Review by Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
Published May 2006
The book Thousands...Not Billions, is published by Master Books, and is written by Dr. Don DeYoung. The edition being reviewed is a paperback, copyright 2005, first printing August 2005, ISBN Number 0-89051-441-0.
The purpose of this book is to provide a layman's resource for the research that was done by the Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth group, or R.A.T.E., which hereafter will be referred to as RATE.
With the conclusion of the RATE study, young earth creationist organizations are expediting their propaganda machine in order to promote the apparent discoveries of the RATE group. Evidence of this is the ministry Creation Ministries International, and their "Thousands...not Billions" tour, with speaking engagements all over Australia by the author.
The author starts by stating the scientifically accepted ages for the universe and the earth, with the intent of instilling a negative reaction from the young earth reader. He refers to the billions of years of the universe as "deep time," and says that this deep time is a major portion of evolution.
On the second page, he claims that "Evolutionary models for life, earth, and space are questioned today by a significant group of scientists worldwide." While it is true that some scientists believe in this "young earth" interpretation, one can hardly characterize this group as a "significant group." If this were a significant group, then there would be serious challenges within mainstream scientific circles. They are only "significant" in their own eyes.
DeYoung goes right into another misconception in the minds of young earth creationists. He says that besides scientists, there are others who are interested in earth history. He says "This refers to all of us who hold a biblical world view. That is, we accept the Bible as the uniquely inspired book given to humanity by the Creator." DeYoung is no doubt referring to young earth creationists, but he fails to realize that this statement also applies to old earth creationists. Granted, not all old earth creationists are conservative, but many are, and they can agree completely with DeYoung's words. Often, young earth creationists think they have the market when it comes to holding a biblical world view, but they do not.
DeYoung says that a straightforward reading of Scripture indicates a young earth. I agree. This is the "grandmother hypothesis." A grandmother, in her rocking chair, reading her Bible, would see the days as 24-hour days. However, a scientist, versed in big bang theory, can look at the same Bible, and see vast ages. Thus, the Bible can be interpreted differently, without changing the main theme of the Bible (salvation in Jesus Christ).
Despite the fact that old earth creationism violates no rules of Scripture interpretation, young earth creationists, including DeYoung, refuse to recognize the validity of old earth creationism. He says that adding billions of years is "neither satisfactory nor convincing." From the young earth perspective, these words ring true, however, millions of old earth creationists are satisfied, and are convinced of the old age of the earth, and that God created it. It is not a matter of old earth creationism being anti-biblical...it is a matter of it being anti-young earth.
DeYoung goes on to say that "many practical and profound implications follow from one's view of the earth's age." He gives a reference to a Henry Morris book, but gives no examples. However, old earth creationism changes none of the doctrines of the church. One still needs salvation in Jesus Christ, just as in the young earth belief system. Nothing is changed, other than a matter of time.
DeYoung says that this book will open a window to show how false and misleading the old earth viewpoint is. If the thousands of articles on this website is any indication, DeYoung will fail to open this window...we nailed it shut!
The author gives one final comparison in the close of the preface. He says based on a 25-year generation, a world of 6,000 years has just 240 generations, but a world of 4.6 billion years has 184 million generations. However, no old earth creationist claims that there has been 184 million generations. Mankind, from the time of Adam, has been around for 50,000 years at most, or 2,000 generations. There is a large difference between 2,000 and 184 million. DeYoung resorts to deceptive tactics before he even starts the first chapter!
Introduction to RATE
DeYoung begins this section with a story of a group of geologists who meet in 2003 to discuss the geologic time scale. They decide to create three laboratories to aid in the identification of dated rock layers...a very noble, worthwhile project deserving of much funding in my opinion. DeYoung mentions this merely to contrast it with the formation of the RATE group six years earlier. DeYoung says the goal of the groups were similar, although they are separated by billions of years.
The RATE scientists (if you can call them scientists...see Creation Scientist? for more) included two geologists, Steven Austin and Andrew Snelling, geophysicist John Baumgardner, three physicists, Eugene Chaffin, Don DeYoung, and Russell Humphreys, and one meteorologist, Larry Vardiman, who served as the chairman of the group.
DeYoung explains that several lines of research was explored over the eight year period of RATE. He explains that two books explain all of the RATE research, but this book provides the results with a minimum of technical terms. Since this book is the one that the common young earth creationist is likely to read, this book is the one that needs a rebuttal. Although the final technical RATE book is available to anyone, hardly nobody will read it, aside from other young earth creation scientists.
This book is divided by topic, with DeYoung telling about the various topics by summarizing the research of the people involved in that topic. He begins with a general history of radiation studies in Chapter 1, and proceeds into individual topics from there on out, before providing a conclusion in Chapter 11.
(204 Kb, 50 Pages)
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about old earth creationism, see
Old Earth Belief,
or check out the article
Can You Be A
Christian and Believe in an Old Earth?
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