Did Time Begin On Day Four?

WARNING: The article we’re going to discuss here is so utterly fouled up that it may constitute a genuine hazard to your mental equilibrium to read and think about it. Your Curmudgeon has been wading through these swamps for years, but even we are not completely immune to the bewilderingly toxic effect of what you’re about to experience. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own risk.

We bring you the view from Answers in Genesis (AIG), one of the major sources of young-earth creationist wisdom. At their website we find: When Did Time Begin?

The article is in the form of AIG’s answer to a question they received from a fan. We’ll begin with that question and then you’ll be exposed to some excerpts from AIG’s response, with bold added by us. Here we go:

I have been a Christian for over forty years. I have yet to find anywhere in the Bible that mentions the date of Creation even after studying the subject for more than five years from every angle. Since time did not begin until after Day Four, how can you connect a date of 4004 BC as the date of Creation?

Aaaargh!! Time didn’t begin until after Day Four? Well, that question was certainly sent to the right place. Let’s read what AIG has to say:

There is not one specific verse that states, “The creation of the world occurred in _____.” Instead, the date of Creation can be derived by using the Creation account in Genesis 1, the genealogies found in Genesis 5 and Genesis 11, and so on.

We know all about the Ussher chronology. Let’s continue:

Many have tried to argue that billions of years could be inserted somewhere before the creation of Adam, through ideas like the Day-Age Theory and Gap Theory. However, they neglect the fact that Jesus said Adam was created “at the beginning” (Matthew 19:5; Mark 10:6).

Okay, no billions of years before Adam. What about this Day Four stuff? Adam was created on Day Six, and the scripture passage quoted by AIG says that’s the beginning. This is so confusing! Here’s more:

Actually, time did not begin on Day Four. Let’s take a look at what Genesis says about that day.

[Quoting Genesis 1:14-16] 14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also.

We see the questioner’s problem. He’s confusing the phenomenon of “time” with the “clock” of celestial bodies. Let’s see how AIG handles this:

Although the argument is increasingly common, nowhere in the text does it say that time began on the fourth day. Instead, God made the sun, moon, and stars, which can be used to measure time. Time actually began “in the beginning” (Genesis 1:1), or else it would not have been “the beginning,” which is a time reference. In fact, “day” is a time reference, and there are three of those prior to day four.

That’s not bad, actually — in the context. Even AIG recognizes that the sun, moon, and stars “can be used to measure time,” but they literally aren’t the same as time itself. That still leaves the problem that if there wasn’t yet much of anything in the universe, what is time all about? And what about Adam’s being created “in the beginning” — on Day Six? Let’s see how they deal with this:

Some respond by pointing out that if the sun, moon, and stars weren’t around for the first three days, then there was no way to determine time, so the first three “days” may have been periods of indeterminate length. The problem with this is that God was the one who measured the length of the first three days and He revealed that the first three days were a period of “evening” and “morning,” just like the last three days.

Got that? If so, explain it to us. Anyway, let’s move along:

Also, God confirmed in Exodus 20:11 that these six days, plus God’s day of rest, comprised one week and formed the basis for our workweek. This is repeated in Exodus 31:17–18, with the additional comment that these words were written by God Himself.

Well, okay. That’ll have to suffice, but we’re still unsatisfied about Day Six. Here’s the end of the article:

Finally, your argument proves too much if one is hoping to make allowance for billions of years. If time did not start until the fourth day, then the earth and universe would actually be three days younger than we claim.

Good point! But we think this “beginning” business is still an open question. Your Curmudgeon encourages all of you Time Started on Day Four believers to be proud of your belief, and to argue it with vigor on all creationist websites. We urge the same for the Day Six believers.

Teach the Controversy!

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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20 responses to “Did Time Begin On Day Four?

  1. Tomato Addict

    Wow. That’s really deep — And so is a horse corral in need of mucking-out.

    I still subscribe to the theory that God partied for 6 days, then pulled an all-nighter before the deadline. That’s why there is so much shoddy workmanship.

  2. Tomato Addict says: “Wow. That’s really deep”

    Yes. I think it’s sweet that AIG is there to help the incurably confused.

  3. That’s always been one of my pet peeves.
    I mean, how much trouble would it of been for
    Him to put dates on things? Like–creation, The Ten Commandments, His own birthday for goodness sakes!
    What’s a few more etchings or scratching on those tablets or shoulder bones? SHISSH

  4. Charley Horse says:

    I mean, how much trouble would it of been for
    Him to put dates on things?

    You fail to grasp the deeper meaning of the lack of dates, but because of my Curmudgeonly insight I’ve figured it out. All dates before the Flood are inoperative. My personal calendar — the Curmudgeon’s Correct Chronology (or CCC) — starts with the Flood. Everything before then can be forgotten.

  5. Isn’t AIG the huge insurance firm/scam that contributed greatly to the recent economic meltdown? Have the same people found a new calling for this acronym?

  6. Well, maybe he’s learned from his mistakes and
    do better the next time around.

    In the beginning Gawd recreated YouTube……..

  7. I think they’ve got a valid point!

    Let’s see, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.

    Ah, Wednesday or Hump Day. That’s when I start my countdown timer to the weekend. Therefore time starts on Day 4. Brilliant!

    If Hump Day is good enough for God, it’s good enough for me.

    P.S. TGIF!

  8. I looked up the referenced verses in Exodus. Chapter 31, verses 16 and 17 are indeed specifically quoted directly from the LORD (see verse 12), and do state that the LORD made heaven and earth in six days, and rested on the seventh.

    That seems pretty straightforward and unequivocal, so I guess we’d better take His word for it… but what’s that in verse 15 just above?

    “Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD; whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.”

    That’s also part of the quote straight from the LORD, with the same authority as verses 17 and 18. To be consistent, shouldn’t AiG also be demanding the death penalty for storeowners doing business on Sunday? (Or Saturday, really, to be strictly traditional.)

  9. AIG is open for business on Sundays

    So, I’m sure you are misinterpreting 15. 🙂

  10. retiredsciguy

    Hmmm. AIG says “…God was the one who measured the length of the first three days and He revealed that the first three days were a period of “evening” and “morning,” just like the last three days.” But the Sun wasn’t created until the fourth day, so how did we have “evening” and “morning” without the sun?

    Also, “… the Curmudgeon’s Correct Chronology (or CCC) — starts with the Flood. Everything before then can be forgotten.” I was thinking of this a few days ago. You are right — everything before the Flood would have been forgotten, except by Noah. What did he do, carry a whole bunch of books around with him on the ark, or did he just have a super memory, enabling him to write all that stuff down once he got back on dry land and didn’t have to spend all his time feeding (and cleaning up after) all those animals?

    I wonder if Ken Ham has ready answers for these points.

  11. Actually, the fundamentalists do have ready answers for these points. They assert that Moses himself personally wrote the first several books of the Bible (the Pentateuch), taking dictation directly from God. Which makes God the actual Author (thus the emphasis on the Bible being the Word of God or His Word, and the claims that the first verses of Genesis are an eyewitness account of Creation by One Who Was There, thus trumping that wicked Darwin who wasn’t). There’s a slight problem in that Moses’s own death, burial, and place in hsitory are described at the end of Deuteronomy, allegedly a book he himself at least transcribed, but I’ve seen a fundie wriggle out of that one by claiming, “Oh, Joshua must have added that later.”

  12. Have you ever wondered where Noah went during the flood? If the water truly covered all the land, that would elevate sea level to about 30,000 feet in order to cover the himalayas. So, every large animal on the ark, Noah included, would be dead from lack of oxygen. Unless Noah designed a pressurized ark, of course. Curious the bible doesn’t mention that.

    Maybe they went wherever those magic olive trees lived, that were alive throughout the flood, and whose branches the doves hacked off and carried back to the ark as soon as they were above water again. (when is the last time you’ve seen a dove flying around with a branch of any kind in it’s mouth?)

  13. Gee Ed, AIG has already answered the oxygen question:

    “Therefore, with mountains and continents leveled out and oceans basin nowhere near the depth they are today, it makes perfect sense that Noah was not at the height of modern-day Mt. Everest. Noah and those aboard the Ark would not have required oxygen.”

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2009/07/06/did-noah-need-oxygen

  14. When it was day one on one side of the earth, it was night one on the other side.

  15. cnocspeireag

    Gosh, this AIG stuff does rot the brain.
    Stepping back from the deep horse corral and breathing fresh air for a moment, anything floating on the sea is at sea level, so would be at normal atmospheric pressure. This is about the only bit of the myth that isn’t a problem for reality believers.

  16. Ken Browning

    That’s also part of the quote straight from the LORD, with the same authority as verses 17 and 18. To be consistent, shouldn’t AiG also be demanding the death penalty for storeowners doing business on Sunday? (Or Saturday, really, to be strictly traditional.)

    Well, that’s answered by AIG’s Theory of Special Relativity.

  17. So AIG’s position is that the Himalayas emerged in only the past 10,000 years or less? It’s one thing to assume miraculous creation events before anyone was around to record them…but…sheesh, I can’t stretch my mind to encompass the insanity… argh!!!

  18. retiredsciguy

    cnocspeireag says,
    “Gosh, this AIG stuff does rot the brain.”

    Must be the effect of all that water of the Flood. Speaking of which, I’m sure AIG has answers for where it all came from and where it all went, for surely they can’t be so simple-minded as to think that the ocean covering the entire world receded into the ocean. Huh?

  19. “Therefore, with mountains and continents leveled out and oceans basin nowhere near the depth they are today, it makes perfect sense that Noah was not at the height of modern-day Mt. Everest. Noah and those aboard the Ark would not have required oxygen.”

    Yeah, that solves the oxygen problem, but adds the Building Entire Mountain Ranges in a Year or Less problem. Kinda a biggie, that one…

  20. Ed & Albanaeon, of course “Building Entire Mountain Ranges in a Year or Less” is not a problem for AIG. It’s easy when your ultimate Truth is The Bible and your Creation ‘Scientists’ are able to twist observable facts to fit:

    “Unlike what most park literature and public school textbooks claim, mountains didn’t form over millions of years of plate movement, but rather as a result of the earth’s crust shifting during the catastrophic Flood of Noah’s day, which forced mountains to rise to amazing heights. ”

    ( http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/creation-destinations/rocky-mountain-park )