Did God create the world millions or billions of years ago? Or only a few thousands of years ago? Is the creation account found in the Bible mere legend? ancient mythology? Or is it factual -- literal -- historical? How does the evidence of paleontology and geology fit into the picture?
What about the various dating methods relating to this question?
Do the Neo-Darwinian evolutionists and the school of evolutionary
geologists hold the true answers? What about Carbon 14 dating
Was there really LIFE on the earth before the creation of Adam?
What does the evidence of science and Scripture say?
We must be very careful not to allow our thinking to lead us astray, and into foolish acceptance of ridiculous “scientific” theories that contradict the word of God or lead us into a faithless environment void of true spiritual understanding.
Paul the apostle warns us, “keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called” (I Tim.6:20). Just how much “time” really exists in the geological record is a matter of great dispute! We must not allow these disputes, and the reasonings of men, to lead us astray and to deny the truth of God and faith in God’s Word and His promises!
Many Christians today believe as an article of faith that the Bible teaches the earth was created 6,000 years ago. They dispute all the evidence of geology, paleontology and radiometric dating techniques. They argue that such evidence is invalid, grossly misunderstood, and misinterpreted. Some Neo-Creationists claim that all the earth's strata was laid down in the Noachian deluge, or the original process of Creation. They claim all Creation took place during a six day period approximately 6,000 years ago.
What is the truth?
The Bible is a reliable historical witness. However the Bible nowhere says Creation occurred 6,000 years ago. Nor does it teach that the earth is flat although Medieval theologians often assumed so and threatened anyone who would teach other-wise with excommunication and torture. The Middle Ages were a sad time in theological history. The supposedly enlightened Church pressured scientists such as Bruno and Galileo with the threat of bodily harm if they chose to believe the earth revolved around the sun.
Biologist George Simpson was right when he observed, "As a matter of fact, most of the dogmatic religions have exhibited a perverse talent for taking the WRONG SIDE on the most important concepts of the material Universe.
Catholic theologians made a great mistake in the Middle Ages. They assumed the Scriptures taught things about the material universe which were, in fact, false interpretations or assumptions. Perhaps for the masses, it was enough to listen to and believe dogmas with the stamped sanction of "Church authority." But for THINKING men, "Renaissance Man," for scientists who wished us to "prove all things," as the Scriptures themselves tell us to, such a course was preposterous! Mere recitation of Church authority or tradition was not enough. One author characterizes the problem this way: “The emotional, precious view of earth's centrality in a fixed, unchanging universe was crystallized by Ptolemy in the second century A.D., and then taken over by the Christian (i.e., Catholic) Church. What had been ancient pagan punishments for contradicting pagan theology became orthodox Christian punishments for questioning orthodox Christian dogma. Despite man's continued secret probing, fourteen centuries brought no serious challenger" (Robert Gorney, The Human Agenda, p. 27).
In 1543 Copernicus published his theory of a heliocentric solar system.
Although he was a Catholic priest, his theory met with strong opposition from
the established Church. In 1600 Giordano Bruno, who endorsed Copernicus'
theory, was burned alive at the stake in
Galileo Galilei observed in 1604 that Copernicus had been right. Through the telescope, he observed that the earth and other planets DO revolve around the sun.
But the clerics of that day did
not agree. Martin Luther lambasted the heliocentric or sun-centered solar
system. He reasoned that since Joshua had commanded the sun to stand still, it
must have been the sun which was moving around the earth. One archbishop of the
Catholic Church lampooned the followers of Galileo with a Scriptural pun,
exclaiming, “Ye men of
During the Inquisition, the Catholic Church resisted the pressures of rational thinking men with the pronouncement: "If earth is a planet, and only one among several planets, it cannot be that any such great things have been done specially for it as Christian doctrine teaches. If there are other planets, since God makes nothing in vain, they must be inhabited; but how can their inhabitants be descended from Adam? How can they trace their origin to Noah's ark? How can they have been redeemed by the Saviour?" (ibid., p. 28).
Galileo's theory was branded by the Church as "of all heresies the most abominable, the most pernicious, the most scandalous."
During the Middle Ages when ecclesiastical authority reigned supreme, the science of geology was attacked as "a dark art," as "infernal artillery" and as “calculated to tear up in the public mind every remaining attachment to Christianity” (p. 53). When scientists accumulated data to show the earth may far older than Archbishop Ussher's date of 4004 B.C., they were vigorously assailed as "infidels," as "atheists," and “heretics.”
Archbishop Ussher had concluded from his studies of the Bible that
Creation must have been
Unfortunately, some of this Medieval thinking still exists, today.
Galileo, Copemicus, KepIer,
Today, too, we must at times take up shield and sword of the mind and spirit and CHALLENGE the Goliaths of modern dogma and conventional orthodoxy.
We must remember the impassioned words of Oliver Cromwell, ruler of
Why is it that people sometimes insist upon wearing blinders upon their eyes? Why won't they READ, STUDY, LEARN, COMPARE, CHALLENGE, and "PROVE ALL THINGS," holding in abeyance those things which they cannot prove one way or another? Why do people insist upon dogmas? The attitudes of many people is like the nervous captain of a ship lowering the anchor down to twenty feet, and then assuming that it must have reached bottom, because that's all the line left on the anchor chain!
In 1832 citizens of
Some religious people, today still ascribe the entire geologic record to the Flood of Noah's time. Theologians used to turn to the Flood to explain the effects of erosion, mountain building, volcanism, and fossil remains. In the infancy of geological science, such a tendency could be well understood, and even pardoned. But, today, after TONS of geologic evidence, it seems strange that some religious folk still cling to the out-dated, antiquarian notions of the pre-scientific age. In order to rigorously cling to their notions of the Flood and a shortened chronology of the earth, they reject almost all the evidence of 150 years of geological investigation!
But we should not condemn them too strongly, because on the other side of the fence we have the Neo-Darwinian evolutionists and the proponents of anti-catastrophism -- those GEOLOGISTS and PALEONTOLOGISTS who have been BRAINWASHED to the exact opposite conclusion. That is, they stand on “uniformitarian” geology, and will not admit to any earthshaking, global catastrophes in the past. They discount ALL human testimony, all traditions, all legends from around the world; they IGNORE or attempt to explain away all evidence of a geological nature which supports any kind of catastrophism. Uniformitarian theory has, for all practical purposes, become to them ANOTHER RELIGION.
What we see, then, is dogmatic individuals with BLINDERS on clinging to two opposing viewpoints, neither of which is right, neither of which is supported by the facts. Both unwilling to compromise, adamant in their authority, staunch in their belief. BOTH interpreting the evidence to fit their own theory.
I take issue with both the neo-Creationists who REFUSE to accept the evidence of an earth which may have existed for thousands of years before Adam, who was created by God about 6000 years ago, according to the chronology of Archbishop James Ussher. On the other hand, the views of evolutionary Bible-denying pseudo-scientists and self-proclaimed scholars that the earth and life on it have existed for millions of years is also reprehensible, and fallacious. Nick Wood’s article, “How Old Is the UNIVERSE?” shows the paucity of evidence supporting a universe of billions of years of existence.
Therefore, let’s take a new look at this question, “Was there LIFE on earth before Adam?”
Why does it seem so difficult for people to obtain a balance? Why do we humans become so emotionally involved with a particular belief, afraid, nervous, fearful and glandular? Emotional attachment to a false world concept, or fable, is a DANGEROUS thing. It is a little like falling in love with the wrong person -- it hurts.
Infatuation with a false belief or theory can hurt just as bad as romantic infatuation. After the honeymoon, the young couple have to deal with reality. If they were hasty, and rushed into marriage with the wrong person, the trauma and life long pain and regret can be considerable. Even so, if you have clung to out-moded beliefs, or concepts which are not really in the Scriptures, unlearning that false "knowledge" can be difficult and painful at times. It is much more difficult to unlearn false beliefs than to learn something right the first time! So it is with geology and the existence of the world before Adam's time.
All the geological and paleontological evidence PROVES beyond the slightest scintilla of a doubt that THERE WAS A WORLD BEFORE ADAM. This conclusion is NOT in conflict with the Scriptures – not when we correctly understand the real meaning of the Scriptural account of Creation, found in Genesis, chapter 1!
Neo-Creationists believe we must choose either the Bible or science, particularly scientific dating methods. One typical Neo-Creationist argues: "The Bible-believing scientist must face squarely the question, In the area of natural science which shall supersede, the clear assertions of God's inspired Book, or modern man's interpretation of what he thinks he sees in nature?"
This particular author continues: “According to Bible chronology only a few thousand years have passed since the creation of the ancestors of our modern plants and animals. . . Contrariwise, if one accepts the assumption that the inorganic radioisotope clocks were reset wherever they became associated with fossi1-bearing material, then apparently at least 600 million years have passed since plants and animals first appeared successively from that time over a duration of some 600 million years" (Frank Lewis Marsh, Life, Man and Time, pp. 67-68).
Creation and Re-creation
In the pages of Genesis, as it relates to the original creation of the universe, we read the simple, matter-of-fact statement: "In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth" (Genesis 1:1, King James Version). The Amplified Bible renders this verse: "In the beginning God (prepared, formed, fashioned,) and created the heavens and the earth. " The Good News Bible states: “In the beginning, when God created the universe.” The Moffatt Translation: "When God began to form the universe. . ." The Goodspeed Translation: "When God began to create the heavens and the earth. . ."
Verse two of Genesis, chapter one, continues: “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep” (King James Version).
Is this verse describing the ORIGINAL creation as being formless and void? If so, it would seem a contradiction. Verse one tells us God created the heavens and the earth. When God creates something, it is beautiful, grand, and majestic. In the 38th chapter of the book of Job, we read: “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof? When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4-7).
If the original earth had been created a chaotic ruin, formless and void, the angels would not have "sang together" or have "shouted for joy."
Isaiah 45:18 adds more light on this enigmatic passage. The prophet declares: "For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else" (King James Version).
The Hebrew word translated "vain" here is tohu and means "to lie waste " " a desolation, " "a desert." It can also be translated "confusion, " "empty place," "without form," "nothing," "wilderness." It is the very same word used in Genesis 1:2, where we read the earth "was without form."
One place says God created the earth and it "was without form "; in another place we read God did not create the earth "without form." Is this a contradiction? Not at all!
The KEY to understanding this apparently complex problem lies in the little word "was." It can also be translated "BECAME." In fact, in Genesis 19:26 it is translated "became." We read: "And Lot's wife became a pillar of salt."
What happened, then, is this: When God originally created the earth, it was indeed a lovely place. He created it with no waste, no wilderness, no desolation. It was inhabited. The angels leaped for joy, and shouted with admiration and enthusiasm when they beheld the primeval earth.
But then something happened. It became "tohu" -- that is, waste, a ruin, a desolation. The original earth suffered a great cataclysm --a cosmic catastrophe. The Hebrew words translated "without form and void " in Genesis 1: 2 literally mean a desolation, a wilderness, an empty, uninhabited ruin. These words, tohu and bohu are very strong words and denote CATASTROPHE. They strongly suggest that some sort of primeval cataclysm, or several such cataclysms, occurred.
Destruction! Paroxysm! Chaos!
Scripture gives no data for determining HOW LONG AGO the universe was created. And in the first chapter of Genesis, it only records THREE creative acts: 1 ) the heavens and the earth (verse 1); 2) new animal life (verses 20-25); and 3) human life, Adam and Eve (verses 26-27). The first creative act referred to the DATELESS PAST. The creation of NEW forms of animal life, and Adam and Eve, occurred approximately 6,000 YEARS AGO. Obviously, then, the first chapter of Genesis is not describing the original creation of the heavens and earth as occurring in seven consecutive days.
Angels in the Bible are called “stars” (Rev.1:20). What happened in the rebellion of these “stars” was reflected in what happened to the literal “stars” – that is, the planets and heavenly bodies in our solar system! Wreckage! The massive tell-tale signs of awesome violence and catastrophe in the solar system reflects the debris and results from the initial WAR of the wicked angels in their first rebellion against God, and their subsequent attempts to thwart and destroy God’s plan on this earth for mankind!
There is an ancient Jewish belief that God set in motion a divine plan of 7,000 years, reflected in the seven-day week. The first 6,000 years man rules the earth, but under the influence of Satan, who is the “god of this world” (II Cor.4:4). Then the Messiah will return and bring peace and restore the Kingdom of God on the earth, and rule for a thousand years (Rev.20:4). These seven thousand-year “days” are also patterned after the seven “sefirot” of God – that is, His seven divine, visible attributes. But in addition to these external attributes, God also has three hidden attributes – wisdom, knowledge and understanding. These could well reflect three other “days” in primordial time, BEFORE the manifestation of the visible Universe of the time of man!
That is, before man was created, to begin the 7,000 year plan of God, there were three primal days of 1,000 years each – or 3,000 years – in which God worked with the angelic kingdom. In other words, Satan’s government and rulership would have begun about 9,000 years ago; perhaps his rebellion occurred after 2,000 years of tranquility and harmony; and when he rebelled, great cosmic destruction took place about 1,000 years before the creation of Adam, leaving the earth in tohu v’ vohu for about one thousand years, with darkness covering the deep. And THEN God began the re-creation process, with MAN as His ultimate, crowning achievement!
In the New Testament the apostle Peter tells us that "God did not spare the angels when they sinned. . . ." (II Peter 2:4). The apostle Jude also refers to the punishment that befell the angels "that did not keep their own position but left their proper dwelling" (Jude 6).
The awesome destructions in the solar system that occurred long before man existed may very well have been directly connected with the rebellion and activity of certain angels described in the pages of Scripture. With the physical evidence in mind, let us try to reconstruct what happened in the days of old.
Jesus told his disciples: "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven" (Luke 10:18).
At some ancient time, some point in history, Satan fell from heaven. When did it happen?
A hint of the truth is given in the gospel according to John. Jesus said to the Pharisees of his day: "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it" (John 8:44).
Long before becoming a human being, and partaking of human nature, Jesus had been with the Father from the beginning. He was the "Word," the second member of the Godhead. He said to the hypocritical Pharisees of his day: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am" (John 8:58). He was with God, and was God (John 1:1-3,14).
At that ancient primordial time, Jesus saw Satan fall as lightning out of heaven. He saw him when he became a murderer "from the beginning. " He saw him when he first began to harbor thoughts of resentment, vanity, jealousy, greed, avarice, and gluttony. He saw him when he first began to stray from the truth, and began to become deceitful, tricky, clever, guilty of half-truths, slander, gossip, and falsehoods.
Jesus, as the Logos, was there (John 1:1-3). He beheld Lucifer’s fall with His own eyes!
A much fuller account of the story is provided by the prophet Isaiah. Notice what the prophet was inspired to record: "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
"For thou has said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit" (Isaiah 14:12-15).
The term “son of the morning” here is the Hebrew word shakar and means “dawn, early, light, morning.” The name “Lucifer” is the Hebrew word heylel and means “the morning star,” in the sense of “brightness,” from the word halal, meaning “to be clear, to shine; hence, to boast, to make a show,” thus to be “foolish,” “rage, rave, feign self mad.” Lucifer was a “morning star” who perverted his original wisdom and became “mad,” raging, perverting his brightness. Interestingly, Jesus Himself is also referred to as “the bright and morning star” (Rev.22:16). He is the true “day star” (II Pet.1:19).
Here the prophet Isaiah describes what happened eons ago! An mighty cherub or archangel by the name of Lucifer, which means "Day star," or "Shining star of the dawn," rebelled against the Almighty God. He attempted to ascend to heaven, to exalt his own throne or seat of authority above the other angels, called "stars of God." He attempted to ascend above the clouds (clouds are in the earth's atmosphere), to rise up and conquer space -- to remove God from His Throne -- to become "like the Most High." But his abortive attempt failed. He was cast back down to earth in a massive struggle.
Just how big was this cosmic battle for control of the Universe? Why did Lucifer want to be "like the most High”? Lucifer was a very powerful personality, a mighty angel of God. But his angelic nature, consumed with greed and lust, became a loathsome thing, detestable, unclean, filthy, vile, putrid, ugly, distorted, misshapen, foul. He became characterized as a slithering serpent, a vile snake, a detestable dragon.
In the book of Revelation, John tells us: "And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth . . ." (Revelation 12: 3-4). Notice! Perhaps ONE THIRD OF THE ANGELS followed Lucifer in his campaign to fight against God! During this cosmic conflict it is probable that tens of thousands of meteorites in the solar system were also cast down upon the earth, and that the solar system itself sustained massive damage, as we see attested to by modern astronomy.
John describes this vision further: “And there was WAR in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Rev. 12:7-9). John’s comments, which literally apply to a FUTURE “war in heaven,” are also no doubt very descriptive of the ANCIENT “star war” which occurred when Lucifer first rebelled!
This “war in heaven” must have been catastrophic in nature. It must have been the greatest battle of all time! Armies of angels clashing with each other! The entire cosmos must have been shaken. The fantastic truth of what happened eons ago makes the Star War movies pale into nothingness by comparison!
Peter speaks of the cataclysmic fall of Lucifer and his renegade angels this way: “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell (Greek, tartaroo, a “place of restraint”), and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment” (II Peter 2:4). These angels had “sinned.” But what is “sin?” The Bible defines it as rebellion, lawlessness. “Sin is the transgression of the law,” John wrote (1 John 3:4).
One third of the angelic hosts, apparently, sinned -- violated the laws of God -- and acted wantonly. They attempted to overthrow the Government of the Creator God. They precipitated violence on a cosmic scale never before heard of or seen! They went astray from the paths of peace, goodness, faith, righteousness.
They looked upon God as a tyrant, a malevolent dictator, not fit for His office, not capable of running the Universe. They wanted their way. They wanted their ambitions -- right now! They wanted to seize God's Throne and take over -- He wasn't running things right, in their eyes. Perhaps they were jealous -- they thought He was playing favorites and they didn't feel on the "'inside group."
The prophet Ezekiel tells us what happened to one of these two cherubim. "Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God. . ." (Ezekiel 28: 11-13).
Note that this could not be describing a literal king of the city of Tyre. The garden of Eden perished at the Noachian deluge, and Tyre did not become a city until much, much later. This king, as we shall see, was actually a super-powerful spirit being – which are known as cherubim!
Ezekiel continues: "Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the saphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou has walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou was created, TILL INIQUITY was found in thee" (Ezek. 28:13-15).
Consider, for a moment the import of these statements. Ezekiel is describing a beautiful, resplendent, angelic creature -- one of the two anointed cherubim that covered God's Throne in heaven! This creature walked upon the holy mountain of God, in the garden of God in Eden. It was a created being -- and it was a perfect creation!
But then something happened to change the beautiful nature and character of this brilliant, shining angelic being. "Iniquity" was found in him. A root of bitterness, a root of jealousy, of envy, of hatred, began to spring up (compare Hebrews 12:15).
Ezekiel continues the description of this ancient scene: "By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
"Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shall thou be any more" (Ezekie1 28: 16-19).
What happened eons ago?
Lucifer's heart was lifted up with pride. He became vain because of his beauty and brilliance. His wisdom became corrupted, and channeled into selfish, devious directions. God had said he "sealed up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty" (Ezek. 28: 12). But this beautiful creature became disloyal, disobedient, and destructive.
If we can reconstruct the scene, it would appear that in that ancient world there was much merchandise and traffic. Trade and commerce existed. The world was populated by millions of angels, and their king was Lucifer. His throne was on the earth. But he wasn't satisfied. He was a great king, and the greatest human king to compare with him was the king of Tyre, the mercantile city, in the days of Ezekiel.
But this angelic king grew restless, discontent. He was unhappy with his lot – his dissatisfaction grew as he envied the power, authority, and honor of God. He grew jealous. He said, "I will ascend into heaven." That shows he was located on the earth. "I will exalt my throne above the stars of God" (Isaiah 14:13). That shows he was a king, a ruler -- he had a throne on the earth. God had given him this authority. But he wanted MORE! And he wanted it NOW!!! He wanted to reign upon the mountain of God, "in the sides of the north" -- just like God Himself! (same verse).
Many verses of the Bible lend support to the theory that God's Throne is located in the northern heavens, in the general direction of the North Star. King David wrote: "Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King" (Psalm 48: 1-2). The city of God, the heavenly Jerusalem, as we know, is now in heaven (Revelation 21: 1-2).
Lucifer wasn't satisfied with kingship over this earth. He wasn't satisfied with being one of the two anointed cherubim that actually covered God's Throne -- a position of great importance and supreme respect -- very close to the throne itself. He wasn't even happy when God gave him his own throne upon the earth, over millions of angels. His heart seethed with discontent. He wanted what God had! He was created to be a ministering angel -- but he wanted to be ministered to, not to minister to others. He didn't want to be a servant. He wanted to be served!
Very likely the straw which finally broke the camel's back was the fact that God intended to create man, and to give him eventual dominion over the earth and the angelic kingdom. This Lucifer could not stand!
And God dealt severely with his rebellion. God's attitude toward rebellion is revealed in the first book of the prophet Samuel: "And Samuel said, hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king" (1 Samuel 15:22-23).
Lucifer was also rejected from being a king. He lost his throne, his kingdom, his power. But he still has limited authority upon the earth, and is the "god of this world," the "prince of the power of the air." He will remain in that position until God is through with him and replaces him.
Therefore he is still regarded as the “god of this world” (II Cor.4:4).
Ever since that original rebellion, there has been a constant, ongoing, continual struggle between Satan, the "Adversary," and God. Lucifer's name, "Light bringer," was changed to "Satan," meaning "opponent."
Satan and his fallen angels, now disembodied spirits, roam the earth, in a condition of restraint. They have very little power compared to that which they used to exert. They cannot appear to men in strength and power, as the righteous angels can. They are vague shadows of their former selves. They have lost their intense brightness and brilliance. They are ghostly beings, like the wind, and are called "familiar spirits" that peep and mutter (Leviticus 19:31; 20:27; Isaiah 8:19-20).
The Renewal of Creation
The rest of chapter one of Genesis describes the RE-creation of the earth, and life upon it, AFTER the rebellion of Lucifer and his angels. After the chaos and destruction which occurred, in verse two of Genesis one, God began a process of re-creation, reconstruction, if you please, which lasted for seven days. After the great cataclysm, the earth was cut off from the light of the sun, moon and stars. Darkness prevailed everywhere. As verse two says: "And the earth was (became) without form and void (tohu and bohu); and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." What do we see then? An earth destroyed, in pitch darkness, covered by water, the continents submerged, due to some great cataclysm.
During the process of reconstruction or re-creation, God first caused the light from the sun to penetrate the atmosphere once again, in a diffused manner (Genesis 1: 3-5), allowing day and night to become discernible. He created order in the atmosphere (verses 6-8). He caused the dry land to appear once again (verse 10). He caused the earth to once again bring forth life, plants, vegetation, of all kinds. As the turgid clouds and atmospheric disturbances cleared away, He caused the sun, moon and stars to once again become visible from the earth's surface (verses 14-18).
Verse 16 of Genesis one does not describe the sun and moon and stars being created on the fourth day. How could light have been created on the first day, but the sun and stars which impart light not be created until the fourth day? The original Hebrew for "made" in verse 16 actually means "made to appear, made visible." The Hebrew word for “create” is bara, meaning to create, as from nothing – true creation. However, the word used in verse 16 is asah, which means to “make” or “fashion” a thing from pre-existing elements. The sun and moon were originally created "in the beginning. "
Then, having REFASHIONED the surface of the earth, and having prepared it, God created NEW living creatures -- NEW animal life of all kinds, from great whales to small fish, from elephants to rodents, from flying birds to flying fish and insects – to REPOPULATE the earth, and to REPLENISH it (verses 20-25).
Thus something had happened to the Pre-Adamic earth. It had been overwhelmed in a MIGHTY CATASTROPHE, or a long series of catastrophes, which is briefly described in verse 2 of Genesis chapter 1.
The world before Adam came to an ABRUPT, screeching end. It was cut short by flooding and upheaval, stroke upon stroke of catastrophe. Genesis 1:2 -- this one short enigmatic, much misunderstood verse of the Bible -- contains within its cryptic message a story that will amaze you. This one little verse provides an amazing insight -- a powerful CLUE as to what happened to the earth, after the original time when it was created, beautiful, and to be “inhabited,” and before the time of Adam and Eve, when it had to be refashioned, reshaped, refurbished, and rebuilt.
This one verse, in essence, may cover a time span of multiple thousands of years. But we must question seriously the “MILLIONS” of years postulated by evolutionary-influenced scientists
The world before Adam can possibly be understood by studying the evidence of that world contained within the earth's strata. The Scriptures allude to such a world in the very briefest of terms. Bu there is some indication in the Bible that would lead us to understand that physical life on earth did exist before Adam. In the Septuagint version of the Old Testament book of Job we read of a dinosaur type of creature, which was originally created for a special purpose. Notice:
“Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox. Lo now,
his strength is in his loins, and his force in the navel of his belly. He moveth his tail like
a cedar: the sinews of his stones are like bars of iron. He is the CHIEF of the ways
of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him. Surely the
mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play. He lieth under
the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens. The shady trees cover him with their
shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about. Behold, he drinketh up a river,
and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan in his mouth. He taketh it with
his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares” (Job 40:15-24).
The Septuagint translation of the Old Testament Hebrew into the Greek language circa 250 B.C., during the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus of Egypt. This creature is some kind of dinosaur, obviously. The account continues:
“He sets up his tail like a cypress; and his nerves are wrapped together. His sides are
sides of brass; and his backbone is as cast iron. This is the chief of the creation of the
Lord; made to be played with by his angels”(vs.12-14, LXX, vs.17-19, KJV).
Notice! This creature was created and existed during the time of the ANGELS! This would suggest that the angels ruled that ancient world before Adam was created. But how long that world existed we do not know. Nevertheless, here is evidence of a world in which dinosaur-like creatures existed before the time of man! They may well have become extinct and were wiped out by a serious catastrophe which occurred when the angels themselves rebelled!
The fact that geology suggests to us that various forms of animal and plant life became extinct, at different periods of the earth's geologic past, would seem to indicate that God allowed these extinctions for a purpose. At times, to accomplish His purpose, the extinctions were widespread and general, and involved catastrophe. They may have occurred due to the misconduct of the angels under the dominion of Lucifer!
Whether this time period was thousands of years, or longer, remains to be proven. Again, I strongly recommend the article by Nick Wood, “How Old Is the Universe?” to help answer this question.
Bertrand Russell, the famous philosopher, once wrote: "The world was created in 4004 B.G., complete with fossils, which were inserted to try our faith. The world was created suddenly, but was made such as it would have been if it had evolved. There is no logical impossibility about this view. And similarly, there is no logical impossibility in the view that the world was created five minutes ago, complete with memories and records" (An Outline of Philosophy, p. 27).
Theodosius Dobzhansky, professor of genetics at the University of California, at Davis, and professor emeritus at the Rockefeller University, points out it is foolish to try to make the Bible into a primer on natural science. If all the radiometric evidence is wrong, if the duration of the geological and paleontological record is grossly distorted, he adds, then the Creator must have seen fit to play deceitful tricks on geologists and biologists. If fossils were placed by the Creator where we find them now, so as to deliberately give the appearance of great age and antiquity , then God must be absurdly deceitful. Dobzhansky added: "This is as revolting as it is uncalled for."
But is the Creator playing tricks on mankind, and scientists in particular? Or is it their own minds and emotions which are causing them to misinterpret the evidence of the rocks and radiometric dating techniques?
Wise king Solomon wrote, “Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked?” (Eccl.7:13, NIV).
“The man who fears God,” he declared, “will avoid all extremes” (verse 18).
Solomon himself sought to understand these things. He declared, “When I applied my mind to know wisdom . . . then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all his efforts to search it out, man cannot discover its meaning. Even if a wise man claims he knows, he cannot really comprehend it” (Eccl.8:16-17, NIV).
Sir Albert Einstein once said, "I shall never believe that God plays dice with the world," The God revealed in the pages of the Bible is a loving Creator, He is not malicious, spiteful, capricious, or a "Practical Joker." Nor is He a cosmic Magician pulling rabbits out of a hat.
The God of the Bible is a Creator -- a Builder -- a Designer -- an Architect, Engineer, Supreme Draftsman, and Originator . Everything He does is with plan and purpose. NOTHING is hap- hazard. His original creation was PERFECT. And every addition He has made was PERFECT, for the purpose for which He designed it. However, the world is very complex; and the Universe is a great mystery to mankind. Evolutionists have sought to understand how the universe works, but they are stymied in their understanding. They have become lost in a maze of dead ends and labyrinthine tunnels.
Evolutionists try to prove the earth has existed for billions of years, but their proof falls far short of confirming their theory.
Writes Winkie Pratney in Creation or Evolution? Part III, the Fossil Record:
“There are some big (and I do mean BIG) problems getting the facts to fit
in Sir Charles Lyell's geology. The neat ‘geological ages’ chart you see on
school walls is a MYTH -- it never exists like that anywhere on earth or it
would be a hundred miles high. That there are many examples of totally
REVERSED ‘strata layers’ that no known force could have produced that way --
some are THOUSANDS of square miles (the Lewis overthrust for instance,
weighs in at around 800,000 BILLION TONS, but shows no signs of grinding
or sliding that a true ‘overthrust’ would produce). But some of the most embar-
rassing discoveries of modern times are entirely ‘misplaced fossils,’ millions
of years in the wrong place, such as human footprints found in Mexico, Arizona,
Texas, Illinois, New Mexico, Kentucky, and other states, in rocks supposedly
250,000,000 years old” (Acts, p.15, June 1996).
Darwin’s theory of evolution postulates that all life on earth gradually evolved over eons of time, millions of years, and conventional theory states that dinosaurs lived about 100 million years ago.
The only evidence to support this theory, of course, is the “theory” of evolution itself, which many scientists accept as “fact” today, despite the insurmountable obstacles to such a theory, particularly the lack of any truly “intermediate” or “transitional” species in the fossil record. Here it is, over one hundred years after Darwin, and the geological record is still “missing links” -- in fact, paleontologists have found virtually no true, provable intermediate links in the fossil record. If evolution were true, there should be scores of thousands of such “links” -- they should be plentiful and abundant. But, alas, they simply don't exist!
The other blockbuster disproof of the evolutionary theory, of course, is the incredible complexity of life itself. Evolution has found itself virtually speechless in the face of such features as the human eye, or the eyes of birds of prey, the ear, the sense of touch, taste, smell, and the fantastic complexity of the “cell” itself -- the building block of life.
When all is said and done, evolutionary theory is found to rest on one "proof" above all others -- the assumed proof of radioactive dating methods to date the rocks in which fossils are found.
But How Reliable is Radiometric Dating?
The astounding fact is that there is no scientific proof that radiometric dating is correct. In fact, a number of instances shows it doesn’t work at all, and even different tests on the same or close samples of rocks sometimes results in totally variant readings.
The methods of dating commonly used on rocks, often giving ages in the millions or billions of years, are the “heavy-metal-dating” methods, such as Uranium-Thorium-Lead, Rubidium-Strontium, and Potassium-Argon. These dating techniques all begin with a radioactive isotope which naturally emit an alpha or a beta particle, and are eventually transformed into a different element, called a “daughter” isotope. But how accurate are these methods?
Curt Sewell, in “The Faith of Radiometric Dating,” proves us with the shocking answer:
“The methods that give ancient ages produce almost as many ‘wrong’ answers as
‘right’ ones. The ‘correct’ answer is chosen on the basis of stratigraphic sequences,
that is, what kinds of fossils are buried nearby. Of course, the fossil dates depend
on the assumption of evolution. And, of course, the public usually doesn't hear of
these wrong answers” (Bible Science News, November 1994).
Sewell points out that John Woodmorappe did an extensive search of the literature on radiometric dating reports, reviewing 445 technical articles from 54 geochronology and geology journals. These reports listed over 350 dates measured by radiometric dating methods that “conflicted badly with the ages assigned to fossils found in these same strata.” Says Curt Sewell, these dates covered “expected” ages ranging from 1 to more than 600 million years. He states:
“In almost every case of a discrepancy, the fossil dates were accepted as correct.
The radiometric dates were discarded.”
Woodmorappe quotes one honest researcher who admits candidly,
“In general, dates in the ‘correct ball park’ are assumed to be correct and are
published, but those in disagreement with other data are seldom published nor
are discrepancies fully explained” (John Woodmorappe, “Radiometric Geo-
chronology Reappraised,” in Christian Research Society Quarterly, September
Obviously, the “proof” of radiometric dating techniques falls far short of conclusive evidence supporting evolutionary theory. Its results are so untrustworthy and undependable that whenever it conflicts with “other data” it is thrown out the window, and ignored. The “other data,” of course, is the theory of evolution itself as it is assumed to have occurred -- that is, the supposed and assumed “dates” of the nearby fossils found near the tested rocks.
Says Sewell of the problem:
“Errors are particularly bad with the K-Ar (potassium-argon) method. Studies
have been made of submarine basalt rocks of known recent age near Hawaii.
These came from the Kilauea volcano. The results ranged up to 22,000,000 years”
(Sewell, op. cit.).
In the book of Genesis we read the account of the creation of man, The chronicler relates: "Then God said, 'Let us make man IN OUR IMAGE, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.
"So God created man IN HIS OWN IMAGE, IN THE IMAGE OF GOD he created him; male and female he created them " (Genesis 1:26-27, RSV).
More information is given in chapter 2, verse 7: "Then the Lord God formed man of dust
from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being."
Is this creation account mere legend? ancient mythology? Or is it factual --literal -- historical?
How does the evidence of archaeology and paleontology relate to this question?
A person searching for TRUTH must recognize that he must not prejudge an issue before he gets all the facts -- before all the available evidence is in. And he must be willing to change his views if at any future time new evidence comes along which controverts his previous conclusions.
So it is with the field of anthropology and early man and dating techniques as they have been applied to fossil man. In past years, creationists have argued that radiometric dating methods, particularly RADIO-CARBON dating, must be in absolute error because they would indicate that the earth is much older than 6,000 years. Also, POTASSIUM-ARGON dating, and radiocarbon dating, using this reasoning, must a priori be in error because they show that early man lived on the earth for anywhere FROM 40,000 YEARS TO THREE OR FOUR MILLION YEARS.
What is the truth? Let’s examine radio-carbon dating methods.
In 1963 two British scientists, Don Brothwell of the British Museum and Eric Higgs of Cambridge, took stock of the many methods developed up to that time to answer archaeological questions, including dating methods. Only twenty years before that time, nobody would have dreamed of such scientific discoveries relating to the dating of artifacts.
Of all the dating methods, C-14 or radiocarbon dating has created the greatest interest to date. Developed by Willard F. Libby of the University of Chicago -- between 1941 and 1945 Libby participated in the development of the atomic bomb --this method of dating has become the touchstone of all fossil dating up to 40,000 years.
Libby postulated that cosmic ray-produced radiocarbon might be a key to age determination. Supposing that C-14 atoms produced by cosmic rays would be readily oxidized to carbon dioxide and would mix freely with the atmospheric carbon dioxide, and because of the rapid turnover of the earth's atmosphere, Libby assumed the radiocarbon portion of carbon dioxide would achieve uniform global distribution, and would logically be taken up in the same proportion by all plant life during photosynthesis. All animal life, which indirectly or directly lives off of plants and vegetation could also be expected to contain the same UNIVERSAL proportion of C-14. Similarly, even sea life would be thus affected, because carbon dioxide of the atmosphere is in exchange equilibrium with the oceans.
Adds E.H. Willis, "Upon the death of an organism, further uptake or exchange of exponentially with time" (Brothwell, Don, and Higgs, Eric, Science in Archaeology: A Comprehensive Survey of Progress and Research).
Simply explained, cosmic rays continually bombard our planet earth. Upon striking our atmosphere, neutrons are produced that react with atoms of nitrogen in our atmosphere, creating tiny quantities of C-14. This newly formed C-14 forms a chemical bond with oxygen as the polymer carbon dioxide. Plants cannot distinguish between carbon dioxide containing radiocarbon and the normal kind and absorb both into their tissues and convert them into food by photosynthesis. Animals and men eat the plants. Thus C-14 passes into the body of every living thing.
Since C-14 is radioactive, and radioactive substances decay at FIXED rates, it is possible to determine that after a specified amount of time the amount of radioactivity in a substance will be reduced exactly one half, or one fourth, and so on. This is called the "half life" of the radioisotope.
The half life of C-14 was at first thought to be 5,567 years. Thus a tree cut down 5,568 years ago theoretically ought to produce only half as many Geiger counter ticks as one chopped down today, because it would have exactly half as much radiocarbon remaining in its tissues.
In January 9, 1948, the first conference took place to study the usefulness of Libby's method for archaeology .After that time, a flood of materials from the world over poured into Dr. Libby's lab to be analyzed. Bits of Egyptian mummies, charcoal from an ancient caveman's fire, the tooth of a mammoth, a piece of a beam of a Hittite temple, and hundreds of other objects, were tested.
Libby's theory was quickly thought to be confirmed. Comparisons of radiocarbon dates of material with dates derived archaeologically often turned out to be strikingly similar. Although Libby always estimated an uncertainty factor of about ten percent in his datings -- thus a piece of wood 4,000 years old would be said to be 4,000 plus or minus about 400 years -- Libby's method helped archaeologists pin down dates which could not otherwise be determined.
It is not possible, however, to give PRECISE radiocarbon dates in practice because of UNCERTAINTIES involved in the measurement of samples. As a result, C-14 dates are always quoted with what is called a "Standard Deviation" which represents their degree of accuracy. "For example, a date of 1,000 BP (Before Present) with a Standard Deviation of fifty years has a 68.3 per cent chance (one Standard Deviation) of lying between 950 and 1,050 BP, a 95.3 per cent chance (two Standard Deviations) of lying between 900 and 1,100 HP, and a 99.8 per cent (three Standard Deviations) of lying between 850 and 1150 BP" (Peter James, Centuries of Darkness. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1991. Appendix I, p. 322).
Unfortunately, a large number of problems have been encountered in applying C-14 dating to ARCHAEOLOGY. First, the vast majority of results have a Standard Deviation greater than 50 years in practice, so that single dates for excavations are of LITTLE VALUE where a century or two is often the scale of the debate. Therefore, the accepted practice today, where C-14 samples are actually taken, is to produce a SERIES of dates for each site.
Second, in certain circumstances OLD CARBON can be absorbed by living organisms and produce radiocarbon dates that are TOO OLD. Notes author Peter James: "For example, VOLCANOES often release OLD CARBON before their eruption, something which may well be a contributory source of CONFUSION in the debate over dating the explosion of Thera [in the Aegean ]" (Ibid., p. 323). The dating of both shellfish and reeds create further problems because they are affected by the presence of OLD CARBON in seawater and freshwater respectively. Ironically, archaeologists tried to apply C-14 dating methods to reeds in Egypt because of their use as a bonding material in the brick walls of temples and tombs.
Several difficulties are encountered when assessing the CLOSENESS of the association between dated samples and the event for which a date is required. Because of its presence in large quantities on most archaeological excavations, CHARCOAL is commonly used to produce the vast majority of radiocarbon dates. This is primarily due to the fact that in acid soils charcoal is usually about the only organic material to survive.
As Peter James explains, "there are TWO distinct problems related to the use of CHARCOAL. One is that large WOODEN BEAMS used for construction may well be fashioned from trees which had grown for several hundred years. If the building is then burnt down, the OUTER PART of the timbers will be destroyed, leaving behind pieces from the CENTRE of the beams. If these remaining sections of the original timbers are then sampled for radiocarbon dating they will give a FALSELY OLD READING. . . Of course, if the timbers were REUSED from older buildings the discrepancy would be even greater" (lbid.). Dendrochronologist Peter Kuniholm produced a good example of this when he dated a house in the Phrygian capital on the city mound at Gordion. While one group of timbers had been felled in the 7th century B.C., "three other pieces were cut about FOUR CENTURIES EARLIER. If only the latter had been collected the result would have been an entirely ERRONEOUS notion about the date of [the building]" (Dendrochronology and Radiocarbon Dates for Gordion and Other Phrygian Sites, 1988).
R.B. Warner, writing in the Ulster Journal of Archaeology, explained that the other problem with CHARCOAL SAMPLES is that many C-14 dates have been produced by collecting together large amounts of FRAGMENTARY charcoal. The problem with this is that fragmentary charcoal can easily be moved around sites by continuing activity and differs from bones in that the CONDITION of the sample cannot indicate how QUICKLY it was buried. "The consequence of these two drawbacks is that it has been argued that the estimate of the potential AGE-LAPSE between a sample and the stratum in which it was found should be around 200 years in the case of charcoal from long-lived species of trees" (Peter James, Century of Darkness. P. 324).
In the more recent historic period -- the last 2,000 years or so – radiocarbon dates generally agree with historical dates. So with the seeming success of radiocarbon dating in this period, Libby cautiously stated that "in terms of physical principles of course, a method which works for three thousand years might extend all the way to fifty thousand. . . ."
He went on to admit, "However, this is MERE CONJECTURE" (Willard F. Libby, "History of Radiocarbon Dating, " Symposium on Radioactive Dating and Methods of Low Level Counting, March 1967, p. 24).
He was in for a shock!
Writing in the January 1956 issue of the American Scientist, Dr. Libby briefly related the history of C-14 dating: "The first SHOCK Dr. Arnold and I had was that our advisors informed us that history extended back only 5,000 years.
"We had thought initially that we would be able to get samples all along the curve back to 30,000 years, put the points in, and then our work would be finished.
"You read in the books and find statements that such and such a society or archaeological site is 20,000 years old.
"We learned rather abruptly that these numbers, these ancient ages, are not known; in fact, it is at about the time of the first dynasty of Egypt that the earliest historical date of any real certainty has been established. So we had, in the initial stages, the opportunity to check against knowns, principally EGYPTIAN ARTIFACTS, and in the second stage we had to go into the great wilderness of prehistory to see whether there were elements of internal consistency which would lead one to believe that the method was sound" (Willard F. Libby, "Radiocarbon Dating," American Scientist, Vol. 44, No. 1, Jan. 1956, p. 107).
But what about the "historical" dates? According to the most liberal estimates Egyptian history begins approximately 5,000 years ago. Some historians, with good reason, believe that Egyptian history does not extend that far into the past. The idea that the various Egyptian dynasties (as recorded by the Egyptian priest Manetho) existed consecutively in time has been seriously questioned by many scholars and is, in fact, totally in ERROR!
This very fact alone has a tremendous bearing on the radiocarbon method of dating. If the dates propagated by the history books are in error, what is there for Libby to hang the accuracy of his dating method on? Without KNOWN historical dates to check an object to be dated against, how can we know for certain that the indicated radiocarbon years are the same as actual calendar years?
And what about dating artifacts OLDER than 5,000 years?
“There was only one way to check the reliability of radiocarbon dating over a longer span,” noted archaeologist Edward S. Deevey, Jr., “and that was to test it on the materials of GEOLOGY and PREHISTORIC ARCHAEOLOGY. The age of such materials is not 'known' in the same sense as that of mummy cases or trees [and these are suspect]” (Edward S. Deevey, Jr., “Radiocarbon Dating,” Scientific American, Vol. 186, No.2, Feb. 1959, p. 25).
The bottom line is that there are no ACCURATE historical dates over 3,000 years with which to check Libby's dating method. Radiocarbon was entirely alone.
Dr. Libby was forced to make this point clear by heavily QUALIFYING his statements. But most books on evolution -- and also history and archaeology -- simply gloss over such points as if they didn't matter. Laymen are led to believe that the radiocarbon dating method is infallible -- just like the Pope !
If this was not enough, there is a HUGE ROADBLOCK to the accurate determination of dates using this dating method -- C-14 EQUILIBRIUM!
When cosmic-ray particles collide with the earth's atmosphere, free neutrons are produced that react with nitrogen atoms. A neutron, when it enters the nitrogen nucleus, knocks out a proton -- which changes the nitrogen atom to a C-14 atom.
Dr. Libby calculated the PRESENT PRODUCTION RATE of these C-14 atoms, and postulated that if this rate has been going on for thousands upon thousands of years at its PRESENT rate, then the following evidence MUST be found:
“If this production has proceeded at a constant rate for many thousands of years, then the amount of C-14 present on the surface of the earth should reach a CONSTANT value!” (“Radiocarbon Dating,” McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, 1966 edition, Vol. 11, p. 291).
Libby himself commented on this “constant” value or amount: “We can see that IF the cosmic rays have been bombarding the earth in essentially THEIR PRESENT INTENSITY for 10 or 20 thousand years, we can expect that a STEADY-STATE CONDITION had been established, in which the rate of formation of carbon-14 is EQUAL to the rate at which it disappears" (Willard F. Libby, "Radiocarbon Dating," American Scientist, Vol. 44, No. I 1, Jan. 1956, p. 99).
If this ASSUMPTION is correct, the C-14 ratio of any ancient specimen or artifact could be related to the PRESENT ratio of C-14 in modem specimens. Dating then becomes very simple. IF NO OTHER UNKNOWN FACTORS had disrupted the method, a radiocarbon year would equal a calendar year.
This EQUILIBRIUM is vital to the theory! The production of C-14 MUST equal the amount leaving the system in disintegration if this method of dating is to be valid. However, it takes a LONG TIME to bring the C-14 level into equilibrium.
If the system is not yet in equilibrium, it simply means that not enough carbon-14 has been produced to match the decay of this atom. It also means that old dates determined by this method would therefore be MUCH MORE RECENT!
Is C-14 equilibrium a fact? Is this dating method viable?
Dr. Libby, and those working with him, estimated that there were 18.8 atoms of radiocarbon being produced every MINUTE, per gram of carbon.
Now, logically, if there were an equilibrium between the rate of production and disintegration, LIVING samples should show a disintegration rate of C-14 atoms per minute per gram of carbon.
Can this be verified?
When 18 samples taken from various latitudes were analyzed, they did NOT show an equilibrium! The disintegration rate of the sample only averaged 15.3 disintegrations per minute per gram; therefore the production rate was almost 19 % greater than the rate of disintegration!
Libby himself preferred a value of 16.1 (the value for sea shells) for the disintegration rate -- even though the average for organic specimens was 15.3. This still represents a sizable discrepancy -- almost 15% between the production rate and the disintegration rate.
Why is it so IMPORTANT to have this equilibrium? Again, Dr. Libby puts his finger on the crucial point:
"If one were to imagine that the cosmic radiation had been turned off until a short while ago, the enormous amount of radiocarbon necessary to the equilibrium state WOULD NOT have been manufactured and the specific radioactivity of living matter would be MUCH LESS than the rate of production calculated from the neutron intensity" (Willard F. Libby, Radiocarbon Dating, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1955, p. 8). Yet, the 18 samples from the various latitudes indicated that equilibrium has NOT YET BEEN REACHED. If this is so, the cosmic system may have been turned on just A SHORT TIME AGO!
This, of course, has other implications. If the cosmic system was only “turned on” a comparatively short time ago, would this not suggest CREATION was only a relatively short time ago?
The fact is, there simply may not have been enough elapsed time to produce the amount of radiocarbon necessary to bring the system into steady-state equilibrium. If this is true, how would it affect the radiocarbon dating method? It means that of two samples -- one registering, for example, 26,000 C-14 years, and the other 18,000 C-14 years -- both might be only about 5,500 years old or less, and almost contemporaneous.
Now how did Libby overcome this problem in his mind? He answers this very question in his book Radiocarbon Dating: "The agreement seems to be sufficiently within the EXPERIMENTAL ERRORS involved, so that we have reason for confidence in the theoretical picture set forth above" (p, 7).
Is this true -- was it just an "experimental error"?
In 1963, a significant report in the journal Reviews of Geophysics was published by geophysicist Richard E. Lingenfelter. With his calculations and conclusions he seemed to put to rest the possibility that the lack of equilibrium was only "experimental error."
Lingenfelter came to the conclusion that "there is strong indication, despite the large errors, that the present natural production rate EXCEEDS the natural decay rate by as much as 25 percent. . . it appears that equilibrium in the production and decay of carbon-14 MAY NOT BE MAINTAINED in detail" (Richard E. Lingenfelter, "Production of Carbon-14 by Cosmic Ray Neutrons, " Reviews of Geophysics, Vol. 1, No.1, Feb. 1963, p. 51).
Some years later, Hans E. Suess commented on Lingenfelter's experiments by saying: "it seems probable that the present-day inventory of natural C-14 DOES NOT CORRESPOND to the equilibrium value, but is INCREASING" (Journal of Geophysical Research, " Secular Varieties of the Cosmic-ray Produced Carbon-14 in the Atmosphere and Their Interpretations," Vol. 70, No.23, Dec. 1, 1965, p.5947).
The production rate seemed to be 20 to 30 percent GREATER than the disintegration rate -- depending on what base figures were used.
Many different "explanations" were concocted to rectify this discrepancy but, once again, there was simply NO WAY to be sure! A lack of equilibrium could be a FACT! This could mean there was some DRASTIC CHANGE in the radiocarbon inventory in pre-historic times -- such as the period of time MASSIVE DESTRUCTION mentioned in Genesis 1:2, or the period of time involving the NOACHIAN DELUGE, recorded in Genesis 6-8.
Was the C-14 system nonfunctional in terms of its effect on the earth until just a short time ago? Have other factors disturbed or changed the crucial C-14-to-ordinary-carbon ratio? Should all the great stretches of time scientists claim for tested fossils be TELESCOPED into a few thousand years?
Before the Deluge
There is, of course, the possibility that dating techniques for early man are in error due to unknown factors. In particular, the dates assigned to Cro-Magnon man are still primarily based on C-14 dating.
During the pre-diluvian world, we find described waters ABOVE THE FIRMAMENT as well as beneath (Genesis 1:7). At the time of the Deluge, the WIN- DOWS OF HEAVEN were opened like a mighty sluice, and the fountains of the great deep were broken up (Genesis 7:11). The waters which were ABOVE THE FIRMAMENT apparently cascaded down to the earth, altering the composition of the atmosphere. The waters above the firmament would have acted as a shield, absorbing much of the cosmic radiation, vastly reducing the formation of C-14 prior to the Deluge. The absence of cosmic radiation may be partly responsible for the long life spans of man before the Flood, as recorded in the book of Genesis. But after the Deluge, and the break up of the concentration of waters above the firmament, cosmic radiation would have INCREASED in the atmosphere and on the earth, resulting in a rapid increase of C-14 (which still hasn't reached equilibrium), and also in SHORTENING the life span of man on the earth.
If this theory is true, then we can account for the apparent great age given Cro-Magnon man and Neanderthal man by the C-14 method. For example, if 4,000 years ago the C-14 in the atmosphere had reached equilibrium, a sample would now be dated close to 4,000 years by the C-14 method. However, if C-14 had not yet reached equilibrium, the sample might have received only ONE HALF the expected amount of C-14 in its tissues. Thus it would appear to have been 8,000 YEARS OLD according to the C-14 method. If a sample started its decay curve with a level of C-14 content LESS THAN ONE EIGHTH the strength of a fresh sample, today, it would appear to be 15,000 YEARS OLD, when it might be only 5,000 years old. If originally there was very little or zero C-14 content, a sample from 4,000 years ago (or from the pre-diluvian world) would appear to be extremely ancient -- 35,000 OR 40,000 YEARS OLD.
Laboratories around the world continued pouring out thousands of dates. Meanwhile, the layman was convinced that science had proved that relatively recent animal and human fossils were anywhere from 8,000 to 53,000 B.P. (Before the Present). One date of 65,000 B.P. was measured!
However, if the discrepancies are Indeed a fact, these dates may have only been 6,000 years old -- or younger.
In the meantime, Dr. Lingenfelter pressed forward in his studies of cosmic radiation and its relationship to C-14 production. Despite his positive findings pub- lished in 1963, he felt it necessary to RECONSIDER them and, in 1969, made the following admission: "The uncertainties in. . . the production rate and the inventory are LARGE ENOUGH to accommodate a wide range of Ro [ratio between production and decay of carbon-14] including PERFECT EQUILIBRIUM.”
So what it boils down to is that after 50 years scientists still cannot be sure that a BASIC ASSUMPTION of the C-14 dating method is true! They are not even sure of the production rate of radiocarbon!
So why, pray tell me, have thousands of C-14 dates been published as if they are fact? How can newspapers, magazines and school text books be written as though C-14 dating is certain?
Another source of error is inherent in the material. Some aquatic animals have flesh that shows fewer traces of C-14 than their shell. Some plants do not take in as much C-14 as other plants in different environments. Only as enough evidence of these anomalies is accumulated can the errors be corrected.
Another problem is exhaust gases from automobiles. As vast quantities of carbon compounds are belched into the air, diluting the carbon compounds naturally found in the atmosphere, diminishing the percentage of C-14 found there, this makes certain plants and animals in such areas appear to have decayed MUCH MORE than they have.
There are many more sources of minor error. Even the "half life" of C-14 has had to undergo revision, and it is now assumed to be 5,730 years. All the measurements taken before 1961, therefore, have had to be recalibrated. Nevertheless, radiocarbon dating has become a KEY tool in the hands of archaeologists.
Tree Rings from the Past
Scientists have tried to solve their dating problems by submitting C-14 to the TREE RING dating method for verification. This, in itself, was a tacit admission that all the attempts to verify their BASIC assumptions of the C-14 method were inconclusive at best!
Many geophysicists, like Richard Lingenfelter, were now falling back on tree ring dating methods to TEST the viability of radiocarbon dating. In Lingenfelter's own words, "Because of the UNCERTAINTIES in the calculation of both the production rate and decay rate of C-14 we find that the BEST DETERMINATION of the ratio of these two rates is obtained from the C-14 variations determined from dendrochronology [tree ring dating] " (Richard E. Lingenfelter and R Ramaty, Astrophysical and Geo. physical Variations in C-14 Production, Maryland: Goddard Space Flight Center Publication, July 1969, po 29).
With the development of tree-ring dating sequences, one way, it was thought, in which the validity of radiocarbon dates could be tested was against the separately developed tree-ring chronologies of oaks from Germany and Ireland -- and the bristlecone pines from California. The outcome was that these comparisons revealed that before about 500 B.C. C-14 dates are TOO YOUNG. Peter James notes that "the 'calibration' required to convert Carbon-14 results into calendar years rises to OVER A MILLENNIUM for the Neolithic of Europe" ( Centuries of Darkness, p. 325).
The trouble is, calibration is not a simple matter -- the amount of C-14 in the atmosphere FLUCTUATED tremendously in the past, falling at times and then rising again significantly within a SINGLE CENTURY. According to Peter James “the calibration curve produced by comparing radiocarbon dates to the tree-ring chronology, rather than being a smooth progression, is full of SHORT-TERM WIGGLES. At certain points a radiocarbon result can be calibrated to several alternative calendar dates, without any way of being sure which is the correct choice.”
There is a complex period of time known to the chronologists as the "lst-rnillennium B.C. radiocarbon DISASTER"! It appears that between 400 and 800 B.C. the calibration curve is essentially FLAT, with ALL the calendar dates within that range equating to a C-14 date of around 500 B.C. ! Michael BailIe, who developed the Irish oak dendrochronology, came to the conclusion "that it is IMPOSSIBLE to sensibly resolve the radiocarbon dates of ANY samples whose true ages lie between 400 and 800 B.C. This is a CATASTROPHE for Late Bronze Age/Iron Age archaeology although one which has been predicted for some time" ("Some Observations on the High-Precision Calibration of Routine Dates,” Archaeology, Dendrochronology and the Radiocarbon Calibration Curve, University of Edinburgh Dept. of Arch. Occas. Paper 9, 51-63).
But, how ACCURATE is tree ring dating?
Tree ring analysis was proposed in 1837 by Charles Babbage, although the beginnings go all the way back to Leonardo da Vinci. Evidently da Vinci was the first to note that the yearly growth of trees in spring-time produces an apparent sequence of annual tree-rings in the wood.
The real investigator of tree-ring dating, however, is Dr. Andrew Ellicott Douglass, physicist and astronomer, formerly director of the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory. In 1929 he wrote that by reading the story told by tree rings, the horizons of history in the United States had been pushed back nearly eight centuries before Columbus, establishing an accurate chronology for the south-western United States.
Most people believe that trees produce ONE ring each year . Is this true? Does one tree ring ALWAYS represent one year? Not necessarily so! It is common knowledge in botanical circles that some trees produce "false rings."
In the book Botany, the authors make the following assertion: "The occurrence of FALSE growth rings may cause the age of the tree to be OVERESTIMATED. Such rings are produced by a temporary slowing of growth during the growing season" (Carl L. Wilson, et al. New York: Holt, Rinehart, Winston, 1966. P. 130).
In another book entitled Botany, author Wilfred W. Robbins states that other phenomena causing false rings could be defoliation by insects, drought, and variation in rainfall (New York: John Wiley, 2nd edition, 1959, p. 110-111).
Amazingly, Libby challenged the ring-per-year theory himself. "Recently, it has been reported that some trees add MORE THAN ONE ring per year, and thus a question has been raised about the accuracy of tree ring dates.
"This finding indicates that rings sometimes have been INCORRECTLY correlated with years, TOO GREAT AN AGE having been assigned from tree rings" (Willard F. Libby, "Accuracy of Radiocarbon Dates," Science, Vol. 140, No.3564, April 19, 1963, p. 270).
Libby’s statement was not based on thin air! He was familiar with the work done in the state of Texas by W.S. Glock -- which revealed that SPECIAL conditions are required for trees to put on only one ring per year consistently.
W.S. Glock and S.R. Agerter put their findings in writing in the journal Endeavor:
"It has long been supported that tree rings are formed annually and so can be used to date trees. The studies of tree ring formation. . . have shown that this is NOT always so, as MORE than one ring may be formed in one year.
"Two growth layers, one THICK, the other THIN and lenticular, proved to be more common than one growth layer in this particular increment [that was studied]. THREE growth layers, in fact, were NOT unusual. A maximum of FIVE growth layers was discovered in the trunks and branches of two trees.
"It must be pointed out that these intra-annuals were as distinctly and as sharply defined on the outer margin as any SINGLE annual increment" ("Anomalous Patterns in Tree Rings." Ian. 1963, Vol. 22, p. 9, 13).
The researchers concluded that it would have been IMPOSSIBLE to know which rings were put on in what year -- except for effects of frosts in various years visible in the trees. Douglass tried to push his research back further and further into the past, collecting cores and samples of wood from ancient trees used in old pueblos and Indian villages. He believed that he could "cross-date" or "overlap" the tree rings of different trees of different ages, and gradually push the new chronometer back to be- fore the birth of Christ.
Since that time, new advances have been made, using the redwoods and giant sequoias of California, and the bristlecone pines, which are up to 4,500 years old -- the oldest living organisms in the world.
By cross checking bristle-cone pine dates with radiocarbon dates, the reliability of the method was thought to be verified. Using dead wood, C.W. Ferguson of the University of Arizona has obtained an "unquestionably accurate back- dating to the year 5,200 B.C." (C.W. Ceram, The First American, New York: Harcourt Bace, Inc., 1971, p. 134).
Tree ring experts (Dendrochronologists) claim that the BRISTLECONE PINE puts on only ONE ring per year. In their researches, so they say, they found no false or additional rings per year.
They said: "These results are in contrast to the findings . . . where branches from a wide variety of Texas-grown trees reveal multiple growth layers attributed to varying temperatures and soil moisture" (Harold C. Fritts, Bristlecone Pine in the White Mountains of California, Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1969, p. 32).
According to the author, the above results were on young branches of LOW-ELEVATION trees. These, the dendrochronologists admitted, might grow rings SEVERAL times a year during a long frost-free season.
But, according to Harold C. Fritts, this multiplicity of tree rings in young, low-elevation trees "led Libby [in 1963] to improperly infer that discrepancies between tree-ring and radiocarbon dates in HIGH-ELEVATION bristlecone pine may be attributed to frequent double rings. All studies that have I been conducted in the White Mountains indicate that distinct double rings rarely OCCUR” (ibid., p.32).
So what caused the discrepancies?
Once again, the present had to be used as a key to the past. Let us suppose the White Mountain region was a LOW-LEVEL area for a long period of time in the past and, then, was dramatically RAISED UP during a period of mountain building? Is it also possible the climate of the White Mountain area was similar to the climate of Texas at this time? How can one know? How do we know it WAS THE SAME as it is today?
But that's not all.
Very few people know that NO LIVING TREES older than about 4,900 years have ever been found. The more lengthy chronologies of 8,200 tree ring years (touted by dendrochronologists) are built up from DEAD tree stumps that are pieced together in a very delicate manner. When did these stumps die? How long have they been sitting there dead?
According to the "experts" trees growing in the same area at the same time will produce similar successions of ring widths. "Thus if a newly felled tree some 200-300 years in age is examined, the rings from its EARLY LIFE can be matched with their counterparts in the LATER RINGS of a tree long since dead. The rings in this older tree can then be matched with those from even older ones, and so on, extending the sequence back in time as far as possible" (Peter Jones, Centuries of Darkness. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1991. Appendix I, p. 321).
There are a number of problems with this. When this method of dating is used, allowance has to be made for the growing time represented by the sapwood (the soft outer part of the tree that has not yet developed into proper rings) on the timber .
Another difficulty lies in the fact that trees of different species VARY GREATLY in their sensitivity to the weather, so that "effective sequences have to be built up using a SINGLE SPECIES" (ibid.). Even trees of the same species from the same locality will react DIFFERENTLY to growing conditions -- the absolute widths of the rings they form in a given year will not be the same. We have already seen that some species (especially in lower elevations) can form MORE THAN ONE ring per year!
There are further difficulties when dendrochronology is applied to certain areas of the world. In some countries, such as Egypt, trees are so scarce that local tree-ring dating could NEVER be built up. Further more, in large parts of the world LONG SEQUENCES are still being developed. Douglass' attempts to push dendrochronology back to before the birth of Christ are highly suspect and, in the Eastern Mediterranean, juniper succession so far stretches back ONLY to 1073 A.D. Even when a sequence does exist, "its application to archaeological dating can still be difficult, since there is a real LACK of archaeologically significant timbers. Most excavations produce NO wooden objects, because they have simply rotted away. Only at those sites in very dry or very wet conditions will wood survive" (Ibid., p. 322). When one or two pieces of wood from a site are proven to be datable, they may have been REUSED from older buildings, but this may not always be apparent to the archaeologists present.
Dendrochronology, therefore, was forced to extrapolate -- just as radiocarbon was. Tree rings may also need correcting if conditions were different in pre-historic times.
Puzzling Age Limit?
There are no LIVING 50,000-year-old trees. None at 25,000. None at 10,000. None at 8,200.
Not only that, but the oldest known trees -- the bristlecone pines -- present an enigma to uniformitarian, noncatastrophic thinking evolutionists.
Speaking of these remarkable trees, dendrochronologist Edmund Schulman noted:
"Microscopic study of growth rings reveals that a bristlecone pine tree found last summer at nearly 10,000 feet began growing more than 4,600 years ago. . . Many of its neighbors are nearly as old . . . we have now dated 17 bristlecone pines 4,000 years old or more" (Edmund Schulman, "Bristlecone Pine, Oldest Living Things," National Geographic Magazine, Vol. 113, No.3, March 1958).
Years before Dr. Schulman had been puzzled by the SAME APPROXIMATE AGE LIMIT to the giant sequoia trees that he had been studying. It was even more puzzling when he considered that these magnificent trees enjoy near-perpetual life in the absence of catastrophic destruction. They also appear to be immune to insect attack.
With this in mind, Dr. Schulman asked the obvious question as early as 1934: "Pertinent also is the well-known fact that standing snags of this species, other than those resulting from factors of gross destruction, are unknown. Does this mean that shortly preceding 3,275 years ago [or 4,000 years ago if John Muir’s count was correct] ALL the then-living giant sequoias were WIPED OUT BY SOME CATASTROPHE?" (Edmund Schulman, "Longevity Under Adversity in Conifers," Science, Vol. 119, March 26, 1934, p. 399).
Did you catch that? That would have been the time of NOAH’S FLOOD!!!
Why is it that these still-living trees seem to be the ORIGINAL trees that grew in the present stands?
It CANNOT be disputed that some series of cataclysmic occurrences eradicated numerous forms of mammal life on the earth. Did a great cataclysmic event occur just beyond the historical era -- around 4,300 years ago? Were the trees killed during this cataclysm? And, did the effects from a catastrophe or series of catastrophes gravely DISTORT dates from the prehistoric period?
In Search of Adam
How does the Biblical epic of the creation of Adam fit into the picture? Who was Adam? When -- and how -- was he created?
Biblical evidence leads us to conclude that Adam -- the first true man in whom God breathed the spirit of man -- was created by God and endowed with fully human understanding and consciousness circa 4004 B .C.
After the destruction of the pre-Adamic world described in Genesis 1:2 and elsewhere, God refashioned the earth and life upon it in six literal days (Gen.1, the whole chapter). On the sixth day He created man. We read: “Then God said, Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground” (Gen.1:26, NIV). “The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Gen.2:7).
This new being -- Adam -- was the FIRST MAN, the FOREBEAR of the entire human race!
The biblical account reveals that Adam was highly intelligent; modern in every way; sophisticated in knowledge and language; and was definitely religious and knew God. The Scriptures also indicate that written history began in Adam's lifetime, and agriculture was practiced by Adam and his descendants.
Does this FACT square with the archaeological record? Absolutely!
The earliest beginnings of true agriculture, according to anthropologists, are currently dated at the close of the last Ice Age (Hamblin, Dora Jane, The First Cities, p. 9). The earliest signs of agriculture are in the "fertile crescent" along a 2,000 mile arc extending from Israel and Jordan up the eastern Mediterranean coast, swinging through Turkey and arcing to Iran and the Persian Gulf. Within this spot Adam was created and his descendants took up agriculture (compare Genesis 3: 14-19). Adam's own son Cain, we read, was a TILLER OF THE GROUND (Genesis 4:2). Abel was a HERDSMAN (same verse) .
Archaeologically, the FIRST CITIES appear about this same time. "By 3500 B.C. cities were tightly organized, well governed and sophisticated, and by 2500 B.C. metropolises with the comforts and complexity of modern urban centers were in exis- tence," says Dora Jane Hamblin (ibid., p. 10).
How are these dates arrived at? Says Hamblin: “The refinement of scientific dating systems, such as those that measure the age of ancient relics by the radioactivity of carbon in charcoal or from the glow emitted by heated pottery, has taken much of the imaginative guesswork out of prehistoric chronology.”
These dates, of course, may not be entirely correct. But they are at least in the right ball park. Refinements in dating techniques, in the light of Scriptural evidence, should continually be made. Since the Noachian deluge would certainly have affected dates of the pre-Flood world, the accuracy of carbon-14 dating, prior to the DISTURBANCES caused by a global cataclysm, such as a dramatic deluge, would have been grossly distorted and made to look much older than they really were.
True Science Supports the Biblical Record
Where, then, does this leave us? Can we rely on the Biblical record? Or should we subscribe to the theories of evolutionary scientists?
Clearly, the evidence is in favor of CREATION! The Biblical account gives us an understanding of what really happened thousands of years ago, and even before the time of man. Evolutionary theories and man-made geological “columns,” reconstructed out of thin air, do not prove the Bible wrong.
There were biblically revealed CATASTROPHES and CATACLYSMS in prehistoric times on the earth! One was the universal DELUGE of the time of Noah! Another was the great cataclysm hinted at in the first few verses of Genesis, chapter 1! These catastrophes, and the record written in the rocks of the earth, provide solid evidence that evolutionary frame works of earth history are wrong.
Yes, there was LIFE on earth before Adam. That life was ruled over by angels, under the government of God. And when one third of the angels rebelled against God’s government, disaster resulted. There was great destruction, resulting from the rebellion of Lucifer and his angels (Rev.12:3).
True science conforms to the Biblical record. There is no conflict or contradiction. But indeed, “ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (II Tim.3:16).