Old Earth Creationists look at the time required for distant starlight to reach us, and it seems to insist that the days in Genesis must not be literal. How does God fill the world with forests that seem centuries old in a single day? How do animals fill the air, sea and land fully grown on days five and six? How does Adam become a grown man in moments? Are these days really days?
Young Earth Creationists look at phrases like, “the evening and the morning” were the first, second, third day, etc. which seem to insist that they must be literal days. Surely the ancient Jews understood that they worked six literal days and rested a seventh because that’s what God did. Every fall, they celebrate Rosh Hashanah, “The Head of the Year” as the anniversary of the first day of creation – hardly something their forefathers could have pinpointed if the days were vast epochs.
I would like to propose a synthesis wherein a universe that really is billions of years old really could have been created in six short days.
I would like to see if the proposal seems plausible to Old Earth Creationists (OEC) and Young Earth Creationists (YEC) alike.
What if, instead of figurative days spanning vast epochs of time, they are literal days in which vast epochs of development are compressed as in a time-lapse film?
Galaxies whirl away to the furthest reaches of the cosmos as angels watch the breathtaking kaleidoscope of the heavens – eons of expansion in a single night as the universe grows old in hours!
Seedlings vibrate up from the ground, swell into giant trees, drop seeds and replicate across the landscape all in a morning’s work.
Adam is formed in moments as God breathes upon him – he grows through all the embryonic stages, through infancy and adolescence, through puberty and early manhood to his prime, all in rapid motion.
All because of time dilation in a universe expanding at nearly the speed of light. And as the expansion slows through the week, the time dilation decreases.
So on Day One, billions of years worth of development whirl through the heavens.
On Day Two, millions of years worth of planetary and atmospheric development occurs.
On Day Three, hundreds of thousands of years worth of geologic convulsions raise the land mass out of the covering ocean.
On Day Four, millennia of forestation overspreads the earth.
On Day Five, centuries of fowl and fish fill the skies and seas.
On Day Six, generations of land animals multiply outward from Eden, and near the end of the day, decades of human development unfold in moments until Adam awakens fully grown.
I once heard a very prominent Research Professor of Philosophy who is an OEC say, I thought in jest, that the only way the universe could have been literally created in six short days would be if everything happened in rapid motion. I wondered why he didn’t take that concept more seriously.
This avoids the criticism of God being deceptive by giving an apparent age that isn’t real – or creating a light beam that records an exploding nova that never actually existed. The nova did explode – the age really happened. It just all happened a lot faster in a universe expanding near the speed of light.
OECs – is there anything here that is logically impossible?
been reading your thread post(s) on this one (Old Earth Creationists - is the position that a) God didn't or that b) He couldn't?) with interest of late. I’m not a scientist. Having grown up in a YEC denomination, Currently I’m fairly agnostic towards the age of the earth, where it does not compromise the Gospel. I’ve read John Lennox’s book ‘7 days that divide the world’ and really enjoyed it; the old is a day really a day (yom in the hebrew), as well as all Lennox’s other books. He’s my favourite author I think.
The only issue I would question is a moral problem, if a position holds to any kind of apes-man evolution. Genesis 2.4 explicitly states Adam was from dust. I would ask the question of those that hold to theistic biological evolution (apes to man, etc); In the (apes to man) historical timeline, At what point did man become morally responsible before God? Animals are not morally responsible.
some interesting thoughts… if I can comment, just for the sake of conversation.
starlight is an interesting one. have you seen the thread (Distant star light and the age of the earth?) if earth was made first or at the exact same time as the rest of the cosmos, why couldn’t God have stretched out the heavens in all directions starting from earth’s perspective. seems pretty simple to me.
Have you looked into the research about whether the earth is the centre of the universe? I’m no scientist, but have a read of these few quotes. Do you think any of these scientists are looking at the data with a completely un-biased approach? it appears not, they questioned their instruments.
According to NASA’s COBE and WMAP satellites and the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite, the answer is Yes.
What you choose to make of this data is up to you.
AND NO! They are not saying this because “Every point in the Universe looks like the Center to the observer.”
Around 2004, NASA discovered the EARTH was the CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE. This is the most profound discovery in the entire history of science, why haven’t you heard of it?
Lawrence Krauss, PhD is a Professor of Theoretical Physics at Arizona State and arguably the loudest spokesperson for Atheism on the planet.
He states -
But when you look at CMB map, you also see that the structure that is observed, is in fact, in a weird way, correlated with the plane of the earth around the sun. Is this Copernicus coming back to haunt us? That’s crazy. We’re looking out at the whole universe. There’s no way there should be a correlation of structure with our motion of the earth around the sun — the plane of the earth around the sun — the ecliptic. That would say we are truly the center of the universe.
The new results are either telling us that all of science is wrong and we’re the center of the universe, or maybe the data is simply incorrect , or maybe it’s telling us there’s something weird about the microwave background results and that maybe, maybe there’s something wrong with our theories on the larger scales.
At first, scientists simply laughed this off as some kind of fluke or mistake, because it just couldn’t be real. Even though the findings were confirmed by looking back at the earlier COBE satellite data.
Rather than admit what they had discovered, NASA tried to prove the WMAP satellite was broken. quote –
So perplexing is the axis of evil that Hinshaw and WMAP’s principal investigator, Chuck Bennett, have obtained a grant for a five-year examination of the WMAP data. They hope to explore the possibilities that the WMAP instrument was in error, or that something else went wrong. “There’s no question there’s stuff that looks unusual,” says Bennett.
We will have to wait and see whether the study reveals the axis of evil to be a cosmic mirage, or shows the big bang model to be in serious trouble.
After about 10 years of failed attacks on the WMAP data, the scientists hoped that the European Space Agency’s PLANCK Satellite would finally discredit the data.
Here’s what they found -
Matthew R. Francis, PhD. is a physicist, and Director of the MD Anderson Planetarium from 2007-09.
Finally, the strange anomaly WMAP first observed in 2001 at the largest scales is still there. Some people held out hope that the WMAP results were a fluke, an error arising from the observatory’s basic construction. However, Planck is sufficiently different in design to make that hope futile.
The effect is real. (Some sources made this sound like it’s something new, but maybe that’s because cosmologists tried not to call attention to it in the last decade. )
The PLANCK Satellite’s lead cosmologist took this approach -
"Why characteristics of the CMB should relate to our solar system is not understood. … I was explicitly told not to say anything about God in this talk “which I’ve just violated,” Efstathiou said half-jokingly.
The universe, in fact, has no center. Ever since the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago, the universe has been expanding. But despite its name, the Big Bang wasn’t an explosion that burst outward from a central point of detonation. The universe started out extremely compact and tiny. Then every point in the universe expanded equally, and that continues today. And so, without any point of origin, the universe has no center.
So this is logically saying
the big bang 13.7 billion years ago was the start
it wasn’t an explosion
the universe started out extremely compact and tiny
every point in the universe expanded equally
therefore, there is no point of origin (I’m sorry what exactly was point one!)
time is an interesting one. What exactly is time - the passing of events basically?
I’ve always pondered time in relation to size. An ant, who walks the distance of the length of my foot takes time to do so; and yet my foot is in both places at once all the time.
a ‘literal day’ as we know it is the time it takes for earth to rotate once.
ok, ‘day one’ being one literal earth day? you might get away with this one, due to time dilation as the universe expands rapidly.
As far as I can tell; this is a flat contradiction; you can’t have both here. Either it’s one earth day (one spin of the earth) or it is not. Maybe on day 1&2 you get can away with ‘long time frames in outer space while the earth spins once’; but not on earth. It’s either one earth day or it’s not.
I think the argument that God is deceptive by making a universe that looks old but isn’t is a bit of a red herring. When someone says ‘God is deceptive’ they making are value judgement; placing themselves over God in judgement. God created the lot, and owns the lot; and he can do it however he wants. I think that God has revealed a balance of evidence, so that every person, at their intellectual capability still has a choice to follow Him or reject Him, of their free-will.
the science currently tells us there is an appearance of age (science always changes, and it’s findings and interpretation of the data are almost always influenced by the scientists worldview)
the Bible states 6 days (sure it was written by the ancients, but you have to ask 'is Scripture really inspired and is it revelation of God revealing himself? as 1 Tim 3:16-17. Of course the text says all scripture is profitable “for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”. It doesn’t say science, these are all moral areas.
I don’t think you can have both YEC and OEC to be both true at the same time. It’s too much of a stretch. Am I 100% sure which is true? no, not so that I would die for it. I still lean heavily towards YEC but have learnt a lot about the various views over the last 5 years. I think I am agnostic towards the age of the earth, but I’m fairly strong on Adam being the first literal human created from dust, with a moral duty towards his Creator. Death (including nephesh-chayyah animal death) before the Fall is also an issue for me.
just my thoughts, for the sake of conversation. I don’t have it all together.
Thank you @matthew.western - very interesting - I’d never heard of that Axis of Evil stuff before - a lot to ponder!
I see the issue that if you’re looking from earth’s perspective, time dilation could make everything else accelerate through eons in hours, but then, applying time dilation to earth through the rest of the week, requires a different perspective - what exactly would that be?
To be honest, I’m not really sure. God at the epicenter of creation? Earth orbiting Him at something short of light speed? According to what you’ve cited above, our galaxy’s not so far from that epicenter as folks once thought!
We’re traveling around the Milky Way at 515,000 mph right now, so there’s already some time dilation going on with us relative to the center of our galaxy.
But without a background in physics, I’ll admit I can’t go very far with this. I’m just mulling over the possibilities.
And you’ve now contributed to the mulling - so thanks for your thought provoking post!
same with me, I’d not heard of it either and was puzzled by it; I was reading up on it as well as I’m interested. the so called ‘axis of evil’ is copied from George Bush’s famous term when he was in office. I think the atheists position that earth is not special, nor is it in a special position; helps to add to atheistic worldview. They call it the ‘axis of evil’ because it goes against the so called ‘Copernican principle’ which basically says ‘earth is not special’.
Seems like the more you read, the less you know. I generally read enough to try to question atheists (in particular) worldview to try to get them to think. I particularly like the Moral argument for God’s existance; and the Cosmological (and the fine tuning argument for design) for God’s existence. Both of these arguments stem from the Biblical principals that we intrinsically know that God exists from both creation (the outside universe) and our own moral conscience (how all humans have this knowledge that I ‘ought’ to live a certain way) and we have to actively suppress this knowledge (Romans 1) in order to reject God.
I can’t see there is an option to try to get both to be true. We need to remember the law of non contradiction here. We can’t say something is both ‘one earth day’ and ‘millions of earth years’ at the same time; as they are in the exact same category of time; earth-time. It’s a contradictory statement.
If we say ‘one earth day happened at the same time of millions of years of non earth time’ it’s still a little questionable but maybe we could get away with it. I’m sure someone training in philosophy would point out the category errors; but I’m not trained nor am good at spotting category errors.
I’m fairly happy in the YEC camp, yet I don’t have a problem with Christians who are in the OEC camp. I don’t think both can be true at the same time, but I do like the term ‘being agnostic on the age of the earth’; I borrowed it from @Clint who was going to write a paper on it. Not sure if he did that as I’ve not seen him on the forum for a while. @Clint, have you finished your paper and are able to share yet?
Hmm, I think God is outside the universe, having created it (we know the universe exists and Science is what that is for), and upholds the whole lot with the Word of His power ; If God had not entered into his creation, we would not know anything about him. We need Him to reveal Himself (the person of Jesus Christ and the Bible). Hebrews 1:1-3 And yet as we know from Scripture God is not distant or uncaring; we just look at the Cross for that question. One of the most profound quotes that still makes me stop and think is from John Lennox “What is God doing on a cross, suffering at dying at the hands of his creation?”. To really stop and ponder this deeply leaves us in no other position than of humility and of wonder for his Love.
On God’s ‘location’; I’m reminded of the CS Lewis quote about the Russian cosmonaut going into outer space for the first time and declaring there is no God is Hamlet going into his attic and looking for Shakespeare.
The excerpt from Tim Keller’s good ‘Reason for God’ I remember is here.
it’s interesting to think about these things, great discussion.
I like your reasoning. One day I ask myself, should we measure God’s time with the Earth’s one rotation time, what about the rotation time of other planets, what about the rotation of the sun? Does the sun have day and night? for one day, what about the rotation of the moon? Has anybody have proof of any thing that appeared in one day, What about Jesus Christ, why He did not showed himself already on his 33 year old man?.
The more I understand reality, I believe more in the Eternal Creator God.
I’ve been thinking about this topic off and on since I introduced it.
I think that the idea of a universe expanding near the speed of light can easily account for billions of years worth of aging accelerating through a single 24 hour period on earth.
But someone raised the legitimate concern that beginning on the second day, the focus now turns to the earth itself, and time dilation won’t continue to explain how events can fast forward on the earth simulateously with its own 24-hour day.
But here’s the thing. Before Einstein published his Theory of Relativity in 1905, no one had ever heard of E=mc2, no one had ever imagined anything like time dilation at light speed, there was no rational way to explain how a universe could become billions of years old while 24 hours went by on earth.
But God knew about it! God knows a thousand ways to do things men are convinced are impossible. God knows exactly how Days 2-6 could accelerate vast epochs worth of development through five 24-hour days.
Isn’t it amazing that the moment you show how something can be done, some people will decide, “Well, okay - maybe God could’ve done it that way after all then.” But they won’t believe “He could’ve done it that way after all” before the “how” was identified. It’s like some people will only believe what they can explain. But I’m thinking, isn’t the whole idea of a miracle to show that God’s ways are higher than ours?
And if we start from the assumption that there’s a secret here to fathom, then we can explore in the right direction and perhaps unlock incredible mysteries in the universe. But if we just pass it off and think, “Oh, there’s nothing there - it obviously took vast millennia to do this - never mind all that evening and morning stuff - we know it’s just poetry,” then I can’t help wondering what all we could miss out on because the more literal approach was too challenging to understand.
Or what glory God might be robbed of because the awe that was due Him for what He had done was diluted.
Oh, well - I’m no scientist. I just like to ponder things. Thanks for bringing me back to this backburner thought!
Hello James. It is great to learn that someone else is interested in the Glory of Our God and his Creation.
I was also on one of those living a blind faith, but after I herd Rabi Zacharias, John Lennox, Abdul Murray, Frank Tureck and others for quite some time, I also must say I have no enough blindness to ignore so much evidence available today, about our God our Creator. to shout joyfully, about the privilege to be on my way to dwell in the near future, before his Holly presence.
My only desire is to outreach as many religious and no religious people, to invite them to start a journey together with me. and learn how to present a genuine apologia, about the Bible and the natural certainty of His creation.
I hope we can continue our conversation, to share ideas an questions with each other, because I have so many myself.
This issue of short or long creation days was once one my questions, but after I understood that the time is taken as the rotation of the Earth, I ask myself, what about the time of rotation every other stars and planets.
I also ask myself, Is there any evidence of anything that has popped up just by magic, or what about Jesus Christ being the son of God. How is that He did not showed up Himself to humanity, already as an old gown up Holy Person, and prove his divinity by doing what the Jewish people expected.
You see, I am not able to buy the idea of Creation time, of today’s religion.
Yo naci en Los Estados Unidos (I was born in the US) y espanol no es mi idioma nativa (and Spanish is not my native language) pero, pensi que te gustaria recibir un saludo en tu lengua nativa (but I thought you’d like to receive a greeting in your native tongue). Yo hablo solo espanol uno y espanol dos (I only speak Spanish I and Spanish II)!
I can see now that will be better for us, to enjoy a more meaningful communication tool to enjoy or common interest.
I have lived here in Australia for around 42 years, but my English language has evolved just enough to share basic ideas.
I am an electronic technician, that have enjoyed God’s Blessings for quite some time, I steel use it in may part time income source of today, by which The Lord has being always very faithful to me.
But my passion is, in building OzEternity movement in Sydeny, hopping to bring RZIM an his apologetic quest, to change the world blind faith mentality, to a more rational faith with the ability to present enough evidences to prove our Christian Faith.
That God is real and He is a source of the human rationality, in the relativistic mind in today’s humanity.
That’s pretty close. The way i would prefer to word it is that He designed the universe and then materialized it, including the design process, built-in.
So the actual “time” the planning process took would be unknown, since it was before time as we know it. However, the materialization or manifestation only required the “Let there be…'s”, which were released during 6 days as we know them, to establish a weekly pattern for us.
So, when we look at what we think is a very old universe, that would be true in a sense, but the great “age” is due to the full track record of the design process being revealed, not physical time as we measure it. Then, scientists interested in the age of the universe are studying the pre-Plan “Mind of God”.
May seem far-fetched, but if we can make a 3-D movie showing what realistically looks like a “big bang” and the expansion of the galaxies, and have it look convincing, why couldn’t the Master Designer do even better in 4-D (or more)?
Again, not to deceive us, but to offer us a choice as to whether to take His account for it, or hold onto our own best guesses apart from His Word, which has to be allowed for faith to be developed.
If we are then deceived, it would be our own suppression of the knowledge of the Creator that is the cause rather than His deliberate wanting to deceive us. Yet, if we turn to Him, He can then empower our trust that His Word is right, as usual, and our senses are of very limited value, as usual.
What do you see as the main reason this concept doesn’t answer the topic question? Thanks, again.
So, it sounds like you are proposing that God, something like a set designer preparing the stage for a play, artistically planned for the universe to have an ancient look and then created it that way in six days - is that it?
The problem i think i have with that way of wording it is that it implies the universe “looks old”, both now and when it was created.
But that perception of “oldness” is based on our presuppositions that it couldn’t have been created with the design process built in.
Otherwise, we would just see a beautiful universe that was spoken into existence in 6 days as we have been told by Him – the pre-Creation “age” wouldn’t appear as “oldness” but rather as part of the final design.
Thus, we would have a sense of wonder and appreciation that He could do such an infinitely good job of creating in so little time, as well as briefly describing His work for us. Kind of like the shephards of ancient times gazing at the night skies and feeling His goodness.
I am very trilled by your interest in understanding or exploring this issue.
This is an interesting topic, that seem to waved all the time by creationists and evolutionists.
To me there are two points of view with which both sides argue all the time; the creationists hold the view of 6 days of 24 hours, the evolutionists seem to be even more fantastic in their thinking.
I lean more to the evolutionists, but not in agreement with the monkey story, rather accepting that Our God is firstly Eternal, and He is to me an logical minded Being, with a mind of process in everything He makes. which includes my own life what I understand more and more today.
Just think of the way He may have started and build the fundamental things to make the first dust , then the time he took even to make the Earth, before you consider the 24 hours time.
I will ask him all about it when I meet him again.
Well, Genaro, i too am encouraged by someone looking closely into this question. Thank you. Perhaps our Lord / Forever-Friend is wanting to reveal to us a possible bridge between the “scienfitic-observer mindset” and the “Bible-believer mindset”. If so, then we are seeking the “Bendiciones mindset”, yes?
And to James, i value your wilingness and patience in continuing to question my thinking. I wonder if you would be willing to imagine the following scenario:
Suppose you and i had a large (vast) budget and wanted to make a highly realistic movie, in 4 dimensions (adding pre-Creation time as the 4th), of the history of the universe.
It would take a considerable amount of time for us to create the sets and scenery, and then record the “evolution” (or continous change) from nothing to “big bang” to “just-before Creation Day 1”, true? And special “reverse-scientific glasses” would have to be worn to view the final movie to give the idea we would want of “Billions of Years in the Making”, as if it really happened in our physical universe, instead of in our movie studios.
If you can see that we could (given enough talent and effort and budget) conceivably create a beautiful and realistic-looking experience for the viewer, then why couldn’t our all-powerful, all-knowing, all-capable God and Father do something similar, as actual universe history?
Each Day of Creation would then be the unveiling of a multi-dimensional layer of the planned and simulated universe we would have developed. Of course the layer could be unveiled / revealed in a nanosecond or less, but for the sake of establishing a pattern of weekly time periods, we could only add one layer per Creation Day, for 6 Days.
Hey, what an idea we have here! We could make millions on the proof that the universe truly can be both old and young at the same “time”. Got any budget for it?
I’m a little short on cash…