Though Evolution seems to be the unquestioned method of how we came into being, the Lord recorded the creation of the universe, the earth, and all living things in Genesis as happening in 6 literal 24 hour days. Sadly, some Christians today take evolution as fact and therefore attempt to fit Genesis into the evolutionary framework. But the theory of evolution is just that: a theory without any evidence. In fact, there is much evidence to the contrary that supports a young created earth, just as God records it in the first book of the Bible. Even Jesus and Paul point back to the creation as a historic event with a literal Adam and Eve:
And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’ ? (Matthew 19:4-5)
But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3)
For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. (1 Timothy 2:13-14)
…the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Cainan, the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. (Luke 3:37-38)
Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. (Romans 5:14-15)
For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:21-22)
And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. (1 Corinthians 15:45, 47)
Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” (Jude 1:14-15)
Below is an excellent defense (by Dr. Terry Mortenson of Answers in Genesis) of the Biblical 6-day creation account against the modern evolutionary or billions of years theories:
The real issue is not whether there is an intelligent designer or not. Lots of people believe in a vaguely defined “god” but are lost in their sins. The real issue in America and around the world is the truth and authority of the Word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. And the teaching of millions of years even more than the teaching of evolution (which is built on the same antibiblical, naturalistic assumptions) is what keeps people from believing God’s Word. The non-Christian world is generally not impressed with Christians who reject biological evolution but accept millions of years (and thereby reject or ignore the Bible’s teaching on Noah’s Flood). Informed skeptics know that the Bible teaches young-earth creation and a global Flood and that the early chapters of Genesis are foundational to the gospel, and they rightly criticize those who pick and choose which parts of the Bible they want to believe.
Shortly before his death, the famous atheist, Anthony Flew, was won over by ID arguments to believe in a god of some sort. But as far as I know from my reading, he never repented of his rebellion against the Creator or trusted in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. If he didn’t, then according to Scripture he will suffer eternal judgment in hell, which is very sad indeed. Belief in an “intelligent designer” won’t be worth anything on Judgment Day.
Regarding the impact of intelligent design arguments on intellectuals, this IDM strategy of using design arguments that are divorced from Scripture was tried once before, in the early 19th century. But it failed to convert people or to overcome the growing deistic and atheistic skepticism in the once-Christian cultures of Great Britain and North America. In fact, many of those who were arguing for design in this unscriptural way were also leading the church to reject Genesis 1–11 and accept the geological theory of millions of years—50 years before Darwin published his Origin of Species in 1859.
See this lecture based on my PhD research: Millions of Years: Where Did the Idea Come From? For a more in-depth look at this idea and the church’s compromise with it, see the shortened version of my PhD thesis, The Great Turning Point: the Church’s Catastrophic Mistake on Genesis—Before Darwin.
Simply put, the IDM strategy of leaving God and his Word out of the discussion will not defeat naturalism’s control of science. It will not influence most scientists to do their scientific research in a theistic (rather than atheistic) worldview, like the Christian worldview in which modern science was born. Most people will not be convinced simply by scientific arguments. Ultimately, the origins debate is a spiritual battle. Both Darwinian evolution and the idea of millions of years were created in the minds of people in rebellion against their Creator. They were inventing an alternative story to the inspired, inerrant history in Genesis 1–11, so they would not feel the need to be morally accountable to the Creator. That is fundamentally the same reason that most people today believe these ideas and are unwilling to consider Genesis 1–11 and the powerful scientific evidence that confirms that truth.
In our evangelism, we need to present design arguments along with the Scriptures. Don’t let Satan lead you into thinking that in your witness to skeptics who reject the Bible as God’s Word you cannot use the Scriptures at the same time as you use apologetics. Use Scripture and apologetics and never forget that whether people believe it or not, the Bible is the inspired and inerrant Word of God and is sharper than a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). Faith comes from hearing the Word of Christ (Romans 10:17).
I agree with you that “to bring intellectuals to Christ takes good apologetics, love, prayer, and patience (or of course, an encounter with God!).” For 26 years on the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ, I worked mostly with university students or recent graduates in 17 countries (including communist Eastern Europe). In those years and the years since I joined AiG in 2001, I have lectured on evolution and debated evolutionists many times in university contexts. I have found that when scientific evidence is combined with an explanation of what the Bible teaches (even quoting Scripture), students are interested and responsive, and it often opens opportunities for further spiritual discussions.
We need to overcome our fear of using the Bible when we talk to skeptics. We must resist their insistence that we leave the Bible out of the discussion. It doesn’t matter if they don’t believe the Bible. God promises to honor his Word as we humbly and respectfully share it with others. We also need to expose and refute their faulty philosophical presuppositions (which most intellectual skeptics don’t even realize they have).
You say, “To bring them to young-earth creation is much more difficult.” Of course, it often is, because the world has been so thoroughly brainwashed not to believe Genesis. But we should attempt to bring them to Christ first. Still, if the idea of millions of years is a stumbling block to their acceptance of the truth of Scripture and therefore to trust in Christ as Lord and Savior, then young-earth creationist literature and DVDs can be extremely powerful. In the AiG ministry, we have heard or received countless testimonies from around the world showing that young-earth creationists’ biblical and scientific arguments are very effective in helping to bring people to Christ. Note, too, that many of the leading creation scientists today were once old-earthers, and some were even evolutionists.
If you want theological reasons for believing in a young earth, there are many:
- Strong exegetical arguments for literal days in Genesis 1 (see the “Days of Creation” in the section Get Answers and also the section, “Genesis”) are only ever rejected because people believe that “science has proven that the earth and universe are billions of years old.” I could give you many, many quotes by Bible scholars and other Christian leaders who hold to an old-earth view, showing that it is not exegesis of Scripture, but the claims of the naturalism-controlled scientific majority that are driving their interpretations.2 For example, this statement by Old Testament professor Dr. Gleason Archer is typical:
From a superficial reading of Genesis 1, the impression would seem to be that the entire creative process took place in six twenty-four-hour days. If this was the true intent of the Hebrew author . . . this seems to run counter to modern scientific research, which indicates that the planet Earth was created several billion years ago.3
But it is not just a superficial reading of Genesis 1 that gives this impression. As Dr. James Montgomery Boice, the late pastor and speaker on The Bible Study Hour admitted in his helpful commentary on Genesis, it is carefulexegesis that leads to the same conclusion. But as one who accepted millions of years, he too ignored this biblical witness and instead sided with “science” (mistakenly thinking that interpretations of the data are the same as data). He wrote,
We have to admit here that the exegetical basis of the creationists is strong . . . . In spite of the careful biblical and scientific research that has accumulated in support of the creationists’ view, there are problems that make the theory wrong to most (including many evangelical) scientists. . . . Data from various disciplines point to a very old earth and an even older universe.4
It is not “data” that point to an earth and universe billions of years old. It is the interpretation of some of the data (scientific observations) based on anti-biblical, naturalistic (i.e., atheistic) assumptions that lead to such a view. The Bible gives us time-specified genealogies from Adam to Noah and Noah to Abraham and plenty of chronological information to date Abraham quite accurately.
- There are strong arguments against supposing any gaps in the Genesis 5 and 11 genealogies (i.e., those are all literal father-son relationships). But even if there are some missing names (i.e., if a man was the grandson or great-grandson of the previous man), there can be no missing time, because the age of each patriarch is given when the next man is born. For the sake of argument, it wouldn’t matter, if, for example, Seth were the son, grandson, or even great-grandson of Adam.5 Scripture says he was born when Adam was 130 years old. Combining the time covered in Genesis 5 and 11 with other chronological information in the Bible leads to the conclusion that those six literal days of creation were just a little more than 6,000 years ago.6
- The local or tranquil flood views of Genesis 6–9 cannot stand up to careful exegetical scrutiny. The first half of The Genesis Flood (1961) clearly demonstrated that, and old-earth Christian critics have never even attempted to refute the biblical arguments in that epic book. More recently, Dr. Andrew Snelling has presented a thorough biblical argument in the first 125 pages of his 2-volume, 1,100-page defense of Noah’s Flood and biblical earth history, Earth’s Catastrophic Past. For a shorter argument see my recent article, Noah’s Flood: a Unique, Historical, Yearlong, Global Catastrophe.
- The Bible’s teaching on death confirms the young-earth view. Accepting millions of years of geological ages (as the evolutionists interpret the fossil record) destroys the Bible’s teaching on death, which clearly indicates that there was no animal death or human death before the fall. In addition, there could not have been thorns and thistles and cancer (e.g., in dinosaur bones) in God’s “very good” creation. So the rock layers that contain these things can’t be millions of years old but must have been deposited after Adam sinned (primarily during Noah’s flood). Tony, you say that you “understand the importance of the doctrine of original sin and believe that event happened less than 10,000 years ago.” If that is so, then you should be a young-earth creationist. See also “Two Histories of Death” and my more in-depth discussion of this vital point in “The Fall and the Problem of Millions of Years of Natural Evil.”
- Closely related to this is the character of God. The God revealed in the Bible could not possibly have created the universe over millions of years involving death and disease and five mass-extinction events (when 70–90% of the creatures at the time were destroyed), as the evolutionists and old-earth creationists believe. Why not? Because the God of Scripture reveals that in the post-Fall world he cares for his creation (Psalm 104:27–28; Matthew 6:26–30) even though it is groaning and suffering under his curse [Genesis 3:14–19; Romans 8:19–23]). He also commands the Israelites to care for their animals with compassion (e.g., the animals are to receive a Sabbath rest—Exodus 20:10), and Proverbs 12:10 says, “Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.” Righteous sinners would be more righteous than God Almighty if God really created and destroyed billions of animals for no moral reason over millions of years before Adam and called it all “very good,” as old-earth creationists imagine. The God of the Bible is not the god of an old earth (see “The “god” of an Old Earth” and the section on this subject in my article on the fall of man in the previous point above).
- Destroying the Bible’s teaching on death and attacking the character of God (by accepting the idea of millions of years before Adam) results in undermining the doctrine of redemption. Jesus didn’t come just to save sinners spiritually. Christ’s redemptive work will ultimately restore all things (Acts 3:21), redeem all things (Colossians 1:15–20), and liberate all things (Romans 8:19–23) by bringing an end to the curse (Revelation 21:3–5 and 22:3). As his righteousness finally fills the new earth, carnivores and animals dangerous to man will be changed to harmless vegetarians (Isaiah 11:6–9). Those of us going to heaven do not have to look forward to millions of years (really an eternity) of death, disease, and catastrophes. Therefore, belief in millions of years is a subtle attack on the gospel.
- Jesus and the New Testament writers clearly showed that they all took Genesis 1–11 as literal history. In particular, Jesus’ statement in Mark 10:6 reveals that he believed that Adam and Eve were created at the beginning of creation, not billions of years after the beginning. See “But from the Beginning of . . . the Institution of Marriage?” and a more in-depth discussion of Jesus’ view in “Jesus, Evangelical Scholars, and the Age of the Earth”). The apostles likewise believed Genesis was literal history. See chapter 12 in Coming to Grips with Genesis.
Since the Bible clearly teaches young-earth creation, you should need no more evidence. God’s Word teaches it, and that settles it for me. I love science, and because of biblical teaching (e.g., Psalm 19:1; Job 12:7–10; Romans 1:18–20), I know that when the creation is carefully observed and properly interpreted (using the eyewitness testimony of the Creator to guide our interpretation rather than using antibiblical, naturalistic presuppositions to interpret), we will see abundant evidence that God’s Word is indeed true.
But in addition to the clear teaching of Scripture, the scientific arguments for a young earth are numerous and strong.
- The old-earth idea was developed historically, not from “letting the physical facts speak for themselves” but by imposing anti-biblical philosophical assumptions onto the geological observations. See “Philosophical Naturalism and the Age of the Earth: Are They Related?” and the Millions of Years DVD. The rock record is screaming “Noah’s flood” and “young earth.” Secular geologists can’t hear or see the message because of their academic indoctrination in those naturalistic, uniformitarian assumptions. For the same reason, most Christian geologists can’t see or hear the message, in addition to the fact that they have believed the scientific establishment more than the Bible, even though they claim it is the inspired Word of God.
- Dr. John Morris’s book The Young Earth gives a good layman’s summary (with documentation and plenty of pictures) of some of the strongest evidences for a young earth and global Flood. For more in-depth geological arguments, see Dr. Andrew Snelling’s 2-volume Earth’s Catastrophic Past. Excellent DVDs illustrating some of these points are on Mount St. Helens and the Grand Canyon. Because creationist scientists (or any scientists, for that matter) don’t have answers to every question, they are continuing to do research. Following is some of the evidence brought out in these resources:
- There is an almost complete absence of evidence of erosion or soil layers or the activity of living things (e.g., plant roots and burrow marks) at the upper surfaces of the various strata. This lack of evidence of erosion or of biological life shows that each stratum did not lie there for thousands or millions of years before the next layer was deposited.
- Polystrate fossils (usually trees, without roots or branches) cut vertically through more than one layer of different kinds of sedimentary rock (such as sandstone, limestone, or coal). The trees would have rotted and left no fossil evidence if they were slowly buried over thousands or millions of years. These fossils are strong evidence that the sediments that entomb them were deposited rapidly (in minutes, hours, days, or weeks).
- We observe bent or folded sedimentary layers (often more than one layer and kind of rock). In some instances, evolutionists claim that tens or hundreds of millions of years separate the two or more layers that are all bent the same way. There are several prominent examples in Grand Canyon, but this kind of evidence is found in other places around the world. Hard rock can be bent without cracking under great heat and pressure, but the process metamorphoses (changes the minerals and structure of) the rock. The bent or folded sedimentary layers often show no evidence of metamorphism and therefore strongly indicate that they were soft and wet when the earth movements that deformed them occurred.
- Fossils speak of very rapid burial and fossilization. For example, soft parts (e.g., jellyfish, animal manure, skin, and fins of fish) or large, fully articulated skeletons (e.g., whales or large dinosaurs such as T. rex) are preserved. We also find many creatures’ bodies contorted and some creatures fossilized in the stomachs of other creatures. There is also a growing number of reports of finding soft tissue, blood cells and other features in dinosaur fossils, that should not be there if those fossils are really more than 65 million years old. Evolutionists are finding this evidence, but so are creationists. See this book and DVD from scientists associated with the Creation Research Society, which not only explain what has been found but also refute the explanations that evolutionists are making to defend their belief in millions of years. All this evidence shows that these creatures were buried rapidly (in many cases even buried alive) and fossilized before scavengers, microbial decay, and erosional processes could erase the evidence. These are found all over the world and all through the various strata.
- The radiometric dating methods are based on those same naturalistic, uniformitarian, antibiblical assumptions used for interpreting all the other geological evidence, and there is plenty of published evidence proving that they do not give valid dates. Also, consider the arguments in the Radiometric Datingsection of our web site. You cannot expect this icon of evolution to be overthrown in a few short paragraphs. May I also encourage you to reread Thousands . . . Not Billions. You appear to have mistakenly taken as conclusions the “Challenges for the Future” section, which details six unanswered questions requiring further scientific research. This section reflects the scientific honesty and modesty of the RATE researchers. The previous section of that concluding chapter (entitled “RATE findings”), however, summarizes the solid conclusions of their research, including that the isochron dates are totally untrustworthy (contrary to your faith in them). Furthermore, additional work has been done since the RATE research concluded. Consider Circular Reasoning in Dating Methods and Radioactive and Radiocarbon Dating, both DVD lectures are by geologist Dr. Andrew Snelling, one of the RATE researchers. Also consider the challenges that young-earth creationists like Dr. Snelling face because of evolutionist censorship and obstructions to research. This is reflected in the lawsuit that Dr. Snelling had to file in federal court against the Grand Canyon National Park and US Department of the Interior because of the park’s refusal to grant him a research permit to conduct some strategic research that potentially can strike a severe blow against old-earth thinking. (He was eventually granted that permit and is now in the process of laboratory analyses of the rock samples he collected in August 2017. He will publish the results of that geological research in the future.)
- Creationists still have many challenges regarding the scientific evidence for a young universe, but distant starlight is no more of a problem for young-earth creationists than it is for big bang proponents, as explained in The Heavens Declare DVD by five leading creation scientists. And as the DVD Our Created Universe shows, the big bang theory has serious problems.
Both God’s Word and his creation are saying the same thing. And over the past 50 years, true science has been increasingly confirming Scripture. As evolutionists and creationists do more research in the years ahead, we can fully expect that many young-earth creationists’ questions will be answered and will further confirm that God created the whole universe a few thousand years ago. He then cursed his whole creation a short time later because of Adam’s sin and destroyed it with a global, catastrophic, yearlong flood at the time of Noah, just as the Bible clearly teaches.
I hope that you will consider these resources, study Genesis 1–11 more carefully, and then believe and submit to God’s inerrant and authoritative Word in all things.
For more scientific papers and evidence, visit: answersingenesis.org
For the account of creation, read Genesis 1-3.