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Doesn’t young really mean old? After all, we can make words mean whatever we choose, right?
In this feedback, we depart from our usual manner of answering emails in a straightforward fashion because we felt this one would make a good point by, instead, endeavoring (in a lighthearted manner) to show the fallacy of reinterpreting an email when it isn’t warranted by the context. Language and communication are possible because of meaning and context, and the plain meaning should be taken unless context warrants otherwise.
In today’s culture, though, this concept of trusting what is plainly written in the Bible is often ignored and the plain meaning is reinterpreted. In trying to justify a different position from the plain meaning in Genesis, the author, like others before him, tries to reinterpret words and meaning and neglects context in the Bible.
In this satirical response, we will be doing to this email what the author and many others do to the Bible—i.e., neglect the plain meaning and reinterpret it to fit our own ideas of what we think the author meant to say. This is not meant to mock but to illustrate the dangers of ignoring the plain meaning of the text.
Do young-earth creationists believe that the animals on Noah’s ark evolved into all of the species we see today? I agree with Dr. Hugh Ross that although the flood killed all mankind except Noah and his family, it was not necessarily global and that the flood was about 20,000 years ago. I am an old-earth creationist and believe the earth is 4.6 billion years old. I believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis also. I believe that while there is micro-evolution, there is not any macro-evolution. The Hebrew word yom translated as “day” can also literally mean “an indefinite period of time” as in Gen. 2:4. Also, boqer for “morning” can also literally mean “beginning”, and 'ereb for “evening” can also literally mean “completion”. I think the geneologies list only the most important names. Old-earth creationism is not the same thing as believing in darwinism. Old-earth creationism is also a literal interpretation of the Genesis creation account.
Do young-earth creationists believe that the animals on Noah's ark evolved into all of the species we see today?
When the author speaks of “young earth creationists” this often refers to creationists who hold to an extremely old earth and universe of about 6,000 years in age! So, young-earth creationists can easily be called “old-earth creationists.” So, if one says “old earth,” then that is really no different from “young earth,” which views the earth as pretty old. So, the two (old earth and young earth) can be used almost interchangeably. This concept is vital throughout the exposition of this email.
Congratulations, you have created a very effective outreach tool with the radio program and website. You are doing an excellent job spreading the word about creation. I especially like it when you can relate your scientific point to the work of the Savior and salvation, but even when that isn’t explicitly done you still encourage people to rely on the simple words of the Bible. I have a PhD in Chemistry and have taught many college-level chemistry, physics, earth science, and biology courses. I always found the Bible very reliable in every discipline, and I have been privileged to show those discoveries to my students. But many times I wished even more people could see the scientific confirmations of the Bible that I have seen. And to some extent you are making that possible. May the Lord continue to bless your work.
—Dr. B.H., U.S.
Hey, this site is awesome. I just wanted to say that Arizona State University’s science classes aren’t quality either; it’s actually rather brutal really. I echo the Penn College of Technology student that we REALLY need to pray for our college campuses. So much bad comes from people having the knowledge of their uniqueness as humans taken away from them—if only they knew they were made in the image of God, that they have purpose . . . .
Evolved can be interpreted to mean “changed,” and so, this author’s question is asking if the animals on Noah’s Ark have undergone any changes since Noah’s Ark. Of course they did: they died. But even their descendants have undergone some minor changes. Some deer today in one generation are taller or shorter than their parents, but the deer is still a deer—and this is not evolution in the sense of molecule-to-man evolution (which is the common meaning of the word “evolution”).
I agree with Dr. Hugh Ross that although the flood killed all mankind except Noah and his family, it was not necessarily global and that the flood was about 20,000 years ago.
Since the author placed the word “necessarily” in the sentence above, then it also means they may not necessarily believe it was a local Flood either, and therefore it can still refer to a global Flood. This was a significant placement for the word “necessarily,” and it shouldn’t be neglected.
Also, 20,000 is a round number signifying that it isn’t exact, and therefore, it can and should simply be representing a number whether longer or shorter than 20,000. Further to this, even the English word year(s) has a semantic range that can mean a literal year or simply a period of time (e.g. “In the year of my grandfather.”). Therefore, this can easily be interpreted to support the Flood occurring about 4,300 years ago and being global in extent.
I am an old-earth creationist
Building on what was stated previously that an old-earth creationist is really the same as a young-earth creationist, since about 6,000 years is old; therefore, the interpretation of the conclusion is that the author is openly stating a belief in an old earth of about 6,000 years old.
and believe the earth is 4.6 billion years old.
We know from science that the age of the earth is not more than 20,000 years old (e.g. earth’s magnetic field is decaying too rapidly), so this can’t be speaking of actual “years.” Besides, from previous examples in this email, we found that numbers are not an exact figure—especially if rounded—and therefore merely represent a range that can include a number either higher or lower. 4,600,000,000 is obviously a round number and, in comparison to infinity, is really no different from 6,000.
Again, years can merely represent a period of time. Since both the number (4.6 billion) merely represents a range that is really no different than 6,000 and the noun (years) is merely signifying a period of time, this can be interpreted to support the age of the earth being about 6,000 years ago.
I believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis also. I believe that while there is micro-evolution, there is not any macro-evolution.
A literal interpretation of Genesis has the Sun on Day 4—well after the earth—and therefore doesn’t support models like the big bang, which has it vice-versa. This confirms that the author believes the days in Genesis were really approximately 24 hours in length. [FYI: “Microevolution” is a term representing small changes in living things (for example a difference in hair color or height from a previous generation), while macroevolution refers to the aforementioned molecules turning into man.]
The Hebrew word yom translated as “day” can also literally mean “an indefinite period of time” as in Gen. 2:4.
Likewise, the Hebrew word for day (yom) also means day (~24-hour period).
Also, boqer for “morning” can also literally mean “beginning”,
Likewise, the Hebrew word for morning (boqer) also means “morning.”
and 'ereb for “evening” can also literally mean “completion”.
Likewise, the Hebrew word for evening (ereb) also means “evening.” And since context determines meaning in each of these, it is clearly a real evening, morning, and day of about 24 hours, which has an evening and a morning.
I think the geneologies list only the most important names.
And this is a great point because Jesus is of utmost importance, and being God, there is no reason to think that Jesus’ ancestors were not important, for without even one of them, Jesus would not have been born. So, Jesus’s entire genealogy is important—after all, his genealogy (not mine) made it in the Bible.
Many names in Jesus’s genealogy are people whom we have no clue as to who they were, and yet they are recorded, along with Abraham and David and other well-known historical people. Thus, it further indicates that all of Jesus’s earthly ancestors were important. If God left some out, why would He not leave out the ones that we know nothing about except their names? Therefore, Jesus’s genealogy in Luke 3, from Him back to Adam, does list the most important names—which are all of them—supporting the timeframes that yield about 4,000 years from Christ to Adam (giving an approximately 6,000-year-old earth).
Old-earth creationism is not the same thing as believing in darwinism.
This is a very astute observation. Believing the age of the earth to be about 6,000 years (which is old, remember) and having Jesus Christ, the Word, as the Creator and Redeemer is not even remotely close to Darwinism.
Old-earth creationism is also a literal interpretation of the Genesis creation account.
Old-earth creationists believing that the earth is about 6,000 years old (as shown above) makes sense because there were six literal days, plus about 2,000 years until Abraham and about 2,000 years until Christ and about 2,000 years until today. This makes it about 6,000 literal years old and keeps with the literal curse in Genesis 3 and literal global Flood, literal genealogies and literal days of the creation week of about 24 hours in duration.
In conclusion, it is great to read such an inspiring email of one who clearly believes in an old earth of about 6,000 years old and approximately 24-hour creation days—when interpreted “correctly.”
Although the above satire was done to show the dangers of reinterpreting what doesn’t need reinterpretation, the reality is that, sadly, the clear teaching of God’s Word is misinterpreted to mean something it clearly doesn’t, based on preconceived ideas such as the big bang and millions of years. Please be in prayer that people will learn to trust what the Bible says in context and learn to view it as authoritative. Please take some time to read our Get Answers section that discusses old-earth creation (old-earth in the literal sense—those who accept billions of years of history) positions.
With kindest regards in Christ,
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.