Young Earth Creationist Studies Fossils From 65 Million Years Ago

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 “just captivated” 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.

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8 thoughts on “Young Earth Creationist Studies Fossils From 65 Million Years Ago

  1. nate

    Ed

    Just catching up on a month’s worth of posts (hopefully you got my e-mail) – I do remember your senior report/speech – do you remember mine? (Hint: it was pro-death penalty…oh gosh). My, my… what 10 years can do to a couple of Christian high school grads.

    Adam, what was yours on?

  2. ed Post author

    Nate, all I remember is Karl’s presentation about how Mt. Laurel, NJ is the embodiment of all that is wrong in America. I’m the one who put the “Mt. Laurel will be avenged” note in his locker. No harm done I hope.

    So you were pro-death penalty back then? Hey, why not? Ah times have changed.

  3. Adam Malliet

    Oh man, mine was about dismantling the welfare system… yikes… blush.

    More power to Karl… we should have been listening to him.

  4. nate

    10 years from now…we’ll form a posse called the “Young Earth Creationists of Mt. Laurel” and we’ll land ourselves on death row for bombing welfare offices and Karl’s house…it’ll be a blast, I can’t wait.

  5. Kristen Pickard

    Hehe, my paper blasted affirmative action…funny that now i’m the mommy of an amazing black baby…

  6. Dick Knapp

    Have just acquired Coffeehouse Theology, and am finding it a stimulating read. As a science educator turned conservative Lutheran pastor, I had to see what you said on this topic. I’d only add that we also need to appreciate the way the OT Hebrew thought about communicating truth through story. Harley Swiggam, an old pastor/teacher I admired, use to say that for the Hebrew, using story to convey truth was like using a truck to haul cargo. The story is the truck. Truth is contained within the story. We ought not get too wrapped up in the make, model, and size of the truck!

  7. ed Post author

    Hi Dick. Thanks for dropping by! I’m so glad to hear you’re enjoying my book. It’s kind of funny that you found this post because I mention it in the book. I think it’s at the start of chapter 2.

    I like your analogy for truth and story. Sometimes the forest can be lost for among the trees.

    I’m curious if you can find the one mistake I made in the chapter on modernism (I mean, there could be more, but a friend of mine who teaches science just found it). Thankfully my brother-in-law, a biologist with a PhD helped me with a lot of the science references and foot notes.

    Let me know what you think of the book and the if you find it a helpful tool for your own reflections on God. Blessings!

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