AIG: Why the Young Universe Looks Old

This is another reprint from Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo). Today’s oldie-goldie is from 1995, but it’s still good, because their stuff is timeless. The title is Creation and the Appearance of Age.

The author is David Menton — that’s a link to AIG’s bio page about him. And this is his write-up at the Encyclopedia of American Loons: David Menton. Okay, here are some excerpts from his old essay, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

I am often asked if I really believe that God created everything in six, literal, 24-hour days — and I freely confess that I do find it difficult to believe uch a thing. Why, I wonder, would God spend an entire six days doing a miracle that would require of Him literally no time at all? … Still, the Bible clearly reveals God took six whole days to initially create everything to perfection; so, we must either take God at His Word, or presume to stand in judgment of all Scripture.

No one would dare to do that! Then he says:

Some Christians seem to have just the opposite problem with six-day creation — they find it difficult to believe that God could get the job done in only six ordinary days. They prefer to believe that the days of Creation were vastly longer than 24 hours — even over a billion years longer!

They’re fools! After that he tells us:

Still other Christians do not seem to doubt that God could have created everything in six ordinary days, yet insist that He didn’t because the universe just looks older than that. They point out that expert cosmologists have concluded that the universe gives every appearance of being at least 12 billion years old, and that the earth appears to be about 4.5 billion years old. … Is God then trying to fool us, or perhaps testing our faith by making things appear older than they really are?

This is so confusing! David continues:

The appearance of age in the things that God created is a much-debated issue in contemporary Christian scientific circles. Can God — or more accurately — would God create something that at the very moment of its creation has the appearance of age? The short answer to this question may be: How else? How, indeed, could God create anything that did not appear to us to be aged (like a fine wine) at the moment of its creation.

Huh? If he wanted creation to look new, then it would look new. What’s going on here? Let’s read some more:

Think of any one thing that our omnipotent God might instantly create out of nothing by the power of His Word. [Skipping some examples.] Maybe you thought of a visible star — depending on its distance from the earth, its light might appear to have been traveling for over a billion years to reach your eyes. All of these things would have the appearance of age and an ongoing process at the very moment of their creation.

Ah, that’s David’s solution to the distant starlight problem. Another excerpt:

Nowhere is the appearance of age and pre-existing process more interesting than in the sudden creation of the first human being. The Bible tells us that Adam was completely formed (presumably as an adult) before there was ever a woman on the earth. At the very moment of his creation, Adam would surely have appeared to us to be the product of a long growth and development process. … It’s no wonder that for centuries artists have been at a loss to portray just what the first couple’s abdominal region looked like — did they or did they not have a belly button? (You will note that artists generally avoided the whole issue by conveniently covering their midsections with nearby foliage.)

We’re left wondering about Adam’s belly button. Here’s more:

This whole line of thinking gets us into what is called a “first cause” problem. We live in a “cause and effect” world, where every action causes a reaction and is itself the result of a previous action. Everything appears to be an ongoing process for which we are incapable of really grasping a beginning. This is all popularly expressed in the age-old question: “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” If we say the chicken, we will be asked from whence the chicken came; yet if we say the egg, we will be asked from whence the egg — and so round and round we go. Somewhere, there had to be a beginning to this cyclical process we call the chicken and the egg. The Bible tells us that God created every bird out of nothing on the fifth day of the creation week, and that they have been reproducing after their kind ever since [scripture reference].

Is you head spinning, dear reader? Don’t worry about it. Just keep reading:

Of course, none of this will satisfy the crass materialists who will demand to know where God came from and will scream foul if you tell them that God is eternal. … If you ask the materialists where the material of the Big Bang came from, they will either tell you it came into existence out of nothing, or it’s eternal!

You can’t argue with those people! And now we come to the end:

We may conclude that the Lord is captive to neither time nor process. The Psalmist says of God, “For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past” [scripture reference]. How much time after all does a yesterday take?

David has solved the problem. It’s quite simple, really. You gotta believe!

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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21 responses to “AIG: Why the Young Universe Looks Old

  1. The appearance of age in the things that God created is a much-debated issue in contemporary Christian scientific circles. Can God — or more accurately — would God create something that at the very moment of its creation has the appearance of age? The short answer to this question may be: How else? How, indeed, could God create anything that did not appear to us to be aged (like a fine wine) at the moment of its creation. . . .

    Think of any one thing that our omnipotent God might instantly create out of nothing by the power of His Word. . . . Maybe you thought of a visible star — depending on its distance from the earth, its light might appear to have been traveling for over a billion years to reach your eyes. All of these things would have the appearance of age and an ongoing process at the very moment of their creation.

    Why?

    This reasoning makes God look like the Supreme Deceiver, creating an entire universe which appears to be billions of years older than it actually is.
    Another thing: if “a thousand years are like yesterday when it is past” to God, does this mean Creation Week was actually 7,000 years long? Somehow I don’t think YECs would be happy with that idea.

  2. “…the Bible clearly reveals God took six whole days to initially create everything to perfection…”

    No, it wasn’t perfect. One of his/her/its newly minted angels rebelled and convinced Eve to eat that snack that ruined everything. An omniscient, omnipotent being could have wiped everything out and started over with no one the wiser. No, David, the universe looks old because it is old. Oh, and David, did god work the entire 24 hours of each day without a break? Maybe that’s why things went bad.

  3. “contemporary christian scientific circles”. Translation ; Bible apologetics seminars

  4. The problem for a young universe/Earth stance is not just that those have an appearance of age; it’s that they have an appearance of an actual, specific history with specific events like the Oklo reactor, meteoric impact craters etc. Those are not necessary for a general appearance of age.
    It is as if Adam was created with a big scar on his left leg when a sabertooth had almost killed him: evidence of a specific event.

  5. Michael Fugate

    The gods gain their powers by definition only.

  6. @H.R.G.
    I like the scar analogy

  7. It doesn’t take modern science to come to the conclusion that the Scripture is not to be read as saying that creation took place over 6 days of 24 hours. Such an early Christian as Augustine decided that the Bibe is not teaching that.
    Anyway, many Young Earth Creationists have no problem in accepting the findings of modern science, contrary to what every Christian for for than 1400 years understood the Bible as saying – that the Earth is fixed in place.

  8. H.R.G.
    Damned good point there! Wish I’d thought of it!

  9. I still cannot understand why god worked in days. A day didn’t exist back then as it is a unit of time generated from the astrophysics of the earth and sun, neither of which existed. A clear example of humans projecting what they understand onto a story the have invented to explain what they don’t understand.

  10. @Ajbjasus
    And it doesn’t take modern science to make such observations. Genesis itself says on day 4 that the Sun was placed in the sky to mark the passage of days.

  11. I was puzzled for a while. If the starlight that I am now seeing was created separately from the star itself, how do I know that there really is a star up there anyway? But then I remembered the answer. The Bible tells me that God made the stars, so the stars must be real

  12. Yet the Bible does tell us that the stars sing about God. If the messages that we receive, seemingly from the stars, were not generated by the stars, …. I don’t know what to make of that.
    And there are activities of the stars, things like supernovas, orbiting, planets, and, now, gravitational waves. Are we being misled about them, and there is
    no hint of such in the Bible?

  13. If we are seeing gravitational waves now, that must be because they were created and set towards us 6,000 light-years away, 6,000 years ago. Or maybe they were created 3,000 light-years away, 3,000 years ago. Or, as Russell suggested under the label of last-Thursdayism, 3 light days away, 3 days ago. How could we tell?

    More Creations Science research is needed

  14. “Why, I wonder, would God spend an entire six days doing…” For the same reason all the stories about gods have them acting like humans: They are creations of the human imagination. God is the biggest, baddest chimp of all. Ook Ook.

  15. Gravitational wave research is a beginning science, so we can watch to see how naturalistic (evolutionary) science and creation science fare in their predictions and accommodations with the observations. The latest that I’ve heard is the coordination of gavitatonal wave with gamma radiation (a variety of light).
    I don’t think that there is anything in the Bible which corrects the appearance of gravitational waves.

  16. I presume to stand in judgment of all Scripture. It is all bullstuff, created to have a system of control over a large population. The usual progression is to make god claims and then, when people start asking for details, make them up. Consider the Cult of the Virgin Mary that began well into the second century BCE (long after Mary, if she were real, would have died and so could not be consulted). One claim after another was put forth and then topped by others. Many of these ludicrous claims (Mary gave birth to Jesus but was still a virgin!) later became official church dogma. The need for the cult quite possibly came from “new” Christians who were used to female deities. A major Christian Bishop quite sensibly opposed the cult indicating that Mary was to be revered but not worshiped. He has his ass handed to him and is now considered a heretic (not because he espoused heresy, but because he irritated powerful enemies within the church). I stand in judgment of all Scripture.

    On Sat, Nov 18, 2017 at 1:19 PM, The Sensuous Curmudgeon wrote:

    > The Curmudgeon posted: “This is another reprint from Answers in Genesis > (AIG) — the ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo). Today’s oldie-goldie is from > 1995, but it’s still good, because their stuff is timeless. The title is > Creation and the Appearance of Age. The author is Davi” >

  17. “… Or, as Russell suggested under the label of last-Thursdayism, 3 light days away, 3 days ago. How could we tell?”
    Obviously, the false religion of Science can never distinguish the True answer. Only (Ken Ham’s infallible interpretation of) the Book can tell us.

  18. Despite being raised by creationist parents in a creationist church and a creationist school, even as a child of 8 or 9, I figured out that the universe had to be billions of years old because of the starlight problem. The flimsy excuses and misdirection of creationists aren’t even good enough to fool a curious child.

  19. Paul D, the interesting question is how they manage to fool themselves. Not all of them are fools.

  20. @PaulD how did you come to realize that there were billions of light years? The most distant galaxies visible to the naked eye are only a couple of million light years. And it takes really sophisticated science to measure that.