There has been A lot of hype in the media recently about Science vs Religion and the question of which one offers any truth at all. Recently, respected scientist Bill Nye debated Ken Ham founder of Answers in Genesis at the creation museum in Petersburg Kentucky. (http://creationmuseum.org/). This debate has thus far been viewed nearly 2 million times on you tube. You can watch it here and decide for your self which one won the debate.
The debate focused around a few things. But mostly evolution vs creationism. Bill Nye states that creationism simply could not have happened because of overwhelming evidence to support evolution while Ken Ham states that evolution does not exist because God made the world and the bible is his proof of that.
The Thing is they are both right and at the same time they are both wrong in there conclusions. But wait a minute you ask, they can’t both be wrong? and they can’t both be right. Either Bill Nye is right and Ken Ham is wrong, or Ken ham is right and Bill Nye is wrong. How can 2 conflicting ideas be right and wrong at the same time?
One of the biggest sticking points in this debate was around the claimed timeline of creationism that the earth is only 6,000 years old. Bill refutes this claim as all methods of radio carbon dating show that in fact it is in the millions of years old, Ken on the other hand claims that because the generally accepted timeline of the bible is 6,000 years thus the earth could not possibly be more than 6,000 years old. He states that radio carbon dating is in fact flawed because that contradicts his interpretation of the bible.
So how long then is the expected lifespan of the Earth. Well the first thing we Have to remember is the 7 seals spoken of in revelation does not necessarily represent periods of 1,000 years each, In fact no where in the book of revelation or the bible for that matter does it state that each seal is a 1,000 year period. I did a search of the book of revelation and the word thousand appears 20 times throughout the book and only 4 times is it referencing a time period.
Revelation 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
Revelation 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
Revelation 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison.
Everyone one of these scriptures is specifically referring to the millennial reign of Christ and the resurrection of the dead. I cannot find a scripture anywhere that specifically states that each seal was meant to be a period of 1,000 years. In fact only one of these verses mentions the word seal at all and that is in reference to sealing Satan’s prison to prevent him from tempting man. Despite that it is still generally accepted as fact and doctrine by most Christians that each seal is meant to represent 1,000 years.
So lets work on the assumption for a moment that each seal is 1,000 earth year time period as assumed and generally accepted by Christians around the world. There are 7 seals which would mean a total of 7,000 years. The 7th seal would be the beginning of the millennial reign of Christ which we know has not happened yet so we will for arguments sake say we are in fact in the 6th seal or the 6th thousand years. Ken Ham would have us believe that the earth then is only 6,000 years old. But If the first seal started with Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden then by that logic the earth was not created till Adam and Eve left the Garden. This idea however is in complete contradiction to what the Bible states in Genesis chapter 1 vs 1 which states
God Created the earth before there was any life on earth and before Adam and Eve were ever on earth. In fact Adam and Eve were the last creations of God on earth before he pronounced his creation complete. They were placed in the Garden. Ken Ham’s claim that the First thousand years started immediately after the creation of the earth, Not When Adam and Eve left the Garden just does not make sense. How then could Ken Ham possibly claim that the first thousand years started immediately after creation was complete. That would suggest that the earth did not exist till Adam and Eve left the garden which is when the first 1,000 years is supposed to start, is then false.
However When we look at the Bible there is In fact not one scripture among Latter Day Saints or any other scriptural text that I am aware that gives a definitive statement about the age of the earth, the length of time of each seal or truly how long it took to create the earth. That’s one of the other problems with Ken Hams argument. He states that the Earth was created in 6 24 hour days. Here is the flaw with that argument. Time did not exist till after the creation of day and night so how could it be referred to as a 24 hour time period? Time is measured based on the orbit of the Earth and the rising and setting of the sun, the seasons of the earth and rotation of the earth. How could God of created the earth in 6, 24 hour days before days even existed to begin with. Hours and days did not exist till man was around to measure it. Before then time was meaningless. If we look at the actual biblical text God keeps repeating the phrase “The evening and the morning were the x day”. In other words each creative act was referred to as a day and he referred to the morning and the night at a time when such things did not yet exist on earth. In fact It is not till verse 14 that the idea of time was even mentioned.
Reading all the verses before this he had already created much of the world as we know it now.
“Let there be blight: and there was light.” vs 2
“Let there be a afirmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” vs 6
“And God called the dry land aEarth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas:” vs 10
“Let the earth bring forth agrass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth:” vs 11
While he created darkness and light which he called night and day it was not till verse 14 and after all that had already been created that night and day was divided, Thus it was not till after all the previous creative acts had occurred that time effectively existed as we know it now. Given that how could you argue that it only took 6, 24 hour periods, a measurement of time that did not exist during the creation to create the earth? That argument simply does not add up when you take the time to look at the biblical text which clearly shows that time as we mark it did not exist before the world was created or much of what we know as the world today existed.
But lets for arguments sake accept that the world was created in 6 days. If time did not exist for man till man was created and till God separated night and day then the only other alternative was that it was time according to Gods reckoning. God called the end of each creative act a day. So what was a day if day did not exist yet? For that we can turn to the book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price, Chapter 3 verse 4.
And the Lord said unto me, by the Urim and Thummim, that Kolob was after the manner of the Lord, according to its times and seasons in the revolutions thereof; that one revolution was a day unto the Lord, after his manner of reckoning, it being one thousand years according to the time appointed unto that whereon thou standest. This is the reckoning of the Lord’s time, according to the reckoning of Kolob
So if a day to God is a thousand years on earth (keeping in mind that earth did not have years, days, months or season till towards the end of the creation) then the creation would of had to take at least 6,000 earth years while this is still an unrealistic timeline that is severely shorter that I am sure the reality is, it is still 365,000 times longer than the creation story Ken Ham would have us believe.
Lets expand upon that for a Minute. The great plan of our God was decided upon before the world was created, he did not decide the plan after the world was created, the creation was part of his plan, not the other way around. The seals and the events he knew would happen as part of his plan could not of been determined by man’s reckoning as man did not exist yet nor did the earth. Since earth’s time was not yet determined as it was not created at that point, Man had no reckoning of time as he had not yet been created in the flesh so he had no measurement of time according to a world which had not yet been created, and assuming that each seal was meant to be a period of 1,000 years we have a simple formula to work with. 1 day to God is 1,000 years on earth, so 365,000 earth years would then be 1 year to God. If each seal is 1,000 years which was determined before the creation of the world as it must of have been, rather than after then we simply need to multiply 365,000 years times 7 seals of 1,000 years (according to God’s reckoning) then we get the answer of 2,555,000,000 (2 billion, 555 million) years since Adam and Eve left the Garden. That it would seem would be a much more likely time frame given the scientific data that we are able to measure and see evidence of.
Ken Ham states that evolution is false and does not exist except within the species. In this I believe he is right.The bible states in Genesis 1:28
“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth,”
It sounds to me like God wanted Adam and eve to repopulate the earth. This imply’s that the earth had a human species of some kind prior to God giving Adam and eve this commandment. I Once heard the theory that early human’s before the species looked as it does today was trial and error bringing mankind close to what the final product would be. Us. Considering the overwhelming fossil evidence of early humans species evolution within the species is clearly evident. Mankind has bread thousands of new species of dogs and cats for example. Evolutions within the species would mean for example all birds descended from a common bird ancestor but has always been a bird, just as different dog breeds mating does not create a new animal but rather just a new breed or species of dog versus what Bill Nye argues in that evolution happened to create many species and types of animals from common ancestors.
Then there is the other problem of declaring that God does not exist simply because you can explain how things were created. God never said how he created the earth and all the life on it or the diversity of life. He simply stated he created it. I challenge anyone who believes in these ideas to show me in the bible where God says how he created the world and all the life as we know it today.
Bill Nye is right in that the age of the Earth that many Christians accept as fact is wrong, nor is it supported in the biblical texts. The truth is that only science has any hope of giving us accurate information about how the earth was made and how the world and the universe works.
The Problem with many scientist however such as Bill Nye and Stephen Hawking for example is that they assume because they can explain the creation of the universe (something the bible does not explain in any way other than it happened), they take that as proof that God does not Exist. The problem with that reasoning is they are presuming to have a proof of a negative. Something that any good scientist knows is that you can’t prove a negative. Lack of proof of something existence does not prove its non existence.
Scientist themselves have theorized and hypothesized about things they cannot prove in an effort to explain what current scientific knowledge cannot explain. Dark matter for example is hypothesized to exist to account for a large part of the mass that seems to be missing from the universe. Dark matter cannot be seen, felt, tasted, touched or heard but the theory helps to explain what could not be explained without it. It’s just a bit ironic that the scientific community will declare God does not exist because they can’t prove it while at the same time will come up with theory’s and hypotheses about things that they cannot prove exist and embrace that as a possible truth while discounting God simply because they cannot prove he exists.
The end result is God does exist. He is real. He Lives. You cannot prove he does not any more than I can prove to you he does exist. Religion has never contradicted science, rather our falsified ideas and interpretations of the bible not support in scripture is what conflicts with science. Our religion has never been meant to be an explanation of how the universe works and how things and life came to be. Religion gives us a purpose and helps us understand where we came from and why we are here not how we got here in the first place. Religion and science are not in conflict with each other but rather they compliment each other. Always have and always will.