JEFF GARDNER: Maybe Bill Nye and Ken Ham are both correct
To the editor:
Regarding your recent opinion piece about creation and the age of the earth.
I think it possible we are asking two different questions, (When was the earth created? and How old is the earth?), with the assumption that they would both have the same answer.
Let me attempt to illustrate how the two different questions might have very different answers.
I would like us to consider JRR Tolkien’s imaginary Middle Earth. How old is it? There is much evidence presented that it is ancient. Long lines of lineage. Ancient ruins. Ancient maps. Tons of history.
Now, when was Tolkien’s Middle Earth created. Well, he began writing what became “The Book of Lost Tales” in 1917. It was a work of creativity that sprang to life from his imagination. He continued to write a large and concise history of Middle earth over the next 30 years from which some very popular books were written.
So as you can see the age of a place may have nothing to do with when it was created. I grant you that Middle Earth exists largely in the imagination of Tolkien and his many readers. And maybe in New Zealand too, where the movies based upon JRR’s books were filmed. But Tolkien has MANY lessons just waiting to be learned in his tales. Very real wisdom disseminated in these fantasies.
Is God as creative as Tolkien? Is God as capable?
Less look a little bit of the biblical account of creation. The whales were swimming, the fowl were flying, the beasts were creeping and crawling. None of these created beings were embryos on the ‘day’ of their creation. Was Adam created as an embryo? No, I believe he was a grown man the minute he had the breath of life breathed into him. I don’t believe the earth was embryonic when created either.
Now let us use a little imagination. If Adam had cut down a tree in Eden. Say, sometime in the first year of creation. He cut down a big old tree that was a couple of feet in diameter. Do you suppose that tree stump would have had growth rings? Maybe 60 or 70 or more rings, in order to grow to be two feet in diameter. How did those growth rings get there? Here is 60 or 70 years of history. Those growth rings can be analyzed to determine all kinds of information about the growth conditions for each and every season that it was alive. But alas, creation isn’t yet one year old?
If Adam were a geologist, what would he have found? Evidence of glaciers? Oil and coal under the ground? Might God have created a world that already had a long history? When Adam looked up in the sky, would he have seen the same stars that we do? How about the Andromeda galaxy? One peek at that far away spiral of stars and you are seeing light that began its journey to your eyeballs 2.5 Million years ago. That’s right, while gazing at the Andromeda galaxy, you are literally seeing 2.5 Million years into the past! Might God have created a world that already had a long history. I think if JRR Tolkien did it, then the God we worship as the creator probably could too.
The difference of course being when Tolkien writes his books, the world exists in our imaginations or the movie screen.
When God creates something, like a planet, or a garden, or a human or an Andromeda galaxy or a history, it is very real. And the age of the Earth may have very little to do with when it was created.
Maybe Bill Nye and Ken Ham are both correct. At least about this.