This section is intended to serve three purposes.
1. Give a broad survey of Genesis and science issues in general.
2. Give an evenhanded listing of the Biblical and scientific reasons many genuine Christians have for believing the earth is less than 10,000 years old.
3. Give an evenhanded listing of the Biblical and scientific reasons many genuine Christians have for believing the earth is over three billion years old.
Issues on the miracles, and verses outside of Genesis 1-8 discussed within the scope of the respective Bible passages.
The first section is an introduction that does not require to much scientific knowledge. The question and answer section presupposes the reader has some previous background in knowledge of chemistry, physics, transport phenomena, astronomy, biology, genetics, geology, geophysics, archaeology, paleontology, and a little mathematics. In the future, we hope to add more explanatory material.
 
 

The Bible and Science in a Nutshell for Non-scientists - part 1

 
When many seekers view the Bible through "scientific spectacles", they usually see five issues: miracles, God or chance, how old, evolution, and Noah's flood. Here is a thumbnail sketch of each. Part 2 shows how Genesis and science compare.
 

More to the World than Meets the Eye

 
If God was capable of making the laws of nature we know about, He is capable overruling them, breaking them, and making laws of nature we do not yet know about. God changes water to wine on every vineyard on earth; at the wedding in Cana Jesus just sped up the process. People who cannot accept that God is capable of miracles are sort of like the people who categorically told the Wright brothers "man cannot fly". If man can supersede the law of gravity with wings, then cannot God at the very least do the same?
Historically, mankind has been certain of many things: the sun must orbit the earth, time must always pass as the same rate for everything. Everything is either a particle of matter or a wave of energy. But how can science say anything about a Being that is beyond time, who can view the future easier than we can watch past films on TV, who can change the past as easier than we can edit videotapes, for whom all times are the present. God promised us eternal life "before time began" (Titus 1:2) so how are you going to tell Him what is impossible for Him to do?
In college I had an atheist physics professor who said that if it cannot be measured, and verified, then it does not really exist. For homework we were asked to comment on that statement. I wrote that a person who thought this would not make a good husband or wife. (At the time I was unaware that he was single). For love cannot be measured in a test tube, verified in an experiment. It cannot be scientifically demonstrated that love is more than chemical reactions, people can do anything that is not ultimately pointless, or that there is anything even slightly wrong with blowing up the world in a nuclear fireball.
No there is more to this world than just matter and energy. There is more than just the science we know, and a designer is responsible for the science we have.
 

Can Something Come from Nothing?

 
Every single person believes in a god. If "god" is defined as eternal, so powerful as to create everything, without beginning yet the cause of everything, then everyone believes in god. It is just that atheists call their god "random chance". In the Middle Ages, many people believed in "spontaneous generation", that living things such as bugs could arise spontaneously from non-living things, such as decaying meat. Today we have people who believe that the entire universe could come from nothing.
The genius Isaac Newton once made a working, mechanical model of the solar system. An atheist friend of his came over, admired the work, and asked Newton who made it. Deadpan, Newton responded that no one did, it just made itself. The atheist began to get angry, because after continued asking Newton just repeated the same thing. Finally, Newton said that if the atheist could not believe that a simple mechanical model could not make itself, how could he think the real thing could make itself?
 

Just How Long is a Day?

 
While Christians who believe the earth is only a few thousand years old seem to get all the press, many Bible-believing Christians believe the earth is 4.3 to 4.5 billion years old, just as most scientists say.
"Young-earth" Christians point to the fact that Mt. Saint Helens has left strata and fossils, that would look like they took millions of years to gradually form. Many radioactive dating methods (Rubidium-Strontium, Lead-lead, etc.) are notoriously unreliable, as even the theory of them predicts. Even the second most reliable one, Potassium-Argon dating, is thrown off by rocks having periods of high temperatures, or rapid cooling such as lava being cooled by water. Thus a 200-year old lava flow in Hawaii erroneously gives Potassium-Argon dates of millions of years. Pleochroic halos, from Polonium-218 with a half-life of five minutes, have been found in massive granite formations allegedly taking years to solidify.
Overall, there are at least 76 arguments for a young earth. I have read effective answers to 39 of them, but that leaves 37 arguments an old earth theory cannot yet answer effectively.
"Old-earth" Christians point out that when 2 Peter 3:8 says a day with the Lord is like a thousand years, the context is creation and judgment. Scientifically, radiocarbon dating calibrated with yearly layers of leaves deposited on the bottom of a lake (called lake varves), and glacial ice go back to about 11,000 years ago. Even if every radioactive date giving millions of years were wrong, except one, the earth would still be old. You have small microfossils that are index fossils of their time period, for many geologic periods. Huge fossil graveyards of animals are hard to explain with an age of only a few thousand years. If our petroleum, natural gas, and coal all came from plants and animals, the immense amounts would indicate an old earth. The fossil record and an old earth interpretation of Genesis harmonize well, as Part 2 shows.
Overall, there are at least 62 arguments for an old earth, and a young earth view cannot answer 51 of them.
Conclusion: Young-earth and Old-earth Christians differ, with many scientific arguments on both sides. However, they agree on the fact that God created everything, and a day of creation is however long a timeless God wanted it to be.
 

Micro- & macro- Evolution

 
All agree on the fact of micro-evolution. Different bugs evolved from others, and llamas and camels descended from the same "kind", and even the Bible says all races of people came from one couple. But micro-evolution of species within a genus does not prove macro-evolution beyond genetic limits of biological change. An atheist today must believe in macro-evolution, because there is no alternative that does not involve God.
Bible-believing Christians disagree on this issue too. A few are theistic evolutionists, believing that macro-evolution could not occur by chance, but God did it. Most Christians do not believe in macro-evolution because the scientific evidence for it is wanting.
In the graduate-level books on fossils, it is interesting to see the honest uncertainties and doubts as opposed to the dogmatic assertions of undergraduate books. For example, did you know that of the 2.4 million animal, 18,800 birds and land animal, 400,000 plant, and 4,000 prokaryote species, there are only 1/10th as many known fossil ones as living ones.
As for life starting by chance, sunlight would ensure that any "organic soup" that existed had only about as many organics as ocean water today, minus the plants and animals (which is 10-7 Molar). As Nobel Laureate Ilya Prigogine said, "The idea of spontaneous genesis of life in its present form is therefore highly improbable even on the scale of the billions of years during which prebiotic evolution occurred." (Physics Today 11/1972 p.23-31.)
Nobel laureate Sir Francis Crick said, "An honest man armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which should have had to have been satisfied to get it going." (Life Itself 1981 Simon & Schuster p.88).
While many are familiar with the famous "horse evolution chart", few know that even evolutionists themselves believe that model is obsolete. Evolution does not even have workable models of the origin of armadillos/glyptodonts, bats, bears, echinoderms, flowering plants, frogs, hippos, platypuses, sea cows, seals, sponges, tortoises, walruses, and many more.
As for human ancestry, Cro-Magnon man is often mentioned. Cro-Magnon man is the same as modern man, except for two things: they had slightly larger (not smaller) brains, and there were more types of Cro-Magnon man than today. After (not before) this was Neanderthal man, another type of human. Remember the interbreedable race called "sons of God" in Genesis 6:4 that died out in the flood? Just as wolves are the most probably ancestor of dogs, among apes Australopithecus afariensis is a better candidate for an ancestor to an Ethiopian baboon, called Therapithecus gelada, than to people.
 

Noah's Flood

 
Imagine a strange world where ice sheets stretched from the North Pole to Nebraska, and glaciers in New Guinea. That is how scientists say the world was, until an abrupt warming about 14,000 years ago. Imagine all that ice being rapidly melted, even from the mountaintops. Remember that debris from floods and ice flows (called tillites) is indistinguishable except under a microscope. If you can imagine this, then imagining a supernaturally-caused flood, from whatever source, is not so unimaginable.
 

The Bible and Science in a Nutshell for Non-scientists - part 2

 
While part 1 discussed miracles, creation, how long was a day in Genesis, evolution, and Noah's flood, this part shows how Genesis relates to science, including archaeology.
First you have to remember that Genesis was communicated to a pre-scientific people in a way they could understand. Thus while it is true, it is written from an observational viewpoint, and much more simplified than a scientist today might desire. Turn in your Bible to Genesis, and compare that to the description here of the fossil evidence and theories that scientists currently have
 

The Six Days of Creation

 
On the First Day, the solar system was a dark cloud of gas. Roughly 10 billion years ago, the sun first ignited, and there was light. The earth was present, but it was formless and empty, as condensing gas with lots of water vapor.
On the Second Day, about 4.3 to 4.5 billion years ago, the earth condensed from a molten state. It had a vapor cloud, somewhat like Venus, with lots of water, carbon dioxide, and 0.2 to 0.4 % oxygen. About 3.98 billion years ago, the earth cooled enough that some of the water condensed, and the earth was completely covered by one ocean.
On the Third Day, some of the land pushed up to from islands that made the core of the continents. Some of the initial islands were in Canada south of the Hudson Bay, central Australia, and the Karroo region of South Africa. About 3.5 billion years ago, algae, plankton, and other photosynthetic plants appeared.
On the Fourth Day, about 3-3.5 billion years ago, most of the carbon dioxide in the air disappeared and oxygen took its place due to photosynthesis. This made the air clear as it is today, and the sun, moon, and stars could be seen from the earth for the first time. The stars were already there when the earth was created, as Job 38:4-7 shows.
On the Fifth Day, about 5.9/5.2 billion years ago in the Archaeozoic Era, multi-cellular sea life appeared, including jellyfish, worms, corals, and what is called Ediacaran life. About 590/520 million years ago there was an explosion of Cambrian sea life with hard-shelled animals. Sixty percent of the fossils found were trilobites. Apparently the shells warded off predators.
What Genesis 1:21 calls "great sea creatures" (reptilia in Greek), included large amphibians, and early reptiles, including cotylosaurs. "Birds" in Genesis 1:21 is actually a mistranslation. The correct word is "flying creature" since the same Hebrew word refers to flying insects in Leviticus 11:19-20 and Deuteronomy 14:18-23. The fossil record shows that prior to reptiles there were giant dragonflies, with a 2 foot 5 inch wingspan in the Carboniferous Period, starting 370/345 million years ago.
The Karroo fossil graveyard, with about 800 billion fossils, is from the Permian Period. At the close of the Permian Period was a worldwide catastrophe, including great ocean level changes, that caused the extinction of half of all marine invertebrate families of animals.
On the Sixth Day, starting roughly 250/230 million years ago, the first frogs, turtles, and mammals appeared. The first flowering plants mysteriously appeared around 120 million years ago. The dinosaurs were the dominant life until a meteorite or comet hit the earth hitting in two places in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico about 66.4/63 million years ago. 15% of the marine invertebrates as well as all the dinosaurs died out. Then mammals dominated the world.
There are about 1000 specimens of fossil apes, most of which come from about 1 dozen sites in Kenya and Uganda. The first primate, called Altiatlasius lived about 60 million years ago. Ramapithecus, a good candidate for the ancestor of the orangutan, lived 15/14-9 million years ago. Australopithecus afarensis (also called Lucy) lived 3.8-2.8 million years ago, and is closest to an Ethiopian baboon. The first humans, called Cro-Magnon man, lived from about 400,000 years ago to today. A sub-species, Neanderthal man, lived from 130/100,000 years ago to 35/30,000 years ago. They lived in Europe and Russia (but not Siberia).
 
Now lets look at the rest of Genesis.
 

Genesis 2-5

 
Genesis 2, gives the creation of the Garden of Eden, as opposed to the creation of the Heavens and the earth in Genesis 1. As Genesis 2:5-7 shows, people existed before the "plants of the field" (i.e. crops) existed. Barley was grown around 8000 B.C., The spelt and first known emmer, the ancestor of wheat was found about 7000 B.C.. Potatoes in Peru around 6000 B.C.. Maize (corn) came from a grain called teosinte around 5000 B.C. Rice was domesticated around 3500 B.C.
Genesis 3 relates the fall of man. While Romans 5:12 says that death came through sin, the context is the death of people. Just as plants probably died before the fall, fossil evidence of one fish inside another shows that animals probably died before the fall too.
Genesis 4-5 partially lists the descendants of Adam and Eve. The Hebrew word for "son" also means descendant, so there can be gaps between the names. Perhaps as a modern history book only lists major historical figures, Genesis 4-5 only listed the major people of the time.
 

Noah's Flood

 
Genesis 6-9 tells of Noah's flood. The Nephilim might be demon-possessed men, but they were likely a now-extinct race of people, such as Neanderthals. Homo erectus is also a remote possibility. While the flood covered the tops of mountains, it does not necessarily mean standing water was that high. If the earth was in an ice age, and the ice melted suddenly, then the water would be melting from the tops of mountains.
 
While Noah's flood might have rested on Mount Ararat, the highest mountain in the Mideast, the Hebrew actually says the mountains (plural) or Ararat. This was a very high valley just east of Mount Ararat.
 
Many peoples have flood legends. Almost all the Mideastern people did, with the exception of the Egyptians.
 
The Santal people of India have one of the most interesting flood legends. According to Eternity in Their Hearts p.41-44, they believed "Thakur Jiu" (Thakur = genuine, Jiu = God), created the first couple, a man named Haram (=Adam?) and a woman named Ayo and put them in Hihiri Pipiri, which was west of India. The evil Lita tempted them to make rice beer and pour part of it on the ground as an offering to Satan. They did so, and became drunk on the rest of the beer. When they woke up, they knew they were naked and felt ashamed. They later had seven sons and seven daughters. Their descendents became corrupted, so Thakur Jiu hid a "holy pair" on Mount Harata (=Ararat?), and destroyed the rest in a flood. Eventually their ancestors traveled (east) from forest to forest, until they came to high mountains, which blocked their path. Finally they got through (perhaps at the Khyber Pass) and they came to their homeland near Calcutta.
 
Another curious similarity is that the Aryan Institutes of Manu say Satyaurata survived the flood with three sons: Jyapeta (Japheth?), Sharma (Shem?), and C'harma (Ham?). The Greek writer Aristophanes records the Greek tradition that Japetos (Iepetus the Titan, Japheth?) was the ancestor of the Greeks. All of this may be corroborating evidence of a common event.
 

The Peoples in Genesis 10-14

 
In Genesis 10, of the 68 peoples and 16 cities mentioned, 10, scholars believe they can identify 51 peoples and archaeologists have found 11 of the 16 cities. Sodom and Gomorrah were so thoroughly destroyed they have never been found. However, the Ebla tablets, written 2400-2250 B.C. mentions towns of Si-da-mu (Sodom) and I-ma-ar (Gomorrah). See The NIV Study Bible and The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.42-44 for more info.
 
In Genesis 11, linguists can trace almost all western languages, from Celtic to Sanskrit, to one common language spoken around 4000 B.C. They can trace Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese back to a common origin also.

In Genesis 12, Abraham lived around 2100 B.C. in Ur, which was the largest city in the world, with a population between 100,000 to 180,000. It is a good thing Abram left when he did, because the Elamites destroyed Ur in 2004 B.C. Between 2004 and 1700 B.C. was the only time one would have confederacies of kings fighting, as in Genesis 14. According to Evidence for Faith p.157-164, a letter found at Mari mentions coalitions of 10, 15, and 20 kings.
 
 

Detailed Questions and Answers on Genesis 1-8 and the Bible

 

Q: In Gen 1, do Christians believe God chose to create the earth 6,000-12,000 years ago or billions of years ago?
A: Genuine Christians disagree on this. Here are four views.
1. 4004 B.C to 6000 B.C. Archbishop Usher of Ireland believed it was 9:00 in the morning (exactly!) of the year 4004 B.C. Theophilus of Antioch (168-181/188 A.D.) computes it to 5529 B.C. (book 3 ch. 29 p.120). Hales says 5411 B.C.
2. 10,000 to 12,000 years ago: Many Christians from organizations such as the Institute for Creation Research believe the earth is "young", and accept that one of God's days is exactly 1,000 years. The Epistle of Barnabas ch.15 p.146 holds to each day of Genesis being 1,000 years.
3. 4-4.8 billion years ago: Other Christians believe the earth is old. Some of the more notable ones are Norman Geisler and Philip Johnson.
4. Does not say: R.C. Sproul in Now That's A Good Question p.99-100, mentioned that he saw that number 4004 B.C, in black boldfaced letters in the Bible he was preaching from in a church. He thought that was funny at the time, but it disturbed him that somebody would put that speculation in print right next to Holy Scripture. Sproul's view is "the fact of the matter is, the Bible doesn't give the slightest indication of when Creation occurred." Today's Handbook for Solving Bible Difficulties p.175-180 for more on the reasonableness of different views.
See also the previous two questions, and the next four questions for a catalog of the theological and scientific evidence, pro and con.
 

Q: In Gen 1, assuming the earth is young, what would be a timetable for the history of the earth?
A: Here are the years before the present.

Date (years before present) Event
c.4,500/7,000 Dinosaurs died out in the flood
c.6,000/9,000 Adam and Eve created - Day 6
c.6,000/15,000 Universe and earth created - Day 1

 

Q: In Gen 1, assuming the earth is old, what would be a timetable for the history of the earth?
A: Here are the years before the present.

Date (years before present)

Event
0 Zero before present defined as 1950 A.D..
1,820 First New Testament manuscript
2,250-1,900 Dead Sea Scrolls
2,000 Jesus Christ born
4,000 Abraham lived
5,000 Beginning of Egyptian and Chinese culture
5,050 Oldest C14 Tree Ring Calibrations
5,500 Start of Sumerian city-states
30,000 Neanderthals gone from Europe
35,000 Modern men enter Europe
35,000 Explosion of modern man and first art
75,000-12,000 Würm Ice-Age (latest ice-age)
90,000 First modern men
200-125K Riss Ice-Age (most severe ice-age)
3.5 M (M = million) Australopithecus afariensis (Lucy)
66.4/64M -now Cenozoic Period
144/129 - 66.4/64 M Cretaceous Period
213/200 - 144/129 M Jurassic Period
250/235 - 213/200 M Triassic Period
300/270 - 250/235 M Permian Period
367/350 - 300/270 M Carboniferous
414 M First known land animals - Day 6
416/395 - 367/350 M Devonian Period (Age of Fishes)
446/418 - 416/395 M Silurian Period
470 M First known land plants
515/495 - 446/418 M Ordovician Period
586/530-515/495 M Much sea life/predators-Day 5
2 B (B = billion) Porphyrin-Vanadium complexes likely photosynthesis
3-3.5 B Carbon dioxide in air changed to oxygen - Day 4
3.5 B Multicellular photosynthetic stromatolites -Day 3
3.98 B Earth cool enough for oceans -Day 2
4.2 B Oldest dated rocks on the earth
4 - 4.8 B Moon formed, mysteriously
4.6 - 4.8 B Earth, sun, and our solar system formed -Day 1
10.3 B +/- 2.2 B Galaxy formed, based on estimate from white dwarf stars
11-20 billion give or take a few billion. Universe formed
700,000 years from second zero. Atoms Temperature 4000 K
34 min 40 seconds from second zero 69% protons/electrons, 31% neutrinos, temperature=3x108K
3 minutes and 2 seconds from second zero First Helium nuclei Temp=6x109K
0.01 seconds First protons and neutrons, temperature =1011K

 

Q: In Gen 1 and elsewhere, what are the Biblical arguments for a young (6,000-12,000 year old) earth?
A: In the Old Testament, all agree that the word "day" with a number by it elsewhere always means 24 hours.
There are arguments from observing scripture, interpreting scripture, and applying scripture.
1. Scripture says the earth is young; so an old earth is contrary to God's Word.
1a. Everywhere else in scripture day means either 24 hours or else a short period of time (Day of the Lord). Making day an "age" here is not its plain meaning.
1b. 2 Peter 3:8, though it may mean a day is as 1,000 years, only pushes back creation 6,000 years more.
1c. Speaking of 2 Peter, 2 Peter 3:3-7 seems to be a clear statement of scoffers' belief in uniformitarianism. Most who hold to an old age of the earth are uniformitarians.
1d. Psalm 90:4 does not necessarily refer to creation.
1e. The years in the genealogies from Adam to Abraham, added up, give Adam's time as ~4000 B.C. Even allowing that the Bible has occasional gaps in genealogy, it is unreasonable to say there are 10,000's of years between each name. This would be against the words' plain meaning.
1f. 1 Timothy 1:4 does not explicitly refer to creation, and while we are commanded not devote ourselves to genealogies, certainly none of the Bible can be ignored.
2. Interpreting scripture says that the earth is young.
2a. If plants were created on the third day, and the sun was created on the fourth day, the plants would have all died if the days were ages.
2b. By parallelism, Job 38:4-7 refers to "Sons of God." Morning stars may not necessarily refer to inanimate stars.
2c. If the sun, moon, and stars were not made on the fourth day, that contradicts the plain sense of Genesis 1:14-18.
2d. Adam could have named all the animals in less than 24 hours if he had good intelligence and memory. He did not necessarily name every species, but perhaps every genus.
2e. If the winged creatures including insects were created on the fifth day, and insects are essential for pollination of many species of plants, those plants could not reproduce if days were ages.
2f. When Adam first saw Eve, perhaps he said "at last" because he was through trying to find a helper among the animals.
2g. Romans 5:12-14 and 8:19-22 say that death came through sin and creation was corrupted too. Thus all carnivores ate meat only after the fall.
2h. Genesis certainly refers to the founding of the generations of all life, so the use of the Hebrew word Toledah is appropriate.
2i. In Lk 1:70 and Acts 3:21 say the prophets were from the beginning.
3. Applying Scripture Indicates the Earth is Young.
3a. If man was not on the earth for 99.98% of its history, God must not think very much of man.
3b. If God had to take a long time to make everything, what does that say about God's power?
3c. If many have read the Bible and always thought God took a short time, what does that say about God's guidance and possibly God's integrity?
 

Q: In Gen 1 and elsewhere, what are the Biblical arguments for an old (3-3.5 billion year old) earth?
A: In the Old Testament, the word "day" with a number by it only occurs in Leviticus, and the context has nothing to do with creation. A "day" in Hebrew does not always mean 24 hours.
Genesis 2:4 says "in the day (singular) that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens" (NKJV). The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.30 says the Hebrew here is "(beyom, lit., 'in the day,' and idiom for 'when')".
The "day" 2 1/2 million Israelites crossed the Jordan River could be more than 24 hours in Dt 9:1.
The Day of the Lord (Isaiah 2:12-21; 13:6,9; Obadiah 15; Amos 5:18-20, etc.) has to be more than 24 hours because it includes the Second Coming and final judgment according to The New International Dictionary of the Bible p.258. The Day [singular] of the Lord here included the period of the Tribulation and the millennial kingdom according to the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary p.430.
The Day of salvation in Isaiah 49:8.
A Day of judgment for the proud and lofty in Isaiah 2:12.
In possibly other places the Hebrew word for day can mean more than 24 hours in other places too Examples are Genesis 35:3, 1 Samuel 8:8, 1 Chronicles 17:5, 2 Chronicles 6:5; Psalm 8:18; Jeremiah 17:18; Amos 3:14; Obadiah 11-14; Micah 2:5; 7:12; Zephaniah 1, etc..
If someone today says the Hebrew word for day is always 1,000 that is news to Jews who lived during Jesus' time. In the Dead Sea Scroll interpretation of Genesis 3, it says that God telling Adam "in the day you eat of it you will die" means that Adam would die within 1,000 years of eating the fruit. Book of Jubilees 4:29-30 11Q12 (=11QJubilees) fragment 4 p.241
Philo the Jew (15/20 B.C.-50 A.D.) says, "When, therefore, Moses says, 'God completed his works on the sixth day,' we must understand that he is speaking of a number of days, but that he takes six as a perfect number." Allegorical Interpretation, I p.25.
Philo also says, "Moses adds the words, 'when they were created,' not defining the time when by any exact limitation, for what has been made by the Author of all things has no limitation. And in this way the idea is excluded, that the universe was created in six days." Allegorical Interpretation, I 8:19 p.27.
While it is not suggested that Philo's interpretations are always correct, this is brought up to simply show that to a learned Jew a day in Genesis was not necessarily considered as 24 ours.
There are arguments from observing scripture, interpreting scripture, and applying scripture.
1. Scripture says the earth is greater than 10,000 old and allows a great age.
1a. Can God's day be a long time? If not, then we have to cut 2 Peter 3:8 out of our Bibles. Also, Day clearly does not mean 24 hours in Genesis 2:4, "in the day (singular) that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens"
1a. In Isaiah's and Hosea's, "day" could mean period of time
as well as 24 hours.
Hugh Ross The Fingerprint of God Promise Publishing Orange Ca. 92667 1989 p.146-154.
1b. Since God obviously had 2 Peter 3:8 written for us to read and believe, and the 2 Peter 3:4-6 is referring to Creation and the flood, then saying one creation day is 24 hours contradicts 2 Peter 3:8. Should we disbelieve God? Since a day is like (not equal to) 1,000 years, then that means a day of God can be an age. Irenaeus in Against Heresies book 5 ch.23 (182-188 A.D.) p.551-552 interprets one of the Lord's days in Genesis as 1,000 years.
1c. While 2 Peter 3:3-7 does probably refer to modern uniformitarians, Christians should base their beliefs on truth and not just react to unbelievers. When believers deny truthful things, Satan can use that to harden the unbelief of non-Christians.
1d. Psalm 90:4 is a second warning that a Day of God in scripture is not to be taken as 24 hours. Since this refers to God's days in general, it certainly also applies to creation. Since 1,000 years is compared to both a day and a watch in the night for God, that also emphasizes like, not equal.
1e. While all scripture is accurate and true, scripture many times has imprecision. See Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:1, Luke 24:1, and John 20:1 for an example. 1 Timothy 1:4 may be telling us that more precision should not be assumed for the genealogies than is really there. The names may be thought of as founders of dynasties and cultures rather than just sons.
1f. 1 Tim 1:4 indicates that less attention should be paid to genealogies than other parts of scripture. Other genealogies have gaps
Cainan/Kenan in Luke 3:37 is mentioned in Genesis in Septuagint but not in Hebrew, and Matthew 1:2-13 omits Ahaziah, good king Joash, Amaziah, and Pedaiah. Since son can mean descendent in Hebrew, there is not a problem.
2. Interpreting Scripture Indicates the Earth May be Old
2a. If one of God's days must be only 24 hours, then 2 Peter 3:8 is either wrong or meaningless. If a day was 1,000 years, then recent creationists have the same difficulty.
2b. Job 38:7 says the "morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy" (Green's Literal translation, NKJV, NIV), and thus were already created when the earth was being formed. Therefore the fourth day is not when they were first created. More likely, it is the day they first appeared in the expanse from the earth's viewpoint. Since this is so for the stars, it is probably the same for the moon and sun too.
2c. Admittedly this is not the plain sense of Genesis 1:14-18, but Genesis 1:14-18 allows this, and the plain sense goes against the plain sense of Job 38:4-7.
2d. Adam could not have easily named all the 18,800 current species of birds and higher land animals in 24 hours.
2e. The first plants probably did not need insects, and plants that did need insects came about later by speciation.
2f. When Adam first saw Eve, he said "at last" or "finally" (Hebrew happa'am).
A long time must have passed since Adam started naming and evaluating so many animals.
2g. Romans 5:12-14 and 8:19-22 refer to man's spiritual death and expulsion from Eden. Fossils of many meat-eating animals lived long before man. [Note, strictly speaking young-earthers are not against all meat-eating activity before the Fall, but they do not believe that self-conscious animals were eaten, according to Creation ex Nihilo June-August 1998 p.55.]
2h. Gen 2:4 uses the Hebrew word Toledah which means "generations" to describe the creation. Toledah never means a short period.
2i. "from the beginning" is an expression for from the first times. They spoke from the beginning of mankind, not from the beginning, six days before. Thus, Luke 1:70 does not establish how long a day was. For examples of the use of "beginning" that does not refer to the beginning of creation, see Luke 1:2; John 8:25; 15:27; 16:4; Acts 26:5.
3. Applying Scripture Allows the Earth to be Old
3a. If God took so long to prepare the earth for man before He was made, God must really value man.
3b. If instead of acting quickly God took his time (4.6 billion years) to create the earth, then surely time means nothing to God.
3c. If God (or Satan) gave so many false clues showing the earth is old, what does that say about God's integrity?
 

Q: What did early church writers say about one of God's days being more than 24 hours?
A: Here are a number of things that show the word "day" did not just mean 24 hours to them.
Epistle of Barnabas ch.15 p.146 "Attend, my children, to the meaning of this expression, 'He finished in six days.' This implies that the Lord will finish all things in six thousand years, for a day is with Him a thousand years. And He Himself testifies, saying, 'Behold, today will be as a thousand years.' Therefore, my children, in six days, this is, in six thousand years, all things will be finished. And He rested on the seventh day."
Justin Martyr interprets Genesis in his Dialogue with Trypho "...obscurely predicts a thousand years. For as Adam was told that in the day he ate of the tree he would die, we know that he did not complete a thousand years. We have perceived, moreover, that the expression, 'The day of the Lord is a thousand years,' is connect with this subject."
Lactantius (260-330 A.D.) a little later in The Divine Institutes book 7 ch.14 p.211 says, "Therefore, since all the works of God were completed in six days, the world must continue in its present state through six ages, that is, six thousand years. The great day of God is limited by a circle of a thousand years, as the prophet shows, who says, 'In Thy sight, O Lord, a thousand years are as one day.' And a God laboured during those six days in creating such great works, so His religion and truth must labour during these six thousand years,..." Lactantius might or might not be saying a creation day is 1,000 years, but rather that 6 days or creation correspond to 6,000 years of creation.
Irenaeus makes this connection in Against Heresies book 5 ch.28 p.557. "For in as many days as this world was made, in so many thousand years shall it be concluded. And for this reasoneth Scripture says: 'Thus the heaven and the earth were finished, and all their adornment. And God brought to a conclusion upon the sixth day the works that He had made; ... For the day of the Lord is as a thousand years; and in six days created things were completed: it is evident, therefore, that they will come to an end at the sixth thousand year."
Irenaeus still calls a thousand years a day in Adam's time though. In Against Heresies book 5 ch.23 p.551 he writes, "This, then, in the day that they did eat, in the same did they die, and became death's debtors, since it was one day of creation. For it is said, 'There was made in the evening, and there was made in the morning, one day.' Now in this same day that they did eat, in that also did they die. But according tot he cycle and progress of the days, after which one is termed first, another second, and another third, if anybody seeks diligently to learn upon what day out of the seven it was that Adam died, he will find it by examining the dispensation of the Lord.... Now he [Adam] died on the same day in which he did eat. For God said, 'In that day on which ye shall eat of it, ye shall die by death.... And there are some, again, who relegate the death of Adam to the thousandth year; for since 'a day of the Lord is as a thousand years,' he [Adam] did not overstep the thousand years, but died within them, thus bearing out the sentence of his sin." (Part of this is also recapitulated on p.552.)
The Jewish writer Philo (died c.50 A.D.) had a different view, but in his view a day is not = 24 hours either. "It would be a sign of great simplicity to think that the world was created in six days, or indeed at all in time, because all time is only the space of days and nights, and these things the motion of the sun as he passes over the earth and under the earth does necessarily make. But the sun is a portion of heaven, so that one must confess that time is a thing posterior to the world. Therefore it would be correctly said that the world was not created in time, but that time had its existence in consequence of the world. For it is the motion of the heaven that has displayed the nature of time. When, therefore, Moses says, 'God completed his works on the sixth day,' we must understand that he is speaking not of a number of days, but that he takes six as a perfect number."
 

Q: Where in the Old Testament does the Hebrew word for day not mean 24 hours?
A: Some Christians have incorrectly said the word for day always means 24 hours. However, the following usages show otherwise.
Genesis 2:4 says "in the day (singular) that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens" (NKJV). The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.30 says the Hebrew here is "(beyom, lit., 'in the day,' and idiom for 'when')".
The Day of the Lord (Isaiah 2:12-21; 13:6,9; Obadiah 15; Amos 5:18-20, etc.) has to be more than 24 hours because it includes the Second Coming and final judgment according to The New International Dictionary of the Bible p.258. The Day [singular] of the Lord here included the period of the Tribulation and the millennial kingdom according to the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary p.430.
The Day of salvation in Isaiah 49:8.
A Day of judgment for the proud and lofty in Isaiah 2:12.
In possibly other places the Hebrew word for day can mean more than 24 hours in other places too Examples are Genesis 35:3, 1 Samuel 8:8, 1 Chronicles 17:5, 2 Chronicles 6:5; Psalm 8:18; Jeremiah 17:18; Amos 3:14; Obadiah 11-14; Micah 2:5; 7:12; Zephaniah 1, etc..
 

Q: A Hawaiian Astronomer has claimed to find a new planet being born. But this doesn't make any sense to me, why would a planet form now, after the seventh day of Creation when God rested from creating anything. How is this planet forming?
A: It is hard for astronomers to know for certain things that are so far away, but let's assume, for the time being, that they are correct, they do see a new planet being formed.
Even though God made the land and the sea back in Genesis, he can still make things today. For example, a new Island, called Surtsey was formed just off of Iceland from 1963 to 1967. It was formed from a volcanic eruption. Surtsey was originally 1 square mile, but now it is about 0.5 square miles. It is possible that due to wind and sea erosion, it might be gone (i.e. not above the ocean anymore) in 50 years or so.
Of course Surtsey, to us, is far larger in our perspective than a planet is in God's perspective.
 

Q: In Gen 1, what is the scientific evidence for a young (6,000-12,000 year old) earth?
A: First is what in my opinion are the top three arguments, followed by all the arguments. These are followed by a catalog of all the arguments for a young earth.
Since this and the next answer are rather lengthy, if the scientific arguments are not of interest to you, you might wish to skip over these two questions.
If you are still reading this, here are some major arguments for a young earth, along with old earth rebuttals.
Major arguments:
Young Earth Decay of the earth's Magnetic Field Argument:
Since the earth's core is too hot to be magnetized, all agree the earth's core functions similar to a giant electromagnet. Frictional losses would cause the strength of the earth's magnetic field to gradually decay. Since 1835, the estimated total dipole magnetic field strength has decreased by 7% in just 130 years. There is no known mechanism for replenishing and sustaining the electromagnetism. The earth's rotation would not seem a cause, as it would act against the magnetic field during the times when the magnetic field is allegedly reversed. Actually, young-earthers believe the measurement of magnetic poles in rocks are ill-defined. Also, scientists have documented self-reversal of magnetism in rocks.
Rebuttal to magnetic arguments: While there are mysterious aspects to the earth's magnetic field, the data favors an old earth, not a young one. At the same time the earth's magnetic dipole moment has been decreasing, the earth's magnetic quadrapole moment has been increasing by roughly the same amount. Furthermore, in 1969, there was a "magnetic hiccup" in intensity of the earth's magnetic field, that cannot be explained by a young earth. Remnant magnetism in rocks allow a systematic tracking of the movement of the magnetic poles, and the young earth theory has to deny this pattern because they cannot account for it. The primary source of new charged particles to sustain the earth's magnetic field is radioactive decay, and the earth's rotation also plays a role during the periods of normal magnetic polarity.
Thus, the source of radioactivity in the earth, the evidence of an increasing quadrapole moment, and the pattern of the movement of the magnetic poles show an old earth, not a young one.
Young Earth Inter-Planetary Dust Argument: Our solar system is very "dusty", yet the gravitational fields of planets should have "vacuumed up" most of this dust if the solar system is older than tens of thousands of years. By a few billion years, even the smallest particles of dust would have found a permanent home on some planet, moon, or the sun by now. When astronauts were first going to land on the moon, some scientists as NASA were concerned that the lunar lander would just disappear in the dust of billions of years. Actually, only 1/8 to 3 inches of loose dust were found.
Rebuttal to Inter-Planetary Dust: Three points to consider in the answer.
R1. Estimates of the rate at which planets and moons collect dust are extremely imprecise. The first estimates were too high, and those are the estimates many Creationists still use.
R2. The dust is not vacuumed up, because new dust is being made about as fast as old dust is settling. Even today, Jupiter is ejecting dust towards Mars. The asteroids in the asteroid belt create dust as they smash together.
R3. Actually 20-120 feet of compacted dust was found on the moon. This is too much dust to accumulate in just 10,000 years. Thus inter-planetary dust actually supports an old universe, not a young one.
Catalog: Here is a listing of 72 young earth arguments. Old earth people have an answer for the arguments that are italicized. That leaves 37 arguments for which I have not found a very good "old earth" answer.

A. Young Earth Galactic and Stellar Arguments (13)
A1. Breakup of Galactic Clusters - (Local group has 24 galaxies)
A1a. Galaxies never appear to occur singly
Galaxies appear as edges of giant "soap bubbles"
A2. Breakup of Galaxies (100 billion stars per galaxy)
A2a. Spiral Arms
A2b. Whole galaxy should be flying apart if old
A2c. Decay lines of galaxies
A2d. Lack of proof of existence of field galaxies
"Full Frontals" in Upfront in Discover Nov. 1990 p.10.
Flamstead, Sam "When Galaxies Collide" Discover Feb 1990 pp.50-57.
A3. Breakup of star clusters
A4. The ultra-smoothness of background radiation is a major problem in the Big Bang Theory.
A5. New stars from grain formation would take longer than billions of years
A5a. Many stars have been observed to die, but no new ones seen
A6. If hydrogen has been converted to helium in stars for 11 billion years, why is there still so much hydrogen?
A7. White dwarfs, half the sun's mass, would take too long to form, yet they exist. Mathematical models of white dwarf formation plus stars that are in various stages of white dwarf formation.
A8. Stars need not have long lifetimes; Sirius B is white, but used to be red according to ancient astronomers
A9. Existence and stability of very large stars
Massive energy losses would deplete large stars rapidly.
A10. Since the temperature of the universe is not uniform, the universe is not infinitely old
A11. Stellar evolution assumes the age of the stars. The age of the stars justifies stellar evolution. This is circular reasoning.
A12. Since O stars burn 100,000's of times more rapidly than the sun, they must be young. Yet, they do not have the rotation and magnetic fields expected.
A13. Some fast binary stars have centers only 80,000 miles (130,000 km) apart. This calls into question whether stars can evolve at all.
B. Young Earth Solar System Body Arguments (17)
B1. The sun's tidal forces are too strong for planets to form.
B2. All planets and satellites should rotate the same direction. Venus, Uranus, Pluto, and 11 of 60 moons are backwards.
B3. The sun should have 700 times more angular momentum than the planets.
B4. The earth Mars Venus, and Mercury should be roughly 98% hydrogen and helium.
B5. Planetary capture of our moon, Triton, and 4 moons of Jupiter.
B6. The moon is receding from the earth too rapidly.
B7. Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune have not cooled off; they radiate more heat than they receive. (So does the earth).
B8. Sun should be depleted in 10 million years. It is shrinking 0.1% per century.
B9. Evidence the sun might not be powered by thermonuclear fusion.
B9a. 1/3 of expected neutrinos unless they had a small mass.
B9b. Temperature (currently 5760 K)
B10. A "Young Moon" is indicated by:
B10a. Argon 36, Krypton 84, Thorium 230, Uranium 236.
B10b. Viscosity of moon rock and height of moon's craters.
See space dust for dust accumulation on the moon.
B11. Io, a moon of Jupiter
B11a. Existence of a volcano on Io. Any volcanic activity on this tiny moon should have died out rapidly.
B11b. Absence of any obvious meteoritic activity on Io.
B12. How could methane gas escape from Titan, Saturn's moon, for billions of years?
B13. All moons should spin in the plane of their planet but many do not.
B14. The moon has a hot interior. It would have cooled off by now if it was old.
B15. The present rate of icy comets hitting the earth would mean much more water than in the oceans if an old solar system. If early times, probably more icy comets than now.
B16. Moon's craters would have leveled out in 10,000's of years by gravity.
B17. The solar wind would blow all small particles out of the solar system, yet they are still here.
C. Young Earth Space Dust Arguments (9)
C1. Cosmic dust hitting the planets and the Moon
Dust on the Moon not deep enough
Nickel content of the earth and oceans too low
14 million tons of meteor dust hit the earth per year. 2.5% Ni Earth's crust 0.008% Ni.
C2. Comet lifetimes should be < 10,000 years.
C2a. Short period comets
C2b. Long period comets
2 Oort clouds with many comets probably true.
C3. Extinction of Inter-planetary dust
C4. Meteors not sufficiently sorted by Poynting-Robertson Effect
Chaotic motion might keep them unsorted
C5. Maximum life of meteor showers
C6. Experts surprised that meteorites and cosmic dust mainly just in top layers.
C7. Expanding interstellar gas
C8. Cosmic dust speed too low if universe billions of years old
C9. Lifetime and instability of the rings of Saturn and Neptune
D. Young Earth Arguments from the Earth's Material Heat, Pressure, and Magnetism (11)
D1. The atmosphere has only 40,000 years of Helium 4 from Uranium and Thorium decay. It should have more compared to Helium 3.
D2. The atmosphere has too much Helium (3 and 4). It would all have diffused out in millions of years.
D3. Crust and continents should be more because eroding too slow.
D3a. In 3.5 billion years, should be 20-80 times more crust.
D3b. Based on mountain uplift rates, if earth were a mere 55 million years old, mountains should be 5 times taller than Everest.
D3c. Average depth of earth's topsoil too low.
D3d. Rate of loose sediment formation indicates the earth could not be more than 20,000 years old.
D3e. Rate of sediments turning into sedimentary rock indicates the earth could not be more than 20,000 years old.
D4. Continents should be gone because they are eroding too fast
D4a. Overall the continents are eroding at a rate that would level them in 25 million years.
D4b. Rate of leaching of the earth's continents too high of: Calcium, Carbonate, Sodium
D5. Ocean sediment and sea-water concentration unsaturated.
D5a. Overall ocean sediment does not match the erosion rate. Calcareous ooze
D5b. Rates of influx from rivers into the oceans does not saturate or match the amounts in the oceans.
Aluminum, Antimony, Barium, Bicarbonate, Bismuth, Calcium, Carbonate, Chlorine, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Gold, Iron, Lead, Lithium, Manganese, Magnesium, Mercury, Molybdenum, Nickel, Potassium, Rubidium, Silicon, Silver, Sodium, Strontium, Sulfate, Thorium, Tin, Titanium, Tungsten, Uranium, Juvenile water, Zinc.
U to oceans is 10K to 5M tons /year.
D5c. Rate of submarine oil seepage into the oceans.
D6. Meandering rivers have cut through many layers of sediment.
D7. The high pressure in oil and gas reservoirs would cause the fuels to diffuse out in less than 10,000 years.
D8. Due to the temperature >= 313 C, the lead in zircon crystals in deep granite cores should have diffused out at a rate of 1% per 300,000 years, yet no losses are detected. Likewise for helium in zircon crystals.
D9. Growth rate of river deltas such as the Mississippi.
D10. The rate of cooling in the earth is too high.
D11. The mechanism for sustaining and increasing the earth's magnetic field is a mystery. Electric fields would decrease and die out within 10,000 years.
Dipole monent gauss*cm3*1025 1835 8.558, 1845 8.488, 1880
8.363, 1885 8.347, 1905 8.291, 1915 8.225, 1925 8.149, 1935
8.088, 1945 8.066, 1955 8.035, 1960 8.053, 1965 8.013
Archaeological dipole moment measurements 2000 BP. (maxima)
12, 5500 BP. (Minima) 4, 10,000 BP. 12, 50MyBP 5, 100MyBP 3,
200MyBP 4, 275MyBP 14, 300MyBP 1, 375MyBP 1.2, 400MyBP. 4
During the time the dipole moment has been decreasing, the quadrapole moment has been increasing by the same amount.
Must be powered by rotation, even if the field reverses.
D12. The remnant magnetism in earth rocks would have decayed away in millions of years.
D13. From present rates, volcanic debris should be 10 times the volume of the earth, yet only 25% is volcanic.
D14. The vast majority of the earth's "geologic column" is missing.
D15. Parallel layers without erosion in between imply little time between depositions.
E. Young Earth Radioactive Dating Arguments (11)
E1. Variation in decay rates with pressure, temperature, and electric field strength.
E2. Pleochroic halos of Polonium-218 indicate huge granite masses cooled within minutes or else there are unresolved problems with radiodating. These are found in Scandinavia, U.S.A. India, and Canada.
E3. Inter-bedding in the Grand-Canyon and other places.
E4. Massive formations with the sequence upside down.
E5. In one study over 400 out of 800 samples had inaccurate ages - K/Ar, Rb/Sr
E5a. New formations, such as a 197 year old Hawaiian lava flow the whole Island of Surtsey (10 years ago), and Mt. St. Helens can be tested for the "age" of the brand new rocks.
E5b. Lunar rocks have drastically increased Argon content
E6. Ages of adjacent rocks and soil differ by a billion years.
E7. Carbon 14 production rate is not equal to disintegration rate
E8. Still some Carbon 14 decay in Precambrian wood
E9. Formation of Carbon 14 in meteorites
E10. Formation of radiogenic
E10a. Lead and strontium by neutron capture
E10b. Decay of plutonium
E10c. Decay of potassium with entrapped argon
E10d. Uranium decay with initial radiogenic lead
E11. Wide variation in times of geologic ages. This table shows the range in various books for the start of each Period, and the range for the end of each period. The numbers are in MYBP, which is an abbreviation for millions of years before present.
66.4/64M -now Cenozoic Period
146/129 - 66.4/64 MYBP Cretaceous Period
213/200 - 146/129 MYBP Jurassic Period
250/235 - 213/200 MYBP Triassic Period
300/270 - 250/235 MYBP Permian Period
367/350 - 300/270 MYBP Carboniferous Period
416/395 - 367/350 MYBP Devonian Period
446/418 - 416/395 MYBP Silurian Period
515/495 - 446/418 MYBP Ordovician Period
590/530 - 515/495 MYBP Cambrian Period
F. Young Earth Life Arguments (11)
F1. Unconsolidated state of some rocks, even very "ancient" ones.
F2. Growth of the oldest living part of the earth's biosphere.
F3. Present oxygen in air could be made by plants in 5,000 years. If the present equilibrium could be reached in 5,000 years, that would say nothing for long we have been at equilibrium.
F4. An estimated 90% of all known animal species are living today. However, invertebrates (with no bones) and bird (with small, hollow bones) make poor fossils.
F5. No evidence of a very large number of mutations in fossils.
F6. Human footprints and artifacts found in Utah, Kentucky, Missouri, and possibly Pennsylvania in "150-600 million years old" rock.
F7. "Modern" pollen found in Cambrian Grand Canyon rocks.
F8. Polystrate fossils suggest rapid deposition, as happened with Mt. St. Helens, not many ages.
F9. Origin of human civilizations.
F10. Human population would be astronomical if an old earth. However, one could use the same logic and rabbit reproduction rates to "prove" the earth was not more than a few hundred years old. The truth is the birth and death rates fluctuate, and the equilibrium can change.
F11. Growth rate of active coral reefs. Some areas have conditions for rather rapid growth of coral reefs. However, other areas have conditions for destruction of coral reefs, so they probably have been at equilibrium, and the equilibrium point can change.

 

Q: In Gen 1, what is the scientific evidence for an old (3-3.5 billion year old) earth?
A: While the previous question gives evidence for a young earth, here are what in my opinion are the top three arguments for an old earth. These are followed by a catalog of all the arguments for a old earth.
Here are some major arguments for an old earth, along with young earth rebuttals.
Major arguments:
Old Earth Radioactive Dating Arguments:

The two most reliable methods are potassium-argon and calibrated radiocarbon dating. Even if every single radioactive dating method did not exist, even if calibrated radiocarbon dating alone were true the earth would be at least 15,000 years old. Even if everything was false except for one potassium-argon date, then the earth would be millions to billions of years old.
Over 15,000 tree-ring calibrated radiocarbon dates correlate very well with each other, and with lake varve deposits of leaves; they should not correlate if the earth was young. In addition, ice core samples also correlate well with these.
While we now recognize that the radiocarbon (carbon-14) in the atmosphere cycles over time, and that is why radiocarbon dating must be calibrated to avoid errors of as much as 20%.
Potassium-argon and other dating methods, in general correlate well with the index fossils people expect to find at that time in the earth's history. The young-earth rationalization that the fossils simply "stratified" based on their size and density does not stand to reason, as there are correlated microfossils at all different levels, and larger fossils from before the dinosaurs to today.
It is known though, that a potassium-argon date will be unreliable if the molten lava did not cool slow enough to equilibrate with the air (such as with underwater lava flows), or if the rock was subsequently heated up hotter than 125 degrees C (251 degrees F), which allows the argon to diffuse in and out of the rock.
Rebuttal to radioactive dating arguments: four points to consider in the answer.
R1. In one literature search, around 50%, or over 400 radioactive were found to be in the wrong time period; so much for radioactive dating and index fossils all agreeing.
R2. A 200 year old Hawaiian lava flow as given dates of millions of years. If wrong values are cross-checked against values wrong for the same reasons, then they might agree with each other, but both would still be wrong.
R3. The trouble with potassium-argon is that it is never known for certain when one sample was formed too rapidly, or whether the rock was subsequently reheated. Rocks inside the earth can get very hot.
R4. Artifacts of short-lived radioactive elements such as polonium are called pleochroic halos. There are present in some huge granite formations. Either these formations must have cooled in less than five minutes (impossible), or else there are some fundamental problems with radioactive dating.
Old Earth Fossil arguments: Rock formations in Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Germany, Scotland, and Sicily show massive numbers of (usually marine) fossils. The Karroo formation in South Africa has an estimated 800 billion fossils alone! If all these organisms lived within a few thousand years, then the early earth must have had more animals per square yard than there was space.
If natural gas, oil, and coal all came from the decay of plants and animals, then there is just too much for everything to have lived within a few thousand years. In coal, scientists can look at the amounts of vanadium and others metals and determine which coal came primarily from plants, and which came primarily from marine animals.
Finally, one flood alone cannot explain how so many index fossils, large and small, are generally found at "just the right times" in rocks in almost all time periods.
Rebuttal to fossil arguments: Graveyards are where the bones collected, not necessarily where the animals died. There are huge rock formations, such as the Lewis Overthrust, where the index fossils would be in exactly the reverse order.
Catalog: Here is a catalog of 65 old earth arguments. Young earth people have an answer for the arguments that are italicized. That leaves 50 arguments for which I have not found a "young earth" answer.

A. Old Earth Galactic and Solar Arguments (8)
A1. Big Bang theories can explain
   A1a. Red Shift (Doppler Effect) The widening of the spectral bands is well explained by intervening dust material encountered traveling long distances through space.
   A1b. The ratio of matter to energy
 A1c. The ratio of protons to neutrons
 A1d. The approximate present amount of the elements
A2. Background Radio Frequency Radiation at 7.35 cm (temperature of 3 Kelvin) supports Big Bang
A3. If universe not old, then the light from galaxies millions of light years away could not be from them unless the light did not come from them or space is a Riemann space.
A4. Spiral Arms of Galaxies - Computer simulations are successful, when they assume non-radiant dark matter like our galaxy is known to have.
A5. Star Formation - about 3 stars formed per year are observed.
A6. Starlight from stars in the other galaxies takes millions of years to reach the earth. The distance is gauged by assuming the brightness is similar to our own galaxy. This alone proves an old age unless God created it recently with the appearance of age.
A7. Main Sequence (Red Giants, White Dwarfs, Black Holes)
   A7a. The number and distance of white dwarfs give an estimated age of 11 billion years.
A8. Prediction and Observation of Black Holes
B. Old Earth Solar System Body Arguments (6)
B1. Age of Meteorites and the Solar System by radioactive dating.
B2. Age of the Moon by radioactive dating
B3. Composition of the sun and planets
   Sun's size varies with a period of 79 years.
B4. However the solar system formed, simulations can go forward or backward for millions of years and show that it is stable.
B5. Saturn's rings have chaotic stability (with strange attractors).
B6. Large number of craters on the moon, Mars, and other moons.
C. Old Earth Meteorite and Space Dust Arguments (7)
C1. The amount of meteoritic material on moon is too great for only a 10,000 year history.
C2. The number of visible comets in ancient times is not larger than today.
C3. number of meteorites that hit the moon and earth.
C4. A compacted layer of space dust takes a very long time to form.
C5. ~90 sites of excess Iridium at the end of the Cretaceous Period indicate one 10 kilometer diameter or many meteors or comets hit then.
  (Sci Amer. Oct 1990 p.80)
   C5a. A giant post-Cretaceous meteorite has been found at the bottom of the Caribbean Sea or the Yucatan.
Yucatan 170 km diameter.
   C5b. Shocked mineral spherules, shocked quartz grains, and micro-diamonds have also been found.
Expected to hit at 10 km/sec, force 1x109 Megatons significant gas leaves the atmosphere, 150 D km crater. Months unable to see due to the blockage of the sun. Nitric acid rains.
C6. A giant post-Triassic meteorite has been found in Italy.
C7. Massive subterranean meteor craters indicate that the rock was once on the surface. Ten's of thousands of feet of rock could not be produced in 10,000 years by a big flood, but needed millions of years to form and turn to rock.
D. Old Earth Arguments from the Earth's Material Heat, Pressure, and Magnetism (11)
D1. Evidence of continental drift (even after life formed) implies time necessary for it to move slowly or miraculous suspension of acceleration forces.
   D1a. Has been measured by laser beams bouncing off satellites.
   D1b. From the magma temperature, one can accurately predict the ocean crust thickness (1320-1360 C, 6-7 km).
   D1c. Continental drift explains well the shape of the continents (South America jutting into Africa etc.).
   D1d. No other theory links the many fossil marsupials of Australia and South America.
D2. Evidence of a 350 day year in Cambrian times. Would take a long time for the earth's rotation to change like that.
D3. Evidence of ancient mountains and seas.
   D3a. Deposits show Mediterranean Sea was desert 6 million years ago.
   D4. There is too much sedimentary rock for "flood geology".
   D4a. Depth of sedimentary rock (max 7 miles (4.4 km) deep) Grand Canyon - 4,000 to 5,000 feet sedimentary. Large areas of Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois 1 mile (1.6 km) deep.
   D4b. Maximum thicknesses of one period in one place After each depth is the variation in dates geologists have assigned for the opening and closing of the Period, and the MYBP (Millions of Years Before Present).
Cambrian 40,000 ft. in British Columbia 586/530-515/495 MYBP
Ordovician 40,000 ft. in Australia 515/495-446/418 MYBP
Silurian 15,000 ft. in Britain 446/418-416/395 MYBP
Devonian huge thicknesses 416/395-367/350 MYBP
Carboniferous 367/350-300/270 MYBP
Permian huge thicknesses in Texas 300/270-250/235 MYBP
Triassic 25,000 ft. in the Alps 250/235-213/200 MYBP
Cretaceous 2,500 ft. near Tucson, Arizona 144/129-66.4/64 MYBP
Note that 40,000 ft is 7.5 miles (12 kilometers)
D5. Evaporites (massive salt deposits - Permian and other periods)
D6. Movement of the earth's magnetic poles
   D6a. Past movement of the earth's magnetic poles
   D6b. Current westward drift of the earth's magnetic poles
   D6c. Magnetic "hiccup" in 1969.
D7. Magnetic Reversals (300 in the past 170 million years)
   D7a. Kaiman magnetic interlude during Permian period.
D8. Desert Sand Dunes - Take a 1,000's of years w/o water to form.
   D8a. Sahara a green grassland 7,000 years ago.
D9. The change in pressure with depth of oil reservoirs with fresh water fossils matches the change in pressure of fresh water with depth, and likewise the change in pressure of oil reservoirs with marine fossils matches the change in pressure of salt water unless the reservoirs are beside faults.
D10. Multiple ice ages had to have a long period of time
   D10a. Carbon/nitrogen ratios match hot and glacial periods
   D10b. Tillites match glacial periods
   D10c. Glacial lakes and deposits
   D10d. Mass extinctions
   D10e. Correlation with Milankovic forcing for earth's orbit
D11. Mountain uplift takes millions of years. Mountain formation is explained very adequately by an old earth.
Note: Mercury has a magnetic field 1/100th of earth's. It rotates slowly, and may not have a liquid core, so no theory, be it young or old earth, can explain this.
E. Old Earth Life and Fossil Arguments (13)
E1. Vast Extent and Thickness of Coral Reefs.
E2. If fossil fuels came from organic matter, then earth must be old.
     E2a. C12 enrichment in fossil fuels and modern plants
     E2b. Fossils in coal and fossil wood in Athabasca tar sands
     E2c. Both coal and wood have a del 13C value of -25%.
     E2d. Vanadium in Petroleum could only be from plant material.
     E2e. Explanation of why Mideast and Caribbean have oil
     E2f. The Siljan Ring Deep Test in Sweden found no petroleum.
E3. Too many fossils in fossil graveyards if earth is young.
   E3a. If all Karroo South African fossils lived in the world within a few thousand years, the area would be covered with large animals 3 ft thick.
   E3b. Graveyards also in Lincoln County, Wyoming, Florissant, Colorado.
      "Mass Mortality in the Sea" Treatise on Marine Ecology and
      Paleoecology I (New York: Geol. Soc. of America, 1957)
      pp.941-1010) by Margaretha Brongersma-Sanders
E4. The great number of index fossils that agree with each other and with radiometric dating. Flood stratification cannot explain, and even the most optimistic estimates for the rate of micro-evolution cannot be reconciled in a few 1,000 years.
     E4a. Why are __________ such good index fossils if _________ is not a geologic age?
Graptolites - Ordovician, Silurian
Corals - Cambrian, Ordovician to present
Foraminifera - upper Cambrian to present
Trilobites - Cambrian
Fusilinids - Carboniferous to Permian
Glossoptera -
Conodonts - Cambrian to Permian
Pigs and Swine - Miocene
Ostracods - Permian
Siliceous Plankton - upper Cambrian to present
   E4b. Ancestral crocodilia (over 80 genera) are found in just the right periods.
   E4c. If a young earth, why are the 700 species and 89 families of archaeocyathids never after the Cambrian period?
   E4d. If a young earth, why are the "weird" forms of Pre-Cambrian life never found later?
   E4e. If a young earth, why are the 84 genera of reef-making stromatoporoids never found except in Ordovician - Devonian rocks?
   E4f. If a young earth, why are the 10,000 species (1,500 genera) of trilobites found in the Paleozoic if modern bottom dwelling crustaceans are not?
   E4g. If the earth was young, why are 780 species of conodonts never found above Paleozoic rocks?
E5. "Flood deposits" is a poor explanation for the high degree of stratification of fossils, even besides the index fossils. There had to be long periods of time.
E6. The explosion of Life in the Cambrian Period. This occasion, and the fact that all but the jellyfish died out is hard to explain in just a few thousand years.
E7. Catastrophism of the Permian Period. Extinction of half of all families of animals, and the rise of so many new families at the close of the Permian Period is hard to reconcile with a few thousand years before the great sea creatures, much less man, were created.
E8. If macroevolution occurred, by necessity the earth would have to be billions of years old.
E9. If even microevolution occurred, the earth would have to be at least a million years old due to too many extinctions: i.e. Ammonites, Birds, Conodonts, Dinosaurs, Fish, Sponges.
E10. Early Human Civilizations and Habitation
    E10a. Egyptian and Sumerian history both go back to 5,500 years ago.
    E10b. Even assuming that C14 is only a relative measure, there is too much pre-history in Europe, Africa, and Asia prior to 3,000 B.C..
E11. The number of large animals that existed is very great. If recent creation, then species became extinct very rapidly before the flood, or else they became extinct after the flood. If they became extinct after the flood, then Noah's ark did not have room for at least 64 species of elephant and rhino like creatures, and many large dinosaurs, even if only infant animals boarded the ark. Today there are 4,500 species of mammals and 10,00 species of birds. Even if some speciation occurred after the flood, it is hard to conceive that >50% of the species were first created after the flood. Many must have died out long before the flood.
E12. Carbon/Oxygen ratios correlate well with glacial deposits. Repeated layers of glacial deposits require a long time to lay down.
E13. Protein amino acid racemization clock indicates some bones are 10,000's of years old.
F. Old Earth Radioactive Dating (20)
F1. C14 - tree ring sequences in Ireland, Germany, and Arizona. They correlate with each other and lake varves as well as with themselves.
 (See Klein et al. 1982 and Pearson et al. 1986)
&nbp;  F1a. Sequoia gigantea tree rings, back to 1500 B.C.
&nbp;  F1b. 80 Bristlecone pine samples 4100 B.C.-1500 B.C. 6-9% error
&nbp;  F1c. Oak tree ring sequences in South Germany, North Germany, Ireland, East Anglia and Lancashire, England.
&nbp;  Note: Over 15,000 Radiocarbon Samples have been taken
F2. Correlation of Lake Varves with Carbon 14 dating.
F3. Pb207/Pb206 - usually gives values within 15% of K40 /Ar40
  F3a. Most Meteorites give Pb207/Pb206 ages 4.55 billion years.
F4. Th232 /Pb 208 Dating
F5. U235 /Pb 207 + He4 (uranite, zircon)
F6. U237 /Pb 205 (monazite, U bearing rock)
F7. U238 /Pb 206 + He4 Dating
F8. K40 /Ar40 - most arguments (atmosphere contamination, etc.) answered by looking at moon K40 /Ar40 dating
&nbp;  (muscovite, micas, phlogapite, lepidolite, orthoulase
&nbp;  saridine, biotite, glauconite, potash, some feldspars)
&nbp;  glauconite prone to weathering, not basalt. Micas lose Argon if temp >=200 C even for brief periods
F9. K40 /Ca40 (sylvite)
F11. Rb87 / Sr87 - Sr can redistribute within the granite, but stays within the granite. At best accurate to 10-15%.
F12. Sm147 / Nd143 Dating
F13. Isochron Dating with the above methods.
F14. Fission Track Dating -for samples that have not been reheated
F15. Thermoluminescence Dating
F16. General - Extremely high correlation between radioactive dating and index fossils.
F17. Iridium up to 160 times normal levels at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. If this was not a deposited layer, how come there is a strong correlation between the radioactive dating, dinosaur extinctions, iridium enrichment, and finding many apparently extra-terrestrial amino acids?
Tom Waters, Extinction Watch "The Dinosaur Acid Test" Discover Feb, 1990. Over 100 times as much non-biological racemic amino acids as iridium. Not expected for a meteorite, but likely for a comet.
F18. Only 7 radioactive nuclides occur in nature. Should find 47 if the earth is young.
F19. Heavy isotopes (Th232 U238, U235) can only be formed by super-nova. Based on isotopes, many formed over 100 million years ago.
Hugh Ross The Fingerprint of God Promise Publishing Co. Orange Ca 921667 1989 p.89.
F20. Helium accumulated in rocks means an old earth unless helium was there from the beginning.

 

Q: In Gen 1, what settlements were there from before 2000 B.C.?
A: Here are the sites by their ages.
Older sites up to 6500 B.C.

Modern country Location Date
North Vietnam Hoabin Hian 8000 - 6000 B.C.
Indonesia Bui Ceri Uato 8000 - 2000 B.C.
Palestine 15 Natufian sites 12,500 - 10,200 B.C.
Palestine 10 Harifian sites 10,300 - 9000 B.C.
Palestine Jericho, 1st known town 7200 - 4000 B.C.
Mideast 23 other towns 7000 - 4000 B.C.
Syria 58 sites 7500 B.C.
Turkey Cayonu Tepesi (metal users) 6620 B.C.
Turkey Catal Huyuk (metal users) 6142 B.C.
Europe Mesolithic I Period 8300 - 6800 B.C.
N. Europe Baltic Sea was freshwater 7800 - 6800 B.C.
Texas, USA 1 site near Lubbock 9020 B.C.
California, USA Santa Rosa 6700 B.C.

 
6500-6000 B.C. - I have found none.
 
6000-5000 B.C.
Modern country Site Date
China 26 sites  
Mideast 12 Hassuna and Samarra culture sites  
Mideast 31 Ubaidian/'Ubeid and Halafian sites. (The Ubaidians were a mysterious people who lived in Sumeria and died out in 4,000 B.C., before the Sumerians arrived)  
Cyprus 2 Agricultural sites  
Greece 4 Agricultural sites  
South Germany Herxheim 5,000 B.C.
Sweden 4 sites  
Texas, USA Wilson-Leonard site, Williamson County  
North / Mid. America 44 Paleo-Indian sites  
S. America 29 Paleo-Indian sites  

 
5000-4500 B.C.
Modern country Site Date
China Hemudi site  
Thailand Ben Chiang bronze age site  
Russia East Tripolye culture  
Iran 50 houses in Tepe Sialk  
Turkey Hacilar and Catal Huyuk (6,000 pop.)  
Egypt 26 sites  
Sudan Khasirel Girba site  
Germany Many Mesolithic sites  
Malta Many sites, including temple complexes  
Cost Rica Sites where people lived  
Mexico Cotton in Tehuacan  

 
4500-4000 B.C.
Modern country Site Date
Iran Tell-i iblis site (metal users)  
Syria Abu Hureya village  
Palestine Town of Jaffa  
Egypt Badarian culture.  
Egypt First calendar date  
Poland, Czech. 17 Danubian Culture sites  
BaklansRussia 55 Mesolithic sites  
France Early Breton passage graves  
Ecuador Chili pepper found in residue on cooking tools (National Geographic May 2007 p.24 4100 B.C.

 
4000-3500 B.C.
Modern country Site Date
New Guinea 4 sites, including Wanlek, Kafiavana  
Vietnam Van Tang Culture  
Thailand Nok Tha  
Indonesia Uai Bobo & Ulu Leng  
China Yang Shao Rice farming culture  
Russia West Tripolye and Khurgan cultures  
Central Asia Samarkand  
Iran Susa, Persepolis, Tell-i bakun, Tell-i Iblis  
Mesopotamia 52 cities & towns  
Lebanon Sidon and Byblos  
Palestine Megiddo, Ghassul  
Esdraelon, Beth Shemesh (east)    
Egypt 26 towns, 200K pop.  
White pottery culture    
Iron daggers found    
Turkey 52 villages  
Cyprus Village of Erimi  
Spain Basques  
M. America 31 sites  
S. America 34 sites  
USA Old copper culture in the Great Lakes area  

 
 
3500-3000 B.C.
Modern country Site Date
Iran Persian Royal road used  
Palestine Town of Beth Yerah  
Palestine Jericho rebuilt  
Egypt First recorded famine, 1st Dynasty 7/8 pharaohs, 2 million pop., Royal tombs built at Abydos & Memphis  
Sudan Khartoum settled  
Libya Metalaoui  
Italy / Sicily 121 Copper / Bronze Age sites  
Sardinia 31 Mesolithic sites  
Corsica 18 Mesolithic sites  
Germany Corded ware culture  
3300-2000 B.C.    
Mexico First date in the Mayan calendar  
Ecuador Valdivia culture  
3500-1500 B.C.    

 
3000-2500 B.C.
Modern country Site Date
China 17 Sites, Emperor Huang-ti  
Thailand Chao Praya River site  
Burma Mon people arrive  
Indonesia Bui Ceri Uato village  
Russia Afansievo culture  
India / Pak. 72 Harappan towns  
Afghanistan Mundigak village  
Iran Elamite Kings 2700-  
Mesopotamia 45 cities & towns  
Ur 1st dynasty. 5 kings  
Palestine 24 towns  
Egypt 13 cemeteries  

 
3000-2500 B.C.
Modern country Site Date
Egypt Pharoah Zoser, 2nd - 4th Dynasties, Pyramids, the Sphinx  
Turkey 52 towns  
Libya Hav a Fleah site  
N. Africa Records of the Berber people  
Crete Minoan Civilization  
Greece 81 sites  
Balkans 55 Danubian sites  
Spain/Port. 36 Almerian sites  
France 46 sites  
Scandinavia 25 sites  
England 79 Windmill Hill sites  

 
Modern country Site Date
China Longhan, the first walled city 2500 B.C.
China Era of Five Emperors 2674-2183 B.C.
Russia Maikop village 2300-1200 B.C.
Turkestan 1 farm site 2500 B.C.
Iran/Afgh. 26 sites 2500-1500 B.C.
Mesopotamia Historical records go back to 2500 B.C., 2 M pop., King Mesilim, Ebla 2500 B.C.
Iraq Sargon I of Akkad fought 34 battles 2355-2279 B.C.
Egypt Fifth Dynasty of 9 pharaohs >2500 - < 2323
Turkey 2nd layer of the city of Troy 2400 B.C.
France Seine-Oise-Marne culture 2600-2000 B.C.
England 58 Bronze Beaker culture sites 2500 B.C.
Mexico First modern corn (maize) 2500 B.C.
Ecuador Wairajirca pottery culture 2300-1300 B.C.

 

Q: In Gen 1:2, what is the "Gap Theory", and could it be true?
A: The Gap Theory is based on the linguistic fact that the Hebrew word "was" in "the earth was without form" could also be translated "became". The Gap Theory says that the earth was created prior to Genesis 1. God destroyed the earth because of Satanic activity, and Genesis 1 records the recreation of the earth. However, Today's Handbook for Solving Bible Difficulties p.173-175 says that since this word is used hundreds of times in the Old Testament, and only means "became" in 2 Samuel 7:24 and Deuteronomy 27:9, we would need a powerful reason for translating it as "became" in Genesis 1:2.
There is no evidence that any pre-modern Christian or Old Testament Jew understood Genesis 1:2 in this way. See The Complete Book of Bible Answers p.43-44 for more info. 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.55-56 advocates the gap theory, and says this theory was advanced by Scofield, Pember, and others.
 

Q: In Gen 1:3, how was there light prior to the sun and moon in Gen 1:14?
A: First, God is not limited to providing light through the moon and stars; He could have provided any kind of light at the beginning that He chose. Second, if Genesis 1 was not mechanically dictated, but given as a vision, then the sun and moon could exist prior to day four, but they did not appear until day four because of the clouds. As an example, someone on Venus could not see the sun or stars because of the heavy cloud cover of carbon dioxide. See When Critics Ask p.30 for more info.
 

Q: In Gen 1:6-10 how could there be water before land?
A: Why not? Geologists believe that after earth cooled, it was 100% covered with water, and the continents grew from islands, which came later.
 

Q: Does Gen 1:11-13 agree with the fossil record that the plant life preceded the sea life?
A: Yes. The plants were first to increase the atmospheric oxygen from 0.2-0.4% to today's 21%. Without plants, sea animals would have nothing to eat.
By the way, oxygen is critical to the discussion of how life began. Observations of oxygen in our atmosphere by Apollo 16 astronauts show that even without plants, oxygen levels would still be 0.2-0.4%. This amount of oxygen is high enough to be lethal to secular theories of the origin of life on the surface of the earth or the ocean.
 

Q: In Gen 1:11, couldn't life have started by chance?
A: The concentration of an "organic soup" of free amino acids in water with ultraviolet light, could not be any more than 10-7 Molar, which is about what it is in ocean water today. As Nobel Laureate Ilya Prigogine said, "The idea of spontaneous genesis of life in its present form is therefore highly improbable even on the scale of the billions of years during which prebiotic evolution occurred." (Physics Today 11/1972 p.23-31.) As Nobel laureate Sir Francis Crick said, "An honest man armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which should have had to have been satisfied to get it going." (Life Itself 1981 Simon & Schuster p.88). For the chemical details, consult C.B. Thaxton et al. The Mystery of Life's Origin 1984.
 

Q: In Gen 1:11, were there plants prior to their being the sun and moon in Gen 1:16-17?
A: If each day was a short time, plants can survive a day in the dark. If each day was a long time, photosynthetic plants do not need to see the sun, they just need the light. See the previous question on Genesis 1:3.
 

Q: In Gen 1:20, were there flying birds prior to land creatures in Gen 1:24-25?
A: The Hebrew word is not "bird" but "flying creature" which include bats, locusts and some other winged insects, as Leviticus 11:19-20, and Deuteronomy 14:18-23 show. The fossil record implies that after amphibians and prior to reptiles and mammals there were giant dragonflies, with a 2 foot 5 inch wingspan, in the Carboniferous Period.
 

Q: In Gen 1:21,24,25 what is a "kind" here?
A: It means a general category and does not correspond to a precise modern classification. See 735 Baffling Bible Questions Answered p.19 for more info.
 

Q: In Gen 1:21, how do dinosaurs fit in?
A: The "great sea creatures" and the crawling animals probably both included dinosaurs. It might be significant that in the Greek translation of Genesis, "great sea creatures" was translated as reptilia.
 

Q: In Gen 1:26, if everyone came from Adam and Eve, is this an example of evolution?
A: This is micro-evolution, which includes different species coming from common genera. Other examples are observed in moths, 50 species of cats, the 76 species of canines (wolves, coyotes, dogs, etc.), 2,113 genera of ammonites and ammonoids, insects, bacteria, and plants. Macro-evolution has never been observed. Continuous, "uniformitarian" macro-evolution, the dominant secular view a generation ago, has been largely superseded by "punctuated equilibrium." The types of fossil evidence that would support punctuated equilibrium evolution are similar to the types of fossil evidence that would support Old-earth Creationism.
For another example of micro-evolution, the Young-earth Creationist magazine Creation ex Nihilo vol.2 no.3 June-August 1998 p.7 accepts that the guanaco, llama, and dromedary and Bactrian camels all descended from the same kind.
 

Q: In Gen 1:26, could God have created everything by macro-evolution?
A: No. This view is called "theistic evolution", and many genuine Christians, such as C.S. Lewis, and Cliffe Knectle of IVCF believe this. All Christians should agree that God had the freedom to create everything any way He wanted.
However, while God could have used macro-evolution, evidence from both the Bible and nature indicates that He did not. Genesis 2:7 says God created man from the dust of the ground, not from an animal.
Not even a hypothesis:
From nature, the following is a partial list of life where evolutionists do not even have a working hypothesis of how these evolved.
Flowering plants
Some Invertebrates:
conodonts, chitinozoans, echinoderms, graptolites
Some amphibians: Frogs (Triadobatrachus might have been the first), and newts and salamanders (Karaurus might have been the first)
Some reptiles: Tortoises (Proganochelyidae might have been the first), icthyosaurs, placodonts, rhyncosaurs
Some mammals: Bats, bears, canids (dogs, etc.) raccoons, hippos, hyraxes, monotremes (duck-billed platypus, etc.), the order Diocerata, Sirenians (sea cows), Desmostylians, and the Edentata Cohort (it is appealing to Texans to think that armadillos were especially created by God).
Here is a specific example from the reptiles. "Abundant and widely distributed during the Triassic, they [icthyosaurs] are nonetheless a puzzling group; their relationship to other reptiles for example is still highly conjectural." Burgin Toni, Alivier Rieppel, P. Martin Sander and Karl Tschanz "The Fossils of Monte San Giorgio" Scientific American June 1989 p.80.
Nothing but a hypothesis:
For other animals, evolutionists have no evidence whatsoever, only hypotheses. Here are some examples.
Sea life: sponges, spongiiformes, crossopterygians, dipnoians, ancyclopoda, anoplotheriidae, eosuchians to snakes, pachyrhachis to snakes
Mammals: seals, sealions and walruses, the order Arctocyonia, the family Arsinoitheriidae
 

Q: In Gen 1:30 and 9:3, when did carnivorous (meat-eating) animals first appear on the earth?
A: Genuine Christians disagree. The commands in Genesis 1:30 and 9:3 referred to people, not animals. People were supposed to be vegetarians until Genesis 9:3. Romans 8:21 indicates that Creation was subjected to decay and bondage when Adam and Eve fell. God would not let sinful people live in a perfect world. Romans 8:21 does not specifically mention death, though. Romans 5:12 shows that death came into the world through sin. Christians who believe in a young earth believe this refers to death for all animals, but of course plants still died prior to the fall. Christians who believe in an old earth believe Romans 5:12 refers just to people.
 

Q: In Gen 2:7, why do apes appear similar to humans?
A: In Genesis 2:7, the word "formed" is used of a potter forming clay. Some Christians believe God made man by "forming" him from apes. But most Christians who do not believe in evolution simply can say a common creation, using similar "recipes" would result in similar creatures.
 

Q: In Gen 2:7, on a cell level, why are chimps similar to humans? In particular,
1. Similarities in 20 out of 23 human chromosomes
2. Cytochrome C - no difference
3. Alpha hemoglobin - no difference in 141 amino acids, while 17 differences between man and cattle
4. Both have fetal and adult hemoglobin.
5. Both have ABO blood types, including A1 and A2.

A: See the previous answer. Also,
1. Humans have similarities to mice in 20 and cats in 19 out of 24 human chromosomes
2. Cytochrome C - no difference between California gray whales and dromedary camels. Also, there is no difference between pigs, sheep, and cattle.
3. Admittedly, alpha hemoglobin is a similarity.
4. Frogs and chickens have fetal and adult hemoglobin
5. ABO is caused by antigens in the blood. Nearly all simians have ABO in at least their body secretions. We also have MNS blood types, which apes do not.
For the references on 2. see A. Goldstone and E.L. Smith "Amino Acid Sequence of Whale Cytochrome C" Journal of Biological Chemistry 10/10/1966 p.4485 and M. Sokolovsky and M. Moldovan "Primary Structure of Cytochrome C from the Camel Camelus dromedarius" Biochemistry vol.11 no.2 1972 p.148.
 

Q: In Gen 2:19-20, speaking of naming animals, how many species are we aware of today?
A: The following chart shows the living and fossil species. Species are grouped into genera, which are grouped into families, which are grouped into orders, which are grouped into phyla, which are grouped into kingdoms.
It is interesting to note just how few fossil species have been found of higher animals, compared to the living species.

Organism Living Extinct
Number of Organism Orders Families Genera Species Orders Families Genera Species
PROKARYOTE KINGDOM >=21   >=205 10K        
CYANOPHYTES 5 >26 >107 3750     >12  
ARCHAEOBACTERIA >=2   >=11          
PLANT KINGDOM       510K       >10K
CHLOROPHYTES, ETC.     418+ 23000     170+  
...FORAMINIFERA     30+ 876+     1095  
FUNGI & OOMYCETES 21+ 35+ 292 100K     250 500
MOSSES & LIVERWORTS   200+   25000       100+
FERNS     >400 12000   15+ 58+ 63+
THALLOPHYTES       90000        
TRACHEOPHYTES       1128        
GYMNOSPERMS 12   70 730   1+ 20+  
ANGIOSPERMS 102 409   255K     21+  
...MONOCOT ANGIOSPERMS 26 69   55000     1+ 8+
...DICOT ANGIOSPERMS 76 340   200K   26+ 45+ 97+
ANIMAL KINGDOM       2.4M       >265K
INVERTEBRATES       2.4M 36   17K 220K
...EDIACARAN LIFE 0 0 0 0 0 0 20+ 20+
...PROTOZOANS       25000 No fossil evidence of these is understandable
...WORMS     180 107K
...CAMBRIAN PHYLA 0 0 0 0   >7 >47  
...SPONGIIFORMS 1+ 1 >800 10000 1+ >99 >1K 1.7K
...RADIATES (STARFISH)       10000        
...BRACHIOPODS     11 335 4+   2569 30K
...AMMONOIDEA 0 0 0 0 5 ~280 2113  
...MOLLUSCS     26+ 220K     1851 80K
Octopuses 1 11   200-300 0   5 6
...ECHINODERMS >4   10+ 6000 >16   1548 15K
Cystoid Echinoderms 0 0 0 0        
Crinoid Echinoderms       >200     681 >2K
CRUSTACEANS 39 154 5352 39K 14     >27K
...TRILOBITES 0 0 0 0 9 146 1968 >10K
...INSECTS       900K       12K
...OTHER BUGS       600K     >3K  
VERTEBRATES 96 791 ~8.6K 47K ~91 ~750 ~9K >12K
...PISCES (FISH) 41 409 3.0K 21K 55 160 2500  
Jawless Fish 2 3-5 11-13 20 6 39 192  
Placoderms 0 0 0 0 7-8 37 203  
Lobe-finned fish 2 4 4 7 0-1 22 118  
Atherinomorpha 1 20 1K   0 1 12  
Perch 1 150 1367 8000 0 ~2 ~83  
Sharks, etc. 3 28 84 370 14 59 284  
...AMPHIBIANS 3 37 501 4014 8 >85 400  
Labyrinthodonts 3 37 501 4014 4 50 ~150  
Lepospondyls 0 0 0 0 4 20 ~100  
...REPTILES 4 43 179 ~8000 16 104 1500 4600
Anapsids and Turtles 1 12 86 257 2 29 208  
Therapsids 0 0 0 0 1 49 246  
Dinosaurs 0 0 0 0 3 ~60 285 ~900
Crocodiles and Alligators 1 1 5-8 22-29 0 28 143  
Snakes and Lizards 1 29 84 6000 0 24 222 670
...BIRDS 31 166 1865 10000 5 ~38   1000
Toothed Birds 0 0 0 0 5 ~9 ~17 >100
...MAMMALS 17 133 1083 4433 21 200 3200  
Monotremes (platypus, echidna) 1 2 3 10 0 0 7 8+
Doconodonts and Triconodonts 0 0 0 0 2 5 20  
Trituberculates 0 0 0 0 2 8 37  
Multituberculates 0 0 0 0 1 13 56  
Marsupials (possums, etc.) 1-4 9 80 250 0 10 171  
Rodents (rats, mice, etc.) 1 35 351 2000 0 12 660  
Lagomorphs (rabbits) 1 2-9 17 101 0 1 52  
Armadillos, Glyptodonts, etc. 1 3 14 30 0 8 164  
Chiroptera (bats) 1-2 18 180 950 0 4 38  
Condylarths 0 0 0 0 1/2-1 10 122  
Hooved mammals 3 13 91 223 3 ~80 885  
Insectivores 2 8 63 >300 0 >7 229  
Aquatic mammals 2.1 13 43 114 1 18 211  
Carnivora and Creodonts 0.9 7 101 250 1 11 335  
Elephants, mammoths, etc. 1 1 2 2 1 7 41 70
Primates (monkeys, apes, etc.) 1 14 51 185 0 6 128 >161

 

Q: In Gen 3-6, what about cavemen?
A: There are three kinds of what is termed "cavemen" homo erectus, Neanderthals, and Cro-Magnon man. In summary, homo-erectus was rather different from people. Neanderthals had some differences, but some skeletons indicate they could interbreed. Perhaps they were descendants of Cain, or else related to the Nephilim. Cro-Magnon was basically the same as us. See the next three questions for info on each.
 

Q: What about Nebraska man?
A: Nebraska man was an alleged early type of man or ape conjectured from a misidentified tooth found in Nebraska in 1922. A complete drawing of Nebraska man appeared in a London magazine. In 1927 it was showed that it actually was the tooth of an extinct pig. For more info see the site http://www.execpc.com/~jwolf/hesper2.txt.
 

Q: In Gen 3-6, what do we know about homo erectus?
A: Here is the information on Homo erectus. See the following two questions for information on the others. The dates mentioned are based on radioactive dating. The slashes indicate where conflicting dates are given in literature.
Home erectus lived 3.25M?/1.6M/1.3M to 400K/300K/200K years ago (different books give different ages). Over 100 fossils have been found at 13 sites; the best preserved is a 13 year old 5 foot 4 inch (162.5 cm) boy. No remains have been found in the Americas, northern Europe or Russia. The brain size of homo erectus was 750/950 to 1200/1400 cubic centimeters. By comparison, a modern gorilla has 465/500 cubic centimeter brain size. The bones of Homo erectus were heavier and thicker than ours, but below the neck an average person could not tell much difference. It is now thought that homo erectus, as well as all later fossils, had relatively little hair and a lot of sweat glands like modern people, instead of like apes. Also like modern people, they had a large brain compared to the body, so a Homo erectus baby had to be born less mature than animal babies in order to pass through the mother's hips during birth. They could use fire, but probably could not make fire. They hardened their simple hand axes and other tools with flame in simple shelters. They apparently killed each other and were cannibals. They had no artwork, apparently no religion, and did not bury their dead.
 

Q: In Gen 3-6, how do Neanderthals fit in?
A: Young-earth, old-earth, and even most non-Christian scientists agree that Neanderthal man was a race of human beings who descended from humans very similar to us. Neanderthal man lived 130K/100K to 35K/30K years ago, according to radioactive dating. Neanderthals were humans that resembled some northern Europeans, except that on average they were shorter (5'1" to 5'6"), had slightly larger brains, thicker bones, and larger muscles (women as well as men). They had eyebrow ridges, like some Pacific Islanders do. Some of their tendons were different: on their arms, their tendon placement was better than ours for lifting heavy things, but this made them unable to throw things like we can. The size of their brain was 1270-1400/1550-1700 cc, while the size of the brain of a modern man is 1000-1360/1450-2000 cc.
Over 280 individuals have been found in about 110 sites. They lived everywhere except the Americas, Siberia, and central African rain forests. Neanderthals killed each other and apparently ate each other at times. They cared for their elderly. They very likely buried their dead, often tucking the body up, oriented east to west, and even had flowers. Bears, deer, and wolf's heads seemed to have special significance to them. There were more male Neanderthals than female. It is speculated that many girl babies were killed, probably as population control.
As William Strauss and A.J.E. Cave wrote, "If he [Neanderthal] could be reincarnated and placed in a New York subway provided that he were bathed, shaved and dressed in modern clothing it is doubtful whether he would attract any more attention than some of its other denizens."
In the Bible, Neanderthals might relate to the mark of Cain in Genesis 4:15, the Nephilim in Genesis 6:1,4, or they might be unmentioned.
 

Q: In Gen 3-6, who were Cro-Magnon man?
A: Cro-Magnon people were essentially identical with modern man, except for two slight differences:
1. There were apparently more types of Cro-Magnon man than there are of modern man
2. Their brains and bodies were slightly larger (not smaller) than modern men.
Cro-Magnon people lived everywhere, including coldest Siberia. The bone structure of European Cro-Magnon men was very similar to a modern Scandinavian or Ukrainian. Cro-Magnon men in South Africa drew pictures of themselves with afro hairstyles. The cave paintings in France were also by Cro-Magnon men. According to radioactive dating, Cro-Magnon lived 300K/100K/90K years ago.
One human (presumably Cro-Magnon) female fossil from 260K years ago was found on the border of China and North Korea. National Geographic May 2007 p.22. She was short limbed, 5 1/2 feet tall, 173 pounds, short-limbed, and probably well-adapted to the cold, like Inuit, Aleuts, and Siberians today. Reported by Karen Rosenberg in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
 

Q: In Gen 3-6, what about homo floresiensis (nicknamed hobbits)?
A: The verdict is still out on what they were. They are similar to modern men except that as adults they were only 3 feet tall. They are nicknamed "hobbits" because their feet were half as long as their shin bones. Their arm and leg bones were different than modern people too. Homo floresiensis were discovered in Liang Bua cave on the island of Flores in Indonesia in 2003. Only one group was discovered, and archaeologists say they lived 38,000 to 13,000 years ago.
The discoverers named them a new species, but others think they are modern humans suffering from a known genetic disease, Laron's disease, or iodine deficiency. However the skulls of Homo floresienses different from people today with Laron's disease. See Wikipedia for more on Homo floresiensis.
 

Q: In Gen 5 and Gen 11:10-26, how could people live so long?
A: God can make us live as long as He wants. Only recently have we learned some reasons why we do age. Every time cells of vertebrate animals divide, the ends of the cell's DNA are clipped off at the ends. Human cells today die after about 50 cell divisions. This does not occur in microbes, some cancers, sex cells and "stem" cells of vertebrate animals, because they have an enzyme (called telomerase) to restore the ends of the DNA. If God changed the rest of our cells to have this enzyme, and fixed a few other things such as DNA demethylation, then perhaps eternal youth would be as natural for us as it is for bacteria. See When Critics Ask p.39-40, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.77, and Hard Sayings of the Bible p.101-104, Today's Handbook for Solving Bible Difficulties p.204-205, and 735 Baffling Bible Questions Answered p.27 for other answers.
 

Q: In Gen 6:14, could Noah's ark hold all the animals?
A: The ark was about 45 x 75 x 450 feet, three stories, tall, and had 1.5 million cubic feet of volume. Noah did not have to take sea life, nor every single land species. Noah might have taken genera, and species differentiated later. For the larger animals like elephants, Noah could have taken babies. By the way, the number of living genera are approximately: reptiles:179, birds:1,083, rodents and rabbits:368, bats:180, all other land mammals:435. There are only 290 genera of land animals larger than a sheep. See also When Critics Ask p.41-42 for more info. One early scientist (and clergyman) who answered this question was John Wilkins, who lived from 1614 to 1672 (from Men of Science Men of God p.19-20).
For comparison, the National Geographic Magazine July 2005 p.35 says the Chinese Muslim Zheng had as many as 62 trading ships, called bao chuan, that "some nautical experts believe may have measured up to 400 feet in length and 170 feet across the beam - with nine masts, 50,000-square-foot main decks, and a displacement of at least 3,000 tons, ten times the size of Vasco de Gama's flagship. Scholars disagree on the bao chuans' actual size, but even at far more modest estimates they were surely the largest wooden ships ever launched. The baochuan were escorted by 370-foot-long, eight-masted "galloping-horse ships".
On a historic note, the first writer we know of to address this question was Origen (225-254 A.D.) in Origen Against Celsus book 4 ch.41 p.516
 

Q: In Gen 7, was Noah's flood local or global?
A: Most Christians understand it to be a global flood. First are a few arguments supporting the local view, followed by arguments for two different global views.
Local Flood: The Hebrew word for earth can also mean ground or land. So instead of the flood covering the whole earth, it covered the whole land.
Archaeologically, some serious floods devastated the land of Mesopotamia from 3000 to 3500 B.C. Prior to 4,000 B.C. the mysterious Ubaidian (= 'Ubeid) people lived in Sumer. The Sumerians came into the land after the Ubaidians.
See 735 Baffling Bible Questions Answered p.29-30 for reasons that favor a global flood.
Young earth Global Flood: The waters covered even the mountains, but the mountains before the flood were not so high as today. The water came from both the fountains of the deep and the water canopy above the earth permanently collapsing. During what secular science calls the Ice Age is much evidence for the flood. Rock rubble called tillites is caused either by glaciers or floods, and they cannot be distinguished except under a microscope.
Old earth Local Flood: About 16,000 years before present waters covered even the tops of the mountains as ice. As the ice rapidly melted, even life at the tops of mountains would be destroyed in the flood. Also, any heating in the upper atmosphere would explain why we have relatively little helium built up in the atmosphere from radioactive decay.
Some people who have legends of creation going wrong and needing to be cleansed by a flood are as follows:
Arandan of northern Australia, though many of the details are different. p.14-15
The Arikara Indians of the U.S. Great Plains p.16
Aymaran Indians of Bolivia "flood" of snow and ice. p.18-19
Cheyenne Indians of the U.S. Great Plains p.47
Eskimo p.86
Sumerians (Noah = Ziusudra) p.95
Babylonian (Noah = ut-napishtim) p.95
Indian (Noah = Manu) p.95
Greek & Roman(Noah = Deucalion, Pyrra = wife) p.95,236
Ipurina Indians of Brazil p.145
Kato Indian of northern California p.156
Icelandic creation. All the frost ogres were killed in a flood of the blood when Ymir was killed. p.135 The Prose Edda is the source for Icelandic creation p.226
Musca Indians of Peru and Colombia p.200
Netsilik of Greenland p.209-210
Navajo Indians of New Mexico and Arizona p.204
Pima Indians of southern Arizona p.225
Wapangwa tribe of Tanzania p.284-285
Yana Indians of California p.291
The following did not have a flood legend, but said everything in creation initially was water.
Arapaho Indians of the U.S. Great Plains p.15
Assiniboine Indians p.16
Blood Indians of Canada (earth-diver creation) p.34
Buriat people of Siberia (earth-diver creation) p.38
Huron Creation of Canada p.42,130
Cherokee (earth-diver Creation) p.44
Iroquois of U.S. and Canada p.80,145
Onondaga Iroquois (Creation-diver) p.216-217
Seneca Iroquois (Creation-diver) p.241
Sioux Indians of the U.S. Great Plains p.245-253
Maidu Creation p.80,171-172
Osage Indians of the Great Plains p.219-220
Mandan Indians of North Dakota in the U.S. p.175-177
Mande people of Mali p.180-181
Pohonichi Miwok Indians of California p.80,226
Salinan Indians of California p.239
Siberian-Tartar p.80
Yaruro Indians of Venezuala (earth-diver creation) p.292
Yokut Indians of California p.80,296-298
Yuchi-Creek Indians from the south. (earth-diver creation) p.299
Yuma Indians of Arizona (earth-diver creation) p.300-302
Fiji Islands p.93
Eskimos of Kukulik Island in the Bering sea (earth-diver creation) p.165
Finns and Magyars p.94, p.130 (Finnish creation in the Finnish national epic, called the Kalevala p.156)
Haida Indians of British Columbia in Canada p.111
Joshua Indians of Oregon p.152
Mixtec Indians of Mexico p.193-194
Modoc Indians of Oregon (earth-diver creation) p.195-196
Wyandot Indians of Kansas and Oklahoma (earth-diver creation) p.287
Skagit Indian from the Pacific Northwest. P.253-254
Tsimshian Indians at the southern end of Queen Charlotte Island in British Columbia. (earth-diver creation) p.273-277
Tuamotuan tribe of the South Pacific p.277
Thompson Indians of British Columbia p.270-271
There were actually many Egyptian creation stories, but in most of them there were primeval waters p.81-82
Yakima Indians of eastern Washington p.289-290
Not native views
Note that the Efe people of Zaire have a creation story of people being made from clay. However, p.80 says it might have been influenced by Christian missionaries.
The Wyot Indians of California have a flood and a basket/ark. However, they were probably influenced by Christian missionaries according to p.287-288
 

Q: In Gen 7, how could sea life stand the changes in water pressure during Noah's flood?
A: Pressure itself does not kill, as people can be submerged to great depths in diving suits. Rather, pressure differential kills, such as a torrent of water coming from a burst dam. Rapid pressurization or depressurization can kill many forms of life, such as when a deep-sea diver comes up too fast and gets the bends. The bends are caused by nitrogen, which stays in the blood under great pressure, forming bubbles in the blood as the pressure decreases. A flood over 40 days would cause tidal waves that would kill some fish, but probably not most of them. The change in ocean pressure would not be rapid enough to cause death from too rapid pressurization.
As a side note, most plankton cannot live very far below the surface. The reason for this has nothing to do with pressure, but like most plants, plankton needs sunlight to grow.
 

Q: In Gen 7, during Noah's flood, how could freshwater fish stand the changes in salt content (salinity) of the water?
A: Of course, God simply could have preserved everything in the oceans miraculously. However, there are four different answers on how God could have used natural means to preserve the ocean life. First some background on salt, and then the four answers.
Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink: Ocean water has about 29.5 grams per liter of sodium chloride, and about 3 grams per liter of other minerals. Soft drinks, such as root beer, have only 0.1 grams of salt per liter. Saltwater animals differ from freshwater fish and land animals in that they have efficient ways to remove salt from their body. If you or I drank straight ocean water, it would actually take more water for us to get rid of the excess salt than the amount of water we drank. That is why, in the poem The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, sailors could die of thirst, while floating on an ocean of water.
Local flood: A few Christians believe the flood was only over regions of Mesopotamia. They base this on the fact that the Hebrew word for "earth" can also mean "land", and so the waters covered the land" Archaeological evidence has uncovered massive flooding in Sumeria around 3500 B.C. (by radiocarbon dating), that seemed to have ended the earlier Ubaidian / 'Ubeid civilization prior to the rise of the Sumerian civilization. However, why would God have Noah make an ark, when Noah could just have journeyed for a few weeks to get out of danger? Why would animals in the danger zone board the ark, when there were plenty of each species outside the danger zone. A third problem with the local flood theory is that Isaiah 54:9 says the God will never covers the earth again as He did in Noah's time. If Noah's flood were local, then there have been a number of other terrible local floods. Thus, the rest of these answers assume a worldwide flood.
Inhomogeneities: Today the salinity of the Atlantic Ocean differs slightly from the Pacific Ocean (34.5-37 parts per thousand vs. (34-35 parts per thousand). Certainly with a worldwide flood there would be large differences in salinity, and areas with different concentrations of salt could support different life.
Much sea life might have become extinct: Scientists who believe in an old earth say the mysterious Permian catastrophe, around 235 million years ago, wiped out half of all the families of animals. The ones that survived were conjectured to have been able to withstand wider fluctuations in salinity of ocean water. During Noah's flood many kinds of sea life might have died out too, and the sea life we see today is descended from creatures that withstood the salt changes or were in fortunate locales.
Melting glaciers: To people who hold to the old earth theory, the geological record indicates that most of the earth was in a great cooling period, called the Würm Ice Age, until about 14,000 years ago. While there were still tropical areas, the ice sheet went as far south as Kansas, and there was even a small glacier in the mountains of New Guinea, north of Australia. Then oxygen isotopes in ice cores, atmospheric helium isotope ratios, and other evidence suggest there was a dramatic global warming 14,000 years ago. If the glaciers melted rapidly, say within 40 days, there would be water running everywhere, worldwide, but there would not be standing water up to the top of today's mountains. There would still be fluctuations in ocean salinity, but they would not be so great.
As a side note for young-earthers, one way geologists know of the extent of the ice sheets is through rubble called tillites. Tillites are caused both by glaciers and mudslides, including from floods. The only way to tell tillites caused by glaciers from tillites caused by mudslides is under a microscope, and most tillite deposits have not been analyzed microscopically.
 

Q: In Gen 7:20, how did the flood even "cover the mountains"?
A: All water does not have to be liquid. Imagine the world at the end of the Würm Ice Age, which geologists say was about 13,000-14,000 years ago, and there was a rapid warming. If it was a little more rapid than geologists speculate, the results would be cataclysmic.
 

Q: In Gen 7:20, was Noah's flood a local flood or a universal flood?
A: Most Christians believe the flood was worldwide, though some used to believe it was local, because the Hebrew word for "earth", "ground", and "land" is the same word. Here are arguments for both views.
Universal: Genesis 7:17-20 says even the tops of the mountains were covered by more than 20 feet. There are no mountains in Sumer. Genesis 8:4 says the ark settled on the mountains of Ararat. Mount Ararat is 16,804 ft high, and it is the second highest mountain in the Mideast. Genesis 7:22 says everything on the dry land died. See The Complete Book of Bible Answers p.47-48 for more info on the view of the universal flood.
Local: The Hebrew word can simply mean the land. While it might have been easier for Noah to move away from the people quietly, the ark was a witness to them. Sumerian archaeology shows a series of disastrous, local floods about 3500-3000 B.C. This evidence is not present at other places at the same time by radiocarbon dating. Today's Handbook for Solving Bible Difficulties says that of the approximately 2,500 times the Hebrew word for "earth/land" in the Old Testament, 80% of the time it means "land".
See 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.362 for more on the universal flood, and Hard Sayings of the Bible p.112-114 for support for both views.
 

Q: In Gen 8, Counting the years in the genealogies, the flood would have ended 292 years before Abram, around 2440 B.C. How can this be if the primitive Chinese, Egyptian, Canaanite, and Sumerian civilizations started roughly 2500, 3000, 3000, and 3500 B.C. respectively? Genesis also mentions 31 Mideast cities and towns and six other nations by Abraham and Isaac's time. It is estimated that Ur, in Abram's time, had 100K-180K people. Archaeologists can date Mesopotamian sites back to 2500 B.C., even without using radiocarbon dating.
A: There are two different views.
Recent Creationists believe there were small gaps in the genealogies that make the date slightly older. Also, people had many children.
Old-earth Creationists and other Christians believe there are large gaps in the genealogies, since son can mean descendent and father can mean ancestor.
 

Q: In Gen 8:4, can we find Noah's ark today?
A: The ark rested on the mountains of Ararat. Mt. Ararat is the highest mountain in all the Mideast: 7,000 feet above sea level. It is extremely difficult to get to the top, due to the harsh weather conditions and rugged terrain. It might be thought that the ark would have all decayed away by now, but if it were preserved, such as in part of a glacier, it could still be around today. Various expeditions to Mount Ararat have found what appears to be the remains of Noah's ark.

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