Pat Robertson Says the Earth Is Old

We haven’t posted about Pat Robertson for a while. Wikipedia describes him as:

an American media mogul, executive chairman, politician, televangelist and former Southern Baptist minister who advocates a conservative Christian fundamentalist ideology. He serves as chancellor and CEO of Regent University and chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network.

Robertson is an old-Earth creationist who sometimes gets into spats with people like Ken Ham — see, e.g.: Answers in Genesis Rebukes Pat Robertson, and also, from right after the Hambo-Bill Nye debate, Pat Robertson Reacts to Ken Ham’s Performance.

Today we found an article about Robertson that is certain to draw a response from Hambo. It’s at the website of the Christian Post, which describes itself as “the nation’s most comprehensive Christian news website.” They have a comments icon, but we can’t get it to work. Their headline is Pat Robertson says idea that universe is 6,000 years old is ‘nonsense’. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Conservative Christian televangelist Pat Robertson rejected the belief that the universe is only 6,000 years old, calling it “nonsense.” [Gasp!] “This universe that we live in is … 14 billion years old and there’s no question about it and we have tremendous geological records and all the rest of it and that 6,000 year stuff just doesn’t compute,” the host of CBN’s “The 700 Club” said on his show Tuesday.

We don’t often agree with Robertson, but on this point he’s quite correct. The Christian Post then says:

Robertson, 89, was responding to a viewer who was confused by what she learned in church — “that the time of creation was 6,000 years ago — versus what science says — that “dinosaurs are … millions of years old.” He noted that the school he founded, Regent University, teaches the Old Earth view. When “they were trying to hustle around [a course] called creation science, it was just nonsense and it was so embarrassing,” he said.

It’s fun to imagine the reaction of ol’ Hambo when he learns of this. He’ll be red in the face, foaming at the mouth, and rolling around on the floor chewing the carpet. The Christian Post quotes Robertson some more:

“We as Christians need to know the truth and when we know the truth you stand in awe with the God who created everything and that’s His name. His name is He who caused everything to be. He brought it all into being. Look at the vast solar system and the galaxies, and the stars, there are about a billion trillion stars … in the universe. It’s huge. So let’s give God credit for what He did, not try to limit Him to 6,000 years.

The rest of the article is about the split between clergy who are young Earthers and those who aren’t. You know all that stuff, so there’s no need to excerpt any more. Such disputes are inevitable because — unlike science — religion has no peaceful, rational mechanism for dispute resolution. It’s all about faith, and that leads to factions and fanaticism. So now we await Hambo’s inevitable reaction.

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18 responses to “Pat Robertson Says the Earth Is Old

  1. Kens’ reaction? Pat’s just one of those compromising Christians led astray by secular, evolutionary science i.e. Satan. If Pat thinks he can ultimately skirt what’s coming to him in the next life, then Ken’s probably got some picturesque brochures of flayed-alive sinners enduring a permanent vacation in Hell he could show him.

    Pat thinks you can pay lip service to the mainstream consensus on old Earth/universe dating, AND have your Bible, too. You just don’t have to take it too literally. I’ve never heard of a Southern Baptist who deviated from the fold when it comes to scripture. But having done so: what does Pat think was going on for all those 14 billion years, while God waited for someone to show up and mention him in their thank you speech? Does Pat accept human descent from non-human animals? Or is he just being highly selective, and ornery for the hell of it, having reached the age where you can say as you please?

  2. @ChrisS
    I’ve never heard of a Southern Baptist who deviated from the fold when it comes to scripture.
    “Not deviating from the fold”, meaning taking scripture literally or figurately, adding and subtracting, accepting or rejecting science or reason; scripture according to the the practice of the fold, or rather, of the designated preacher; while saying that one is following scripture, all of scripture, and only scripture?

  3. Not sure if I’m aloud to go off topic, but you may want to head over to the evolutionistrue blog, it has a good piece on everybody’s favourite Discoveroid.

  4. Yes crazy Pat does have moments of lucidity. Even a stopped clock is correct twice a day. Back in the ’90s when I used to watch Pat’s 700 club (a.k.a. the ‘other’ comedy channel) some of his business advice seemed ok. Of course he wanted his viewers wealthy (and possibly a bit indebted to him?)
    Of course this is the same guy that has a “word of knowledge” that people are being healed (as he clamps his eyes closed), claimed he moved a Hurricane. Oh and don’t get him started about Buddha statues. Observers of Pat will know he ran for President in 1988. While he lost, he did inspire one of his competitor’s sons to realize the potency of the religious right. No doubt had a lot to do with George W. Bush’s religiosity and a definite weakening of the wall between church and state.

  5. Pat can state the universe is 14 billion years old and that the idea of a 6,000 year old Earth is nonsense without contradicting scripture. The Bible says nothing about the age of the Earth; the 6,000 year idea is the calculation of Bishop Ussher.

    However, does Pat still hold with the idea of a six-day creation, and that all the kinds of life we have today were originated then? Unlike the Earth’s (and universe’s) age, that is something clearly stated in scripture.

  6. @Jim: our dear SC’s take on Klinkleclapper is better and funnier. You made me waste a couple of minute I’ll never get back.
    Regarding Ol’Hambo’s reaction: I can’t wait.

  7. The divide between YE and OE creationism is getting deeper and wider. I wonder if we’ll get another peak with Flat Earth creationism coming up in future. Or is it too crazy? At least they take their Bible really literally.

  8. jimroberts

    @retiredsciguy

    However, does Pat still hold with the idea of a six-day creation, and that all the kinds of life we have today were originated then? Unlike the Earth’s (and universe’s) age, that is something clearly stated in scripture.

    Maybe he could accept that the version of Gen 1 which we have today is not necessarily the original fully infallible version? Six days of creation and a day of rest doesn’t fit well with the ten or so creative acts or decrees of Gen 1. It looks like a later priestly addition, as a kack-handed attempt to prop up a seven day week with Sabbath observance. It is obviously absurd that god should suspend his oversight and maintenance of creation every Saturday. For example, Jesus excusing his own working on the Sabbath, John 5:14 ff: “Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.”

  9. jimroberts

    Omnipotent Curmudgeon, I believe that it lies within your power to expunge my superfluous “5:14”. I pray that it may be shown to be so.

    [*Voice from above*] Behold, it is done!

  10. “Robertson is an old-Earth creationist who sometimes gets into spats with people like Ken Ham”………….. He argues with Ham? Excellent !!! However, he was once, somehow, a US Marines infantry officer.. Reportedly, not without difficulties.

  11. Pat ! Heretic !

  12. @retiredsciguy
    The idea of adding up the begats and such in the Bible to get few thousand years of the age of the Earth goes back quite a way. For example, according to the Hebrew calendar this is the year 5779.

  13. Michael Fugate

    Jim R, I wonder how much the lunar calendar figured into the writing of Genesis? 28 days in a month with moon phases. Symbolism from numbers must have played into so many stories – not as facts. 40 plays into so many stories – does it just mean a long time? You have to count all your fingers and twos twice!

  14. @Hans is hopeful: “I wonder if we’ll get another peak with Flat Earth creationism coming up in future.”
    Today is the future.

    https://wakeup-world.com/2015/08/14/examining-the-recent-rise-of-the-flat-earth-movement/

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6716533/Youtube-blamed-rise-Flat-Earthers.html

    https://www.livescience.com/62220-millennials-flat-earth-belief.html

    Our dear SC too has spend more attention to this particular brand of madness lately.

  15. @Michael Fugate
    Those numbers of yesrs are mysterious. There is an occasional one, like 365 years for Enoch, father of Methuselah – what does the number of days have to do with anything? Some people have suggested dividing by 12 to get more realistic counts, but to what effect?.

  16. TomS:
    “…according to the Hebrew calendar this is the year 5779.”

    Sorry for going OT, but that line just put a bunch of music in my head — In The Year 2525 (Exordius & Terminus) by Zager & Evans.

    “In the year 2525, if man is still alive…” I’ll leave it to someone else to post a link so everyone else can be so inflicted.

  17. Speaking of god, did you see Trump’s performance on National Prayer Day? Such a godly man. He even yells to god when he’s having sex with porn stars behind his wife’s back.

  18. Thanks, Rsg – I needed five minutes of humming Iron Man to get it out of my head again. I’ll make your wish come true and provide this remedy.