The Emotional Age Issue

by Ken Ham
Featured in Answers Update

In 35 years of ministry, I’ve discovered that the issue of the age of the earth and the universe is an extremely emotional topic for secularists.

Apologetics Mega Conference 2011

Register now for the Apologetics Mega Conference 2011 and save. You’ll hear some of the most exciting creation researchers and speakers discussing the most relevant issues facing our culture. And this all takes place near the Creation Museum.

In 35 years of ministry, I’ve discovered that the issue of the age of the earth and the universe is an extremely emotional topic for secularists. (That’s even true for some church leaders who believe in millions of years and vehemently attack our Bible-affirming ministry as well.) For biblical creationists, the age of the earth is an issue that should lead Christians to a different kind of strong emotion: a real zeal for the authority and accuracy of the Word of God.

This all hit home to me as I watched a startling a video clip of famed atheist Richard Dawkins who appeared on the TV program Q & A in my homeland of Australia. Prof. Dawkins, perhaps surprisingly at first, came across as quite tolerant of religious people who believe in evolution. But when it came to the topic of the age of the earth, Dawkins changed his tone dramatically. On the program, he openly mocked those who believe in a young universe and earth (i.e., just over 6,000 years old). Now, he could somehow manage to tolerate religious people as long as they also accepted evolution. But with the age of the earth, that’s different. He scoffs and mocks.

I’ve also observed that when the secular media visit our Creation Museum and interview me or other staff, they usually concentrate on asking us questions about the age of the earth—including why we believe dinosaurs lived alongside people. The reporters often act as if it’s ridiculous not to accept the supposed billions of years.

Increasingly, I’ve noticed that when the media write reports about us, they often don’t mention the scientific points we present in our rebuttal of evolution, but instead state something like this (these words appeared in our local newspaper):

The Creation Museum employs scientists of its own but has been criticized by the larger scientific community for positions it takes that conflict with mainstream scientific belief. For example, the museum contends the Earth is 6,000 years old, rather than about 4.5 billion. It also shows humans living at the same time as dinosaurs, which most scientists say never happened.1

Why is the age of the earth such a big issue with secular scientists and the media? And why is it that after biblical creationists have written so many books and scientific peer-reviewed papers that contradict the supposed billions of years for the age of the earth/universe, and expose the fallible dating methods devised by man, secularists still scoff?

Well, here’s the bottom line:

For secularists to even postulate the idea of evolution, they have to also postulate an incomprehensible amount of time (billions and billions of years) so that the universe and life might have enough time to evolve. Even with billions of years, though, evolution is impossible. Mathematically and scientifically. But secularists aggressively promote billions of years to make evolution a plausible idea.

The late famed evolutionary biologist, Ernst Mayr said the following:

[The Darwinian] revolution began when it became obvious that the earth was very ancient rather than having been created only 6000 years ago. This finding was the snowball that started the whole avalanche.2

For such scientists, it doesn’t matter how good the creationist research is about the age issue. They have already rejected it before considering it.

Frankly, they have to, because even allowing the possibility that the earth is only a few thousand years old is tantamount to admitting that evolution is totally wrong. And the alternative? Creation? No, they can’t allow it at all!

Why are biblical creationists so adamant that the earth is young? It’s because we’re zealous for the Bible, and God’s Word clearly indicates that the earth is thousands, not billions, of years old. The only reliable dating method for the age of the earth/universe would come from someone who knew everything, who had always been there, who knows when it started—and then revealed it to us!

Of course there is such a ONE—the God of the Bible! The Bible is the only trustworthy dating source. It presents a detailed history from the beginning, about 6,000 years ago.

On the AiG website, there are hundreds of articles that reveal that there is nothing in observational science that contradicts a young earth. In fact, observational science overwhelmingly contradicts an old age.

Let God be true but every man a liar (Romans 3:4).


  1. Mike Rutledge, “Visitors Bureau Changes Online Creation Museum Description,” Cincinnati Enquirer, September 1, 2007.
  2. Ernst Mayr, “The Nature of the Darwinian Revolution.” Science Vol. 176 (1972), pp. 987-988.


Get the latest answers emailed to you.

I agree to the current Privacy Policy.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA, and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.

Learn more

  • Customer Service 800.778.3390