Frequently Asked Questions
Does it Matter What We Believe? Creation or Evolution?
There are two entirely different views about the world, how we got here, why we are here, and where we are going. The Bible presents one view, and evolution presents another. It is entirely possible that each of these views shapes our daily lives, attitudes, investments, and even our future in many ways.
From the Biblical viewpoint, God created the universe and everything in it within 6 days, and finished his creation on the 6th day by creating Adam and Eve, whom He made in His own image. The world was perfect, and God stood back and looked at His creation, and called everything “good.” Then, sin entered the world thanks to some bad choices by Adam and Eve, leading to death, suffering, and bloodshed. Even plants were cursed by sin, leading to thorns and thistles.
Just a couple thousand years later, God destroyed the world by a catastrophic flood and 8 people got to start over with a fresh slate. Then, about 2,000 years ago, God sent his Son Jesus to die for our sins and provide a way to live with Him forever in Heaven. If this viewpoint is correct, then there is a God who created us, loves us, and will hold us accountable for how we live our lives, and whether we choose to accept Jesus’ covering for our sin.
From the Evolutionary viewpoint, somehow the universe created itself by exploding into existence about 15 billion years ago. We say, “somehow” because secular scientists cannot decide where the matter came from, or what caused it to expand. Then, about 4.6 billion years ago, the earth sprang into existence, leading to life evolving from continuous rain falling on rocks about 3.5 billion years ago. Then, humans supposedly evolved from ape-like creatures some 200,000 years ago. If this viewpoint is correct, we are the products of unguided time, chance, and natural processes. We are therefore the masters of our own lives—free to do whatever we like, and will not give an account to anyone after we pass from this Earth.
What This Means:
These two ideas are very different. In fact, they are complete opposites. But wait, isn’t there some way these two views can be combined? This would sure relieve a lot of tension we have in the world today. In fact, many Christians state, “Let’s not get into this creation-evolution controversy—we believe that God created everything, but we’re just not sure how. So, let’s not put God in a box. He could have created any way He wanted to! The Bible really doesn’t say how He created anyway, so it’s really open to our interpretation.”
Actually, only part of this reasoning is true—God could have created the world any way He wanted. But that is not actually what He told us in the Bible. At least seven times the Bible says that God created the universe, world, and everything in them by speaking them into existence! For example: Genesis 1: “And God said…”; Psalm 33:6, 9 “By the Word of the Lord…”; and Hebrews 11:3 “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”
Now that is hard to understand with our little 3-pound brains. But sometimes Christians seem to have an easier time believing in miracles like the virgin birth and the resurrection than God creating the world and everything in it in six days. If we believe in New Testament miracles like these, why is it difficult to believe that God created everything we see out of nothing—by speaking them into existence? Also, let us consider this—nowhere does the Bible say that God used evolution to create the world, as we know it. This teaching, called Theistic Evolution, isn’t grounded in Scripture.
So can we combine Biblical Creation and Evolution? Certainly not—even the creation processes of each view are opposite. For example, the Bible says that the order of creation events was the earth then stars, birds then reptiles, and the earth started as water. Evolution teaches there were stars and then the earth, reptiles then birds, and the earth started as a fiery mass. If we change God’s order of events to “fit” within the parameters of Theistic Evolution, or any other evolutionary theory, then who does that make us?
And what about human evolution? Evolution claims that humans evolved from ape-like creatures hundreds of thousands of years ago. The Bible, however, teaches that we were created by God in His own image just thousands of years ago. Either we were created, or we evolved—can you think of a third option? No. Because these views are polar opposites, both cannot be right; one must be true and the other false.
What about the issue of death? Can Biblical creation and evolution share a similar story on even this topic? When it comes to the cause of physical death, evolution holds that this is a natural process; the Bible says that the curse of sin caused human and animal death and plant corruption to enter into His perfect creation. There is no mention of death until mankind sinned, so you can’t have billions of years of death and decay in the fossil record before Adam and Eve sinned.
Speaking about the fossil record, just why are there billions of dead things laid down by water all over the earth? And just why are 95% of these dead animals shallow marine organisms such as corals and shellfish—stuff that dies really fast when covered by mud from something like a world-wide catastrophic flood? Could a massive world-wide flood account for this? The Bible teaches that a worldwide Flood occurred where rain poured on the earth for 40 days and the fountains of the great deep burst forth, causing the entire world to flood. All land creatures perished. All mountains were covered. Evolution holds that the worldwide flood is a myth and that only localized floods have occurred over millions of years that explain animals buried and fossilized.
What about our understanding regarding the age of the earth? Evolution demands long ages, and holds that the earth is about 4.5 billion years old. But summing up the six days of creation and the genealogies we have in Genesis 5 and 11, the entire earth and the rest of creation is only about 6,000 years old (the Septuagint text places it about 7,500 years old, see here: https://www.creationicc.org/2018_papers/14%20Smith%20Septuagint%20Chronology%20final.pdf). But couldn’t each of the six days in creation week represent six long ages? Can’t we find a way to reconcile the Bible with what evolution teaches about the age of the earth? Well, let us start by saying that no one was present to verify that the earth was created billions of years ago, or even thousands of years ago, so we have to depend on the only true eyewitness: God himself.
Further, we can trust that God gave us the account that He wants us to believe about Creation. When God penned the 4th commandments with His own hand, He wrote it in a way that could not have made the six days of Creation more clear: “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy” (Exodus 20:11–see: www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5FkACaecIU) God wants us to model our work weeks after six ordinary days—not six long ages! It only took God six days because He spoke the Creation into existence—it was a miracle, just like the virgin birth, the resurrection, and the feeding of thousands of people with five loaves and two fish. And how do we know that the six days of creation happened less than 10,000 years ago? Consider the graphic below:
Image credit: Mike Riddle, Creation Training Initiative (www.creationtraining.org)
We know this from the Genealogies provided in the Bible. For example, Genesis 5, 1 Chronicles 1, and Luke 3 all agree on the names of the first ten patriarchs, and Genesis even lists how long each of them lived. Even if some of these patriarchs were missing, it wouldn’t make a difference in counting the time span because Adam was living at the same time as Noah’s father, and Noah was living at the same time as Abraham’s father Terah. Their lifespans overlap! So we have about 2,000 years from Adam to Abraham, 2,000 from Abraham to Jesus, and 2,000 from Jesus to current, about 6,000 years total (or slightly older, see here: https://www.creationicc.org/2018_papers/14%20Smith%20Septuagint%20Chronology%20final.pdf).
Jesus also reflected this belief. Jesus believed in a literal Moses who wrote a literal Genesis. In John 5:46-47 we read: “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?” Jesus confirmed Abel: Matthew 23:35: “And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.” Jesus confirmed the Flood: Matthew 24:37-39: “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” Jesus taught that man and woman were created at the same time as the creation process—from the very beginning: Mark 10:6 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’” Could Jesus, who was there at the Creation of the world (John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:16, Hebrews 1:1-3, Ephesians 3:9), get all of these passages wrong?
In addition to this clear theology from the Bible pointing to a young earth, there are several scientific evidences that confirm the Biblical testament to a younger earth:
- Very Little Sediment on the Seafloor
- Bent Rock Layers
- Soft Tissue in Fossils
- Faint Sun Paradox
- Rapidly Decaying Magnetic Field
- Helium in Radioactive Rocks
- Carbon-14 in Fossils, Coal, and Diamonds
- Short-Lived Comets
- Very Little Salt in the Sea
- DNA in “Ancient” Bacteria
Someone who believes in the Bible is going to have a much different outlook on life and our purpose on this planet compared to someone who believes in evolution. Also, one should ask the question, “Why does the world fight so hard to prove evolution?” Do you know just how far the extent of evolution teaching is in our schools? For example, in the state of California evolution theory is taught “as fact” in 6th, 7th, and 10th grades. It starts in 6th grade with two weeks of convincing that man evolved from apes, then in 7th grade, over 100 pages of the 600+ page life science book is dedicated to teaching evolution. Finally, biology class in high school includes over 150 pages on evolution teaching, which is about 15% of their textbook. There are also the countless Hollywood movies, TV shows, state parks, and museums that relentlessly teach evolution over millions of years. With this kind of influence, is it any wonder that 44% of young adults who abandon their Christian faith report that they started developing their doubts in high school? Also, 60% of these “faith abandoning” ex-Christians said that they couldn’t trust the Bible because:
- They couldn’t believe the Earth was only 10,000 years
- There are too many rules in the Bible
- They couldn’t believe the Creation account
- The Bible doesn’t make sense
- Miracles didn’t happen
- Noah’s Flood couldn’t happen
Today, 61% of young adults who used to be regular church attenders are now “spiritually disengaged,” or not actively attending church, praying, or reading the Bible. In fact, 40% of the 1,000 “ex-Christians” who were surveyed reported first doubting their faith in middle school, and 44% said they first start developing their doubts in high school! We encourage using resources like www.answersngenesis.com, and www.ICR.org for answers!
Does a Single “Day” in Genesis Mean 1 Ordinary Day?
Do the six “days” in Genesis mean ordinary days, or could each of the six days in the creation week represent six long ages? Well, let’s start by saying that no one was there to prove or verify that the earth was created billions of years ago, or even thousands of years ago, so we need to rely on the only eyewitness: God himself.
Next, we need to rely on the written account that He gave us (Genesis 1) which provides the account that He wants us to believe about Creation. Genesis 1 lays out God’s creative process with a day-by-day description. And the Hebrew word for day (yôm) is used in Genesis along with “morning and evening” for each of these six days. Throughout the entire Bible, each time “morning” or “evening” is used with yôm, it always means an ordinary day. Whenever yôm is used with a number (like the “fifth day”) in the Bible, it always means an ordinary day (and there are 410 of such occurences!). Whenever yôm is used in the context with “morning,” it always means an ordinary day (this occurs 23 times in the Old Testament outside of Genesis 1). When yôm is contrasted with “night,” it always means an ordinary day (this occurs over 50 times outside of Genesis 1). There is no doubt that the term yôm is used in Genesis 1 to mean an ordinary day.
Finally, when God penned the 4th commandments with His own hand, He wrote it in a way that could not have reflected more clearly on the six days of Creation: “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” God wants us to model our work weeks after six ordinary days—not six long ages! It only took God six days because He spoke the creation into existence—it was a miracle just like the virgin birth, the resurrection, and the feeding thousands of people with five loaves and two fish. There are many Hebrew words that God could have used to represent different lengths and forms of time. God could have used any of these words, but He chose yôm. He was consistent with how He used it, He defined it for us, and then He wrote it down for us. What more evidence do we need for six literal days and a young earth creation?
Where do the Different Race Groups Come From?
While numerous “answers” exist, secular science does not know the answer to this question. Many science textbooks hold to the “out of Africa” viewpoint, which states that humans supposedly evolved between 50,000 and 200,000 years ago from a certain region in Africa, and then adapted as migration occurred. Secular textbooks present a number of explanations for where these different alleged “race groups” came from based on this similar theme. Answers range from “politically incorrect” viewpoints (which are actually anchored in racist Darwinism) to “soft” answers without much data to back the theory. By contrast, the Biblical Judeo-Christian view is simply this:
- Man was made first, and then Eve, on the sixth day of creation. Genesis chapters 5 and 11 put this “initial creation event” about 6,000 to 7,500 years ago. Adam and Eve had many children and the ancient world was populated.
- All humans, except for 8 people (Noah, his wife, their three sons, and three daughters-in- law) died in the Flood some 4,500 years ago.
- Within a couple hundred years of the Flood, mankind was dispersed at the Tower of Babel. At this time, God confused their language and caused them to spread around the new world, which was re-organized geographically by the Flood.
- This great dispersion caused human DNA-environment interactions that led to the differences we observe between the “races” today (all of which are inter-fertile of course, further showing we are of “one created kind”). These differences account for skin color (melanin levels that adapted differently between groups to allow more or less Vitamin D based on climate), shorter limbs in colder climates, longer limbs in warmer climates, fat within eye folds, and minor dietary variances. All of these are really explained by variation “within kind”, which God installed from the beginning. For a deeper discussion on these topics, see: https://answersingenesis.org/racism/are-there-really-different-races/.
- In conclusion, there is really only one “race,” represented by several different groups spread around the world within the God-ordained “boundaries” for each: “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place” (Acts 17:26). And all of these “nations” (or “races”) have the same access to God, and Heaven through his son: “All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name” (Psalm 86:9).
Interestingly, genetic research is now uncovering support for the sequence of human development described above. For example, recent empirical research mitochondrial DNA (DNA inherited solely from the mother) has discovered that the substitution rate is “roughly twenty-fold higher than estimates derived from phylogenetic analyses” and concluded that the empirically-observed “molecular clock” resulted in the date of an “original Eve” (the first woman) only about 6,500 years ago. They admitted that this finding was “clearly incompatible with the known age of modern humans” (Parsons, Thomas J., et al., A high observed substitution rate in the human mitochondrial DNA control region, Nature Genetics vol. 15, April 1997, pp. 363-367). There have also been recent studies that have demonstrated a “great genetic variation/mutation even” that occurred between 4,500 and 5,000 years ago. Here is a video on the topic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auygJmEcgLY and a few “going deeper” articles: http://www.icr.org/article/7231/, http://www.icr.org/i/pdf/af/af1404.pdf and http://www.icr.org/article/6927/289/.
Why Believe the Earth is only 6,000-7,500 Years Old?
The following are all important points that explain why Christians should believe that the age of the earth is really only 6,000-7,500 years old:
- “Deep time” (millions of years) is not in the Bible. Any read through the first 11 chapters of Genesis—by either an ordinary or scholarly reading—cannot bear out a creation that exceeds 10,000 years ago. The genealogies in Genesis 5 and 11 prove this point. Read plainly, the Bible describes about 6,000-7,500 years of history. Even filling up some alleged “gaps” in the genealogies with hundreds of years still cannot stretch the time span to more than 10,000 years.
- Jesus cited the passages from the Old Testament as divinely inspired, authoritative historical narrative. Examples include: Matthew 5:17-18; 8:17; 12:40-42; Luke 4:18-21; 10:25-28; 15:29-31; 17:32; 24:25-45; and John 5:39-47. In total, Jesus quoted the Old Testament 78 times. With each one of these references, He regarded the Old Testament Scriptures as true, inspired, historical references. This includes referring back to Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot, and Noah’s Flood. When asked about marriage, He even referred to the “start of creation” where he stated, “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female’” (Mark 10:6, Jesus was quoting Genesis 1:27).
- A Christian’s belief in “millions of years” contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture, where thorns (Genesis 3:17-18), disease (Genesis 1:30), and diet (from vegetarian to meat eating—Genesis 1:30) only existed after the curse of sin entered the world (Genesis 3:17-19).
- Only God was a witness to Creation—and He has channeled the Creation account to man through the language and text in the Bible (2 Peter 1:21).Through this He wants us to understand how He did it. Refer to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5FkACaecIU
- Several scientific dating methods point to a young earth (see, for example: https://answersingenesis.org/evidence-for-creation/the-10-best-evidences-from-science-that-confirm-a-young-earth/). Several dating methods are used to point to an older earth. However, only God is the reliable witness, and He told us plainly what He wants us to believe about dating Creation using language He knew we would understand (Exodus 20:11–see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5FkACaecIU). The God of the Bible has given us a clear history, beginning with the 6 days of creation followed by genealogies that can be used to estimate when all creation began. This history shows that the beginning was between 6,000 and 7,500 years ago.
- All dating methods rely on assumptions which cannot be proven because there are no first-hand witnesses (except God). As there are no other witnesses, there is no one who can prove that the conditions of the Earth (and other factors, which impact dating methods) have been consistent for the thousands of years of history which they claim to include.
- When determining the age of the Earth, scientists must make multiple assumptions about things they cannot observe. Questions like the following can never really be answered: Were circumstances at the beginning like they are today? Were different processes in action? Was the climate the same? Was the distance between various planets the same? Were the elements used for dating contaminated at some time? Using secular science as the starting point for dating the earth (including making assumptions we can never verify), rather than using the Bible as our starting point, we will never know the truth about Creation.
- The Hebrew word for day (yôm), when used with “morning and evening” always (throughout Scripture) means an ordinary day. Whenever yôm is used with a number (e.g., the “fifth day”) in Scripture, it always means an ordinary day (and there are 410 such occurences!). Whenever yôm is used in the context with “morning,” it always means an ordinary day (such expressions occur 23 times in the Old Testament outside of Genesis 1). When yôm is contrasted with “night,” it always means an ordinary day (this occurs over 50 times outside of Genesis 1).
- Applying these interpretive principles to Genesis, there is no doubt that the term yôm is used as an ordinary day. For example, Genesis 1:5 states, “And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning was the first day (yôm).” Note that “day” is contrasted with “night” in the first sentence. In the second sentence, “day” is associated with a number “the first day.” The word “day” is associated with “morning” and “evening.” The occurrence of “evening” and “morning” together constitutes a normal, solar-rotation day (Morris, H. 2013. Genesis and the Character of God. In Morris III, H. et al., Creation Basics and Beyond. Dallas, Texas: Institute for Creation Research). Right in the middle of the creation account (Genesis 1:14), God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years”—so we have proof even here that God differentiated the short, ordinary creation days from seasons and years.
- Finally, when God penned the 10 Commandments with His own hand, He wrote the 4th Commandment in a way that reflected clearly on the 6 days of Creation: “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” God wants us to model our work weeks after 6 ordinary days—not 6 long ages! How could God create everything in 6 days? It was a miracle—a miracle just like the virgin birth, the resurrection, and the loaves and fishes.
- There are many scientific evidences that point to a young earth creation. Some of these include: very little sediment on the sea floor; bent rock layers; soft tissue in fossils; faint sun paradox; earth’s rapidly decaying magnetic field; helium in radioactive rocks; carbon-14 in fossils, coal, and diamonds; short-lived comets; very little salt in the sea; and DNA in “ancient” bacteria (Morris, H. (2013). Genesis and the Character of God. In Morris III, H. et al., Creation Basics and Beyond. Dallas, Texas: Institute for Creation Research). See also: https://answersingenesis.org/evidence-for-creation/the-10-best-evidences-from-science-that-confirm-a-young-earth/.
Can my student hand out flyers at school? Share their faith?
Here are some questions that Christian parents and students frequently ask: Can I start a Bible study on campus? Pray? Share my faith? Take my Bible to school? Write papers and speak on Christian topics as class assignments? The Pacific Justice Institute has authored a comprehensive position paper on these important topics and more! This document can be downloaded here: CA Public Education Religious Rights
For more information about our answers, or how to speak with a member of our ministry directly about these questions, contact us today.