I am a homeschooled junior in high school [age 16]. My parents are teaching my siblings and me a biblical viewpoint on origins.

A few days ago, I received a mailing from [a Christian college in one of the Plains states]. The college pamphlet’s message was very positive, and the college came across as theologically conservative; every page mentioned God in one way or another. So I went to the college’s website and read its mission statement: “Ours is a community where faith and life and learning are not separate … they’re one.”

Dating Scandals?

Seeing as how the editors of this site tend to chop up negative emails for dissection, I will keep this brief.

We occasionally “chop up” positive ones as well, but they don’t make the feedback area very often or don’t need much added to them, except perhaps links to articles on our site or to Scripture (as the one on the left). This “chopping-up” is called a point-by-point analysis, which enables us to address each point directly. It isn’t meant to be rude or negative, but to enable a clear and thorough reply.

I have read much of your website. I have seen many of your evidences against evolution.

Well, we all have the same evidence. It is the interpretation of that evidence that’s different. Here are two articles that may help you understand this concept better:

However, I have noticed that while you criticize different dating methods as unreliable, you embrace them when they agree with your position that the Earth is six thousand years old. Would you care to address this seeming inconsistancy?

Thanks

Bryan Trim
USA

The 6,000 years age of the earth doesn’t come from dating methods but from studying the chronologies given in the Bible. Quite a few people have carefully researched these and arrived at an age of around 6,000 years.

Since the Bible is our absolute authority, that is where we get an age for the universe. Any radiometric dating model or other uniformitarian dating method can and does have problems—we have addressed this repeatedly in Get Answers: Radiometric Dating; it is also addressed in the RATE research.

However, we often use dating methods to undermine the popular belief that they are accurate by highlighting the maximum age given by the method. (This is not to say we trust the maximum dates entirely either.) For example, the RATE project recently used carbon-14 dating to undermine dates of things allegedly millions of years old. This is documented thoroughly in the RATE 2 book and here is an article on it from ICR: Measuring 14C in Fossilized Organic Materials: Confirming the Young Earth Creation-Flood Model.

In essence, 14C has a half-life of less than 6,000 years, so it should be gone in 50,000 to 100,000 years. Yet some things that have been dated by potassium-argon, uranium decay, etc., still have 14C in them—when they shouldn’t. And coal and diamonds have 14C too! So a problem arises—are they millions of years old or less than about 100,000 years? They can’t be millions of years if they have any traces of 14C. So we use this to show the dates of millions of years are obviously inaccurate, yet we wouldn’t say the given 14C dates are entirely accurate either.

Here is an example. If someone told me they drove a Corvette back in 1931 and yet I know the first Corvette came off the line in 1953 (so this is a maximum), I would know this statement was inaccurate.

There are other (non-radiometric) methods that also yeild maximum ages for the universe far younger than uniformatarians require. In these cases, the upper limits come by using uniformitarian assumptions and therefore are maximums within a uniformitarian model, too. We do not use these methods to accurately date specific specimens (as some do).

We commonly say some of these dates are confirmations of or are consistent with the biblical account in that they contradict the “millions of years” dates commonly purported. But even the maximum ages are subject to change. The biblical date is still the absolute authority.

Kind regards in Christ,
Bodie Hodge, AiG–USA

Since many Christian colleges teach evolutionism and liberal theology, I decided to see whether this one had a strong stance on the authority of Scripture beginning with Genesis. I left a message with one of the science professors.

The next day, the professor called back. He introduced himself as the college’s top biology teacher. (I found out later that he holds a Ph.D., has been there since 1969 and has an academic background in the botanical sciences/environmental studies.) I asked what the school taught about origins. He asked me to explain, so I asked specifically: what is the school’s position on the origin of life? He replied, “We teach that God created everything, but we don’t assume when or how.”

I wanted more details, so I asked whether the college taught the earth was thousands or billions of years old. After explaining that he was not a geology professor, he assured me that, “Of course, the earth is much more than thousands of years old!” (I didn’t agree, but I kept it to myself.)

The professor asked me questions about my beliefs on origins. As the conversation went on, it soon became obvious that the college teaches what (sadly) is prevalent in the mainstream Christian world today: “God did it, but instead of looking to His Word for answers, we will teach whatever the secular scientific consortium tells us,” he said (paraphrased). I politely, but firmly, defended a biblical interpretation of Genesis as he continued to question me. (See The “god” of an Old Earth.)

Framing the Argument

The instructor professed his support of the “framework theory,” 1 which apparently glosses over Genesis 1 and loosely interprets Genesis 2. He said that “if you just read Genesis 2, you would have a much different story than if you have the bias given by Genesis 1,” implying that any “bias” is negative (see What Is Science?).

I pointed out that if I only had the first chapter of my science textbook, I would have a very different idea of physics than if I read the whole book.

The professor indicated that he had given up on a six-day interpretation of creation because of scientific “evidence.” I replied that as “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Tim. 3:16), Scripture itself should be its own best interpretational guide. He countered by exclaiming that I was “making an idol” of the Bible. Not my interpretation of what the Bible teaches, but THAT the Bible itself was my idol! I was somewhat taken aback. I quoted John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Also, Psalm 138:2: “For You have magnified Your Word above all Your name.” I said that making an idol of Scripture sounded like a good idea to me, as it is the living Word of God! He replied again that I was “just making an idol of the Bible,” and went on.

The professor quoted almost every evolutionist stock answer concerning the creation/evolution issue. His arguments ranged from “it doesn’t matter how God did create as long as we get the right message,” to the old chestnut, “the Bible isn’t a science textbook.”

He finally asked me how old I thought the earth was, and he laughed when I gave an age of six–seven thousand years, due to the genealogies and a plain reading of Genesis 1–11. He then attacked the validity of Scripture itself by claiming that the genealogies are full of errors.

A Literal Genesis—Historically Bankrupt?

The professor also called my position “historically bankrupt,” declaring that hardly anyone in history supported six days of creation. I politely contradicted him, pointing out that many prominent theologians and scientists over the centuries (and Jesus Himself) all believed in a young earth. After all, Jesus said that “at the beginning of creation He made them male and female” (Mark 10:6; also see But from the Beginning of … the Institution of Marriage?).

I had told him earlier in the conversation that I planned to go into the legal field, so he asked why the creation-evolution issue was important to me. I explained that the foundations of morality—and sin—lie in Genesis, and that unless it can be trusted, there is no rhyme or reason to anything I might do in law.

“Besides,” I added, “the Christian faith and atonement message hinge on the fact that there was no death before sin.” He hastily asserted that “obviously, the Bible was speaking of spiritual death and separation from God!” But, I told him, the Apostle Paul had just said that if Christ did not conquer the same death that entered by Adam’s sin by physically rising from the dead, then “our faith is in vain” and “we are of all men most miserable” (1 Cor. 15: 14–26). So unless I believe that there was no death, physical or otherwise, before sin, how could I believe I am heaven-bound?

Rather than considering God’s Word for what it says, the biologist struck again at Scripture by asking whether I believed Adam and the animals ate anything before the Fall. I knew what was coming, and sure enough he played what he thought was his trump card against God’s Word: plants died before the Fall, so it proves death before sin (and, therefore, apparently proves the Apostle Paul wrong). I pointed out the concept of nephesh chayyah life—that just as “the life of the flesh is in the blood” and that God “breathes the breath of life into life,” that as plants have neither blood nor breath, it follows that plants are not “alive” in a biblical sense and cannot really die.

BUT he cut me off and told me that the entire biological system is built around the “fact” that plants are alive and can die. As AiG’s Dr. Lisle pointed out in debating progressive creationist Dr. Hugh Ross on radio ( See Death, Dating, and the Days of Creation), plants are really nothing more than complex biological machines.

The Conversation/Debate Heats Up

By this time, the professor was getting rather agitated. He told me my life was a waste, and that my view was “junk science and junk theology.” He added: “If you know so much about it, I suppose you don’t need to come to college.”

“The only point of Genesis,” he continued, “is to show that we are depraved and need a Savior, and that we should respect God’s creation. When you stand before God, if you get there, He will ask you what you did with His creation and all you will be able to say is that you argued over a six-day creation viewpoint. You won’t have anything to say!”

He declared that a debate over origins was a lie from the Devil, and that for even talking about origins, I was “just one of the Devil’s minions.”

Then he calmed down. He informed me that he had just been “professing,” and that as a “professor,” that is how he teaches at the college. Well, that really sold the college for me! After all, if upholding God’s Word and being ready to give an answer is “the work of the Devil” according to this college, I will definitely not be applying there.

What struck me most about this phone conversation was that the professor had the boldness to actually say that upholding the authority of Scripture in Genesis is equivalent to the work of the Devil. This puts me in mind of Isaiah 5:20, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness.

My parents suggested that I summarize my conversation with the biology professor and send it to Answers in Genesis. I hope this will demonstrate what many professors at “Christian” colleges are teaching their students. (See #1 Problem: Young-Earth Creationists?)

Thank you all at AiG for providing resources and seminars that have taught me the truth of God’s Word from the very first verse. Sadly, there are many “Christian” colleges out there that just aren’t interested in the truth.

In Him,

David S. MacMillan III, age 16
Editor of the “In Rejection of Mediocrity” online journal

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Footnotes

  1. A compromise view of Genesis is increasingly being taught in Bible colleges and seminaries (especially those that have a “Reformed” background). For more on this compromise view, see Get Answers: Creation Compromises. Back