Crab NebulaRare Universe
Home Creation Evidence General Science Info Old Earth Creation Creation Time Line Links
Scientific Reasons Logical Reasons Biblical Reasons Creation Models

Old Earth Creationism

Old Earth Creationism
The basic idea behind Old Earth Creationism is that the word "day" in the Genesis creation account need not be a literal 24 hours. Here, "day" is taken as a metaphor for a long period of time, or interpreted as an "age" since the Hebrew word "yom" can have either meaning. There is a lot of scriptural, as well as scientific, support for this way of thinking. For more info, see Biblical Reasons below. See the Creation Time Line for a correlation of science and scripture that supports the old earth world view.

Notable Ages*
Beginning of Time 13.8 Ga
Age of the Universe 13.8 Ga
Age of the Milky Way 13.2 Ga
Oldest Stars 13.2 Ga
Age of the Sun 4.5 Ga
Age of the Earth 4.5 Ga
Oldest Minerals on Earth 4.4 Ga
Oldest Fish Fossil 510 Ma
Oldest Primates 58 Ma
Modern Humans 50 ka
Dead Sea Scrolls 2.1 ka
* Approximate age,
   Ga=billions of years,
   Ma=millions of years,
   ka=thousands of years
Literal Biblical Creation
geological and fossil evidence
Click here for the Science / Creation Timeline

Determination of Age

Galaxy Motion: When the motions of distant galaxies are examined, they are all receding away from us. The more distant the galaxy, the greater the rate of recession. If the galaxies motions were reversed, the time until they all converge yields an approximation of the universe's age. A more accurate reading takes into account changes in the expansion rate over time, yielding an age of 13.8 billion years.

Solar Life Cycle: The physics of nuclear fusion that takes place inside stars is well known. Given the starting composition of a star, the rate the star burns through its hydrogen fuel, and the current composition, then its current age can be estimated. Stars can be seen in all stages of the stellar life cycle.  

When a shock wave passes through a very large cloud of interstellar gas, it can take millions of years to get to the other side due to the vast distances. We see this scenario mid-course, where stars have formed behind the shock wave, after it has passed. This shock wave is moving with a speed that can be measured. Very young stars are near the boundary of the shock wave, while progressively older stars are found the farther away from the boundary you look. These stellar nurseries provide tests of our solar models and reveal the vast scales of time describing these processes.

Radioisotope Dating:  This is a very accurate method of dating if you know the initial composition of the sample. Rocks containing zircon, which can substitute uranium into its crystal lattice, provide excellent measures of age. This is because no daughter particles are present in the crystal at formation, so what is there now is due solely to radioactive decay. Radioactive decay rates are constant and unaffected by environmental factors. This provides scientists with an accurate way of dating samples that contain these minerals.

This method of dating has been used on lunar rocks, meteorites, and terrestrial rocks. All are very close in age for the oldest specimens. This provides the age of the solar system at about 4.5 billion years.

The Layered Strata:  Over time sediments collect in some areas like in seabeds and erode from other areas like mountains. Where sediments collect, they form layers that are characterized by the conditions from which they formed. Since they form sequentially, one on top of the other, they provide another avenue for dating. The major layers within this strata are identifiable by there composition and are consistent world wide. Within the layers there are radioisotopes that can be used for dating. Once an identified layer is dated, that date can be applied globally for specimens within that layer. The United States Geological Survey publishes the established dates for all major layers within the strata.

Red Shift:  The light of distant galaxies are red shifted due to their relative motion to us.  This motion is predominately due to the expansion of the universe.  The expansion is the same in all directions and is proportional to distance.  The farther away a galaxy is, the greater the red-shift.  Since light travels at a known speed of 300,000 km/s (187,500 miles/sec), the farther away it is, the longer it has been since the light left that galaxy.  We then realize that we are seeing these distant galaxies as they were billions of years ago.

Logical Reasons for an old Earth and Universe

Speed of Light: Due to the vast distances between celestial objects, ample time must have elapsed since the beginning to allow light to reach us. Some stars in our own galaxy are 100,000 light years away, so the light we see was emitted 100,000 years ago. Most other galaxies are millions to billions of light years away. Supernova explosions that can be accurately measured for distance, have been seen many billions of light years away. These explosions occurred billions of years ago, the light taking this amount of time to make the trip across the universe.

Galactic Orbit: Our sun orbits the galactic center. It takes 250 million years to complete one orbit.

Galactic Collisions: When galaxies collide the collision takes millions of years due to the slow pace of the galaxies relative to their size. We see galaxy collisions at all stages. Though we only see a snapshot, we can see the result of the collision on the participating galaxies. This includes galaxies that have already underwent a collision, millions of years through the process.

Supernova Remnants: Humanity has witnessed many supernova explosions throughout history. This is the explosive end of a massive star. We can now study the remnants of those we have seen explode, and also those that exploded long ago. The age of the remnant can be determined from the speed and size of the expanding shell of debris. Remnants have been found that are up to 95,000 years old. Add to this the fact that many are hundreds of thousands of light-years away so we are seeing these ancient events as they happened hundreds of thousands of years ago.

Fossil Fuels: Due to the chemistry involved, coal and oil take millions of years to form from the decay of vegetation. This is evident by the multitude of fossils found in coal mines. The ceilings of these mines frequently have fossils embedded in the rock enshrining
long extinct plant species. These are revealed when miners remove the coal from underneath. Some of these mines have been found to house extraordinary fossil forests of prehistoric trees and shrubbery. While ancient species are common in these mines, modern species are not found.

Scriptural Support for an Old Earth

Scripture Application
The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows his handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. Psalms 19:1-2 (NKJ) This shows how the scientific study of the universe leads to discovery of God's power and the details of His works. It even provides proof to the world of His existence. In other words, science is an important source of information relevant to learning about God and how He made the universe and us.
For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it is past, And like a watch in the night. Psalms 90:4 (NKJ) God is not restricted to our measure of time. We cannot expect Him to be bound by it. The use of differing lengths of time to relate to a thousand years indicates that it is not a specific formula but a general statement about God's relationship to time.
But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 2 Peter 3:8 (NKJ) Again time is no boundary for God. His day can be an immense length of time. This simply states that the human perception of time is not the same as God's. If you can accept this one fact, you can understand the basis of old earth creationism. When God describes His own actions, such as in creation, He necessarily uses His perspective of time.
And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth." Gen 1:22 (NKJ) The command is given for these creatures to reproduce and to fill the earth. This would require thousands of generations to fulfill this commission, all on the fifth day. This makes sense if the days of Genesis 1 are to be interpreted as "ages". The commision of these creatures would not be expected to be left incomplete on this day since Gen 2:1 declares creation as finished. Nor can we assume that the earth was created full already, or there would be no need for this command.

Some have speculated that these creatures were given the ability to reproduce in some hyper-accelerated manor. But if this were the intent, it certainly would have indicated this; since it does not, normal life cycles must be intended. The day=age interpretation is a simple, logical conclusion from this passage.
This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, Gen 2:4 (NKJ) Here, the whole creation time period is described by a day. This is not in conflict with the creation week, because the use of "day" is for a long period of time, as in the creation days, not 24 hours. Also the Hebrew word "toledoth", interpreted as "history" in this passage, is noted in the NKJ Bible to literally mean "generations". Generations do not occur in 24 hours, but over very long periods of time.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. Gen 1:1-3 (NKJ) Each day of the creation account starts with "Then God said". This is true for the first day of creation also. Therefore, verses 1 and 2 are not part of this first day. This means that there is no possible way to link any genealogical studies to the earlier date of the creation of the universe (heavens) and the earth. This is true regardless of how long one takes the Genesis creation days to be. The creation days describe God transforming the surface of the earth, that was found to be formless and void in verse 2.
with the best things of the ancient mountains, with the precious things of the everlasting hills, Deut 33:15 (NKJ) The bible often describes the Earth to be old. There are many more examples of this not listed here.
Of old You laid the foundations of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. Ps 102:25 (NKJ)
but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die. Gen 2:17 (NKJ) This verse gives a warning of eminent death in the "day" that this command is broken. Adam broke this command and lived for 800 years. He then died as warned. And it all happened in that day, or rather within that age. Again, God's time often does not align with human expectation.

See the Creation Time Line for a cross reference between science and scripture that shows these to be in excellent agreement with each other.

See Genesis Predictions to see how an old earth view of Genesis predicts beautifully the findings of modern science. Many Biblical Predictions also correlate well with modern cosmology. These predictions are based on an old earth viewpoint and were predicted in scripture long ago. It is through this method that biblical accounts of origins are verified in science, providing evidence to the world of God's existence and the Bible's authenticity.  

While old earth creationism is quite successful at harmonizing with modern science, it takes several forms. See Creation Models for an overview of some of the different creation models and how each addresses some common questions. Since there are many old Earth creation models that are scientifically sound, there remains a lot of room for discussion on them. Most differences between these are theological, though some scientific differences exist, especially on their treatment of evolution.

Scientific Reasons Logical Reasons Biblical Reasons Creation Models

Support Us: by liking us on Facebook or sharing our site with a friend. See the following links:

Visit us on Facebook

Share as Bookmark, Tweet, message, etc.
Bookmark and Share
Return to Rare Universe Home
See also Old Earth Creationism at

updated Dec 30, 2012
(c) 2012  RareUniverse.Org
(see our terms of service)