Age of Creation

This entry is part 13 of 365 in the series Inquiring Minds
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How old did Adam and creation look?

When you read the account of creation, you may wonder how old Adam and Eve, and even creation, looked and actually were. For instance, God creates Adam from the dust of the earth and Eve from Adam’s rib sometime later.

But both Adam and Eve are mature enough to be married and perhaps have children. They are not babies when God creates them. They don’t have to grow up first. They are born mature. So also, creation itself would also have to have been created mature.

What I mean by this is that on day 6, the plants and flowers were already producing so that the animals could eat. The animals were already mature enough to begin bearing offspring. Even though it was day 6, everything else appeared as if it had been there quite a while.

For instance, scientists tell us that our closest star, the sun, is 93 million miles away from Earth. It takes 8.3 minutes for light from the sun to reach earth. The farther the star, the longer the light takes to get to us. When God made creation, the light from the sun was already coming to the earth the moment that he made the sun.

This could make us question the actual age of creation and everything in it. Scientists estimate the age of the universe to be around 4 billion years old! But what if God made the universe to look and act like it was that old even though it was only 6 days old?

Some of the approaches to understanding creation try to be compatible with scientific theories of the age of everything while other approaches hold a very literal view of Genesis and the rest of the Bible. Even the hard stances taken can be made into hybrids.

Here is a basic rundown of most of the theories of creation out there today:

  • Evolution – the belief that there was no deity involved in creation. Most take the stance that it was by chance that everything we see happened billions of years ago.
  • Theistic Evolution – the belief that evolution helped in creation but God was the initiator of all of creation.
  • The Big Bang Theory – the belief that the universe began with a singularity that expanded over time, 13.8 billion years, until it finally expanded into the universe we know.
  • Old Earth Creationism – the belief that the universe was created by God but that Genesis should be taken figuratively. They agree with the age of the universe and earth according to scientists but don’t necessarily believe that evolution theory is correct.
    • Gap Creationism – belief that there is a gap between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. God created the heavens and the earth and there is an indefinite time between their creation and the six days of creation on which God builds upon the “formless and void” earth.
    • Date-Age Creationism – belief that the six days of creation are not literal but can represent much longer periods of time for the 24 hours.
    • Progressive Creationism – belief that species have changed over time but that God has directed each change at key events in evolutionary history.
  • Young Earth Creationism – the belief that the literal Genesis account is how the universe was created. They assign the age of the universe to be 10,000 years or younger. Many believe that God created everything to look older than it actually is.

I listed these most popular views on creation from evolution, which takes God out of the equation, too young Earth creationism, which is a very literal interpretation of Genesis with a few caveats. Your belief system directly affects what you believe about creation and how old it is.

Even scientists have a belief system. Albert Einstein wrote his theory of relativity, an equation that explains the origin of the universe. But he divided by zero and made the universe ageless, without a beginning or end. Albert Einstein was a pantheist, believing that the universe is God.

It was discovered by another mathematician that he divided by zero and screwed up the entire equation. Without dividing by zero, it showed that the universe had a beginning. Other scientists discovered background cosmic radiation, proving that the universe was expanding. Therefore it had a beginning.

Enter the big bang theory. It was a way to explain how the universe had a beginning. But the problem with all of these theories is that no one was there in the beginning of the universe. Theories are nice, but they are not laws. They are theories that cannot be proven or even reproduced in a lab.

Of course, I believe that God created the universe. I tend to lean toward a Young Earth view. I believe what the Bible says is true, and therefore, I believe that the six days of creation were literal.

What we cannot tell is how long Adam was in the garden, if that mattered to the beginning of recorded time, and how many years were in between all of the genealogies. We know for sure that the genealogies are incomplete. Time was probably longer between them than we think.

But if God created the universe to look older even though it was very young, there is no way for us to tell exactly how old everything is. It may register as much older than it actually is chronologically because of how God made it to already be mature. This is the best I can do to answer this question.

Further Resources

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