Why Fight the Young Earth?

Question from Jerry:
I very often hear about if the Earth is ~6000 – ~10.000 years old or if it is billions years old.

But I don’t understand how this is an argument, just because in the Bible it says God created the heavens and the earth and all live on the Earth in 6 days.
So.. if Adam would do scientific research on the universe and the planet, would the planet look like its only a couple of days old?
I can’t imagine how that would look like, because scientifically, a 6 day year old planet would look nothing like a planet, more a ball of lava.

So If God created the Earth to be habitable, it would HAVE to be a billion year old planet, there is no other choice. So of course the planet looks old, even if it’s created just a second ago.

So many atheists use the evidence for an old Earth as an argument against Creation. I don’t see how it has any argumentative value though.
I’m wondering what an atheist’s response to this is.

Thank you ever so much πŸ™‚

Answer by SmartLX:
Young Earth creationists (YECs) do say that God created the Earth more or less the way it is, without working through the lava-world phase over millions of years. As you say, there’s strong evidence for an old Earth (geological, astronomical, radiometric, etc.), so a young Earth would have been created with all that evidence essentially falsified. This is the problem though, because why would God go to so much trouble to deceive us into thinking it was so old? Especially if we’re supposed to take the roughly six thousand year history of the world in the Bible seriously?

Of course the problem with any anti-religious argument that goes, “Why/how would God do this?” is that it’s possible to assert as gospel (sometimes literally) any answer which explains it away. The Earth looks old because God’s testing our faith, for example. Thus faith is insulated from any attempts to make their beliefs sound silly, and plot holes in scripture can be ironed out.

The main point of this particular battleground is that young Earth creationism follows on from Biblical literalism. The Bible says the world was created in six days, and that there have only been a small number of generations of humans since then, so that’s the way it was. There’s no good reason to believe it except if you want or need the Book of Genesis to be literal. Outspoken YECs try to convince nonbelievers that the world is young so that they will accept that God created it, because supposedly nothing else could explain a young Earth. Even if they fail, they often succeed in reassuring other Biblical literalists.

To give their position a respectable veneer, in order to appeal to nonbelievers and impress believers, YECs need to make it look like it has secular scientific support, which means presenting scientific arguments that the Earth is young. The proper use of the real evidence that the Earth is old, rather than to jump straight to advocating atheism, is to simply counter these arguments by YECs, and the evidence does so very easily. Thus there is no intact evidence for a young Earth, YECs are reduced to claiming God made the world look old, the young Earth becomes a mere assertion and it cannot serve as a solid premise for arguments for the existence of the God of Abraham. Thus you can believe in a young Earth if you want but it won’t get you anywhere with those who don’t already agree with you.

3 thoughts on “Why Fight the Young Earth?”

  1. When anyone uses the babble to prove the babble is true, we know that there will be no rational discourse possible. Theists must be either delusional, liars, or hypocrites. Often they are all of those at the same time.

  2. The planet may have to look old – even if it was created a second ago – in order for it to be habitable as you say. But what was the need for putting in a fossil record? The fossil record is not really useful in any manner to support life on the planet.
    If it was put to “test faith” then I’m not sure what kind of god we are talking about – he/she/it sounds a bit weird (“I need them to trust in me despite all evidence that I plant to the contrary”).

    Old earth is a way of showing that a) Religious estimates of age of earth are plain wrong and b) Once they are proven wrong, supporters of the estimates are forced to come up with twisted explanations (like the test-of-faith one) which makes the original hypothesis more dubious (since it now requires a crutch of explanations to stand on its own).

    Of-course, religious estimates (considering all religions and not just Christianity) of age of earth vary a lot … from 8.3 Billion years to 6k/ 10k years. But that’s a different point.

  3. Jerry:

    There is no reason for a planet created 6,000 years ago to look billions of years old. To what purpose? An all powerful god creature from any human mythology wouldn’t need to make zircon crystals aged. It wouldn’t have to put fossils in the ground of creatures that didn’t really exist if the Earth isn’t very old. In fact, the whole damn universe was made to look really old. There is no reason it couldn’t have just made it look like it came into existence 6,000 years ago, like some believers claim. The only possible reason for that is deception. That’s a rather ignorant thing to do, wouldn’t you agree?

    The reality is that ALL of the evidence and empirical data ever gathered about the planet, the solar system, the universe…everything…shows itself to be very old. Certainly way older than a few thousand years.

    YECs are usually literalists. They take what is stated in their particular religious texts word for word. So the reality of everything being so old is important to note to them because it directly refutes their claim. The other side of the coin – believers that try to mesh the words of their faith books with reality – make rationalizations of the words in their texts so that it mirrors the evidence. Their problem is trying to explain why the divinely inspired words that they read need to be changed so figuratively (and they can’t show you where they are directed to do so). That’s a whole other form of deception by the god creature that supposedly loves them so much.

    Proper dating of everything in the universe, and noting that to cultists, is necessary. They need to be shown reality at every turn, and the facts of the cosmos are the best way of exposing their fraud.

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