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.
I like eggs. I likes 'em fried, hard boiled, poach, over easy, sunny side up, I loves eggs.
Eggths. It's "eggths". And it's "over eathy, thunny thide up".
Well they did come first....!
I loves eggths too!
Best white trash food ever. Warm french roll with two runny fried eggs and shredded melting cheese with mayo.
Damn you all and your talk of delicious eggs at this late hour.
Robertson however is stuck in many of the OT myths.
Time to admit the OT needs significant updating. 1.5 million Conservative Jews and their rabbis have done just that.
Only for the new members of this blog:
origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.
New Torah For Modern Minds
“Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob•a•bly
Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).
The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.
Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.
The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.
The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."
"When I grew up in Brooklyn, congregants were not sophisticated about anything," said Rabbi Harold Kushner, the author of "When Bad Things Happen to Good People" and a co-editor of the new book. "Today, they are very sophisticated and well read about psychology, literature and history, but they are locked in a childish version of the Bible."
These essays, perused during uninspired sermons or Torah readings at Sabbath services, will no doubt surprise many congregants. For instance, an essay on Ancient Near Eastern Mythology," by Robert Wexler, president of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, states that on the basis of modern scholarship, it seems unlikely that the story of Genesis originated in Palestine. More likely, Mr. Wexler says, it arose in Mesopotamia, the influence of which is most apparent in the story of the Flood, which probably grew out of the periodic overflowing of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The story of Noah, Mr. Wexler adds, was probably borrowed from the Mesopotamian epic Gilgamesh.
Equally striking for many readers will be the essay "Biblical Archaeology," by Lee I. Levine, a professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. "There is no reference in Egyptian sources to Israel's sojourn in that country," he writes, "and the evidence that does exist is negligible and indirect." The few indirect pieces of evidence, like the use of Egyptian names, he adds, "are far from adequate to corroborate the historicity of the biblical account."
Similarly ambiguous, Mr. Levine writes, is the evidence of the conquest and settlement of Canaan, the ancient name for the area including Israel. Excavations showing that Jericho was unwalled and uninhabited, he says, "clearly seem to contradict the violent and complete conquest portrayed in the Book of Joshua." What's more, he says, there is an "almost total absence of archaeological evidence" backing up the Bible's grand descriptions of the Jerusalem of David and Solomon. "
Too long. So, so long.
Reality is well endowed.
Summarizing for the reading-challenged:
• As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.
• As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.
There was no Exodus
There was no Noah or Great Flood
David was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was significantly embellished by the scribes.
There is almost total absence of archaeological evidence" backing up the Bible's grand descriptions of the Jerusalem of David and Solomon.
What is next, the Pope will say that he really have no evidence that God hears his prayers :)
Is Santa Claus real?
I am starting to doubts it. I leave cookies and milk for him each year, but I have never received a gift from him :)
A couple problems with Robertson's statement:
1. The Bible does contain some possible references to dinosaurs, such as the behemoth in Job 40. At any rate the exegetical conclusion from the Genesis account is that dinosaurs are among the land animals and as such yes, the Bible does "explain" dinosaurs.
2. Radiocarbon dating has no connection to dinosaurs even based on evolutionary presuppositions as it is only used within about 50000 years. He ought to have used the term "radiometric" dating.
3. There is no "cover up" about dinosaurs, in fact Answers in Genesis has discussed dinosaurs frequently. So to suggest that somehow a belief in a 6000-year old earth, based on exegetical considerations, is "covering things up" is ridiculous. If anything creationists are more likely to engage the arguments of the "other side" in my experience.
4. Ussher is not "proof" of a 6000-year old earth, rather his exegetical arguments based on the genealogies in Genesis are fairly convincing. Others even going back to the "church fathers" such as Augustine held to a less than 6000-year old earth. AIG only uses his work to the extent that it corresponds to Scripture.
5. Rubio is actually quite correct when he says that the creation/evolution debate has no connection to the economy or the gross national product, that is an example of the distinction between operational/origins "science". Much of the hysteria about countries surpassing the US in science has nothing to do with creation/evolution; I would suggest it is cultural. In US culture being a "nerd" or a "geek" is seen as "uncool" and as such science is not always pursued as much. In other countries academics are emphasized to a greater extent, hence progress in science (true observable science). There have been many scientific discoveries made by creationists such as Isaac Newton's work and the inventor of the MRI.
Answers in Genesis is the biggest pile of dung ever assembled. No legitimate scholar buys any of that nonsense. It's an attempt to make a work of ancient political literature appear to be literal in the modern sense. It's simply ignorance of ancient literature.
ancient literature, snaky? You flip in and out of time frames like political hoes scratching dirt. In evilutionary time those books are like 5 minutes ago.
bob–you said that you were in the top g.p.s in high school biology–My first cousin who not only took biology in high school but graduated from nortre dame believes the planet is about 10,000 years old–She is a professor at a university as we speak–Just because you know more about biology doesn't mean you are correct about the age of the planet or the human species
Your first cousin is an idiot.
No geologist on the planet thinks it's 10,000 years old. DNA alone proves humans have been here for 200,000 years. You family member obviously faked their way through Notre Dame. No one in the National Academy of Science agrees with that crap.
She was brainwashed as a child –But highly intelligent–listen, there are sceintologists with phd's from harvard
lol–hold your horses–she isn't a biologist–she is an english professor–however, she was educated in biology in high school and college
Biology in high school is a required course. And there are practically no biologists who believe that the Earth is 10,000 years old. Please, don't destroy any case against atheism that you may be trying to bring up.
Some very intelligent people think that logically the Bible does not make sense, and they think that man is incapable of fulling understanding life. They feel that when they die and go to heaven a fog will be lifted and it will all make sense at that time. They try to trick themselves into believing.
roger–that is pretty much it–she 100 percent believes in heaven and hell–and you are correct she is highly intelligent
Are there two bobs here? Well, we may as well invite the two chads and get this over with...
Bob, your cousin should be fired forthwith.
anthy–i feel sorry for her–i had a chance last time i seen her –However, i just walked out of the chair and didn't confront her about her belief on God and the universe–She just got married to a fundi like herself
Snake oil, you idiot, they're claiming 400,000 years now with inflation factored in.
Duke–you are not bright at all–and i don't care for your screename
How about "Big Duke 6"?
How about, "Duke Blue Devil"
Is that more pleasant to you :)
The Bible and all it's stories, parables and allegories were written by man, about man, for man and is used as a club for one small group of men to control the larger body of mankind in the name of God. God is not pleased in having his name taken in vain by this book.
Its, not it's.
It's very simple, I am not a scientist or and intellect, but it's very, very plain. Evolution is the Blue Print God used to create man and animal. Does this make sense to anyone??????
Well if that is true– some creation–ann coulter, is that a man or a woman–jury is still out
1. Evolution is not a "blueprint"
2. There is no god.
Nope. Evolution arose because the Mandelbrot Set arises spontaneously in this universe. Why that is, is unknown at this point. Every time humans say "god did it", eventually there is a better explanation.
nope. don't try and fit the facts to the theory. deduce your theory from the facts. first rule of science.
Makes no sense whatsoever to me.
As an "argument from ignorance"....perfectly.
No, because life has sometimes evolved in very "unintelligent" ways which would suggest that God was not a very good designer at all. If you are arguing that God just let evolution run its course then he had nothing at all to do with the diversity of life on this planet and deserves no credit.
This I agree to. Evolution is not a "blueprint" but a mechanism, but your basic conclusion still stands. Atheists who in their infinite intelligence think that all who support this view (including biologists like Stephen Jay Gould) are stupid are insulting some of the very scientists upon whose work they base their "arguments."
We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures; because the earth never froze entirely during an ice age; because a small and tenuous species, arising in Africa a quarter of a million years ago, has managed, so far, to survive by hook and by crook. We may yearn for a 'higher' answer-but none exists. Stephen Jay Gould
Does this sound like a guy who believes God had a hand in it?
Boy I bet that creationist "amusement park" in KY that has dioramas of humans and dinosaurs hanging out together is really angry, this ISN'T going to be good for business.
Many or most humans today have some Neanderthal DNA in them. We share MOST of our DNA with chimps, just a bit makes us different. The author of the new book "Lone Survivor" and Australian anthropologist contends there have be 5 or 6 species of humans, and we either mated with them and or killed them off. Evolution is FACT ZERO% DOUBT To doubt it is like doubting gravity, or the atomic bomb. Don't leave your kids behind in school by teaching them this crap about creation, and evolution being false, they won't be able to pass their high school biology class. I know, my brother in law teaches high school biology, it's SAD for the "creationist kids"
None of this proves that God does not exist. All it means is that the creationist *diots are wrong, which I (and a significant portion of religious people) knew from the start. Now, if you atheists stopped trying to "disprove" religion with science, you may gain more people interested in this science. A subset of atheists who are especially intolerant (ie, many of the most outspoken ones on the Internet) are, ironically, slowing the advance of science by making it look like religion is in conflict with it. Most people (rightfully) do not want to abandon their religion and belief in God, and they would agree with science but for your atheists' knee-jerk reaction towards all things religious.
Intolerant segment of atheism, thanks for slowing the advance of society.
Sane people who believe in God
Well, Bob, get rid of your belief in god and everything will be better! How simple is that?
It's not as simple as you think. Completely ignoring tissue engineering, nanotechnology, fusion power and others as a method for creating a God is a really naive view which appears to be the last resort of atheism.
What are you talking about?
A mechanism by which God could exist, and if you don't know about it it is you, an atheist, who is scientifically out-of-date. Never a good position to be in.
But why would there have to be a god?
So Pat...finally...said something....intelligent...
Holy crap. The world IS ending in 2012.
He also said legalize marijuana. Tax it rather than wasting tax dollars fighting it.
Will someone please NOT change pat's batteries next time. What is it, Duracells?
i'm glad at least 1 religious televangelist admits he does believe in scientific method and that he agrees facts, like dinosaurs and evolution, should not be ignored based on 'faith.'
now if the (rest of the?) 'cf the creationist espousing evangelists would join in.
wow.. I thought pat robertson was kinda of weird.. but finally he is making sense....... could this be a GOP engineered statement?
I think, the followers/worshipers will be sad to learn that one of God's leading man :) doubts God's action.
Let's ASSUME that God did create the first two humans(Adman and Eve). In that case, you are forced to be in God's game: will you follow his commands or follow the commands of the Devil(created by God).
let's not and say we did!
I think they will be angry. History has taught us what happens when you doubt fundamentalists beliefs, or the existence of god. They get very busy very quickly killing you and sending you to meet "Him" to "prove" god's love for them.
WATCH OUT PAT
Let's not and admit we didn't!
The serpent said what was the obvious–They were in fact naked
oh , sorry – you're right, Athy, that's what I meant. HE HE
well, you know, if it is all taken literally, there was a lot of incest going on- i mean, with just adam and eve to start things, their children mated with each other– or with the parents (adam and eve)- unless you think biblical recantation of roman myths (angels or gods coming down to earth to breed with the humans) is anything but bizarre and mythical.....
What are beliefs does Christianity assimulate too Cheesemaker?
The Bible does say "replenish," which suggest the possibility that something else filled this earth before. And, the Bible does say six days. However, what were the days. The Sun, Moon and stars weren't created until the 4th day. So how did the first 3 days occur?
You can't begin to understand a faith based idea, without "faith." The Bible says that God can call the things that are not as though they were. Whatever God said it is...it is.
duke–well according to the bible it is very clear that the human species is 10 or the oldest 14,000 years old
According to the Bible, God could create the universe, this world, and mankind at what ever point of maturity God chose.
So god has to do what the Bible says ? Hahahaha.
No, you miss the point snake oil. The point is if yo believe in the God of the Bible, then all things are possible. If God said something then it is. The Bible says that God cannot lie. That doesn't mean it isn't in God's nature or character to lie. It means if God says that something is, then it becomes has God said. If the God of the Bible said the world ceases to exists, and a new world begins, then this world would end and a new world would start.It takes faith to believe.
Aww, come on, bob, that sounds all apologetic like.
But, Duke, why do you believe there's a god? Are you that totally biblewashed? Can't you think on your own? Must you just follow the believers? Don't you possess any common sense at all? Can't you think logically? Don't you read any science books? Do you just blindly follow a 2000-year old book? Have you taken any college courses in science? Well?
Why do you presuppose that a person with faith in the Bible or any divine being has been brainwashed? Are you incapable of accepting that others may have a different view on the world around them?
You can have whatever view you want, help yourself. I'm merely trying to help you see the truth. But in your case, I think it's like trying to describe the color red to a blind man.
"According to the Bible, God could create the universe, this world, and mankind at what ever point of maturity God chose."
According to the bible god could, and can, do whatever he wants....which is why the god of the bible incoherent.
The most important sentence in this article for all you thumper to remember is.......“If you fight science, you are going to lose your children, and I believe in telling them the way it was,” Robertson concluded.
DON'T SCREW UP YOUR CHILDREN WITH RELIGION. It's fine if you want to believe this crap, but don't put them behind the other kids in their high school biology class when they are still only 5 years old.
And to think that I was in the top of my high school biology class (in California) and was (and still am) religious is telling.
Yeah,, it's telling alright!
What I was trying to say is that this was not an "intelligent design" (creationism) class in Mississippi, it was a legitimate biology class. Which state do you live in? One filled with artery-congested creationists, or one with thinner, more intelligent and more tolerant people?
If the former is true, you are no better than the majority of the Bible Belt. Your intolerance is merely a reflection of theirs.
It wouldn't matter what state I live in. Nonsense is nonsense, and I can recognize it wherever I see it. There is no need for religion. It's hobbling our progress.
It's also hobbling our progress when you in your infinite intelligence say that religious people are all stupid crusaders who oppose science, leading more religious people to become stupid crusaders who oppose science rather than rational beings who believe that science as well as God explain the Universe in complementary but compatible ways.
But I consider myself to be an intelligent crusader, unfettered by the chains of religion.
Pat finnally pulled his head out his rear end ;-)
Don't be so sure. It's so far up, maybe he saw the light from the other direction.
Slowly but surely religious community is paying attention to science. Whenever there is a conflict between religion and science, science will prevail. It may take time but science will win every time. There will be a day when religion stops to exist.
A day in your dreams, when society completely abandons all semblance of charity and goodness to their fellow man and begins fighting mindless wars of persecution of the remaining religious people. This will CERTAINLY help our society advance!
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.