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Friday, June 16, 2006

Young Earth and Old Earth

This is the topic that actually sparked my post Learning While I Homeschool but I didn't want to admit it at the time because I felt I needed more information before I posted 'anything' about it. Christine Miller ( has been posting about it herself since July. Here's the link to her very first post about it: Young or Old Earth.

Well I finally got the gumption to ask on the Well-Trained Mind boards what everything thought and the responses were varied. I received a lot of links mostly from Old Earth believers but only a few from Young Earth. Hmmm. I'm going to be reading into this and I'll share my final thoughts sometime in the next five years! I really received so much that to truly read and digest it all- it's going to take some time. But in case you don't know what Young Earth and Old Earth is or means, let me share some definitions with you.

(from, click here for link)

Young Earth creationism is a religious doctrine which teaches that the Earth and life
on Earth were created by a direct action of God relatively recently (about 6,000 to 10,000 years ago). It is generally held by those Christians and Jews who
believe that the ancient Hebrew text of Genesis is a literal account of historical events, and believe that evidence for a strictly factual interpretation of the text is present in the world today, and that scientific evidence for Darwinian evolution or geological uniformitarianism is wrongly interpreted.

Many of its adherents are active in the development of "Creation Science", a creationist endeavor that holds that the events associated with supernatural creation can be evidenced and modeled through an interpretation of the scientific method. There is no support for a "young Earth" theory in professional science journals or among professional science organizations. (from click here for link)

Old Earth creationism is a variant of the creationist view of the origin of the universe and life on Earth. It is currently the view of many

Catholic and Protestant Christians, and is typically more compatible with mainstream scientific thought, on the issues of the age of the Universe or Earth, than Young Earth creationism. However, it still takes the accounts of creation in Genesis more literally than evolutionary creationists. See also Progressive creationism.

One type of Old Earth creationism is Gap creationism. This view states that life was immediately created on a pre-existing old Earth. One variant rests on a literal reading of Genesis 1:1 as, "In the beginning, when the earth was formless and void," implying that the earth already existed, but had passed into decay during an earlier age of existence, and was being "shaped anew". This view is more consistent with mainstream science with respect to the age of the Earth, but still often resembles Young Earth creationism in many respects (often seeing the "days" as 24-hour days). This view was popularized in 1909 by the Scofield Reference Bible.

Main article: Day-Age Creationism

More commonly, advocates of an old Earth hold that the six days referred to are not ordinary 24-hour days, but rather the
Hebrew word for "day" (yom) can be interpreted in this context to mean a long period of time (thousands or millions of years)
rather than a 24-hour day. The Genesis account is then interpreted as an account of a progressive creation, or sometimes a summary of life's evolutionary history. This view is often called "Day-Age Creationism".

There are a variety of ways in which the events in the creation account are interpreted. Some closely resemble the order of

events as held by Young Earth creationism. In this view the first "day" God is said to have created light; on the second, the firmament of heaven; on the third, the separation between water and land, and the creation of plant life; on the fourth the sun, moon, and stars; on the fifth created marine life and birds; on the sixth land animals, and man and woman.

The order of light, then the firmament, then stars, might be taken as a simplified description of modern theories of cosmology, namely the Big Bang, followed bycosmic inflation, followed by stellar evolution. Similarly, modern zoology believes that marine animals preceded land animals.

Critics of this old Earth view of Creationism comment that the order of the days of creation are inconsistent with modern
scientific interpretation. For example, the Earth is unlikely to have existed before the Sun and all other stars, plant life
could not have survived millennia without sunlight, flowering plants could not have been pollinated without insect life, and most
birds could not survive long without terrestrial life.


So, if you didn't know before- you have a quest on your hands. What do you believe? I believe God made the world. The hows and whens of that, I don't know yet what I believe but I'm going to figure it out. What do you believe?
The popular sites for each camp is Answers in Genesis for the Young Earth creationists and for the Old Earth creationist and of course each have books to read further. If you have sources that support your beliefs will you share them with me so I that I can see them too?