MILLIONS OF YEARS - FACTS OR FICTION?
 

   I enjoy history. It is very interesting to read about how people used to live and do things differently than we do today. Historical records, solid historical evidence, tell us that human civilization has been on earth for only a few thousand years. We can dig up ruins of ancient cities and see that someone lived there. Exactly when, we may not be sure initially, but we can make an educated guess and come very close - maybe a few hundred years or so.

   But history involves a certain amount of speculation.   For the recent past, we now have video, audio, and photographic evidence we can examine. We still have to speculate sometimes, but we can get a very good idea with this kind of evidence. But when you go back hundreds, and then thousands of years, we have to look at other evidence, such as written records and even archaeological ruins. In many cases, we have to rely on the interpretations of others, especially when ancient languages are used.   In the end, there are often differing opinions concerning what actually took place at a certain location and a specific time.   Sometimes we can corroborate and compare multiple pieces of evidence and come up with a clearer picture.

   But when we go beyond a few thousand years, or someone says such and such happened 20 or 5o thousand years ago, what are they basing their statements on? What they are doing is "speculating," based upon a particular theory or opinion. It is common these days to hear people, usually scientists, use the phrase "millions of years," or even "millions and millions of years," or even occasionally "billions of years." These phrases seem to just roll off the tongues of many, as if there was no doubt whatsoever about the truth of their assertions. But a million years is a "very" long time. And millions and millions of years is a "very, very" long time.   And billions of years is an "incredibly" long time! To use this kind of language when we really only know for sure about a few thousand years, is a very "extraordinary" thing to do, and yet, for many, it is simply routine.

   In order for any statement to be considered true, or believable, there needs to be some very strong, factual evidence to support it. We believe the things that we have been convinced are true by facts that can be measured and checked.   But psychologists have asserted that we also often believe the things that we have heard over, and over, and over again. I think advertisers know this too, and probably have it written on the walls of all of their offices - "Repetition is the most effective teacher!"   I  remember learning, in Psychology class, that we may be a little unsure of certain statements we hear in the beginning, but after they are repeated often enough, we tend to forget the original source and whether or not it was credible. Especially when the statement is part of a slick video presentation, with beautiful scenery and soothing background music

   Scientists have been repeating, practically since the beginning of the television era in the 60's, that "man has evolved from other animals over a period of millions of years," and "the earth has evolved, through a series of many processes over millions and billions of years to the state in which it now exists today." With soft-playing melodies in the background, and scenes of majestic mountains and waterfalls and oceans, and ten-syllable, scientific-sounding phrases coming from the booming and familiar-sounding baritone voice of the narrator, we want to believe. It "must" be true. Why would they lie? How could they not be telling the truth?

   But the truth is, people will often say anything if they are being paid handsomely to do it, or if they think they might be able to get you to become a follower of their theory.   And I have heard this theory, and variations of the same theme, all of my life - and I don't buy it! I really did try for a very long time, but in the end, it just didn't make sense.

   Truth be told, the factual evidence to support the claim for millions of years is very shaky, to say the least. Many qualified scientists, and not just creationists, are questioning the reliability of the tests commonly used to prove long ages of time. Evolutionist, William Stansfield, for instance, has said that "radiometric" dating methods are "sometimes [off] by hundreds of millions of years." Stansfield has also listed "at least ten different chronometers that could be reasonably interpreted as support for a young earth," such as the amount of buildup of uranium, the amount of volcanic lava that has accumulated over time, the amount of meteoric dust in the earth's crust, and the amount of helium and radiocarbon in the atmosphere. I know it might be very, very hard for some to believe, after so many powerful documentaries have told us just the opposite, but Stansfield goes on to say, as have others, "There is no absolutely reliable, long-term radiological clock."[1]

   However, there is another "idea" that does make sense to me now, and there are plenty of scientific facts, as well as common sense, to back it up.  This theory says that everything happens for a reason. The earth is almost 93 million miles from the sun because if it was any closer, we would all burn up, and if it was any farther away, we would freeze.   Also, water has just the right chemicals in it to be beneficial to humans, and not harmful. The same is true of the air we breathe - just the right amount of oxygen. I don't believe these things happened just by accident, do you?

   This theory says that there are many absolutes in our world that provide the structure our lives need. The sun comes up every day, so reliably that we can time its rising and setting in advance.  The movement of the stars is so precise that we actually set our clocks by it! The human body is so designed that we have learned to train doctors to keep us healthy, and treat us when we are sick. The brain is so complex that we can build buildings hundreds of stories high, bridges many miles long, and construct dams that will hold back I don't even know how many gallons of water! We can even assemble incredibly intricate machines in which we can blast off of our planet and into outer space!

   This theory makes sense to me because it says that we have been put here for a purpose, by an infinite and intelligent Being, who loves us and is concerned about every aspect of our lives. That makes sense because everything we know on this planet is ordered and structured. We don't understand it all, but it certainly makes NO sense to think that everything we see has come into existence by chance. We are intelligent beings, and we just know that chance does not, and cannot, produce the kind of order we see in our world.

   And most of all, chance can't even come close to explaining the importance of human relationships. Did chance produce love? No! But the theory that I believe in explains love in a very real way. The God of the Bible came to earth in human flesh and died a painful death so that you and I can be forgiven and freed from our life of sin and accepted into His eternal and awesome presence!

   You may say that this is surely more speculation, but it is not speculation when you have experienced it.   And I "have" experienced it as well as many, many others. In fact, Christianity has covered most of our globe because of the impact of one man who lived about two thousand years ago.

   Jesus Christ is by far the most prominent human who has ever lived and He only spent a mere thirty-three years on this earth. Today we commonly divide history according to His birth - BC and AD. The Bible is no doubt the best-selling book of all time and the impact of  Christ on the lives of people in our world has been undeniably immense, and continues to this very day!

   Before I became a believer, I wasn't really sure what to think about how the earth came into existence. But   over the years I have done quite a bit of reading on the subject and I have come to the conclusion that the millions of years teaching is fiction and not fact. It has been very difficult getting through much of the literature that I have read, and I am sure there are "millions and millions" of facts I will never understand, but personally I am confident that the facts are on God's side. And my confidence in who God is and what He has done is such that I have no trouble believing that He could, and did, create our universe, just as He has said - in six days!



1 - What is Creation Science?, Morris and Parker, 1982, Master Books, p.284-285.

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