Science Cannot Tell Us How Old the Earth Is

One of the perennial debates between creationists and those who deny a creator is how old the earth is. This is a debate among Christians as well with some being in the YEC (Young Earth Creationist) corner and others in the OEC (Old Earth Creationist) corner.

I’m not going to delve into the pros and cons of those two belief systems in this post. I want to talk about something more fundamental. If we’re going to make a claim for the age of the earth, no matter which way we lean, on what should we stake that claim? In other words, what discipline or authority can we look to in order to find the answer to our question? More specifically, can we look to that oft cited source,  science, for the answer?

The answer is no, we can’t. In fact, science cannot even determine how old I am. A doctor can make an educated guess based on his or her observations of me (something we can do with the earth as well) then comparing me to other people whose ages they know (something we cannot do with the earth). But those could be misleading for a variety of reasons. Perhaps I’ve suffered with a debilitating disease for many years and have aged more rapidly than normal. Perhaps my hair went gray prematurely. Or, on the other end, perhaps I’ve  had a relatively easy life or are wealthy enough to mask my age with plastic surgery. Or maybe I look young or old for my age due simply to my genes. Bottom line, there is no scientific test you can perform to tell how old I am.

But they can look at my birth certificate, right? Yes, they can. But that’s not science. The reason my birth certificate is reliable is because someone who was there, probably the doctor, signed off that I was born on Tuesday, October 3, 1961. They could also, of course, ask my mother who happened to be there at the time. In other words, the only way to know for sure how hold I am is to ask someone in a position to know, someone who was there when I was born. That’s not science, that’s history.

If science cannot determine the age of an individual, how much less is it capable of doing so for the entire planet? Again, there are observations and educated guesses a scientist can make but, much as with individuals, things that have happened to the planet in the past will impact the usefulness of those observations. If, for example, I’m not taking into account that a world-wide catastrophic flood took place at some point in the past, my conclusions, based on observations in the present, will not be accurate (if such a flood did take place).

In the end, we must determine the age of the earth the same way we determine the age of individuals, by finding a reliable source that can tell us the answer. So, at least with the in-house discussion among Christians, it comes down to what the scriptures say. We must determine what we believe about the age of the earth not on what extra-biblical sources tell us but on what we’re told by the One who was there.

Running Away From Reality

Running Away From RealityIn November 1942 one of Boston’s most popular nightspots, The Cocoanut Grove, caught fire while hosting upwards of a thousand people. To this day, The Cocoanut Grove fire is the deadliest nightclub fire in history with 492 people killed. Part of the reason for the high fatality rate was the lack of adequate fire exits. The main door from the street was a single revolving door. As panicked patrons fled the fire, the door became a deathtrap. Rushed by hundreds of people, it soon was jammed with a mass of bodies and stopped working. Firefighters had to dismantle the door to gain access. As a result of this fire, building codes were later changed to require that outward opening standard doors always flank revolving doors.

Many in our culture today are as afraid of reality as the Cocoanut Grove patrons were of the flames that night. They are looking for any exit they can find to prevent them having to deal with life as it really is. However, the revolving door to relativism is beginning to slow. The consequences of pretending things are other than they are are starting to stack up and jam the works.

Nowhere is this truer than in issues of gender and sexuality, especially in the increasingly bizarre world of the “transgendered.” We’re told with a straight face that some biologically male people are really female and vice versa (as an aside, don’t you love how progressives tout science in support of their ideology, except when science is inconvenient?). At first it was just that some men are really women and must “transition” to their true gender. Now we’ve moved on to the bizarro world of more than just two genders and gender being “fluid” and changing over time. So, you might be a man today and a woman tomorrow and then a man again next week, followed by some third gender the week after. When feelings trump biology there’s no end to the iterations of being that must be accommodated.

The trouble is, this nonsense is not sustainable. It soon begins to jam up the works of society proving an inconvenience even to its supporters. What, for example, do you do if you’re a left-wing feminist all women’s university and a man wants to join your ranks claiming, despite his XY chromosomes, he’s really a woman? Or how about when the same fellow wants to join the monthly meeting of the Down With the Patriarchy Club that is usually a male member free zone? It’s enough to give the president of the Gloria Steinem Fan Club a headache.

The most recent lunacy comes courtesy of the abortion lobby – no strangers themselves to pretending things are not what they really are. Worried about being exclusionary (you know, the unforgivable sin), activist Lauren Rankin thinks the abortion industry should stop promoting abortion using slogans like “the War on Women” or “Stand with Texas Women” because they exclude the men who have abortions. Wait, what? Yes, you read that right. In the bizarro world of transsexuality, men can have abortions because, of course, when a woman says she’s a man, she is one, despite the ovaries and womb that have made possible the baby growing in her body that she now wants to murder. A baby presumably conceived when she had sex with someone whose body was able to produce sperm but who may or may not have been male. This is so bizarre that columnist Katha Pollitt, despite being both pro-abortion and pro-transgender inclusion, wrote a piece arguing against Rankin’s thesis. What’s interesting is that Pollitt almost could not bring herself to write something making the obvious point that only women have abortions. Because she has been so indoctrinated by the feelings equal reality crowd, she was worried she’d “hurt and disappoint” people by sharing the bleedin’ obvious with them:

That is why I’ve started this column many times over many months and put it aside. I tell myself I might be wrong—it’s happened before.

No, Katha, I’m pretty sure you’re not wrong, only women can have abortions because only women can get pregnant.

What should our reaction to this be? On the one hand, it could cause us to despair even more for our culture. But, on the other hand, it could be a sign of hope. One can only run from reality for so long. I can pretend gravity is merely a social construct while I’m between the tenth floor and the second floor of the building I just threw myself off of but after that it becomes a harder position to maintain. I think we’re in a similar situation with sex and gender. The further from the jumping off point we get the more bizarre the claims get and the more likely they are to be seen for what they are, just so much stuff and nonsense. When even those who are inclined to agree with the left can no longer support the outlandish claims of the gender and sexuality lobby, the size-challenged cisgender female has begun to sing.

Islam & The West – A Much Needed History Lesson

History is more or less bunk. – Henry Ford

I’m not sure the context in which Mr. Ford uttered those words but if he were alive today it could easily be in response to the history taught regarding Islam and its interaction with the west. While the most recent historical bunk on this topic came from President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast, it did not start with him. The president was only parroting what’s taught from coast to coast in secondary schools and universities – and has been for years.

Things like:

  • There is a moral equivalence between the Crusades and Islamic jihad throughout the years
  • There was a “golden age” of Islam, especially in Spain, where Muslims, Christians and Jews all lived in harmony
  • Islam preserved the knowledge of the classical world for future generations.

In the video below, Dr. Bill Warner debunks each of these, and more. It’s well worth the 45 minute investment to watch it. However, while I applaud his thoroughness in gathering and presenting the data to tell the story of Islam, I disagree with his premise as to why the true history of Islam is not taught in the west.

Warner says its out of fear that we water down the history of Islamic atrocities. That, like an abused spouse, the west has been so battered by Islam over the years that we view it through rose colored glasses as a self-defense mechanism. Frankly, I don’t buy that. The history of Islam is rewritten because doing so helps marginalize Christianity and minimize its importance in the founding and flourishing of western culture – something those in the ivory towers of academia are always keen to do.

Nevertheless, watch this video. You’ll learn some things about the history of Islam that may surprise you.