How Old is the Universe? And Why Does it Matter?

“For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

[Exodus 20:11]

Since the advent of Darwinian evolution and the development of modern physics, there has been an overwhelming consensus in the scientific community that the earth and the universe are extremely old. Although these age “estimates” are always changing to fit new models, presently the accepted age of the universe is 13.8 billion years and the earth is supposedly around 4.5 billion years old. Big Bang cosmology with its billions of years has become the primary explanation of the origin of the universe, and science has become the unequivocal voice of authority in our culture.

Having been conditioned to blindly submit to the authority of the scientific community (which is overwhelmingly atheistic nonetheless), we have seen a rapid departure from Biblical cosmology within the community of faith. Those who are honest and logical recognize that Big Bang cosmology and Biblical cosmology are irreconcilable on many fundamental levels.

Many pastors, scientists, theologians, and everyday believers have effectively been confronted with a crisis of belief because it would appear that the authority of science has trumped the authority of God’s word. In a vain effort to reconcile this apparent contradiction between modern science and the holy Scriptures, theologians have concocted a variety of theories to harmonize billions of years with the Bible.

Just within the last 150 years, the church began to compromise on the clear testimony and authority of God’s word to allow for millions of years. Such theories as theistic evolution, progressive creationism, and the gap theory were proposed as viable compromises to accommodate modern science.

What Does the Bible Say?

Make no mistake about it, the primary issue at hand is an authority issue. On whose authority are we willing to establish our most foundational beliefs — specifically the origin of the universe and the creation account itself? Either we put our faith and trust in fallible men, who are proven time and time again to be wrong in their calculations and scientific estimations and blinded by their atheistic biases, or we let God be true and every man a liar. [Romans 3:4]

For starters, I’m still trying to find that verse in the Bible that says God created the universe billions of years ago and used millions of years of naturalistic evolution to make the first man in the image of … an ape. I’m still trying to find those Scriptures that describe the Big Bang, where in the beginning there was nothing … and then “nothing” decided to create everything in the material universe.

I’m still trying to find the place in the Bible where the stars formed themselves using gravity and gas particles and then billions of years later the earth and other planets somehow coalesced by random chance. The Bible says that God created the heavens and the earth first [Genesis 1:1-2] and didn’t create the sun, moon and stars until the 4th day of creation week [Genesis 1:14-19]. Both options can’t be right, so whose word are we going to take?

Just to be clear, Moses says in Exodus 20:11 that in six days the LORD made the heavens and earth, the sea and everything in them. No honest intellectual is able to dream up a scenario where billions of years fits into six, literal 24-hour days. Even those who try to insert a “gap” of millions of years between Genesis 1:1-2 & the rest of the creation week must disregard the very words of Jesus Christ Himself.

“But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’”

[Mark 10:6]

Jesus says that Adam and Eve were made at the beginning of creation. If over 13.8 billion years transpired before man finally “evolved” on the scene, then that would mean man wasn’t created at the beginning of creation but at the very end of creation — nearly 14 billion years removed from the “beginning” at the Big Bang. Both options cannot be right, so whose word are we going to take? Fallible man, or Jesus Christ?

Operational Science and a Young Earth

But what scientific evidence is there of a young earth and young universe? I’m glad you asked. Unlike historical science that attempts to explain things that we can’t observe and test using the scientific method, there are hundreds of observable, testable phenomena in our world today that necessitate a young earth and young universe. Using operational (real) science, scientists can set age limits that help determine a more accurate picture of our origins.

Just one example is the scientific observation that the earth’s magnetic field is rapidly weakening. Think of the earth’s magnetic field like a car battery that was charged at one point in the distant past but has been running down over time. According to the second law of thermodynamics, all of creation is running down and gradually moving from order to disorder. This is also known as the law of entropy. Consider this quote from the Institute for Creation Research.

Earth’s magnetic field

“Magnetic fields naturally decay with time. If Earth were billions of years old, its magnetic field should be gone by now. But it isn’t. This has forced secular scientists to propose a recharging mechanism called a dynamothat supposedly sustained Earth’s magnetic field over billions of years.

Dr. Vernon Cupps, November 2016 — https://www.icr.org/article/earths-young-magnetic-field-revisited

Not only should the earth’s magnetic field be gone by now, but also if we were to extrapolate the strength of the earth’s magnetic field back into the distant past — say less than 1 million years — even at a conservative rate, the magnetic force would be so great that it would literally rip apart all matter at the atomic level. In other words, the weakening magnetic field creates a limit on the age of the earth. It cannot be billons of years old. Dr. Thomas Barnes explains.

” Looking backwards in time there is a limiting age because there is a limit as to how much magnetic energy the earth could have had originally. Reasonable postulates as to the maximum magnetic field the earth could have had limit its age to a few thousand years.”

https://www.icr.org/article/depletion-earths-magnetic-field

As I said, this is simply one of hundreds of examples within operational science that affirms a young earth and young universe. These observations cannot be explained using an old earth cosmology, but because they don’t fit the popular Big Bang model, they are largely ignored.

But as we will address in the next installment, there are also many theological consequences within Big Bang cosmology and its proposed billions of years. Not only is the authority of Scripture being undermined by modern, atheistic science, but also the very integrity of the gospel of Jesus Christ is being threatened.

“knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

[2 Peter 3:4-7]




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