When people talk about the age of the universe/earth and fossil records do these things contradict parts of the creation account? Is there actual proof or are they all just theories?

I saw that science was an interest so I’m gonna ask some science questions lol

When people talk about the age of the universe/earth and fossil records do these things contradict parts of the creation account? Is there actual proof or are they all just theories?

Also are there books I can read to gain a better understanding of the science behind the creation account?

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Hello Luna,

I think the thing that has been the most helpful for me as I have thought through these types of questions is to ask the question, “What question is this source really trying to answer?” Our thinking gets a bit blurry when we try to demand more from a source than that source claims to be giving. For example, using science to establish answers to questions about meaning and purpose is attempting to use science for more than it claims for itself. If we aren’t careful we can do the same thing to scripture which is primarily answering the “Who” and “Why” questions rather than the “How” questions. However, while it appears that Genesis is answering agency questions rather than mechanism questions, mechanisms do tell us something about the character and nature of the agent. The Bible gives us an order to the creation of our flora and fauna that does largely match what we know scientifically, but it leaves room for some variation when it comes to the time line. Augustine thought that God created everything all at once, which reminds us that Christians have been asking how these timelines fit together for a very long time. This isn’t a new question. In fact, The Fundamentals, a series of publications from the early 1900s where we get the term ‘Fundamentalism,’ states that there are at least four different ways to interpret the timeline of creation while still remaining faithful to scripture. John Lennox in books like “Seven Days that Divide the Earth” also points to the history of these questions.

Now, more to your point about contradictions, I like John Polkinghorn’s distinction in his essay (and later a book) A belief in God in an Age of Science between contradiction and paradox. With a contradiction we have pieces of information that certainly can’t fit together. With paradoxes we have things that we don’t understand how they fit together, but hopefully someday will (like how light travels). The take away here is that there are some things that we really don’t actually know and we hold those questions with open hands and excitement for our future discoveries. At the same time, when I read Genesis I am left with no uncertainty about who created the world (God), and who helped him (no one), and what He created out of (nothing), and the fact that He has big plans and purposes that He will take from a very good beginning to a very good conclusion! Let’s delight in what we do know, and grin about what we are yet to discover!

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