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Pat Robertson challenges creationism
Pat Robertson: "There was a time when these giant reptiles were on the Earth, and it was before the time of the Bible."
November 29th, 2012
04:04 PM ET

Pat Robertson challenges creationism

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – Televangelist Pat Robertson challenged the idea that Earth is 6,000 years old this week, saying the man who many credit with conceiving the idea, former Archbishop of Ireland James Ussher, “wasn’t inspired by the Lord when he said that it all took 6,000 years.”

The statement was in response to a question Robertson fielded Tuesday from a viewer on his Christian Broadcasting Network show "The 700 Club.” In a submitted question, the viewer wrote that one of her biggest fears was that her children and husband would not go to heaven “because they question why the Bible could not explain the existence of dinosaurs.”

“You go back in time, you've got radiocarbon dating. You got all these things, and you've got the carcasses of dinosaurs frozen in time out in the Dakotas,” Robertson said. “They're out there. So, there was a time when these giant reptiles were on the Earth, and it was before the time of the Bible. So, don't try and cover it up and make like everything was 6,000 years. That's not the Bible.”

Before answering the question, Robertson acknowledged the statement was controversial by saying, “I know that people will probably try to lynch me when I say this.”

“If you fight science, you are going to lose your children, and I believe in telling them the way it was,” Robertson concluded.

Forty-six percent of Americans believe that God created humans in their present form at one point within the past 10,000 years, according to a survey released by Gallup in June. That number has remained unchanged for the past 30 years, since 1982, when Gallup first asked the question on creationism versus evolution.

The Gallup poll has not specifically asked about views on the age of the Earth.

Ussher’s work, from the mid-1600s, is widely cited by creationists as evidence that Earth is only a few thousand years old. Answer in Genesis, the famed Christian creationist ministry behind the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, cites Ussher as proof of Earth’s age. They describe the archbishop as “a brilliant scholar who had very good reasons for his conclusions concerning the date of creation.”

For Christians who read the creation account in Genesis literally, the six days in the account are strictly 24-hour periods and leave no room for evolution. Young Earth creationists use this construct and biblical genealogies to determine the age of the Earth, and typically come up with 6,000 to 10,000 years.

Most scientists, however, agree that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old and the universe is 14.5 billion years old.

The idea of creationism has been scorned by the mainstream scientific community since shortly after Charles Darwin introduced "The Origin of Species" in 1859. By 1880, The American Naturalists, a science journal, reported nearly every major university in America was teaching evolution.

The question about Earth’s age has been in the news recently. Earlier this month, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida attempted to walk the line between science and faith-based creationism in remarks that that provoked the ire of liberal blogs and left the door open to creationism.

“I'm not a scientist, man,” Rubio told GQ’s Micheal Hainey. “I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that's a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States.”

– CNN’s Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Christianity • Creationism • Evolution

soundoff (4,408 Responses)
  1. CatSh

    We're not sure what it is, so we just ignore it...... ;)

    November 29, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
  2. RedskinsFan

    OK creationists... I live in Virginia... I have spent all of my adult life wondering why anyone listens to crazy fanatical people like Falwell and Robertson. When Robertson sounds almost like a voice of reason compared to you, you have some serious issues.

    November 29, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • == o ==

      I wouldn't trust him based on his record. He could come out tomorrow and blame another natural disaster on something that is still not in his comfort zone.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • Blasphemy

      When Robertson is a more of a voice of reason than most Presidential and Congressional candidates we all have serious issues.

      November 29, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
  3. hinduism by Judaism self center ,secularism source of hindu filthy hinduism, racism.

    Guys spit on my face, I am ashamed to be a Daristani muslim terrorist

    November 29, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
  4. Dan

    Well it's about time that he started to reason.

    November 29, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • == o ==

      He said some pretty crazy things after Katrina. Maybe they gave him a better mix of meds.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • bob

      dan–i think he always knew the planet was billion of years old–The bottom line is the man is a politician and not a priest,minister or a pastor–That is why people always underestimate him.

      Everyone is shocked that he would say that–If 80 percent of americans believed the planet was 6,000 years old he would say the planet is 6,000 years old- knowing full well that in fact it is not

      November 29, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
  5. hinduism by Judaism self center ,secularism source of hindu filthy hinduism, racism.

    Spit on my face, I am ashamed to be a muslim and Daristani

    November 29, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • hinduism by Judaism self center ,secularism source of hindu filthy hinduism, racism.

      hindu's copy cat hind is in pain, shafted with rod of truth.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
  6. TN

    OMG, I am so shocked that there are no comments about Obama, Romney, or Republicans (well at least up to now) in the comment section of this article. I find it amusing to read people's two bit opinions. Nothing gets people more riled up then religion or politics.

    November 29, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • CatSh

      Scroll down further.....

      November 29, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • Blasphemy

      People should get riled up about religion in politics.

      November 29, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
  7. Blasphemy

    This is the last guy I would ever have expected to say something sensible.

    November 29, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
  8. Rufus T. Firefly

    Hey ==o==, can I have some popcorn?

    November 29, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Forget the popcorn. Who's got the wine?

      November 29, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • == o ==

      Sure, Rufus – * ** * *** *
      O*o 00*

      November 29, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      I'd be honored to have a glass of wine with you, Tom Tom. Here's to ya.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
  9. MZ

    4.5 Billion years is just a fantasy number. It is no more real than 6 days. I dont believe in cavemen. Cavemen never happened. People were never that crude or ugly or stupid. Except for Pat Robertson. He is.

    November 29, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I don't believe in you.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • CatSh

      You need to meet more people. If anything, they are even MORE crude, ugly, and stupid today.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • hinduism by Judaism self center ,secularism source of hindu filthy hinduism, racism.

      Visit hindered gutter of hinduism absurdity india for proof, humanaity was not hindu, crude, but hinduism illegality of hindu's criminals turned them in to hindu's crudeness.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      4.5 Billion is actually a number, it is not a fantasy.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Pat Robertson is still trying to work his way up to caveman. He is still trying to figure out how people make those nifty sharp rocks for tools.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • CatSh

      Rufus, we don't let him have one. He'll just put his eye out with it.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Dan

      You might want to pick up a science book instead of that book of fiction that you like so much.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Caveman

      Ugh! Me grimlock say creationism bad!

      November 29, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Athy

      Guys, it's billion, not Billion.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • Dan

      It's a lot closer to 4.5 billion years than 6 days. The first number is based on evidence and the second is not.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
  10. Margaret

    People are so silly, they say that got is omnipotent, they say he created ell things. Then they want to limit him to a 24 hr day, a 7 day week. How many times has the calendar and the clock been adjusted of the years? One day on Jupiter is different from one day on Earth. Why do you want to limit God. Maybe his day is 1 million years, or it might be a blink of an eye.

    November 29, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • == o ==

      or maybe he felt bad about screwing things up so bad and fled the scene

      November 29, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Except that God's word is claimed to be perfect. And if it is perfect why would He describe a day to us in a way we couldn't understand?

      November 29, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • hinduism by Judaism self center ,secularism source of hindu filthy hinduism, racism.

      Every thing stems of truth absolute and truth absolute IS GOD, Check Quantum physics, hindu, stupid atheist, self centered.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • humanbean

      "and on the seventh day, God rested." That means 24 hour a day, 7 day week. 365 day year (you know the amount of time it takes to orbit the sun? The earth would only fit this description. STFU. It's not a reference to Jupiter. The seventh day is not one million years long on earth, so your whole theory is blown out of the water...as usual.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Fernando

      Gee, I never thought of it that way. You have a swell way of putting things. Say, you sound like you may worship at a progressive, with-it church.
      A day could be a million years ......or even two million years by His calendar........

      November 29, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
  11. Fernando

    When Jerry Falwell stood before a mirror after his morning shower, he saw something too magnificently complex, sophisticated and esoterically sublime to be explained by mere, hit-and-miss, trial and error natural selection.

    November 29, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • == o ==

      Please, I'm eating popcorn.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • == o ==

      He saw something so *udderly* grotesque that he realized he needed some serious "medication".

      November 29, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
  12. OldMo

    Hey Pat, you might want to read Job 40. Atta boy.

    November 29, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • bob

      i read the chap–what do you mean by that? For pat to deny creationism 6,000 or 14,000 means he doesn't take the bible literal –How he doesn't take it literal , but 100 percent believes God tells him who is going to win the election ;don't know how he reconciles it

      November 29, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
  13. John Thomas Tolbert

    I believe that the earth was created less than 10 000 years ago and man was created in his current form. Clearly Pat doesn't believe in the bible.

    November 29, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And clearly, you don't have a good grip on reality.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • == o ==

      does the bible say 10 000 years? How do you figure that? (going to get popcorn)

      November 29, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Athy

      Yeah, I'll just bet you really believe that.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      When you are more willfully ignorant than Pat Robertson it is time to re-examine your position.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • CatSh

      Do a little research on Bible history. The Bible wasn't even created in the same form it exists today.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And Blessed wins! Best response award will be waiting for you at the exit.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Frank

      You are a complete idiot. I truly hope you and your entire genetic lineage are exterminated.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
  14. Daniel Xavier Knight

    One of Satan's ministers contests the obvious truth, which Jude said was obvious (fossils all over the earth, all the way up to the mountain tops anyone?), can't be. It says a lot that a massive hypocrite that Greg Palast exposed as a "business man" sides with the Mainstream Scientologists and forced abortionists.

    November 29, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • == o ==

      Uh oh – someone's done woke up Carrie's grandpappy.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I think they woke up a babbling nut-case who ought to be restrained immediately.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • jeffc

      I'm just glad to see there's enough sane, science-minded people who laugh at people who spew this kind of nonsense. Sorry, science has proven much of the book of Genesis is not true. And if you *really* do some studying, you'll find that the Babylonians held an annual festival to celebrate the creation of a new year. The festival lasted six days, and on the 7th day they rested. This story came before the Genesis story and was clearly the inspiration for the 7-day creation story.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
  15. Raman

    Hurray, the Obama education policy is working!!

    November 29, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • CatSh

      This started way before Obama, nimnull.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Veritas

      You do realize that President Obama has nothing to do with the curriculm taught in public schools, don't you? Why must people like you insert politics into everything?

      November 29, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What a moron. Do you think that kids who started school when Obama was inaugurated are the folks they're talking about? If so, your math skills are abominable. Either that, or you're only 10.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:32 pm |

  16. Pat Robertson: "I'm so high I can hardly stand it."

    November 29, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • == o ==

      He does have that look . . .

      November 29, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • kswsting

      Pat Robertson has really grown emotionally, spiritually, and NOW intellectually. Folks it takes a lot of gut to say what he just say. A lot of guts. I know because in our world, being religious leaders that is, a big percentage of our "flock" would string us saying such things. Remember what happened to Galileo when he suggested the earth was not the center of the universe or when someone (not Columbus apparently) challenged the belief that the world was not flat? Yikes, it was ugly. I personally accept mutation and natural selection as the molding force for life and that the earth is approximately 4.5 billion years, the earth is a sphere, and the world is not the center of the universe. So tonight I solute Rev. Pat Robertson on this moment of personal growth.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
  17. Gavin Ford

    "Forty-six percent of Americans believe that God created humans in their present form at one point within the past 10,000 years, according to a survey released by Gallup in June"

    I didn't realize the mental retardation rate in this country was that high.

    November 29, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Realist

      We need to teach more science and math. Get rid of Santa Jesus, replace him with reality.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's an indictment of the neglect our public education system has endured for some time now.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • CatSh

      And none of these people are likely to invent a cure for cancer. I'm sure they won't object to using it though.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • waawaa

      I blame lead poisoning. We'll be living with Thomas Midgley Junior's legacy for some time to come.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • jeffc

      re: "And none of these people are likely to invent a cure for cancer. I'm sure they won't object to using it though."

      EXACTLY!!!

      November 29, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • tehdpr

      You make fun of them, but please consider for a moment the fear that must be instilled by a religion: fear which causes people to halt the mental processes required to integrate physical evidence and practical reasoning into their understanding without skewing it, all to fit what a governing body tells them they must believe in order to not suffer for eternity. Also consider that without a compassionate approach, you and your ilk will likely only drive them deeper into their burrows.

      November 29, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
  18. Mick

    Wow...how nutty is an idea when Pat Robertson is the voice of reason?

    November 29, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • Alex

      Isn't that one of the signs of the apocalypse?

      November 29, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • == o ==

      Well if he starts sticking his tongue out, we'll know it's the zombie apocalypse. (but then again maybe it's just that he is channeling Einstein)

      November 29, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
  19. CatSh

    Bottom line people. Believe however you want, but if you don't have a good understanding of leading scientific theories like evolution and geological age, you are not likely to succeed in any sort of medical or engineering field.
    America needs more scientists and engineers to remain a technology leader in the world. Reject these theories and India and China will eat our lunch.

    November 29, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Saraswati

      You're also not likely to understand environmental issues well enough to cast a vote.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
  20. Tom

    It's amazing to me how many of you do not realize that a good number of Christians believe in an old earth. This is nothing new. This is probably one of the few times I can say amen to something Robertson has said. Divine revelation and general revelation are both sources of truth. You should stop wasting your time slashing through Christian strawmen...deal with some credible Christian scholars ie: William Lane Craig, Dr. Hugh Ross, Alister McGrath, etc.

    November 29, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And don't all of them assert that a god created all?

      Sorry, I don't buy that, either.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I think the people you're talking about probably grew up in areas dominated by the young-earth folks and are still too young to have got out and mingled with the rest of the world.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Athy

      Well, one step at a time. We can't do it in one swell foop.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Veritas

      It is possible to be a Christian and believe in evolution; many fall into that catagory. I am a Christian and I believe in evolution. Furthermore, I don't see a conflict in the two. The Bible is a source of moral and ethical truths, and was never intended to be a science text. You can believe iin God and Christianity and not check your brains at the church door. In fact, many denominations accept evolution as a valid mechanism by which biologic life came to be. They just aren't fundaMENTAList denominations.. They include the Catholic, Episcopal, United Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian and United Church of Christ (not to be confused with The Church of Christ). Many of the greatest scholars have been Christians or people of faith, so stop bashing Christians as all being mindless Bible thumpers. Sir Isaac Newton was a man of deep Christian faith and much of what we know about the laws of physics can be traced back to him, and that is just one example.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Of the Christians I've met in the last 5 years I'd say 2, maybe 3, didn't believe in evolution. The vast majority do.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Athy

      Have you been to Texas lately?

      November 29, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.