, “A day is as a thousand years”?
        3. He also said it vice versa.
          1. The context
          2. Moreover, if day is a thousand years,
            1. it is a thousand years,
            2. not a million or a billion!
        4. Assume 1 = 1,000 years
          1. How does that help?
          2. Would teach creation in 6,000 years!
      7. If in Genesis 1,
        1. God wanted us to get the idea
        2. that creation happened in 24-hour days,
          1. how else would He have said it,
          2. other than the way that He said it?
    3. Age of the Earth
      1. Jesus to us = 2,000 years
      2. Jesus to Abraham = 2,000 years
      3. Luke 3 = Abraham to Adam — 20 generations
        1. Gen 5 and 11 ages of men and their ages when sons were born
        2. Jude 14 = Enoch 7th from Adam
          1. Leaves 13 generations for gaps.
          2. Have to insert 308,000 years on average between each gap.
            1. Why precision on other generations, but
            2. not with these 13?
      4. The Sabbath shows the days as 24-hour days,

        8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it” (Exo 20.8–11).
    4. NT Evidence
      1. The Lord’s testimony,

        6 “But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female’” (Mark 10.6).

        1. If man is only 4 million years old on a 4.5 billion year planet,
        2. is he a new-comer or a late-comer?
      2. Paul’s testimony,

        20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse… (Rom 1.20).
    5. Evolutionists of one form or another do not even consider
      1. the Global Flood of Noah.
        1. Why makes the historicity of the Flood important?
        2. How does it fit in a discussion of the age of the Earth, and evolution?
      2. Was it world-wide?
        1. If it was local, why build an ark?
        2. If it was local, they could have moved out of the area.
      3. Notice how often “the earth” appears,

        9 But the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, and she returned into the ark to him, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took her, and drew her into the ark to himself (Gen 8.9).

        1. Noah and his family were the only righteous people on the earth.
        2. See how often “all flesh” is used in this account:

          12 So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth (Gen 6.12).

          17 “And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die” (Gen 6.17).

          19 “And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female (Gen 6.19).

          15 And they went into the ark to Noah, two by two, of all flesh in which is the breath of life (Gen 7.15).

          21 And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man (Gen 7.21).

          17 “Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth” (Gen 8.17).

          11 “Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth” (Gen 9.11).

          15 “and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth” (Gen 9.15–17).

        3. Why bring the animals onto the ark,
          1. if the Flood was local, for
          2. the animals would have survived in other places?
        4. Water seeks it own level.
          1. Therefore, a local flood would not have covered the mountains.
          2. What impression do the following give?

            19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered. 20 The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered (Gen 7.19–20).

            4 Then the ark rested in the seventh month, the seventeenth day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat (Gen 8.4).

        5. Why did the dove come back to the ark?

          8 He also sent out from himself a dove, to see if the waters had receded from the face of the ground. 9 But the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, and she returned into the ark to him, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took her, and drew her into the ark to himself (Gen 8.8–9).
        6. If it was a local flood,
          1. has God kept His promise?

            21 And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done” (Gen 8.21).

            11 “Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth” (Gen 9.11).

          2. Also, the Global Flood makes a basis
            1. for the future destruction of the Earth,

              4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men (2Pe 3.4–7).
            2. If the Flood was only a local one,
              1. how does that affect the final end of all things?
              2. Is the Final Judgment local or global?
                1. What does all of Second Peter 3 say?
                2. It pictures a global judgment as in the days of Noah.
      4. What does the Global Flood mean for the age of the Earth?
        1. Consider the amount of water that created the Flood.
          1. For how long did it rain?
          2. What was the other source of water?
        2. What kind of damage would a flood that size cause?
          1. Not just the rising of the waters would cause damage, but
          2. the receding of the waters would cause a reworking of the surface.
            1. You would expect to see sedimentary layers over all the Earth.
            2. You would expect to see things turned over and lifted.
            3. You would expect to find fossils.
            4. Everything that you would expect to find, we find.
        3. Consider the layers of earth.
          1. How do geologists say the layers formed?
          2. This is one of their main arguments for evolution, because
            1. the fossils appear in different layers, and
            2. they claim the layers are separated by millions of years.
              1. However, if the Flood happened,
              2. what does that do to this idea?
                1. It denies the ancient age of the Earth.
                2. It denies Macro-Evolution.
  4. The Young Earth by Bert Thompson
    1. [Divide class up into groups and have them read sections and explain it to the rest of class along with my questions]
    2. Time
      1. To whom is time a friend?
        1. Evolutionists
        2. Geologists
      2. Why do geologists like huge amounts of time for evolution?
        1. Obviously things do not happen over night.
        2. They believe that with enough time anything can happen.
      3. Are the long ages well-established facts?
        1. No, but the large amounts of time of which they speak,
        2. serve to overwhelm people with numbers they cannot comprehend.
      4. How is it that time to the geologist is like space to the astronomer?
        1. It is vastness beyond the thinking of the people.
        2. Either one makes all things possible.
    3. Population Growth
      1. What kind of figures do we get by using the mathematical formula?
      2. Which model of origins best fits our current world population?
      3. Do you know what exponential growth is?
    4. Breakdown of the Earth’s Magnetic Field
      1. What is the magnetic field?
        1. It protects our atmosphere from dangerous solar winds.
        2. It is generation by Earth’s moving core.
      2. Is it like any other natural phenomenon, that it depletes in time?
      3. If so, what does this mean for our atmosphere and the age of the Earth?
    5. Shrinkage of the Sun
      1. How much is the sun shrinking?
      2. At that rate, does the size of the sun fit the old Earth or young Earth model better?
      3. Do you see a problem with this argument?
        1. The argument says that at the present rate of shrinkage, the Sun would have been touching the Earth sometime in the past.
        2. However, that assumes that the Earth would somehow maintain its present system, whereas it would simply have been father out.
    6. Hydrogen in the Universe
      1. If the universe is billions of years old, should there be any hydrogen left?
      2. Why? Hydrogen is constantly being converted into helium.
  5. Do Ice Cores Support a Young or an Ancient Earth?
    1. In my research I discovered that old-earth people argue
    2. that ice cores show ages around 170,000 years,
      1. which they argued is a far cry from the 6,000 years that young Earth creationists support.
      2. However, I would 170,000 is a who lot closer to 6,000 years
        1. than it is to 4 billion years.
        2. Moreover, ice cores show that the rates of ice build-up change greatly over time.
    3. See the story on
  6. What About Starlight?
    1. If the Earth is relatively young (thousands of years), but
      1. if some starlight takes hundreds of thousands, or millions, or billions of light years to arrive at Earth,
      2. how do we explain this scenario?
    2. First,
      1. science changes constantly,
      2. the word of God never changes.
        1. What will man say in 50 years
        2. is the distance of the stars?
    3. Second, how do they determine the speed of light?
    4. Third, does the speed of light decay like everything else in the universe?
    5. Fourth, as starlight makes its journey to Earth, does anything affect its path?
      1. We have performed experiments in which we sped up light 300 times.
      2. We have performed experiments in which we almost stopped light.
      3. Why do we think phenomenon like black holes exist?
      4. Does light passing by from a more distant star on its way to earth,
        1. get pulled in completely?
        2. get detoured momentarily?
        3. get slowed down?
        4. affected by “dark matter”? (e.g., light travels slower in water than air.)
        5. travel in a curve?
      5. We can stop light with any object, unlike gravity.
      6. We can change the direction of light by reflection.
    6. What does the Bible mean when it refers to the Lord stretching the heavens?
      1. Psalm 104.2
      2. Isaiah 40.22
      3. Isaiah 42.5
      4. Isaiah 44.24
      5. Isaiah 45.12
      6. Isaiah 48.13
      7. Isaiah 51.13
      8. Jeremiah 10.12
      9. Zechariah 12.1
      10. Does this provide us with insight into the light God had appear on the first day of creation?
      11. If not, could the light of Genesis 1.3 be the light of God shinning into the natural creation?
        1. Notice First Corinthians 4.6.
        2. Psalm 74.16 also makes a distinction between light and the sun.
    7. If the light of Genesis 1.3 does not refer to the sudden expansion of the heavens and the light that created the stars, is it possible that it refers to God’s light shinning into the creation?
      1. We know that the last three chapters of Revelation
      2. show that the things lost in the first three chapters of Genesis
        1. the Lord will restore, or
        2. He will remove, depending upon what the item is.
      3. Natural Creation
        1. Genesis 1.1
        2. Revelation 20.11
      4. A Home For Man
        1. Genesis 2.8
        2. Revelation 21.10
      5. Satan
        1. Genesis 3:1
        2. Revelation 20.10
      6. Pain And Sorrow
        1. Genesis 3.8
        2. Revelation 21.4
      7. The Curse
        1. Genesis 3.16–19
        2. Revelation 22.3
      8. The Tree Of Life
        1. Genesis 3.22–24
        2. Revelation 22.14
      9. Could it also be that the light of heaven was the light in creation?
        1. Genesis 1.3
        2. Revelation 21.23–24; 22.5