Review by Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
First Published 17 April 2006
Old Earth Ministries Website
Young earth creation science ministry Answers in Genesis ran an article in the December 2003 issue of Creation Magazine, in which young earth author David Catchpoole discusses the various holy books of the world.1 The article was again featured as the daily feature on the Creation Ministries International website on 16 April 2006.
He sets this up in a hypothetical conversation that he would have with a questioner. Naturally, I agree that the Bible is the only true holy book, Catchpoole gives poor evidence for this claim. His first paragraph is good, but when he addresses scientific data, and claims that the Bible has evidence of them, he goes sadly wrong. He says,
Which book best explains the earth’s geology: why we find mountainous layers upon layers of sediments that look like they were pushed up and folded while still wet, and with dead animals and plants buried in them, all over the world?
If taken from a young earth viewpoint, the Bible does not explain any of these items. Old earth creationism, on the other hand, with a local flood event, is a perfect fit with the geologic and fossil evidence. In making this claim, Catchpoole is referring to the Flood as the cause of all these items. To learn more about why the young earth global flood will not work, see Noah's Flood, and our Flood Articles section.
Next, Catchpoole goes on to claim that the Bible best explains biology...why plants and animals reproduce "after their kind." For old earth creationists who are progressive creationists, they will heartily agree with this claim. Old earth creationists who are theistic evolutionists would take issue with this statement. However, it presents no problems to belief in theistic evolution. With God involved in the creative process, there is no problems. In fact, the Bible may allude to the possibility that God used evolution (see Evolution: The Bible Taught it First!).
Catchpoole uses the old argument that the number of humans in the world, if you count backwards using growth rates, supports the theory that there were only a handful of people around 4,500 years ago (about the time of the Flood). The original post-Flood population studies from a young earth perspective were proposed by Henry Morris. He used an inflated rate and made an unrealistic assumption. For more on his errors, click here.
Next he claims that agriculture, and crop plants, have been traced back to the "Fertile Crescent." I agree that this is wonderful, and it agrees with the world's population arising from Biblical lands. This is directly tied to the location and migration of man, thus evolutionists will see this in a natural light, without any religious implications.
His big "linchpin" argument is that the Bible is the only holy book which describes death as an "enemy." One look at a dead body, however, and you can determine this for yourself, without the aid of the Bible. I don't know if this is true of other holy books, so we will have to take Catchpoole's word for it.
I agree with Catchpoole that the Bible provides a solution to this death issue. Physical death cannot separate us from God.
In his summary, he says when he uses these arguments for the Bible, the "light" goes on in that person's mind, connecting these issues to the Bible. In describing this situation, we can be certain he was not talking to a scientist, as they could see right through the false geology and fossil claims related to the flood. He says "there can only be one true account of history." I agree, but from science, it is clear that the old earth creationist interpretation is the only one which fits all the evidence.
As old earth creationists, we are uniquely situated to bring the Gospel message to the scientific community. Our message is that one can accept an inerrant Word, and a literal translation of Genesis, and an earth that is billions of years old. The young earth creationist community is unable to provide this witness to scientists, because they are viewed in less than favorable light. We must carry the true message of our "holy book" to the world.
1 Creation Magazine, Volume 26, Issue 1. Published on the Answers In Genesis website at answersingenesis.org/creation/v26/i1/holy.asp, and on Creation Ministries International at http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/521
If you are not a Christian, and you have been holding out on making a decision for Christ because the Church always preached a message that was contrary to what you saw in the scientific world, then rest assured that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and you can believe in Christ and receive salvation, while still believing in an old earth. Click here for more.
Are you a Christian who believes in young earth creationism? Now that we have shown the many difficulties of the young earth creation science model in this and many other articles, how does this impact your Christian life? If you are a young earth creationism believer, click here.
To learn more
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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