Thanks for reminding me that we miss the real point of Genesis when we try to make it “play” by the rules of atheistic science. Having said that, I’ve always (well, maybe not always) had a lot of skepticism for a universe and especially an Earth apparently billions and billions of years old according to prevailing scientific thought. Even the book we’re reading in SS concedes that assumption.
Why would God, who spoke everything into existence out of nothing, spend so much more time constructing the habitation than the inhabitants? Assuming that the “facts” of science are correct (carbon dating, background radiation, geological formations, etc.), or as correct as they can be given what is now known, then it seems like we have two choices. We can resign ourselves to never really understanding the “why” of God’s creation, accept the findings of Science, and forever banish Genesis (and who knows how much else in the Bible) to the realm of whimsical tales as told around ancient campfires, full of great spiritual import to those keen enough to discern, but hardly the building blocks of a rational understanding of the world around us.
Or (and this is mentally a lot more fun) we can question the constancy of time itself. All of the sciences that concern themselves with dating this or that, or postulating on the ages of past events, start with the assumption that for as long as it has existed, time has always advanced just as it does according to the way we perceive it now. It’s as if we’ve just measured the velocity of a car speeding by as we stand on the side of the road, and authoritatively declare that from the moment it left the factory it has moved in a straight line and at that same velocity ever since. Double-check with two or three other cars and we can even extrapolate, with high precision, exactly when and where they left the assembly line.
But what if those cars had all run out of gas moments before we measured their velocity? What if they were in fact coasting to a stop, but in our limited scope of measurement we are incapable of knowing the state of their fuel supply or the fact and location of their arrival at zero velocity? Won’t all our so-precise calculations be invalidated by erroneous assumptions about the nature of our observations?
All of this to introduce a very interesting web site: http://www.geraldschroeder.com/age.html. The last few paragraphs sum up the author’s conclusions in case you don’t want to read the whole thing. Very, very interesting. Of course, there’s always an opposing point of view:
http://www.talkreason.org/articles/reply_to_Schroeder.cfm. The bottom line is that it all seems to be idle speculation — I doubt if the application of science towards speculation about ancient origins has yielded much, if anything, that is positive. We continue to rape and pillage our habitation and our fellow inhabitants as if we are accountable to no one but ourselves.
PS — here’s an interesting quote from John Baumgardner (http://www.rae.org/believe.html): “And in the area of Earth science, uniformitarianism — the idea that the present is the key to the past, that the present can explain the past — is essentially obsolete. It won’t be long, in my opinion, before that idea completely collapses.” He thinks Earth is only about 6000 years old (http://www.globalflood.org/earthage/index.html). I ran across his site while trying to find a scientific explanation for the creation of the Himalayas.