Age of the Earth
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Age of the Earth

Some creationists and evolutionists disagree on exactly how old the earth is. Scientists have researched geology and the fossil record to determine their answer; some fundamentalist creationists go 'by the book,' determining from geneologies in the Bible the age of the Earth. Here, we have listed information about the scientific answer as well as the points of view of New Earth and Old Earth creationists.

The Earth
Science's Answer:

The age of the Earth is estimated at 4.55 billion years. Geological evidence dates back only about 4 billion years ago, but evidence collected from studying the moon made scientists believe that the Earth was that much older. In its early stages, the Earth underwent many impacts by asteroids and other stellar debris, knocking off pieces of the planet. In addition, there is evidence that energy from the Earth's accumulation caused the surface to be molten. Furthermore, the processes of erosion have apparently destroyed all of the earliest surface. For these reasons, there is little geological evidence of that first half-billion years. Scientists also study ancient rocks -- those which contain fossilized remains -- to understand early life on Earth. For more information, click on "our origins" in the left-hand column.

Religion's Answers:

Young Earth:Young Earth Creationists use a literal interpretation of the Bible as a basis for their beliefs. They believe that the earth is 6000 to 10,000 years old, that all life was created in six twenty-four hour periods, that death and decay came as a result of the fall from Eden, and that geology must be interpreted in terms of Noah's Flood. They also rely on genealogical information in the Bible, which means they believe that Abraham was 175 when he died and that Sarah bore a son in her 90s. However, they accept a spherical earth and heliocentric solar system.

Old Earth Creationists: Old-Earth Creationists accept the evidence for an ancient earth but still believe that God created all life, and they still base their beliefs on the Bible. Old Earthers reconcile scientific evidence with religion in various ways. 'Gap Creationists' believe there was a long gap in time between what took place in Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2, with God recreating the world in 6 days after the gap. 'Day-age creationists' interpret each day of creation as more than a tweny-four hour block, even to millions of years. They see a parallel between the order of events presented in Genesis and that accepted by mainstream science. 'Progressive Creationists' generally believe that God created "kinds" of organisms sequentially, in the order seen in the fossil record, but say that the newer kinds are also created, not evolved. There are also other kinds of Old Earthers. Click below for more information.

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