Old Earth creationism

From Academic Kids

Template:Creationism2 Old Earth creationism is a variant of the creationist view of the origin of the universe and life on Earth. It 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.

Old Earth creationism may refer to the view that life was immediately created on a pre-existing old Earth, which is known as Gap creationism. 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".

More commonly, some advocates of an old Earth, in an attempt to harmonize mainstream science with biblical literalism, hold that the six days referred to are not ordinary 24-hour days, but rather much longer periods (of thousands or millions of years); 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".

On 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 by cosmic inflation, followed by stellar evolution. Similarly, modern zoology believes that marine animals preceded land animals.

Some creationists who hold the view that the six-day period in the Genesis account of creation refers to the time spent by light traveling from the center of the universe at the time and point of creation.

Critics of the old Earth view of Creationism comment that the biblical order of the days of creation is 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, as is required by an Old-Earth view of the Biblical story.

In response, some Old-Earth creationists say that the Sun, Moon and Stars were only given their mission or status by God on the fourth day, not literally created ex nihilo. In addition, the "earth" mentioned in the first verse would necessarily be the cosmos as it existed in before the Big Bang, not literally the Earth itself in its modern form.

See also

Further Reading

  • Schroeder, Gerald , Genesis and the Big Bang Theory: The Discovery of Harmony Between Modern Science and the Bible, 1991, ISBN 0553354132 (articulates Old Earth Creationism)
  • Sarfati, Jonathan, Refuting Compromise, 2004, ISBN 0-890-51411-9 (Young Earth Creationist critique of the day-age theory and old-earth creationism)
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