If you enjoy the information provided on this site, please consider making a donation of any amount to help continue its production. Donate Now

Q&A: How Old Are We?

Question: Science tells me that the universe is 13.7 billion years old, the earth is 4.5 billion years old, man is 200,000 years old and organized civilization is 10,000 years old. But, my pastor tells me that the universe, earth, man and civilization are all 6,000 years old. So, who is right? 

In a way they are both right. The Bible tells us that first God created the heavens and the earth from nothing using the power of the Holy Spirit. Science agrees that somehow creation began from nothing and calls the moment of creation the Big Bang. This gigantic explosion caused space, matter and time to come into existence just as God designed it. Due to the creation of gravity, gas clouds coalesced, ignited and created stars. The gravity of stars caused rock matter from the Big Bang to coalesce and form the planets. The earth was created 4.5 billion years ago the exact same way as all planets were created. So, the Bible says God created the heavens and the earth and science tell us how and when He did it. But the Bible goes one step further and tells us why He did it. 

The Bible states that God also created all life on earth. However, the Bible does not tell us how long God waited after the formation of the earth until He created life on earth. This unknow time lapse is called the Gap Theory, was first discovered in the early 1600's, and is found between Genesis one verse one, and verse two. When it pleased God, He gave a creation, or as many scholars believe a regeneration command on each of five twenty four hour days (Genesis 1:28). Scripture is unclear if His commands caused instantaneous changes, or the changes occurred over an unknown period of time. But Scripture is very clear that God commanded the actions, these actions occurred, and He was pleased. The Bible tells us God created all life in a certain order, and even evolutionary science agrees that life was in fact created in this exact same order. 

We are also told that God personally created Adam or man on day six. He formed Adam from the soil of the earth and breathed life, and an eternal spirit into him. However, He immediately transported Adam out of the greater world and into a secluded garden. This garden was located in the Land of Eden and specifically designed for his needs and safety (Genesis 2:15). Eden was probably located in the Fertile Crescent as the oldest remains of domesticated animals dating to 10,000 B.C. have been found there. So, while ancient pre Adamic humanoid-like skeletal remains have been found, this is immaterial to the Genesis story concerning the creation of Adam and Eve. The Bible makes it clear that Adam was a one-off specific creation by God to bring about a race of godly people that would eventually have its zenith with the birth of Christ. The Bible does not mention any pre Adamic races because it is not germane to the narrow focus of the story being told. Also to be considered is the possibility that these ancient unearthed skeletal remains might be the offspring of Adam who, having separated from the larger tribe in order to take advantage of more resources, found themselves forced to interbreed. This would have cause great mental and physical deformities and leave genetically corrupted skeletal remains. So, it might be that these are the remains that have been found and misinterpreted as 'missing links' in the evolutionarily development of man. But again, any race that may have existed before Adam was simply not relevant to the Bible’s focus which is strictly on the race of Adam down to the birth of Jesus, the Saviour of mankind.  

For the record, the Bible does not implicitly state that Adam was the first man nor the only man. It simply states that God said, "... let us (plural, Triune Godhead) make man in our (plural) image, after our (plural) likeness..." (Genesis 1:26-28). It then focuses on the creation of Adam, the patriarch of this race and the generations of his offspring. The Bible tells us that Adam and his race was the last and supreme beings created by God. And in turn, science agrees that humans are the most recent and dominant life force on earth. And interestingly, while we refer to the human race as the Adamic Race, anthropologists prefer to call the race of Adam ‘Modern Man’. They have done this in order to separate the race of Adam with its significantly larger brain from that of other archaic and extinct races such as that of the Neanderthals. In fact, most anthropologists agree that it was right after the sudden appearance of the vastly superior Adamic race, that the small struggling population of Neanderthals quickly dwindle and became extinct. Further, some geneticists now believe that the Neanderthal race was not genetically compatible with that of Modern Man. Therefore, these two races would not have been capable of interbreeding. With this in mind, it may have been the Neanderthal race that Cain was so concerned about encountering when he was exiled from Eden and forced east into the Land of Nod or the unknown wilderness of chaos (Genesis 4:13-16). Thus, the Bible and science are more in tune with each other than they would like to admit. Please see related: "Why Cain Killed Abel?"

It is difficult and tedious to try and understand why some people continually want to twist the Bible into a science book or a genealogy of the entire human race. While the Bible gives us the basic and scientifically proven tenants of creation, it was primarily designed by God as a spiritual guide. A series of love letters to His beloved children. So, we could say that while science takes things apart to see how they work, religion brings things together to reveal what they mean. Or, to put it another way, we can rely on science to tell us how and when physical creation came about, and the Bible to tell us why God caused a physical world to come into existence, and gave only the lineage of Adam an eternal spirit and the need for a redeemer. 

If you enjoy the information provided on this site, please consider making a donation of any amount to help continue its production. Donate Now