The reliability of the six literal 24-hour days creation model is important to me because no person whose mind works similar to mine would accept any of the Bible if the very first part were wrong.
is professor of architectural engineering at the Pennsylvania State University. He holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Cincinnati and an M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois. Dr. Mumma, who is also director of the Building Thermal Mechanical Systems Laboratory at Pennsylvania State University, specializes in the optimization of building mechanical components, the applications of solar and alternate energy, and new mechanical technologies research.
How have I, a mechanical engineer with nearly 30 years of industrial and university teaching and research experience, come to the conclusion that the world and all that is seen was created in six literal 24-hour days? My academic areas of research are related to building energy utilization and indoor air quality control. The research, which is not devoted to the study of origins, is founded on the fundamental, observable, and reliable principles of the thermal sciences. Therefore, what follows will not link my research activities to my conclusions concerning origins. I bring a research engineer’s mind to bear on the things I read and observe around me. Engineers quite often need confidence in the literal accuracy of the Genesis account, while people educated in many other disciplines are quite satisfied to take it as allegory.
I consider the six literal 24-hour days creation model to be foundational to my worldview. However, I have not always held this position. In 1978, as a tenured full professor, I embarked upon a journey through the Bible, devoting 15 to 20 minutes per day to study prior to breakfast. The journey was undertaken so that I, an “educated person,” would not be ignorant of the contents of the best-selling book of all time. My study was supplemented by a host of additional resources, the most significant of which was Henry Morris’s book Many Infallible Proofs.1 I found this book, written by a fellow university engineering professor, to be reliable, scholarly, and well supported with references. Prior to the year-long journey through the Bible, neither origins nor the Creator seemed at all relevant to me. Afterwards, I came to understand a great deal about myself and the human condition. I learned that not a single archaeological find contradicted any of the historical content of the Bible, but rather authenticated it. While it was not a book of science, the Bible spoke accurately concerning many scientific phenomena or processes in the areas of hydrology, geology, astronomy, meteorology, biology, and physics. However, I still had doubts about the reliability of the book of Genesis. Therefore, it was necessary for me to explore in detail the two views of origins: evolution and biblical creation, including a global Flood. Since there were no human eyewitnesses to record the beginning, a legal historical proof was impossible. Furthermore, current scientific laboratory procedures could not be used to authenticate the beginning of either model. So, I was left with only one alternative: undertake a study to determine how well the artifacts that can be observed today fit each model. Some of the convincing evidence that I found demonstrating that the evolution model fails, and the young earth creation/global Flood model fits include:
comets disintegrate too quickly
not enough mud on the sea floor
not enough sodium in the sea
Earth’s magnetic field is decaying too fast
many strata are too tightly bent
injected sandstone shortens geologic “ages”
fossil radioactivity shortens geologic “ages” to a few years
helium in the wrong places
not enough Stone Age skeletons
the big bang fails to provide an explanation of where all the information around us and in us comes from
the time it would take the moon to recede from the earth to its present position, and the lack of a significant layer of dust and meteorite debris on the moon after 4,600,000,000 years. [Ed. note: see AiG’s note on why the “moon dust” argument is no longer valid on Arguments we think creationists should NOT use: Moondust.]
My conclusion is that the Bible is true and reliable, including its description of origins in the book of Genesis. The reliability of the six literal 24-hour days creation model is important to me because no person whose mind works similar to mine would accept any of the Bible if the very first part were wrong. Without the Bible, I believe, one cannot find true and reliable answers to life’s most critical questions.