Answers in Genesis Rejects “Created Old” Argument?

From time to time we post about a peculiar feature maintained by Answers in Genesis (AIG), one of the major sources of young-earth creationist wisdom. They have a small list of Arguments that should never be used. There they’ve collected some of the absolute worst, most easily-debunked creationist arguments.

By rejecting them, AIG gives up relatively little, because the rest of their “science” relies on an Ark-load of other worthless arguments, yet by pointing to their list of rejected clunkers they can pretend that they really don’t promote nonsensical claims. But of course they do.

The last time we posted about a new addition to their list was If We Evolved From Monkeys, Then Why …? Yes, dear reader, they finally got around to retiring that one. For our earlier posts on other additions to the AIG list, see Adam’s Rib Shocker: AIG Follows the Evidence, and also Darwin’s Deathbed Recantation: It’s Dead!, and also Answers in Genesis: The Slime Cube (a weaselly rejection of Darwin’s “quote” about eye evolution).

Now they’re sending another long-time creationist standard to the Retirement Home for Absolutely Useless Arguments (RHAUA) — those that have seen long and faithful service, but which are now so universally laughable that it’s time to say goodbye. Or are they? This one is very difficult to understand, and we’re not at all clear what they’re saying — if anything.

See if you can help us figure it out, dear reader. Here are some excerpts from God Created Things to “Look Old”. The bold font was added by us:

When dealing with issues about the age of the earth, many people defend the young-earth position by claiming that even though the world is young, God created it to “look old.” In other words, they say, God created the universe with the “appearance of age.”

Yup. That’s what young-earth creationists say. It’s known as Omphalos hypothesis. And because AIG is a young-earth creationist outfit, it’s difficult to imagine how they can abandon this claim. Let’s read on:

Scripture states the directive that Adam and Eve be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28), which means they were formed as adults and not as infants. However, since they were able to have children, these well-intentioned defenders say they must have been “created old.” Some even go so far as to ask the question, “How old do you think Adam was when he was created?”

Okay, we all know the issue. How does AIG deal with it? We continue:

With this issue, a distinction must be made between an “old” creation and a “mature” creation.


The created “kinds” had to be capable of reproduction, so they were not created immature. As mentioned, Adam and Eve would have to be able to reproduce in order to fulfill the mandate to be fruitful. This does not imply that these creatures were “created old.” It merely indicates that they were created functional.

Are you following this? Your Curmudgeon is having difficulty, but we shall persevere. Here’s more:

The concept of “appearance of age” brings our human experience to bear as we try to determine “how old” something or someone might be. …

For example, imagine you were in the Garden of Eden when Adam was created from dust. He appeared there — fully functional. After two hours, if you were asked how old he was, you would say two hours old because you would have no frame of reference watching people grow from infancy to adulthood. So without human experience, it would be impossible to understand the concept of “age.”

If we didn’t see literally something get old, then it might have been freshly created, but … it isn’t really old. Is that it — or are we missing something? Moving along:

Furthermore, when someone makes the claim that the earth or the universe “looks old,” it is often because they have been indoctrinated to think it looks old. They have accepted man’s ideas about fallible dating methods and approach this issue on that basis. However, the real issue here is to ask what would a “young earth” or a “young universe” look like? After all, if one is sure something looks old, what would it look like before it aged?

This is, quite possibly, the worst argument we’ve ever seen from a professional creationist. Another excerpt:

God is not a deceiver. He cannot lie. … So why would God try and deceive us by creating things with the appearance of “age.” Why would He make the universe look “old” when it is not?

We’re totally perplexed. Here’s the end of the article:

God has told us the truth in His Word. He originally created many things mature and fully functional. He did not create with the appearance of “age.” This is an argument Christians should not use.

We usually know what creationists are saying, even when they themselves are clueless. But in this case we’ll have to invoke the well known saying of Wolfgang Pauli: “Not only is it not right, it’s not even wrong!”

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14 responses to “Answers in Genesis Rejects “Created Old” Argument?

  1. If Adam and Eve were created with all their reproductive abilities, but were to be immortal (Gen 2:17 says death was introduced with the fall), then where were all the kids, grandkids etc. supposed to live after just a very few generations?

  2. They’re right on the general premise, that it’s an argument that no one should use. But their reasons seem to be purely theological – that using the argument would be tantamount to calling God a liar. Maybe now that Lisle solved the light-age problem, and flood geology solves the ancient earth problem, they don’t need the god-did-it argument any more.

  3. AIG says not to use the 2nd Law argument, but cretards continue to bring it up. I guess they think it makes them look like they have an IQ above room temperature.

  4. retiredsciguy

    satchmodog: “I guess they think it makes them look like they have an IQ above room temperature.”

    And which temperature scale would that be — F or C? Certainly not K!

  5. It’s muddled, but I think what they’re reaching for and not quite getting to isn’t “created old,” but “created with the appearance of a prior history.” Did Adam have a belly button, to use the old statement of the problem. Adult human beings are normally the product of decades of growth — even hair and fingernails imply that a man has existed for some days or weeks, and other evidence points to prior states as boy, infant, and embryo. If Adam was created as an adult, God had to in effect model him as though he’d had a childhood and infancy. We can stipulate God could do that. Sculptors and artists depicting adult figures do the same thing on a smaller scale. Where it probably rankles the AiG people, though, and what the present muddled article is really getting at, is expanding the concept to the idea that God created animals and plants, even the physical universe, with the appearance of a prior history even though they in fact came into existence in a mature state instantaneously. Some people have actually proposed this idea as a way to save the Genesis account and still accept the real world, but the AiG gentlemen probably realize that would be a fatal compromise. Admitting that the world *looks* as though evolution really happened is one short step from admitting that a whole lot of evoluting *has* been going on.

    Then you get into the schoolyard bully kind of argument (“Are you calling my God a liar?”) and an out-of-context Bible quotation that reads more like a rhetorical flourish rather than a definitive statement about the nature of God (and God does repent…see Genesis 6:6-7)… this AiG item really is a muddled hash and I’m not sure even the devoted faithful who read these articles for ammunition to use against the wicked Darwinists could get much out of it.

  6. I wonder if the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil had annular growth rings.

  7. Humans have some knowledge because they learn it. Did Adam and Eve have any knowledge of that kind? Did they have the knowledge of how to make a boat or grow a garden or kick a football? How long would they (or any mammal) survive without learned knowledge?

  8. Splendid question, Richard! Annular growth rings indeed!

  9. Curmudgeon: “Are you following this? Your Curmudgeon is having difficulty…”

    I would have if I still started with the hypothesis of “They believe X.” But that hypothesis is untestable (unless one can read minds), so for the past decade or so I just start with “They promote X.” Then it becomes quite simple.

  10. Now, come on TomS. They were god’s toys. They didn’t need any skills or knowledge to survive. The garden was perfect and provided them everything.
    Maybe god gave them the knowledge they needed to survive after the fall?

    RBH, I love that question too!

  11. We’re totally perplexed.

    Me too. I don’t think there’s much of a distinction between “it was created with the appearance of age” and “it was created mature.” Maturity could be used to explain away everything the same way age is. Its just the omphalos argument using different words. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

  12. So, Lynn, you are suggesting that Adam and Eve were just god’s Barbie and Ken? That would explain why he kicked them out of the garden after they became self-aware…he couldn’t play with them anymore.

    The excellent tree ring question is good, but the answer has to be “no”, because a magical tree would presumably be immortal and if it added a ring every year it would eventually become so massive that it would crowd out everything else in the garden. I also wonder if other animals ate the fruit…I mean the tree is just sitting there, with tasty fruit…I’m convinced squirrels, at least, possess the knowledge of good and evil. The ones at my bird-feeder do, anyway.

  13. Gabriel Hanna

    I’m stealing this from an argument I saw in the comments on Panda’s Thumb.

    When Jesus turned water into wine, he made wine that was mature–it’s fermented grape juice and grape juice doesn’t get that way without letting yeast attack it for a period of time, but this didn’t happen in this case. This wine was “created mature”.

    But he didn’t create the vineyard that the grapes came from, the guy who picked the grapes along with his memory of having picked them, and invoices from the wine merchant who brought them to the wedding, and memories in the guests of having ordered wine for the wedding and it being delivered. That would be “created to look old” wine.

    Unfortunately for creationists, the universe is like the second case. Not only is the universe mature, but all sorts of evidence for the process of maturing is found everywhere we care to look.

  14. “God is not a deceiver. He cannot lie. … ”

    Did they just say their so called God has limits ? That he can be fallible ? I can see the fundies getting nuts already 🙂