God has told us how and when He created the earth. He has not deceived us. We deceive ourselves if we ignore His eyewitness testimony.
Genesis records God creating the earth on Day 1 of the Creation Week and man on Day 6. The genealogies in Genesis 5 and 11, and Luke 3:23-38 enable us to calculate that the earth is only about 6,000 years old.
The Hebrew word translated “day” in Genesis 1 is yom. Whenever that Hebrew word elsewhere in the Old Testament is preceded by a numeral and is described as having an evening and a morning as it also is in Genesis 1, it always means a literal day of approximately 24 hours. So, it is very clear that it also means that in Genesis 1, which is confirmed by Exodus 20:11 and 31:17.
Most dating methods scientists have used to calculate an age for the earth yield a young age. But scientists now use the radioactive methods to some earth rocks as billions of years old. When a parent radioactive atom decays it produces a daughter atom of a different element. Thus, uranium decays to lead, and potassium to argon. By measuring how many daughter atoms are in a rock today and knowing the decay rate of the parent atoms, it can be calculated how long ago all the daughter atoms were originally parent atoms. That is then declared to be the rock’s age.
However, this assumes:
- There were no daughter atoms in the rock when it formed
- Daughter atoms are only in the rock today due to radioactive decay of parent atoms
- The radioactive decay rate has been constant at today’s measured rate
None of these assumptions are provable as no scientists were there when the rocks formed to measure the atoms and the decay rate. Nor are they even reasonable because many examples are known where these assumptions fail. Daughter atoms are known to be inherited by rocks when they form. Subsequent contamination occurs with daughter atoms not derived from radioactive decay. And multiple lines of evidence point to radioactive decay rates having been much faster during a past catastrophic event such as the Flood.
Furthermore, there are many methods using measurable processes which demonstrate the earth must be young. Galaxies are winding themselves up to quickly for them to be billions of years old. There are only thousands of years’ worth of supernova remnants in our galaxy. Comets can only be still existing if the earth is less than 10,000 years old. Likewise, the earth’s magnetic field can only be less than 10,000 years old. Continents are eroding so quickly and there is so little mud from that erosion on the ocean floors. The amount of salt in the sea and helium in the atmosphere also point to a young earth. Likewise, soft tissue and radiocarbon discoveries in fossils. Agriculture and human history are short.
The age of the earth matters because Jesus in John 3:12 said if we don’t believe the earthly things he has told us, then how will we believe the heavenly things, such as the Gospel message itself.
Dr. Andrew Snelling earned his PhD in geology from the University of Sydney, Australia. https://answersingenesis.org/bios/andrew-snelling/