Reconciliation of Archeology and Biblical Beliefs

Creation

General

First of all, all of us who believe in God (but for this discussion are not necessarily Christians) believe God can do anything He wishes, anyway He wishes, in any "time" He wishes. Under those beliefs, God could snap His "fingers" and creation would occur. Also, to be fair to non-believers, God could let natural actions operate. The problem is that Theists (God believers) have the Bible (O.T.). Is the Bible a bunch of stories to lead us and teach us lessons; or, is the Bible the absolute inspiration of God (i.e. did creation occur exactly as God says in the Bible). The question is, can I believe in evolution and still believe in the Bible as the God inspired word? This is what you will think about in the remainder of this study. You may make a decision or not, as you wish.

The primary thing which should be understood about the normal term evolution is its total dependency on a non-God directed evolution. Evolution is the archeological view we will examine. The most popular belief is that earth resulted from the "big bang" theory (maybe 5 to 50 billion years ago). It also includes all life evolved from single chemical and cell actions. By natural selection and heredity, all life, as we know it, came about. The term used most often to describe the earth under these studies is old earth. The other view is most often called the young earth. It depends on the all God directed integrity of the Bible. This study is usually called creationism. There is a third view of the development of life. It is generally called Theistic Evolution. This view is essentially the old earth view except the millions of years of creation were God directed (essentially, God let natural actions do His creating). The old earth theory (but not Theistic Evolution) is what is presently taught in our high schools; the young earth theory is generally not taught. By the way, nobody likes the term "theory" for theirs.

We will not examine all the differences of the theories in this study. We will examine enough to give us an idea of the differences and to determine whether more investigation is needed or whether the theories should be accepted totally.

The first eleven chapters of Genesis is the scripture upon which almost all creationism is based. It is felt if these are understood and accepted, one would have no trouble with the remaining 1178 chapters of the Old and the New Testaments. The four major activities which occurred in these eleven chapters are:
  • Creation (Gen. 1-2) - Six days of creation and one day of rest
  • Corruption (Gen. 3-5) - Garden of Eden; Sin of Adam
  • Condemnation (Gen. 6-9) - Noah's ark; the Flood
  • Confusion (Gen. 10-11) - Tower of Babel
This study will include a general discussion of some parts of the Book of Job. Most believe this book was the first book of the Bible written. In it are verses which seem to link him to viewing the earth after the Flood. He describes in detail life and events with which evolutionists do not agree but, to creationists, substantiate the events as described in the Bible.

We do not have to examine these readings with the total thought of faith in God (i.e. God says it; I believe it.) Of course, the basis of Christianity is to accept the Bible as God's inspired word. This means, God directed or inspired the writers to write the truth. Therefore, we need not question whether it is correct or not. The question which comes up is whether these are stories to teach us God's thoughts and feelings about good and evil, or whether the stories are real.

How Old Is the Universe?

There are several aspects to look at when determining and evaluating the age of the earth.
  • Population statistics - Starting with modern day and using the following reasonable assumptions, we can come up with the theoretical start of man. If a person lives 70 years, an average generation is 35 years, and there are presently 4.3 billion people on earth, this would result in the modern human starting about 4000-3500B.C. This is estimated to be the time of the Flood.
    Taking the discussion from the evolutionists' direction, if a man appeared over one million years ago, the present world population would be thousands of times greater than it actually is.
    To be fair, certain "correction factors" should be considered. Perhaps average death age of 70 years and the 35 year generation are too long for many years ago. It is history that certain societies were entirely wiped out by diseases and environmental extremes. These would affect the aging but would not put the human starting years into the evolution timing.
  • Amount of 4 He in atmosphere (Helium - Greek helios, sun) was first observed spectroscopically in the sun during a solar eclipse in 1868. Abundant in outer space, it is generated by the fusion of two hydrogen atoms. This fusion occurs at extreme temperatures such as found on our sun. It appears some scientists believe there should be more Helium in the atmosphere if the earth were millions (or billions) of years old.
  • Absence of Meteorite dust - Astronomers say some 15 million tons of nickel meteorite dust settle on the earth every year. If the earth were billions of years old, the earth probably should have about 200 feet of dust on the surface.
  • Decay of earth's magnetic field - The decay of the earth's magnetic field has a half life of 1400 years. Therefore, 1400 years ago the intensity of the field was twice as high as it now; and 2800 years ago the intensity was four times what it is now; and 4200 years ago the intensity was eight times what it is now; and 5600 years ago the intensity was sixteen times what it is now; and 7000 years ago the intensity was thirty-two times what it is now. This is about the limit most scientists feel the intensity could be and not affect life, etc.
  • 2nd Law of Thermodynamics - According to the second law of thermodynamics, during any process the change in entropy of a system and its surroundings is either a zero or positive quantity specifying the amount of disorder or randomness in a system bearing energy or information. What in the world is that? Thermodynamics is hard enough to understand; if there is anything harder to understand, it is entropy. To simplify the Law: Entropy indicates the degree or amount of a given quantity of thermal energy is available for doing useful work. In other words, when one has energy in the form of heat, some amount of it will never be able to be used to do any work ever again. It's gone from use. It still exists (as energy), but cannot be used. The greater the amount of thermal energy not available; the greater the entropy. This is analogous to your winding a clock and it slowly winding down (theoretically a clock that cannot be rewound).
From the religious point of view, the earth within the universe may be like a wound clock. It is steadily decreasing its energy. It is thought the Bible tells us (Ps. 102:26; Heb. 1:10-12) the earth is slowly but steadily decreasing its ability to sustain life because of the loss of thermal energy.

Genesis Theory

The first thoughts for Creationism is the Creation. The name Genesis theory comes from a theory being based 100% on the creation story in the book of Genesis in the Bible. Let us examine the words and see what and why the problems exist.

One of the things which believers must decide is whether the Bible is the inspired word of God from Genesis through Revelation or whether only select portions are to be accepted as true "history" and the rest are "stories". The real problem is which is which? Or is there a difference (i.e. is everything true and historical or is everything not true or historical)?


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