Greatness is a matter of perspective!
Monthly Archives: November 2013
While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. (Genesis 8:22)
In the origins debate, the young-earth creationist is confronted with the uniformitarian account for the supposed long ages they see in the earth’s crust. “Uniformitarianism is the assumption that the same natural laws and processes that operate in the universe now have always operated in the universe in the past and apply everywhere in the universe. It has included the gradualistic concept that ‘the present is the key to the past’ and is functioning at the same rates.” I appreciate that definition because it clearly states that uniformitarianism is an “assumption,” which differs considerably from a “fact.” Young-earth creationists can agree with uniformitarianism to a small degree based on the biblical perspective provided in the Bible verse above.
I hope I can explain this in a way that makes sense. What uniformitarian thinking does is to look at the geologic processes that are currently taking place (as defined above) and assume that these processes have always taken place at the same rate over millions of years. The uniformitarian, then attempts to mathematically extrapolate back in time to determine the age of the rocks or the formation of strata on the earth’s crust.
In the case of rocks, different radiometric dating methods measure the current rate at which certain minerals within the rocks decay. “Radiometric dating (often called radioactive dating) is a technique used to date materials such as rocks, usually based on a comparison between the observed abundance of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope and its decay products, using known decay rates.” For instance, uranium decays into lead at a certain known rate (“normally”). They can then take a rock containing uranium and measure how much uranium remains compared to the lead, and using currently known decay rates, they can calculate the age of the rock by the ratio of uranium-lead content. Keep in mind that they are “assuming” a constant decay rate.
In the case of sedimentation (or stratification), we can observe river deltas forming. We can observe, for example, that the river is depositing silt onto the delta at the rate of one inch per year. We can then take a core sample of the delta, and we discover that the silt is a mile (5280 ft.) deep. Since we know that silt deposits on the delta at the rate of one inch per year and has done so consistently in the past, we can multiply 5280 ft. by 12 in. and we calculate that the delta is 63,360 years old.
That kind of thinking is what gives us the long ages that evolutionists like to see. However, the problem with that lies in their assumption that things have always been consistent. In the case of the delta, what if the river flooded several times and deposited a foot of silt at every flood apart from the normal 1 inch per year? That would make the delta appear to be older than it really is. Or, what if the coast experiences several storms that erode the delta away? Then the delta would appear to be younger than what it really is.
In the case of radioactive decay, how can the geologist know for sure how much uranium the rock contained to begin with? Or how can they know with certainty that no uranium or lead has been infused into the rock somewhere along the way, or that some event caused greater decay than normal? These things cannot be known so the uniformitarian is left with only assumptions (and they really believe their assumptions).
Young-earth creationists believe the biblical creation account to begin with. Therefore they understand that the earth is probably around 6000 years old but certainly not more than 10,000 years old. They believe the biblical account of the Global Flood and any “uniformity” that is apparent is due to God’s promise that all things would remain consistent (Genesis 8:22 above). From this “ground zero” starting place, they can then make scientific predictions that verify the veracity of the Bible. For instance, the fact that Carbon 14, a highly volatile element having a half-life of only 5,730 +/- 40 years, is still present in petroleum, coal and diamonds. Uniformitarians would not even think to test for C-14 in these minerals, because they assume these minerals to be multimillions of years old, so naturally C-14 should not be present. Young-earth creation scientists believe that the earth is young, so C-14 should be present. So, they look for it, and BEHOLD! There it is!
If you would like to study more on this, the following are some articles from the Institute for Creation Research that may interest you:
The present is not the key to the past – the Bible is!
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.. (Matthew 5:18)
Someone wrote to me with the following question: “Just wondering if you have done any research into the first civilization, according to science, known to man the Sumaritans [sic]. Their writings contain the original creation story that Moses and many others passed down?”
This is a common question that stems from the study of early world history that is based on evolutionary thinking. The inquirer is assuming that because the Sumerians wrote on clay tablets which have been preserved for thousands of years, that theirs is the oldest known written language, and that other cultures were incapable of writing.
The people before the Flood where highly intelligent people (Genesis 4:22-24) and probably had other methods of writing. It is quite possible that Noah had written records handed down from Adam, who died only a few hundred years before Noah was born. Noah’s grandfather, Methuselah, was alive around 250 years before Adam died. It is very possible that pre-Flood people wrote on papyrus or something like it so the genealogical record could be passed on. We might also consider the fact that God only gave Noah some general instructions for constructing the Ark (Genesis 6:14-16). I am sure you would agree that drawing out floor plans on clay tablets would have been rather cumbersome. So it seems reasonable that Noah had something more functional on which to draw his plans for the Ark.
The inquirer’s suggestion is based mostly on assumptions made by secular archeologists. Archeology is not an exact “science;” it is a “forensic” science that is highly subjective. Most secular archeologists are biased on the side of evolution, which influences their perception of what they discover. They assume that man “evolved” 100,000 years ago, and did not become “civilized” until sometime around 10,000 B.C. to 8000 B.C.
Since these “scientists” make assumptions based on evolutionary thinking, it is only fair that I be allowed to make some assumptions based on the biblical record. I am going to assume that Noah carried some sort of “paper” records on the Ark and continued to copy those records using the same medium. Paper records would not last thousands of years like those written on clay tablets, therefore, from our perspective, it “appears” that the Sumerian clay tablets are the oldest written record when in fact they are not, and they were actually pretty crude methods of writing even for their time. I will further assume that Noah and his descendants through Shem had more advanced methods of writing, albeit less durable than clay tablets. Writing on paper (papyrus) would require continual copying in order for the records to be preserved. Now, since no one can really corroborate either assumption, I will suggest that my assumption is just as valid as that of the evolutionary archeologists.
Having said that let me also suggest that the Sumerians, by the time they recorded their origins account and Flood story, had a distorted memory of those events. It is often suggested that Moses borrowed the Flood account from the Epic of Gilgamesh. But when one compares the Ark of Gilgamesh with the Ark of Noah, the two are completely different vessels. In fact, Gilgamesh’s Ark is built in the shape of a cube which would render the vessel extremely unseaworthy, while Noah’s Ark (or a model of it) has been laboratory tested and shown to be incredibly stable. What this shows is the Sumerians got it wrong and the Bible got it right.
The nature of such questions is the result of Satan’s unchanged tactic revealed in Genesis 3:1-5: (1) Create doubt in God’s Word: “Yea, hath God said …?” (2) Deny the veracity of God’s Word: “Ye shall not surely die,” and (3) Accuse God of keeping one from something better: “For God doth know that … ye shall be as gods.” His methods have not changed in over 6000 years, and sadly, even Christians fall for his lies. But the Author of the Bible says, “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot [the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet] or one tittle [the smallest distinguishing mark of a Hebrew letter] shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18). So, who got it right? Would you rather believe the words of men, or the Word of God?