.

Does the age of the earth affect your faith?

spurgemasturspurgemastur Member Posts: 5,655
edited August 2007 in General Discussion
Another topic raised (yet again) the issue of the age of the earth.

I saw a number of responses that sounded to me like: "I don't care if the earth is 6000 years or 4.5 billion years old; that has no bearing on my faith.

Who agrees that the age of the earth does not bear AT ALL on their faith (and also that their faith does not bear AT ALL on their notion of the age of the earth)?

Answer positive or negative; I'm curious.

(Fair disclosure: I am at best an agnostic and the age of the earth has no bearing on my questions about God. I believe entirely that the earth is about 4 billion years old and that life here can be explained by an accident of chemistry. I am a scientist, so I cannot speak authoritatively regarding the soul; it is beyond the purview of science.)
«1

Comments

  • Colt SuperColt Super Member Posts: 31,007
    edited November -1
  • eboydelleboydell Member Posts: 10,988
    edited November -1
  • FatstratFatstrat Member Posts: 9,147
    edited November -1
    Unfortunantly I haven't smoked any pot lately. So I really can't get into this kind of thought process.
  • n/an/a Member Posts: 168,427
    edited November -1
    Simple explanation!

    One of God's days are not equal to one of our days!

    After all we know that days on other planets are different! God's days may be in millions or billions of our years!

    For all we know in gods eyes we may still be on the same day that he created Adam and Eve!
  • FatstratFatstrat Member Posts: 9,147
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by *_r_done
    Simple explanation!

    One of God's days are not equal to one of our days!

    After all we know that days on other planets are different! God's days may be in millions or billions of our years!

    For all we know in gods eyes we may still be on the same day that he created Adam and Eve!

    In fact there is a passage in the Bible that says something like "one day in heaven is like 1k years on earth". That's a LONG stretch between breakfast and supper! Hope they have an All You can Eat Buffet. [:D]
  • idsman75idsman75 Member Posts: 14,524
    edited November -1
    I don't need an explanation. I can't wrap my brain around Calculus but I do not doubt that the stuff in my old Calc textbook is true. Questions about dinosaurs and the age of the earth have been thrown at me for over 20 years. This is absolutely NOTHING new. The two are not inconsistent (earth vs bible) with one another. I'm not naive enough to think that I'm so dang smart that I have it all figured out. It's called HUMILITY. It's in the good book.
  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 31,153 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    That is why it is called faith. NO!
  • dbain99dbain99 Member Posts: 2,257 ✭✭
    edited November -1
  • spanielsellsspanielsells Member Posts: 12,498
    edited November -1
    I can't imagine why the age of the earth would affect my faith one way or the other.
  • nordnord Member Posts: 6,106
    edited November -1
    Me 2!

    I'm bothered by the fact that some folks hinge their faith on a definition of time. Further, I'm bothered that one's faith might be so tied to the literal word of an oft-translated text. It's the message dummy, not the literal word! (There are those who disagree and I respect them for their opinion.)

    As for a lucky break in chemistry... No! Combine all the chemicals you like and you won't make life. That's exactly why I'm not an agnostic. That little spark of life is not ours to give. This is why scientists and doctors are not gods.

    Further, it might be well to ask just where all those chemicals that make us up came from. Then it might be time to acknowledge the fact that science and religion seem to agree that our universe was created. The how or why is beyond our understanding, but there was one instant when everything began... And before that there was nothing.

    Isn't it a bit silly to argue over ten thousand or four billion years, or whether evolution or creation made man, when it seems that even the Godless agree that there was an instant of CREATION? Isn't this alone the great miracle? Isn't everything else just a minor detail?

    I believe in the hand of something much greater than myself. I believe not because a book says I must, but because it would be illogical not to. I believe that mankind has recorded and passed much truth and wisdom down through the generations via the bible. I'll never argue that the bible contains the words of God, but I believe that those words are as understood by man.

    After all, there seem to be passages in the bible which contradict each other. This leads to the conclusion that either our God is imperfect (which we believe He's not), or that those who put the bible into written form were imperfect (possible), or that those who translated the bible into its various forms have fallen short of true perfection (also possible).

    I fail to understand why the literal word is so very important to some of us. Those who espouse a particular version of the literal word to the exclusion of all else do more to hurt our common faith than help it.

    I doubt very much that our God has separate cubicles for Baptists, Lutherans, or Catholics. I'd be willing to bet that He won't exclude my Jewish friends either. I just don't think the written word is that literally correct.
  • slipgateslipgate Member Posts: 12,741
    edited November -1
  • MossbergboogieMossbergboogie Member Posts: 12,211
    edited November -1
    not if you believe in unorganized religion.
  • COLTCOLT Member, Moderator Posts: 12,621 ******
    edited November -1
  • bobskibobski Member Posts: 17,868 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    "in the beginning, GOD...."
    that means GOD was before time began.
    human measurement of time is meaningless. it was a tool to aid humans. God has no measure.
    HE is the alpha and omega.[;)]

    we are NOT.

    GOD is the creator. WE are the creation.

    what we each believe is a mute point. the thoughts ALSO belong to GOD. everything we are including this earth is on loan to us from the creator. how we cared for it all, will be judged. he has that right. its HIS.

    so what does it matter what its age is? the point is, it existed before us, it was made for us, it will pass away, and we will leave it someday.

    got your ticket to the new one yet?[;)]
    Retired Naval Aviation
    Former Member U.S. Navy Shooting Team
    Former NSSA All American
    Navy Distinguished Pistol Shot
    MO, CT, VA.
  • iluvgunsiluvguns Member Posts: 5,351
    edited November -1
    quote:"in the beginning, GOD...."
    that means GOD was before time began.
    human measurement of time is meaningless. it was a tool to aid humans. God has no measure.
    HE is the alpha and omega.

    we are NOT.

    GOD is the creator. WE are the creation.

    what we each believe is a mute point. the thoughts ALSO belong to GOD. everything we are including this earth is on loan to us from the creator. how we cared for it all, will be judged. he has that right. its HIS.

    so what does it matter what its age is? the point is, it existed before us, it was made for us, it will pass away, and we will leave it someday.

    got your ticket to the new one yet?



    What he said! +1,000,000!
  • n/an/a Member Posts: 168,427
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by bobski
    "in the beginning, GOD...."
    that means GOD was before time began.
    human measurement of time is meaningless. it was a tool to aid humans. God has no measure.
    HE is the alpha and omega.[;)]

    we are NOT.

    GOD is the creator. WE are the creation.

    what we each believe is a mute point. the thoughts ALSO belong to GOD. everything we are including this earth is on loan to us from the creator. how we cared for it all, will be judged. he has that right. its HIS.

    so what does it matter what its age is? the point is, it existed before us, it was made for us, it will pass away, and we will leave it someday.

    got your ticket to the new one yet?[;)]





    Well said bobski...and Ids. Our human intellect and understanding is so very limited.
  • nunnnunn Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 35,113 ******
    edited November -1
    ...the earth was (became) formless and void..."

    The word translated "was" can also be translated "became." When you put "became" in there, it gives the phrase a whole new meaning, or at least a more clear meaning.

    It also leads to questions? How long was the earth here before it "became formless and void." What happened to cause the earth to be "formless and void."

    It leads me to believe that the earth existed long before the recorded story of Creation, but something happened to it. What? A great rebellion, a heavenly war, maybe, as recorded elsewhere in the Bible.

    Thusly, I have no problem believing that the earth, in its current form is fairly young, and I have no problem reconciling the fossil records with that belief.

    I also think it's humorous that the geologists, paleontologists, and other scientists have had to seriously revise their opinions and theories over the years, when they realized that what they formerly stated as fact was wrong.

    God doesn't change. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He also has nothing to prove. He says, "I AM," and that is enough.
  • jonkjonk Member Posts: 10,121
    edited November -1
    1. I don't care. It doesn't affect my faith one way or the other. As I said in my last post, the Bible was written by men, who are fallible even if divinely inspired, and who couldn't understand the 'truth' at the time. We can- apparently. Ergo God gave us the brains to figure it out. Perhaps he will reveal another truth to us someday who knows?

    2. From Battlestar Galactica: Boomer: "How do you know- I mean, how do you really KNOW you can trust me?"
    Adm. Adama: "I don't. That's what trust is."

    Faith is much the same way. You believe or you don't, despite or in spite of evidence.
  • nunnnunn Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 35,113 ******
    edited November -1
    Well said, sir. I like your response, and I admire your faith.
  • He DogHe Dog Member Posts: 48,620 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Actually yes. If I were to certainly determine that the earth is only 3427 years old, it would most assuredly shake my lack of faith. All the evidence I see now indicates 4 billion is more like it.
  • Sav99Sav99 Member Posts: 16,036 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Bobski sumed it perfectly for me too.
  • AHansenAHansen Member Posts: 1,002 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
  • ripley16ripley16 Member Posts: 4,834
    edited November -1
    No. Not the first question I'd ask God either 'cause it is moot. I would like to know why the universe is so big, why chiggers, etc.
  • rhythm_guyrhythm_guy Member Posts: 1,524 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I believe the Bible IS the inspired word of God, that it is true and innerent, and that the men who were inspired by God to write it wrote exactly what God intended for them to write (after all, he is God). If there were conclusive proof that the Bible was wrong, it may indeed affect my faith, I don't really know. I believe the Biblical account of creation, and so far have not been convinced that there is any credible science that contradicts it, and since science generally backs up my beliefs, it only increases my faith.
  • DieHard4DieHard4 Member Posts: 2,373 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    If what the Bible says in the first 3 chapters of Genesis is not true then there is no reason to believe that what follows is true either. Either it is all true or it is all not true. Just because we cannot understand how or explain why the earth was created in 6 days does not make it impossible or incorrect. I believe that Jesus came and died and was resurrected for my sins, and because of that I can believe anything else that the Bible says. 6 days means 6 days. As far as actual age of the earth, certainly around 10,000 years, according to the timelines and geneologies in the Bible, though it may be plus or minus some. Certainly any billions of years is out of the question.

    Consider this now, when Adam was created, was he created as a baby or a child, or as a man? I reckon a man, or rather he had the appearance of a man. Suppose now, that at this very moment, God created a man, say Adam, to have the look and the structure of someone who is 30 years old. But he is not 30 years old, he was just created, so technically he is only a few seconds old, though he looks 30. Get the idea? The earth was clearly created with an apparent age, looking older than what it really was. So, take a tree perhaps that was created with Adam. The tree could have the appearance of being there for a 1000 years, but actually only be a few seconds old. Whether or not science can prove that the earth has the appearance of being billions of years old, I cannot agree that it actually is.
  • spurgemasturspurgemastur Member Posts: 5,655
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by bpost1958
    That is why it is called faith. NO!


    I like that answer.
  • spurgemasturspurgemastur Member Posts: 5,655
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by COLT
    bunnycake.jpg






    ani-texas-flag-1.gif


    thx, there, dude.
  • spurgemasturspurgemastur Member Posts: 5,655
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by He Dog
    Actually yes. If I were to certainly determine that the earth is only 3427 years old, it would most assuredly shake my lack of faith. All the evidence I see now indicates 4 billion is more like it.


    That's pretty Dawsonist. I respect his writings on evolution, but recently heard an NPR piece on which he sat as a panel member. He's a die-hard athiest, and claims also that the evidence for evolution by natural selection leads him necessarily to his atheist position. I've got a problem with that. The existence of God is not something that science is equipped to address. I think that for a scientist to claim that because God cannot be probed with science, it is irrational to believe in God...is ridiculous and arrogant.

    I know what I know through science. There still are a lot of questions that science cannot address. I don't claim to know the answers to those questions.
  • buschmasterbuschmaster Member Posts: 14,250 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    religious people say "just believe, have faith" you don't need to take the bible literally; then they go on to speculate about how old the earth is, or how it was formed, -by what they read in the bible.

    or even try to make sense of it (which they said was unneccessary)- "one day in heaven is like a thousand days on earth". or grasp upon archaeological discoveries- "look, noah's ark was found, we told you so!" or "they found (this or that) artifact, proving that (such and such) was true, it really did happen, it really was there". but regarding other questions, in the meantime, any arguments to the contrary are blithely dismissed- "just have faith".

    it's obviously wishful thinking.

    being a scientist, I don't rely on wishful thinking to guide me to an answer. doing so would introduce bias, which leads to purposefully fudged observations, intentionally withheld conclusions, stifled knowledge. and for me, the wrong answer.

    it's true, science can't prove or disprove the existence of god. science can, however, be used to prove or disprove supposed facts claimed in the bible -god's word.

    one claim is that there was a city named jericho, the walls of which god made miraculously fall down (I say this without bias). archaeologists have found jericho. they have found the remnants of collapsed walls. it does seem that they were collapsed all together and instantly. but they are unable to discover what made them collapse- a scientific explanation could be that it was an earthquake- but they have no evidence of that, and they are willing to say that the cause is inconclusive. or it could have been god that made the walls fall down -for which there would be no method of determining. so you can see that event claimed in the bible is partialy confirmed, partially inconclusive, partially impossible to determine. some claims we can't conclusively prove or disprove.

    I am not aware of any unnatural events claimed in the bible that have been conclusively proven to be of divine origin.

    some claims made by the bible (and hence god) would decisively prove the veracity of god's word. such as the question of how old the earth is.

    I would admit that if it were proven that the earth was found to be, using proven scientific methods, something on the order of 6000 years old- even anything less than millions of years old, as the great preponderance of scientific facts require- then I would have to believe that it was created by a god. such a fact would also greatly favor as a fact the existence of god.

    and I would admit the existence of god. not because I had put wishful thinking ahead of the facts.

    as it is, scientific research into the age of the earth has shown it to be on the order of billions of years old. the results were good enough for scientists to accept as fact.

    but such facts are blithely dismissed by those who wish for the existence of god- "just have faith".
  • ripley16ripley16 Member Posts: 4,834
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Dennis Smith
    quote:Originally posted by buschmaster

    ...being a scientist, I don't rely on wishful thinking to guide me to an answer...


    All this time, I thought you were a carpenter...wassup wi dat?


    He prefers the term 2by4ologist, thank you very much.[:D]
  • buschmasterbuschmaster Member Posts: 14,250 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I did both. I went to college for 7 years for a degree in chemistry, paid for it all by doing roofing and tree service. then spent the next 3 years doing remodeling carpentry while looking for a chem job. I should have went to college for something else.
  • buschmasterbuschmaster Member Posts: 14,250 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    maybe there's a way to prove the existence of god using carpentry. [:D]
  • sharpshooter039sharpshooter039 Member Posts: 5,910 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    the age of the earth does not matter to me because I do not believe in the Bible,,Now dont take that to mean I do not believe in a higher power because I do,,The Bible on the other hand is a book Written by men,,not One word in it was written by a God,,,What would you think if a modern preacher,,,say Benny Hinn showed up with a new scripture he wanted added to the Bible and he claimed God inspired him to write it,,would you add it >>>,,why is that different than how the Bible was composed..A bounch of old priest who wanted a way to control their flock,,tell them God said so,,play on their superstitions,,too many things in the Bible contradict its self of can just be proven wrong using written history and science
  • n/an/a Member Posts: 168,427
    edited November -1
    quote:say Benny Hinn showed up with a new scripture he wanted added to the Bible and he claimed God inspired him to write it



    People are gullible. They believed to the early teachers (out of ignornace and superstition). They believed in Martin Luther and his views when he split from the Catholic church). They believed in Joseph Smith (morman who found the gold tablets with the new scriptures on it}. They believed Jim Jones. The list goes on and on. Take a look at the new guy on the block claiming to be Jesus Christ reincarnate, he has a few hundred thousand that believe him. If you have a good enough silver tongue you can make people believe anything whether it be true or not.

    P.T. Barnum had it right....
  • dheffleydheffley Member Posts: 25,000
    edited November -1
    I believe what I believe, and I'm not influenced by nay sayers and their arguments. There is a God and an afterlife, and I will be judged.
  • buschmasterbuschmaster Member Posts: 14,250 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
    there was no life at that time.

    Who laid the measures thereof, who stretched the line upon it?
    nobody. it formed just like all the other planets.

    Where are the foundations fastened? Who laid the corner stone thereof?
    it's floating in space. it weighs a lot, that's why it doesn't float off.

    Who laid the course of rivers, or a way for the lightning of thunder?
    gravity

    Have you entered into the springs of the sea? Have you walked in the search of the depth?
    they been there, done that

    Have the gates of death been opened unto you? Have you seen the doors of the shadow of death?
    seen enough of it. dead is dead.
  • n/an/a Member Posts: 168,427
    edited November -1
    quote:If what the Bible says in the first 3 chapters of Genesis is not true then there is no reason to believe that what follows is true either.

    Genesis has two different accounts of the creation, which one is the true one, indicating it was written by at least two different people.
    Each account contradicting the other. HMMMMMMM..Along with the other 1000 contradictions found in that book, AHHHHHH! but it dont matter. No matter what it says I believe it cause the preacher told me I had to and I was taught from the cradle to belive it.
  • DieHard4DieHard4 Member Posts: 2,373 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Dennis Smith
    A large part of my life was spent as an amateur astronomer, looking thru telescopes at stars and planets and distant galaxies. The depth of mystery of it all was overpowering. Watching a thunderstorm move in was more powerful than anything mankind could match.

    I happened to hear a passage out of an ancient book and it kinda stuck with me, here's a few lines...



    Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?

    Who laid the measures thereof, who stretched the line upon it?

    Where are the foundations fastened? Who laid the corner stone thereof?

    Who laid the course of rivers, or a way for the lightning of thunder?

    Have you entered into the springs of the sea? Have you walked in the search of the depth?

    Have the gates of death been opened unto you? Have you seen the doors of the shadow of death?


    That would be when God talks to Job, towards the end of the book of Job. Point being that Job thought he was righteous and could not understand why bad things were happening to him. So God questioned Job and convinced him of his sin, where he then admitted his sinfulness and helplessness, and God saved him. Then God gave him back everything that he had taken from him, and more.
  • DieHard4DieHard4 Member Posts: 2,373 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Classic095
    quote:If what the Bible says in the first 3 chapters of Genesis is not true then there is no reason to believe that what follows is true either.

    Genesis has two different accounts of the creation, which one is the true one, indicating it was written by at least two different people.
    Each account contradicting the other. HMMMMMMM..Along with the other 1000 contradictions found in that book, AHHHHHH! but it dont matter. No matter what it says I believe it cause the preacher told me I had to and I was taught from the cradle to belive it.





    I must be missing something, cause I have read through Genesis at least 3 times in the last few years and still can only find one story of creation in the first few chapters. As for contradictions, have been through the whole Bible multiple times and for the life of me I cannot find any contradictions in it. Some parts are hard to understand in the Old testament, but still do not see any contradictions in them. And no, I was not raised in church, nor told to believe this and that by a preacher, nor have I been forced to believe something because my family says to. I only first started going to church about 6 years ago, not because someone made me but because I had read some of the Bible on my own and wanted to get some answers from it, because on my own I believed that it was true. My family does not believe the Bible like I do, and they did not go to church either until after I had started going. I chose to believe, and I chose to live my life as though it is true, because it is, whether or not people choose to believe it. No, I will not make someone believe it, but I will tell you why I do believe. Jesus Christ died for me, and he alone will I serve, whether or not anyone else chooses to.
  • He DogHe Dog Member Posts: 48,620 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:That's pretty Dawsonist.

    Actually, I don't think it is. The fact I never heard of the guy doesn't enter into it, nor does the fact that I don't listen to NPR. My atheism is not based on whether science can or cannot detect gods or measure how many angels can dance upon the head of a pin. I simply see no indication that the notion of a god, Christian or otherwise is probable. I am equally sure he/she has no faith in me. I am dead certain that no Church I have ever been into is home to god, though I have seen some near unbelievable testaments to man's faith.
Sign In or Register to comment.