"And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also."
Space probes have now reached the farthest points of our solar system, and we have learned more about the outer planets in 24 hours than astronomers learned in the past century.
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The most detailed account of Noah's Flood is given in the Book of Genesis. Here there seems little doubt that the Flood had to be truly global and not just "global" in the minds of one minor tribe of people:
Image: Noah. Mosaic in Basilica di San Marco, Venice.
The history of an idea is always revealing. In the 16th century, the Europeans began to discover the colored peoples of the world. They assumed that Noah and his family were white, so for the colored peoples to have survived the Genesis Flood, it must have been local. The Church regarded this as heresy.
Rock strata in Argentina. Courtesy of travelwayoflife. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
The chemical elements of matter consist of very stable atoms, such as silicon, carbon, iron, uranium, etc. However, certain elements also have an unstable or radioactive form that, under natural conditions, decays or breaks down into "daughter" products at a very uniform rate.
The carbon-14 method is slightly different from other dating methods. Normal carbon has an atomic weight of 12. Carbon-14 is the unstable form produced by cosmic ray bombardment of nitrogen in the earth's upper atmosphere. The C-14 combines with oxygen to form carbon dioxide, which then takes its place in the great carbon cycle. That is, the carbon dioxide becomes the food for plants and trees, and these in turn become food for animals and humans. The net result is that every living thing contains normal carbon (C-12) and some C-14.
This has been a puzzle to many people. If light from the most distant stars has taken millions of light years to reach us, how can the earth be only thousands of years old? The belief that "light from the most distant stars has taken millions of years to reach us" is based on two major assumptions: (1) the distance and (2) the speed at which light travels.
Photo: Shining brightly in this Hubble image is our closest stellar neighbor: Proxima Centauri. Courtesy of ESA/Hubble. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.
Evolutions believe that the Earth is billions of years old and that the Genesis Flood was local. The arguments used to claim these unimaginable eras of time are based upon early geological speculations of the history of the Earth and are seldom, if ever, made clear even to students of geology. Seventeenth century observers noted that layers of similar types of rock could be traced continuously from country to country across Europe. These rocks were correctly perceived to consist of sediments deposited from flood waters.
Dr. Hugh Ross, who has a genuine PhD in astronomy, published his book The Finger of God in 1989. In this he attempted to reconcile Scripture with the theory of evolution. He heads up a ministry called Reasons to Believe and, while he has appeared on many Christian TV talk shows, his message is aimed principally at university students. Many of these students are young Christians.
In our increasingly technological world we might become convinced that we are evolving to "supermen." People like Hitler thought so. However, both Scripture and the historical facts show that far from evolving ever upward, mankind is "devolving" downward, both physically and mentally. According to Scripture, God declared that everything He had created was "very good", and we can reasonably assume that Adam and Eve were perfect until their Fall and thus had no genetic defects.
The Genesis account of Creation provides mankind with just the bare facts we need to know about our origin; we wish we knew more! Nevertheless, the account concludes with, "Then God saw everything that He had made and indeed it was very good" (Genesis 1:31). From this we infer that every detail was perfect including the bodies of Adam and Eve. This would mean there were no genetic defects and no mutations when the very first commandment was given "to be fruitful and multiply" (Genesis 1:28).
One of the primary evidences claimed for an old universe – and, by implication, an Earth billions of years old – is that light from the most distant stars can be observed on Earth today. It is argued that at the known speed or velocity of light it will have taken a great deal longer than, say, 6,000 years for it to have traveled from the distant stars to Earth.
The gospel of John gives a brief description of the first miracle performed by Jesus – changing water into wine at the wedding in Cana (John1:1-10). The actual site of Cana is contested, but it is no more than a half day's walk north of Nazareth. The extended family of Joseph and Mary may have included, say, a cousin who lived at Cana or possibly it was a sister of Jesus (Matthew 13:55-56) who was being married to a man of Cana. In any case, the Jewish wedding was essentially a family affair and could have lasted several days.
Following God's very last act of creation – that is, the creation of Eve on the first Friday evening – He blessed both Adam and Eve, then gave them their mandate: "Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth. I have given you every herb that yields seed ... every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food… Also to every beast, etc... I have given every green herb for food (Genesis 1:28-30).
No, it can't. From the start, Darwin's evolution depended upon vast spans of unprovable time to make his theory work, and Charles Lyell's geology seemed to provide multiple millions of years. As early as 1812, Thomas Chalmers, evangelical professor of theology at Edinburgh, proposed a gap of as many millions of years as geology may demand between Genesis 1:2 and 1:3. He argued that initially there had been a Pre-Adamic age that had been destroyed by a flood and then the strata and fossils found today were the remains of this former world.
Textbooks, popular science articles and museum displays are always careful to include and even emphasize the age in Earth history in which early creatures lived. Just how do scientists know the age? Have they somehow determined the age of the actual fossil or the rock in which it was found? The true answer is neither.
God created Adam and Eve on the first Friday, and they were told to eat "of every tree whose fruit yields seed, to you it shall be for food" (Genesis 1:29-30). So they were vegetarians and ate the fruits from every tree except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17). We can reasonably assume God had not given them permission to eat meat because He gave that permission 1,657 years later to Noah when he disembarked from the ark following the Flood.
The subject of dinosaurs captures the fancy of every school kid. They are told that dinosaurs lived millions of years ago, long before any human walked upon the earth. In this way, many children are introduced to the doctrine of evolution.
Anything that was once alive or that was produced by a living thing can be dated by using the radiocarbon method of dating. This method, which received widespread attention in connection with the Dead Sea Scrolls, relies on the fact that all living things take in carbon, some of which is very slightly radioactive. But just how reliable is this method?
Evidently the Earth was present before there was light. "And the Earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep." When did God create the Earth? And related to this, what was the light of the first day? How was a 24-hour day determined before the fourth day?
Many people take Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth," as an introduction to the story of creation. As a result, it looks to them like God started with some sort of formless Earth at the very beginning of creation, which is not the case at all.
Unfortunately, it has become stylish in some circles to claim belief in inerrancy while holding beliefs which are foreign to the Bible. Those who do this generally argue that the biblical material they choose not to accept "is open to interpretation." Following this principle, nearly everything in Scripture could be questioned while the questioner continued to claim that he holds to inerrancy.