Thursday, January 20, 2011

How Old Is Stuff?

How old is stuff? I don't know, but I don't think it's necessary that it's billions upon billions of years--not even million upon millions. It's not that I do not understand radiometric dating, the geologic record, or the concept of a light year. I think there is ample evidence to posit that the universe is something over 13 billion years, and that our solar system is well over 4. Folks who can do that kind of thing say the math works out--I don't doubt that it does.

The fact is, however, I have a credible witness who says the biblical account of creation is true, and that would make stuff orders of magnitude younger. He spoke of Adam and Eve as real people at the beginning, and spoke of Noah and the great flood as real history rather than a metaphor. Perhaps he should be written off as just a crazy rube, an ignorant man of his times, but he proved his trustworthiness by doing that which no one has ever done. Without a PhD, calculus, or a computer he, Antonio Cromartie like, announced his intents, and then went ahead and backed up his words up by dying and rising from the dead (and without any assistance!).

No cosmologist, paleogeologist, evolutionary biologist or any other scientist has ever willingly offered themselves to death so they could prove their mastery by raising themselves back to life on the third day. When they do, maybe I'll listen to them instead of Jesus when they talk about our genesis. It is not that they are dumb, or even mistaken about their evidence, its their forensics I take issue with. Like folk trying to definitively settle the Ripper case, the best they can do is spin a tale that fits the facts, but they'll never decisively prove their case after the fact.

So why is there so much heavy duty evidence for billions upon billions of years? I would think it would be a given that creation would reflect the properties of its Creator. God is infinite and timeless: he is from everlasting to everlasting and is everywhere. What would one expect a universe created by such a being to look like? It seems evident to me, it should look really, really big and appear really, really old. Otherwise, it would give a false representation of its maker.

Some old-earthers say that amounts to deception, but I honestly don't know how it would. It's perfectly reflective of God's attributes and it speaks parabolically to the pride of man. There has always been an issue with humankind as to whether we will depend upon God's word or our own reasoning. As it was for Adam and Eve in the Garden, so it is with us generation after generation. God says one thing, our reasoning says another--faith goes with God, pride goes with us, and soon thereafter comes the splat.

It's not that there are not reasonable clues out there that stuff hasn't been around all that long. We could see it if we were willing, some do, most do not. When we look at stuff, it should reveal the majesty of our infinite, eternal maker, without necessarily providing any clues as to how we've gotten here (that is what Genesis is for after all). I don't have any problem saying that stuff does so without the necessity of billion upon billion years of age, nor for that matter, that unbiblical formation concept called evolution.

5 comments:

  1. It seems evident to me, it should look really, really big and appear really, really old. Otherwise, it would give a false representation of its maker.

    Some old-earthers say that amounts to deception, but I honestly don't know how it would.


    You message on this post seems somewhat mixed. I agree the world looking huge reflects God. I don't see it looking old give the same impression about God. I think it does amount to deception (depending on what old seems to some people).

    It is glasses. Do you wear young or old glasses. If you think it is old it may appear old. If you think it is young then it is interpreted as young.

    I think the world looks young. But if it consistently looked old thru my young glasses then this would seem odd to me.

    So I agree with the old earther complaint about deception you mentioned. The solution is that the world does not look old, but that old earthers see it that way because of their presuppositions. In other words: if the world truly appeared old this would be deceptive, but the problem is not that it appears old, it is that you falsely read the data.

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  2. bethyada,
    Welcome to the Sound.

    I think the message from God is, well, mixed. The expanse of the universe, the light years of space we can see into give at least the illusion of great age. Elemental decay also gives at least the appearance of great age. There is no reason for that to be so if it was not purposely intended by God. One of his purposes in creation was to declare his glory, to reflect his attributes. His timelessness is reflected in the seemingly awesome age apparent in a relatively young creation.

    I take the Bible, as did Jesus, to be historically accurate. So my glasses are young, but the traverse of light and the decay of elements certainly look old to me.

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  3. Hello SLW
    The stuff only looks old because you spent your entire childhood being told that big things are old etc. So we see a mountain and assume it's old.

    Someone who spends his career in the Grand Canyon doing tours has said that there was one year when 40ft of mud and stuff was laid down by rainfall etc.

    It doesna tek lang, laddie.

    Happy Burns' Night.

    See, knowing me is an education in itself.

    Anthea

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  4. Anthea,
    Great to hear from you again.

    Believe it or not, I actually don't think the Grand Canyon looks old, nor do fossils, not even things like the mid-ocean ridges, etc. The light from some stars and galaxies on the other hand, does look old because the source is so far away, it would have required billions of years for it to arrive here. The radioactive decay of some materials also appears as to have occurred over extremely long periods of time.

    That appearance of age has to have some explanation in light of biblical revelation concerning origins. I believe that an explanation that works is that the creation was made by God with the appearance of age. Light was created in transit, and some amount of daughter molecules were made at the same time as their mothers. Some would call that deceptive, but I see that as parabolic--so that seeing they do not see.

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  5. Hello SLW
    I see what you mean about the light. Your strongest point was the observation that we must decide on to trust God's word on page one, if we are to trust His promises on the later pages of the Bible.

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