Dinosaurs became extinct about 65 million years ago, long before any humans existed. The reason why scientists who study dinosaurs reached this conclusion is radiometric dating of the rocks in which dinosaurs fossils are found.
Geologists by the early 19th century had worked out that fossils appear in the geological record in a specific sequence; but it was only possible to date them relative to each other. For example they had worked out that dinosaurs died out at about the end of the Cretaceous period. It was not until the 20th century that approximate dates have been allocated to each of these periods. For about 160 million years dinosaurs were the dominant animal on the earth until about 65 million years ago.
A reason why some Christians have trouble harmonising the great age of dinosaurs to the record of creation in the Bible is not because of any problem with scientific discoveries, nor with any fault of the Bible. It is because of misunderstanding of the Bible.
It has been proven that “carbon dating” is absolutely not accurate at all. According to God’s word the Earth is only about six thousand years old. Scientist make carbon dating work using assumptions. They have actually tested rock from Mount St. Helens which they knew to be only 10 years old and the testing came back to show it to be thousands of years old. They have also tested bones where one leg tested a certain number and the other tested thousands of years older. Sorry that testing is all FALSE!
As Steven stated, ‘carbon dating’ is not a record it is merely interpretation and manipulation of data. Quite simply no dating via this method can be confirmed unless it is done so alongside known historical record.
Truly there is a ‘misunderstanding’ of the Bible if a Christian desires to believe in dinosaurs that are ‘millions’ of years old.
Whether we like it or not the Bible only teaches us of a ‘literal creation’.
As the inspired word of God, Christians believe that the myriads of verses pertaining to a ‘literal and direct creation’ are completely true.
Carbon dating is useless for dating dinosaurs because it cannot be used for anything older than about 50,000 or 60,000 years old. No scientist would claim that carbon dating is absolutely correct. However when used carefully it is a useful dating technique. It has been frequently confirmed against known historical dates.
Claims have been made that are made about Mount St Helens C14 dating throwing up bizarre results. However how reliable are those claims?
Obviously if care is not taken, for example, that the sample was unpolluted with material from a different date then the results will not be meaningful. The results can only be as good as the data, and the data will only be good if managed carefully.
The Bible does not say that the earth is 6000 years old. Since there is overwhelming evidence that the earth is older than that, then it is just as well. God’s work and God’s word do not contradict each other. It can only be our interpretation of them that leads to contradiction.
11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (Exo 20:11 KJV)
A literal reading of Genesis also teaches that the firmament (raqia’) is solid. A literal reading of the Bible also teaches that the sun revolves around the earth and that demons cause disease, so if we are *consistent* in our literalism, we’d believe in a flat earth with a solid firmament around which the sun revolves.
Genesis was not originally given to us, but to the ancient Hebrews who lived in a pre-scientific world. Just as Jesus accommodated the belief in demon possession as a cause for disease, so God accommodated the pre-scientific cosmology of the Hebrew world when writing Genesis. Forgetting to take the cultural context of Genesis into account will lead you to such errors as young earth creationism, just as forgetting to take into account the cultural background of the NT leads many Christians to believe in the literality of demon possession.
As long ago as the early 19th century – well before Darwin’s theory of evolution – mainstream educated Christians accepted the antiquity of the Earth on purely scientific grounds. John Thomas in Elpis Israel accepted the antiquity of the Earth without question, and in fact referred the reader to the geology journals of the day for more information.
Alan Hayward’s “Creation and Evolution” (Triangle 1985) has an excellent section on how we know the universe is ancient, and why young earth creationism and flood geology are wrong. Robert Wiens, a Christian geophysicist has an excellent primer on radiometric dating here http://www.asa3.org/ASA/resources/wiens.html. I hope this helps.
Ken, in sound Christian teaching there has only ever been a literal interpretation of Genesis. That is until Atheistic dogma erupted some decades ago.
The Hebrew ‘raqyia’ word ‘firmament’ also and obviously in this case means ‘expanse’. Which would of course make perfect sense for this literal Creation.
The Bible never teaches the sun revolves around the earth.
Nor with proper examination does the Bible teach that diseases were caused by demons.
There is really no such thing as pre-science Ken and God the author of ‘our minds’, doesn’t rely on our inadequacies in this area to understand him. That is why he gave us an ‘inspired word’ with these ‘literal accounts’
Please examine concepts such as those held in Romans 11 to understand the connection between Hebrews and Christians.
In regards to the ludicrous figures of millions of years Atheists want to believe in, such theories are quite simply unconfirmable. Dating methods used beyond known historical dates are spurious and unprovable.
The Bible as a whole does not except any theories that support ‘Creation’ being much older that 6000 or so years.
As indicated above there are many, many verses throughout the entire Bible that relate to our ‘literal creation’.
The fact remains that true Bible teaching of the creation account will always remain mutually exclusive. God never intended to accommodate other false teaching, especially that which originates from ‘Atheism’ itself. This would be abominable.
If you want to believe in evolutionary theory, that is fine. But such a faith is not congruent with God’s word, whether it be from Genesis or many other parts of scripture.
Please read also read other more informative articles on the subject such as this
I hope this helps.
While I’ve covered some of these points elsewhere, I’ll respond to your points here for completeness:
“in sound Christian teaching there has only ever been a literal interpretation of Genesis. That is until Atheistic dogma erupted some decades ago.”
Not so. John Thomas and Robert Roberts did not accept evolution, but they were not flood geologists or young earth creationists. Thomas made his belief in an ancient earth quite clear in Elpis Israel, while Roberts believed the flood to be local, and offered a powerful argument (biogeographic distribution of species) to support his view.
In the general Christian world, well before Darwin’s 1859 book, educated Christians accepted the antiquity of the Earth purely on the scientific evidence – there was no “atheistic evolutionary” imperative. Interestingly, in The Fundamentals, written by conservative Protestants in the early 20th century to defend Christian faith from liberal influences, YEC and flood geology were nowhere to be found. Conversely, Young Earth Creationism and flood geology owes much to Seventh Day Adventism and the apocalyptic dreams of Ellen White, and as such is a relatively recent theological aberration.
“The Hebrew ‘raqyia’ word ‘firmament’ also and obviously in this case means ‘expanse’. Which would of course make perfect sense for this literal Creation.”
Ez, it is not obvious. You’ve simply assumed it, and you need to justify that conclusion to the satisfaction of those who are Hebrew scholars and are in a far better position to comment authoritatively on this subject. I’ve commented elsewhere on this so I’ll refer you to there.
“The Bible never teaches the sun revolves around the earth.”
Not so. If the Bible explicitly taught heliocentrism, then there would have been no argument between Galileo and the Church. Early Christians read the Bible literally, and *read literally* it does teach geocentrism. Once more, I refer you to my previous posts.
“Nor with proper examination does the Bible teach that diseases were caused by demons.”
Agreed, if we remember that Jesus accommodated the pre-scientific view of the day. If you read the NT accounts literally, you’ll believe that demon possession causes disease, and that’s the exegetical error made by Christians who think that because the Bible records Jesus speaking to demons and commanding them to leave sick people, then demons *really* exist. Likewise, Genesis accommodates the pre-scientific view of the day, where people believed in a flat earth, geocentrism and a solid firmament. You are not being consistent in your literalism if you read the Bible literally when it talks about creation in six literal days, but ignore the references to a solid firmament.
“There is really no such thing as pre-science Ken and God the author of ‘our minds’, doesn’t rely on our inadequacies in this area to understand him. That is why he gave us an ‘inspired word’ with these ‘literal accounts’”
It’s hard to understand what you’re trying to say here as you’ve phrased it rather badly. However, it’s a fact that prior to the 5th century BCE, there’s no recorded evidence that anyone believed in a spherical Earth that revolved around the sun. Go back to the 2nd millennium BCE, and you are very much in a pre-scientific society. If you’re trying to claim that the ancient Hebrews knew the Earth was a sphere that revolved around the sun, then that claim is demonstrably false. You need to avoid reading Genesis as if it was written to a 21st century believer living in a scientific era.
C.C. Walker, when answering a believer who was adamant the earth was flat based on a literal reading of the Bible (a situation analogous to your position) pointed out correctly that God’s purpose in writing Genesis was to tell Israel who created the universe, not how:
“Moses’ testimony was given to Israel in what might be called the infancy of the world, when men did not know the extent of the earth, let alone that of the sun, moon, and stars . And, as we believe, it was given (by God through Moses), not so much to instruct Israel in cosmogony in detail, as to impress upon them the idea that The Most High God is the Possessor of Heaven and Earth (Gen. 14:22)”
“Please examine concepts such as those held in Romans 11 to understand the connection between Hebrews and Christians.”
Ez, I’m not certain what the point of your comment is. Maybe you could be more explicit here in linking Romans 11 with young earth creationism.
“In regards to the ludicrous figures of millions of years Atheists want to believe in, such theories are quite simply unconfirmable. Dating methods used beyond known historical dates are spurious and unprovable.”
Ez, everything you have said here is in error. There’s no other way to say it. Three points:
* Are you a geophysicist or expert in radiometric dating? If not, then your assertion carries as much weight as that of a layperson with no medical training who claims that demon possession causes disease. Even if you were qualified in the physics and geology behind radiometric dating, you’d need to show why your opinion, and not that of the overwhelming majority of professional radiometric dating experts is correct. Have a look here
to see the level of knowledge required to fully understand the science behind radiometric dating. If you can’t understand it, I would strongly advise you not to make comments such as “ludicrous figures of millions of years” as it would be not unfair to say that such comments owe more to dogma than evidence.
* I’ve already pointed out that geologists accepted the great antiquity of the earth in the early 19th century, well before Darwin. You are incorrect in your attempts to link atheism with the great antiquity of the earth – atheists existed before we discovered that the Earth was ancient, while many working geologists who accept the great antiquity of the earth are also devout believers.
* Radiometric dating is reliable – whoever told you otherwise is in error. A quick example should suffice. Before the principles behind radiometric dating were formulated, geologists could assign relative dates to the strata – lower strata were laid down before higher strata, and therefore were regarded as older. When the rocks from these strata were dated, the absolute ages correlated wonderfully with the relative ages. Alan Hayward’s book “Creation and Evolution: The Facts and Fallacies” is dated in its treatment of evolution, but his demolition of young earth creationism is superb, and I strongly recommend you consult it in order to see how shallow the YEC and flood geology arguments are.
“The Bible as a whole does not except any theories that support ‘Creation’ being much older that 6000 or so years.”
I would also remind you yet again that the Bible does not provide evidence for heliocenrism or a solid firmament. You need to be consistent in your literalism – the brother that C.C. Walker corrected was at least completely consistent in his literalism – when you read the Bible literally, it teaches a cosmology that not even YECs accept, so they’re forced to cherry-pick the parts they read literally. Without science, you would have no way of knowing that the earth was spherical, orbited the sun and did not have a solid firmament.
“As indicated above there are many, many verses throughout the entire Bible that relate to our ‘literal creation’”
There are many verses that refer to God as creator. What you have done however is conflate the doctrine of creation with the mechanism of creation. Again, you have assumed without justification that the Bible is meant to be a scientifically accurate source of information on astrophysics. It isn’t. There are many verses that refer to geocentrism:
Likewise, geocenrists argue that such language is not phenomenal:
While they’re wrong (though just as wrong as young earth creationists) they are at least more consistent in their literalism. This point can’t be stressed enough. If you were truly consistent in your literalism, you’d believe in a young, flat, fixed earth.
“The fact remains that true Bible teaching of the creation account will always remain mutually exclusive.”
Your sentence is poorly formed – you should have said “true Bible teaching of the creation account and “X” will always remain mutually exclusive.” Again, it’s hard to understand what you are trying to say.
So, what do you believe X to be? Evolution? An ancient earth? Not every Christian who accepts the overwhelming evidence for an ancient earth accepts the evidence for large-scale evolutionary change. Either way, you are making a category error here by assuming that the Biblical intends to teach a scientifically accurate account of creation. Remember what C.C. Walker said – creation was not intended to teach precisely how the universe was created, but who created it.
“God never intended to accommodate other false teaching, especially that which originates from ‘Atheism’ itself. This would be abominable.”
Once again, the antiquity of the earth did not originate from atheism. it is rather the conclusion reached by many experienced and qualified geologists – believing and unbelieving – as a result of an exhaustive examination of the evidence. I’d recommend you do what bro. Thomas advised in Elpis Israel and consult modern geology in order to learn more about the age of the earth.
Once more, science is not ‘false teaching’. You are making a category error by calling the only credible interpretation of the evidence from geology and physics – an ancient earth – false teaching. I would advise caution in making such a statement given that many believers from John Thomas onwards accepted an ancient earth.
God accommodates human limitations, which is why he couched the creation narrative in terms of how the ancient world understood the universe to be. Accommodation is not the same thing as compromise.
“If you want to believe in evolutionary theory, that is fine. But such a faith is not congruent with God’s word, whether it be from Genesis or many other parts of scripture.”
I accept the fact of evolution because the evidence for it is overwhelming, but we’re not talking about evolution but the fact that the latest dinosaur fossils are found no later than the late Cretaceous, around 65 million years ago, while the earliest anatomically modern human fossil is around 195,000 years old. That’s beyond dispute, and if you try to force creation into a 6000 year framework because of one particular *interpretation* of scripture, and turn that into a first principle, you’re placing yourself in the same position as that of the Catholic church in its dispute with Galileo.
“Please read also read other more informative articles on the subject such as this http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/does-radiometric-dating-prove I hope this helps.”
Thanks, but it doesn’t. I’ve been involved in the evolution-creation debate since I was a teenager in the mid-1980s, and I started out as a YEC, a position I now regard as theological and scientifically erroneous, since the evidence is flatly against such a position.
Answers in Genesis is not a credible source of creation – they are justly derided in scientific and religious circles for their shoddy “research” The example I’ve cited is enough to destroy their credibility.
The overwhelming majority of geologists accept an ancient earth because that’s the only credible conclusion one can infer from the data. There are many ex-YECs who accepted the antiquity of the earth once they began examining the evidence for themselves . Sadly, some of them have lost their faith – these in fact include people closely associated with AiG
Rather than trust on the broken reed of AiG and the young earth creationist movement, I’d recommend credible sources. One well-regarded source is “Radiometric Dating: A Christian Perspective” by the geophysicist and Christian Roger Wiens. The BioLogos Foundation also has many quality papers outlining both the evidence for an ancient earth, and the flaws in flood geology and YEC. Dan Wonderly’s “Neglect of Geologic Data: Sedimentary Strata Compared with Young-Earth Creationist Writings” is also well worth reading in order to see how powerfully the witness of creation affirms an ancient earth. YECs have attempted to show that radiometric dating is wrong without success – the American Scientific Affiliation (an organisation of Christians in science) shows why it is misguided.
I’ll leave it here – while I don’t apologise for taking the time to show why YEC is erroneous, all good things do have to come to an end. I hope this helps you make the transition away from literalism and YEC, and accept the vast antiquity of this universe.
1. Keas M.N. “Darwinism, Fundamentalism, and R.A. Torrey” PSCF (2010) 62;1:25-51
2. Numbers R “The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design. (Harvard University Press) p 91-93
5. Walker C.C. “Is it wrong to believe that the earth is a sphere?” The Christadelphian (1913) 50;590:346-348
Genesis says the flood was meant to destroy and wipe man off the planet.
Though Dinosaurs etc. were also caught in it, the remains of humans were
carried somewhere else.
I don’t’ think I can compete with your 5 posts in a row Ken but I will very briefly try to answer your attempted rebuttal.
–I have no quarrel with the musings of pioneering brethren. They were wise enough to remain permissive about their philosophies outside of Biblical Evidence.
–The firmament in Genesis is undoubtedly the heavens/sky as this is confirmed by the narrative and Gen1:8. Alternate meanings just seem contrivable.
–The Bible never mentions or implies either heliocentric or geometric orbits. For that matter it doesn’t even mention Saturns rings. But then again one wouldn’t expect it to.
–Science (so called) is never ‘pre-science’. The methods for their day were as modern as possible but in some areas with hindsight, lacking. Much like how our ‘modern science’ may be derided by those ‘scientists’ that are in our future. It is all relative.
–I lay no claim to how much an Ancient Hebrew knew in relation to Astronomy, but there is no reason to think God led them astray.
–Romans 11 deals with our spiritual connection to Israel. Even though verses such as (Exo 20:11 KJV) (Exo 31:17 KJV) are clarion enough in their own right.
–I am not a geophysicist and I presume neither are you. But this is irrelevant. There are scholars who believe in the literality of creation, there are others that believe that Jesus had a ‘girlfriend’. However no scholar should automatically be trusted just at face-value. It us up to us with the Bible in hand to anaylse such opinions.
–There is a link I posted tackling just some of the many inadequacies with radiometric dating. No dates can be confirmed that historically nobody was around to record.
–I really feel I am not the ‘cherry-picker’(as you would have it), here. I honestly do wonder sometimes Ken what parts there are left in the Bible you do believe in?
–When someone asks you what time sunrise is, do you tell them you don’t believe in a geocentric orbit? I feel the links to verses ‘supposedly’ supporting this are quite extraneous.
–Thanks for trying to correct my grammar Ken, are you an English teacher? I think your comment here is quite ironic.
–I believe the Bible teaches more than just science, it teaches ‘Absolute Truths’. ‘Modern Science’(so called) is still trying to catch up, but I fear pride will constantly hobble them.
–I know your beliefs seem unalterable Ken and you feel the need to concrete such. However having your ‘belief’ system built on a ‘foundation of sand’ can only have one finale. I won’t try and change your mind for you, time will tell all I believe. Either way I’m happy for now laying the greater weight on Gods Wonderful Word.
Thanks for your input though.