Marcus Ross of Liberty University recently earned his PHD in earth science. While committed to his belief that the Bible teaches we have a young earth, he also believes the fossils he studies are accurately dated to 65 million years ago.
Are you buying this? Read the article in the NY Times. He brings up all kinds of issues for scientists:
“In theory, scientists look to nature for answers to questions about nature, and test those answers with experiment and observation. For Biblical literalists, Scripture is the final authority. As a creationist raised in an evangelical household and a paleontologist who said he was â€œjust captivatedâ€ as a child by dinosaurs and fossils, Dr. Ross embodies conflicts between these two approaches. The conflicts arise often these days, particularly as people debate the teaching of evolution.
And, for some, his case raises thorny philosophical and practical questions. May a secular university deny otherwise qualified students a degree because of their religion? Can a student produce intellectually honest work that contradicts deeply held beliefs? Should it be obligatory (or forbidden) for universities to consider how students will use the degrees they earn?”
As a former young earth creationist (Remember my senior report on it Nate and Adam? I hope not), I can say that most of the discrepancy revolves around the Hebrew word “yom” in Genesis which we translate “day.” Unfortunately yom can mean a heck of a lot of stuff. At least five different meanings exist. Many Hebrew scholars are comfortable with the view that “yom” could mean an undetermined period of time in Genesis chapter one.
I’m not a Hebrew scholar, but I am convinced that one can believe the earth is old and still believe the Bible. Genesis is a tough book to understand. Heck, we still don’t know if we’re interpreting Hebrew numbers correctly and we are very far removed from the literature of that day. In fact, we really don’t know when Genesis was written, who wrote it, or the audience’s circumstances. So it’s not worth making creation a dogmatic issue.