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.
46% of Americans believe the earth was created in the past 10,000 years?
I am at a total loss for words. I knew that there was segment of the population that had turned their brain off completely, but 46%???????
That one statistic is, in a nutshell, symbolic for what is wrong with religion: "Turn off brain; otherwise what we are about to tell you will sound illogical and crazy which any sane person would reject in a minute. And then we wouldn't get your money . . . "
I ithink with this kind of messaging from Pat Robertson (and likely others soon) we will soon see a shift in the fundie point of view.
While today a strict fundamentalist will argue that the earth AND the creation of humans happened <10,000 years ago, I think we'll see a hybrid position of 'old earth creationism' asserting:
– the earth may be billions of years old,
– but the creation of humans in God's image took place <10,000 years ago
This position admits all the obvious evidence that the earth is much older than 10,000 years (dinosaurs, plate tectonics, continental drift) without any acceptance of human evolution.
I am hoping that the end of 'young earth creationism' as a widely accepted belief is nigh.
gager: "Science does not require faith, in fact it is just the opposite. We require proof. It is the absence of proof that inspires faith." In this article radiocarbon dating is mentioned as solid scientific fact. That, however, is not exactly true. It is based on the theory that carbon has always deterioated at exactly the same rate since the beginning of time. How do you prove that fact without going back in time to test it...you can't. Science is not solid fact, it changes day to day as new discoveries are uncovered. In this country we are all free to believe what we want to and I will defend your right to do that. I will expect the same from you.
It's called Physics. Look it up. Do the math. It works.
You stole fizzy lifting drinks and bumbed into the ceiling which now must be washed and sterilized, so you get nothing.
Good day, Sir.
"In this article radiocarbon dating is mentioned as solid scientific fact. That, however, is not exactly true. It is based on the theory that carbon has always deterioated at exactly the same rate since the beginning of time."
Don, you clearly view science as your enemy. I don't mind Conservative Christians rejecting science as long as they don't affect my life in doing so. Unfortunately, Conservative Christians are not content believing what they do; they insist that others do the same. That is why they try to impose their morals on everyone ("Gay marriage is a sin"), they try to impose their anti-science on us ("teach Creationism in schools to give the students both sides"), and they try to impose their belief in God on us ("let's put prayer in schools – Christian prayer, that is since that's the correct one).
When will Conservative Christians stop persecuting everyone else?
Science is a theoretically assayed jump-rope of primrose calisthenics of theories not basely found out yet parlor towards reasoning fundaments eventual rising upon declaratives of adjudications promiscuities nevertheless.
Your first mistake, just like Pat, is referencing radiocarbon dating in this manner. C14 dating is only used for organic material less than ~50,000 years. Fossils – which are not organic, they are now minera – and rocks are dated with other forms of radiometric dating. These methods allow us to date back to billions and billions of years ago.
Your second mistake is the old creationist lie that radiometric and c14 dating is not accurate. Yet, whenever we ask you nutters to post the citations to the peer-reviewed scientific research that falsified radiometric and c14 dating, you refuse to do so.
I would ask that you either supply this evidence, or retract your lie.
I gave up valuable time to read this whole article. I'm so ashamed.
I forgive you, for what it is worth.
The only reason Pat Robertson made this reasonable, rational statement is because he now realizes that the religious right is no longer an asset to the republican party! He knows darn well that creationism is a silly relic of an idea, just like the flat earth theory was just a few hundred years before. The comments by religious zealots underscore why normal people shouldn't want that sort of thinking associated with a national political party.
God doesn't send people to hell ... any more than a professor gives out a grade (grades are earned by the student, not "given" arbitrarily by the instructor). People choose to push God away of their own free will; this absence of God is what hell is. But make no mistake, people choose this of their own volition.
My issue with this theory is that no one has yet to come up with a definition of "free will" that would both justify eternal punishment and fit with modern science...and many books have been written trying.
Saraswati: I'm not sure what you mean as a definition of free will. I am assuming that you're objecting to the notion generally (i.e., we're physically wired to do certain things). I don't ascribe to that view. If that's the case, there's no point in punishing a criminal because he/she was hard wired to kill.
I've always thought that either Christians who believe non-Christinas will go to hell are evil, heartless jerks or just haven't thought about the implications enough.
Let me help you, "k"...
You obviously believe that you have a place waiting for you in heaven, probably right in God's lap like a kid and a mall Santa, where there will be no more sadness or pain, only love and joy etc.
Now say while you were in heaven, you did a personal head count and realized that your mother, your wife, your children, or anyone else you really truly care about was not there and could only be burning for all eternity in hell.
So are you still going to be eternally happy or will you feel sad and distraught at their pain? If the latter, then wouldn't that defeat the promise of heaven and if the former, you cold-hearted jerk.
@k, I don't think a person is hard wired, but that it is a combination of genetic and environmental factors that lead to actions. And there are plenty of reasons to punish people without positing a nondeterministic free will. We punish people to deter others. We put dangerous people in jail (or menta hospitals) to keep them off the street. In some cases we hope to reform people through punishment, though that's variable in it's results. Lot's of culture's don't believe in free will of this sort, but we all have jails.
You cannot have free will AND an omnipotent omniscient god. You can one or the other, but not both.
Your god, like any god worth his or her salt, claims both omniscience and omnipotence. This means that your god already knows if you and I are going to heaven or hell. In fact, your god knew this before he created you and me. Hell, he knew it before he created the universe. Your god has already known for an eternity where you and I will end up.
Let's say that your god knows that my ticket has been punched for hell. How can I surprise him and show up in heaven? And let's say you are ticketed on he express to heaven. How can you how up next to me in hell? In other words, how is it possible for either of us to surprise your god? If we can surprise him, and he doesn't know where we will end up, then he isn't omniscient. And if he wants us to go to heaven, but we end up in hell, then he isn't omnipotent.
In short, your god has created tens of billion's of people for the sole purpose of killing us and torturing us for all eternity. What a swell god you've chosen to worship!
"You cannot have free will AND an omnipotent omniscient god. You can one or the other, but not both."
You can't have free will (of this kind) and science. You can have one or the other, but not both.
As for my place after this life, I have no idea what will happen. I attempt to embrace God, serve Him, and serve my brothers & sisters. But I regularly fail (on all counts). So what does this mean for my future? I honestly can't say. And I wouldn't presume to say what someone else's future is. As for me being in heaven but not my wife, kids, parents, etc. (given my wife, kids, parents etc. ... I think this is an unlikely scenario), here's my reply. I do love them all. However, the joy of being in God's presence for all eternity would be overwhelming and, hence, I'm not sure it wouldn't be offset. As for me being a cold-hearted jerk, I would respectfully disagree. But you're certainly welcome to your own opinion.
You are wise person k, amongst many fools.
What Christians need to ask is "Why would God need 24 hours to create anything?" All He had to do was speak it into existence and it would have been there. Instead of 6 days everything could have been created instataneously if God chose to do it that way. I am one that believes those "6 days" actually represent millions of years to us. Time has no meaning for God, but He knows it does for us. Instead of having Moses write, "In the first millions of years God created the earth, plants, water, etc" he had Moses use the word "day" instead. Dinosaurs could have been roaming the Earth before He made Adam and Eve and when they got kicked out of the Garden of Eden He could have killed most of them off. Except for the Loch Ness monster, of course. :)
As we try to track time backwards through the Bible we in fact encounter a paradox with our time clocks. The most fundamental method of keeping time is by movement of heavenly bodies. By the rising and setting of the sun we keep track of days. By the movent of the moon we track and predict the arrival and departure of the seasons and years. It is by the movement and orbits of these two heavenly bodies that the measurement of a 24 hour day has been devised. Then we use that period to calibrate our Timex. But the Timex nor the cesium beam clock is the baseline time measurement tools. The heavenly bodies and their movement is the baseline.
So here is the paradox. For the first four days of devine creation the Sun and Moon did not exist. They were in fact created on the fourth day. And at the end of the fourth day GOD observed that his work was good. This means that the first four days of creation has no 24 hour reference.
In my opinion it really isn't a paradox. I just used that as an attention getter. But it does reveal how both science and the Bible can be correct. The first 4 days of creation may have been billions of years long each. That is years as we now measure the lengths of years. That wound not violate the scientific theories nor the devine creation as described in the Holy Bible.
The ORDER of creation completely violates the evidence. Genesis is incompatible with science. No amount of selective reading or mental gymnastics changes that.
Wow, this is a reasonable, intelligent comment! Thanks!
Douglas wrote, " The first 4 days of creation may have been billions of years long each. That is years as we now measure the lengths of years. That wound not violate the scientific theories nor the devine creation as described in the Holy Bible."
Cool. Oh...Wait. So your 2nd and 3rd days were actually epochs or eras lasting billions of years. So here is your huge problem – the temperature of the surface of the earth is a result of the sun providing heat energy. Your god claims that on day 2 he created liquid water on the surface of the earth. This means that for billions of years there was liquid water on the surface of the earth, with no heat source to keep it liquid. And your god claims he made terrestrial vegetation on day 3. So plants existed on the surface of the earth for billions of years, with no heat source, or photon source to drive photosynthesis.
Your goal now should be to provide the scientific evidence that this happened.
Go read your Bible. It says: and the evening and morning were the first day, second day, etc. Do you not understand that when you believe these times were billions of years, it destroys the whole narrative. Why not trillions of years; why not milliseconds; why not nanoseconds. If you say a day could be some other time reference, then why read the narrative at all? It makes no sense to ascribe other time references to the "day" of the Genesis account. Science is full of assumptions, one being the universe is billions of years old. This time reference is only an assumption, not something that has been measured by some repeatable process. Carbon-14 is only good out to about 10,000 years, and the analysis method is fraught with error. Do some research on radiometric dating methods and you'll see they all have issues...
Thank you Pat Robertson. I'm beginning to think I can have some faith after all.
"Forty-six percent of Americans believe that God created humans in their present form at one point within the past 10,000 years" that is really freaking sad. Its called brainwashing....
If one diatribes fetal modernism, one is locked within a promiscuous choice: either make acceptable a proponent’s rationalism or declare the other has a ranking significance, but only if art is interchangeable with the narratively orientated and therefore unattainable. Many quatrain narratives concerning rationalism do so exist. Therefore, the subject does endure to be a relative diagnostic embolism.
Any number of discourses concerning sub-textual conceptualism exists. Thus, the premise of deconstructive rationalism suggests that society, paradoxically, has intrinsic meaning. Lycanthropic obscurity properties propose that unobstructed reality is fundamentally a legal fiction. Thusly, I do concur “the premise of the cultural paradigm of expression holds that art is capable of social comment, but only if the cultural paradigm of narrative is invalid; if that is not the case, truth is used to reinforce the status quo.”
You really like yourself don't you?
Genesis says In the beginning (Big bang?) God created the heavens and the earth.
(Implies Earth is the same age as the rest of the universe)
And the earth BECAME (Hebrew) without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep.
(Implies the earth was laid waste to and destroyed when Satan was cast out of Heaven to Earth)
And God said "Let there be light"
(God recreated the Earth and brought light right into the middle of the darkness of Satan)
(Implies that God re-created the Earth of pre-existing material as old a the universe itself)
Then God recreates the earth, all life forms and man in seven days, beasts produce "after their kind" NO-evolution
"The evening and the morning were the n-th day" day=1 revolution of Earth around axis.
God rests on the seventh day.
At some point man sins, but I don't see this as occurring the very first day Adam and Eve were created, but it could not have been a huge amount of time either as death did not exist and no animals died during this time. If it were millions of years with no animal death we would be up to our eyeballs in bugs and other animals.
Adam and Eve sin, death and aging start.
Adam and Eve have children, but die in 1000 years or less have several hundred children, as do their offspring this
starts the 6,000 year clock recorded by Usher, but he may not have been 100% right in his calculations.
Flood of Noah, resets human and animal populations, Animal life starts over, life of man drops to under 400 years, by time of Abraham was about 120 years. Flood messes up geological patterns leading to inaccurate strata record.
So their are numerous places where you add years and still be consistent with Biblical record.
Universe magically pops out of explosion, cause unknown. At some time life begins from non-life even though this has never been observed in modern times and indeed spontaneous generation was disproved in 1700-1800's as silly, but
we have to have life somehow so evolutionists take leap of blind faith here. First critter goes around a bit and dies without producing offspring, because it has not evolved into sophisticated enough form to reproduce. More time passes until a life form magically appears that CAN reproduce, but is unable to pass the genes for reproduction to IT's offspring, more time passes until a creature develops that can eat, and reproduce and pass reproduction to its offspring, which die because a stray cosmic ray killed them, rinse lather repeat ad nauseum. This process SHOULD take googols of years to occur, but modern science has trapped itself into a flawed model that the universe is a mere 14.5 Billion years old, (It was 3 billion when I was a kid...) Won't work the mathematics of evolution will not support such a young universe.....
First, the Theory of Evolution is not a theory about how the universe began or how life began. It's a theory about how the diversity of life arose over time.
Second, your understanding of the theory is on the level of my 5-year-old niece.
Intresting that the building blocks of life, RNA, have been found in space around a young star, that may or may not produce planets with these building blocks already in existance, then over time, who knows?
Your argument against Creationism is that life "magically sprang out of nowhere." But you don't have any problem with God "magically springing out of nowhere."
Bill, evolution DOES NOT in any way state that the "Universe magically pops out of explosion, cause unknown." Nor does it attempt to explain the origin of life itself. Read Darwin and you'll see, neither of these issues are in there.
What evolution DOES explain is where all the different species come from and how and why the are here. How apes evolved into humans, how horses evolved into giraffes, and why there are no koala bears or kangaroos in North America, etc.
Creationism explanation is similar to Force= brainpower + poop + burp + fart and not Force= mass x acceleration as Issac Newton proved in the 1600's. if when some idiot was a kid and the scientists said the earth was about 3 billion years old, and now they say is about 4,5 billion years old, simply that means that as part of evolution we, regular human beings, have been innovating and yes :creating" new technologies to measure many things (telecopies, nano processors) and consequently explaining also those things. By the way, Obama was, Thank God, re-elected. My God is part of some thing cosmic, benevolent and not creapy stupid like tea baggers.
I must say that I doubt that my reply will open your eyes at all, but I still feel compelled to try.
Your comments are glaringly inconsistent. You hold up the bible as the ultimate truth although there is not a shred of evidence, and you belittle evolution in the face of mountains of evidence. That fact by itself is quite disturbing. What it means is, you do not have the capability to adjust your view based on real, measurable, tangible objects. It's as if you look at the sky and declare that it is green when it is obviously blue.
Science does not claim that evolution explains the origins of life. It does explain with great accuracy the diversity of life. Science does not claim to know how life began, at this point it is a mystery. Is it not acceptable to say "I don't know", when you really don't know? Is it acceptable to claim to know the truth when you really don't know?
I'm not asking you to immediately disregard your life long faith, I know how hard that is.. What I am asking is that you stop to think about what exactly it is that you believe. Do you really believe the bible literally? Are you really going to pick up a rock and throw it at a child's head until they die because they disrespected their parents? Are you really going to execute a person for working on sunday? Do you really believe it literally?
I'm not saying god does or doesn't exist. I think the god of the bible is extremely unlikely but I can't say for certain either way.
"If you fight science, you are going to lose your children, and I believe in telling them the way it was", it sounds like science is starting to trump the bible. Maybe Christians will have to stop believing crap and start helping their fellow man like they're supposed to.
Evolution is what dumb people believe... it is having blind faith in Darwin's book.. a man who lived without internet, indoor plumbing, computers etc... and he told us where we came from, when we know the he knew nothing about DNA and how complicated it is for it to come together by chance. The blind follow the blind.
Science does not require faith, in fact it is just the opposite. We require proof. It is the absence of proof that inspires faith.
It's funny to think that anything was possible before the internet. Probably explains why some ancient Arabs decided to write a crazy book describing the creation of the Earth.
DNA actually isnt that hard to form, its RNA thats the tricky one. Once you figure that you can connect two helixes. But I doubt you know anything about this. Did you know the ancient greeks theorized about the atomic world thousands of years before the microscope? I wonder how that is....IMAGINATION and REASON. The same tools Darwin used to correctly understand the basics of evolution.
Yes, it is so much smarter to believe that everything magically came about through the efforts of an iinvisible superbeing.
My pink unicorn is praying that you get a clue.
It's exceptionally entertaining that you, of all people, call others "dumb". LOL!!!!!!
I am sorry, but the whole "Science requires proof" argument died when you allowed politicians to guide "science" for political gain. i.e. global warming..followed by 2 record cold seasons..renamed to climate change...followed by two historically average seasons...all backed up by temperature measurements made 100 years prior.
@kckaaos you understand nothing. the phrase was changed because it was confusing to people. Global warming affects the climate as a whole, creating greater extremes between periods of hot and cold. See the record heat the last two summers across the entire country? 100 in nyc and chicago doesnt sound like global warming? lol.
babbo natale: "Evolution is what dumb people believe... it is having blind faith in Darwin's book.. a man who lived without internet, indoor plumbing, computers etc... and he told us where we came from, when we know the he knew nothing about DNA and how complicated it is for it to come together by chance. The blind follow the blind."
...coming from a person who obviously doesn't understand the premise behind many of the scientific accomplishments since Darwin's day that allow us all to live in comfort and to live a very long life. This, coming from a person who doesn't understand why it is we need a new flu shot every year or how vaccines work, and appears to lack the curiosity to consider the peculiar cruelties of nature that include such things as bot flies, hyperparasitoid wasps, ebola, and vampire bats.
Right. Just the blind leading the blind. That's how modern medicine works; it's just a miracle that researchers make things work, right? Who needs years of training.
There is no 'blind faith' in Darwin's book (have you read it...?). There's faith in the very simple premise of natural selection (a concept that A.R. Wallace independently arrived at through his own research, to Darwin's chagrin...). If you'd been paying attention or actually tried to educate yourself, you would know that even within the context of this 'simple' premise, there is a heck of a lot of discourse and disagreement.
Evolution is proven science. No belief is necessary.
If you want to disbelieve reality, that is your business. But if you do, you are leading a delusional life.
Tu sei un stupido, idiota, facista inutile. Natale e la nascitta de un Salvatore dei Uomini (ed anche le Donne) in questo planeta, ma non spiega la nascitta della Terra, per tanto tu sei una persona senza cervello.
Santa Claus Sicillian, did you understand how stupid you are? Stop eating too much pasta, as a Mezzogiorno oriundo is better to understand science, math, chemistry, physics and so forth.
Da un paesano mezzo Italiano mezzo Austriacco
Ciao, Ci parliamo
So 46% of Americans have been, and continue to be, stupid. And as the saying goes, you can't fix stupid. What more proof do you need?
Religious people don't require proof.
...and approximately 46% of the population are Republicans. interesting...
Interesting that the poll numbers are the same now (46%, or 1 of every 2) as they were 30 years ago – because it's consistent with Scripture where it says that at the end 1 of every 2 will be taken to Heaven for their faith – we must be closer to the end than we think...
The end of religion would be quite nice.
Isn't it funny how "the end times" are always going to be within the believer's lifetime?
Because they are special, and so god decided it would be when they were living.
Sheesh, talk about arrogance and self-delusion!
(oh, and fairy tales too)
That's just what Harold Camping said.
Yes, because the Bible was clearly talking about 1 in 2 Americans, or at least because only Americans matter.
46% of Americans does not equal 1 in 2 people, believe it or not. Even if the Bible was written by God, rather than by self-interested political elites like it was, you would still be incorrect.
Uh oh, slippery slope here Pat.
Once you start accepting "facts" as real, the religious house of cards falls apart.
This man is quite the enigma. On one hand, He holds up God's word as the ultimate authority, the Word that begins with the beginning: the creation of the heavens and earth. Then, casting all logic aside, confidently states that the dinosaurs were before the Bible. This man should be ignored by Christian and non-Christian alike. Or, used as an example of everything thats wrong with Christianity today. I'm surprised he even garners this much attention from either side.
What is known is his father was a PUblic Servant that didn't escape.
Pat Robertson is correct about young earth creationists, but he may not fully understand why he is correct. In the 'Puzzle Keeper book and in the Puzzle Keeper blogspot. You will discover that Genesis 1 is telling the real story of creation and it agrees with all the sciences. The question we all have to ask ourselves is how did the ancient Hebrews know the history of creation and the 13.7 billion years of the evalution of our universe. If you go to the blog start from the very first blog to the most recent. It is written in chronological order
Are you still here promoting that clearly false, nonsense blog? Wouldn't you catch more morons fishing on the FoxNews comments section?
13.7 billion years of the evaluation of the universe? What the heck is evaluation? Did you mean evolution? Let's see. I'm guessing: 13.7 billion years divided by 6 days. Is that what's explained in your blog?
Those who believe in creationism, frankly, are stupid or ignorant. The truth hurts....but honesty is more important than being kind to those who are determined to live in the dark ages.
I am embarrassed for my country that those of us who believe in evolution are still just a minority here....whereas in the EU and Canada evolutionists are a clear, powerful majority.
Once again, my fellow countrymen have shamed me. As they've done on resisting a climate change law...and on denying gays and women their natural right to equal rights (for gays via marriage...and for women via reproductive rights).
You think gubmint should be in charge of science? What kind of a fruit are you?
Hey smart guy, 100% – 47% = 53%. I'm not understanding your thinking creationism is the majority. You need to explain to me how 47% is a majority...
Pat Robertson supports the principle that a man must be inspired of the Lord to interpret the Bible. Such inspired men are prophets.
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.