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.
The Bible does not say that God created the world in 7 days as we know them., and there are 2 differing accounts in Genesis.
It does not say [as in the KJV] In THE beginning, it says "b'rashis bouru" in beginning, or for a start, not "b'HA rashis" which would mean. in THEbegnning.. This is all Hebrew poetry, and has many levels of meaning, one main one is to show a difference between the Creator and created, the pagans worshipped the created.
Robertson is right, for once, even the Pope has recognized evolution, and Maimonides did so, and said it, hundreds of years ago.
Genesis? That's a recycled, revisioned version of Sumerian folklore written much earlier. The level of wilfull ignorance and dismissiveness of science in America just to cling to tradition is astounding to me..
Horus – Robert Jastrow forgot more science before his death than you'll ever know. And Jastrow was an atheist.
@coal – did you have a point? Or did you just want to attack my alleged lack of scientific comprehension?
@Coal – btw, Jastrow also claimed that supernatural forces were scientifically proven. Most Astrophysicists would agree that there are many things we do not understand, but they would not attribute them to supernatural forces simply because they can't be expained. Jastrow was no Carl Sagan or Neil Degrasse Tyson.
Only a fool would think we are smarter than anchient mankind. The Mayans created a calendar that is more accurate than an atomic clock. Egyptions has electicity, and Idians has flying machines. We are not so smart, we just think we are the smartest generation. The more we progress with our technology, the less we look around and observe. We will pay the price for that in the future and thousands of years from now achologists will find bits of a serving computer and put it together and be amazed that we were smarter than they thought we were. Mankind has a very diifficult time passing on knowledge, so we are doomed to repeat things over and over and over until we use up all the last resources this planet has to offer.
"Now we see how the astronomical evidence supports the biblical view of the origin of the world. The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same: the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy." – Robert Jastrow
"You never have design without a designer" – everytime i see the intricate and delicate designs of a snow flake i marvel at how hard god must work designing cutting out each and every snowflake.
He has a good pair of snow scissors and a lot of time on his hands
That's not any different than saying because a book shows design, the author must have hand-printed every copy.
Mike – every snowflake is different so they are not copies of each other.
I'm gonna take a break, go to you tube, and listen to "Apeman" by the KINKS :)
All tis here talk about monkies and gods and evolution! We are hairless apes, at best. Look at our society! The biggest and brightest of us take 95% for themselves, including those with "faith". Religion is a force of exclusion, not inclusion.
The power of belief is a powerful and scary thing. The same christians that will pray for you will cut your tires in the night and start a whispering campaign to get you fired if you express disbelief. Leave the fairy tales to children! Do not kill in the name of a god ypu cannot see.
If only it were slitting tires. Murder is something they like to use too. (BYW as for my name "Nieto" means grandson in Spanish)
You posted complete nonsense due to your ignorance of science. Reading anti-evolution blogs isn't educating you scientifically. Not one of your alternative ideas has even the tiniest shred of evidence to support them.
Undeniable proof... that even a broken clock can be right once in a while.
twice a day in fact. :-)
My head is about to explode as I find myself agreeing with Pat Roberson! The prevailing young earth explainations that God created the earth with the rich geological and fossil complexity are unreasonable arguements – a faked fossil record is a deception...is God a liar? And if God created a young earth in a complete and fully formed state he could have done so last Thursday. Your memories, your ancestors, Jesus, the Bible, could as easily be fabricated a week ago.
You either believe the Bible or don't. It's okay that you deny that the historical Jesus was Messiah and died for your sins. Christian believe the resurrection as a matter of faith not science. We also believe that God is capable of creating the world miraculously without scientific processes. Science is fine dealing with reality. It does a poor job of analyzing the unknowable.
Its not the Bible or science. I believe science will actually prove the Bible. Archbishop of Ireland James Ussher's assumptions were not facts and no where in the Bible does it say the Earth was created 6000 years ago. We don't really know if carbon dating is completly accurate based on the assumptions used. However, its well safe to assume the Earth is over 6000 years old.
At its most fundamental level, Christianity requires a belief that an all-knowing, all-powerful, immortal being created the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies 13,720,000,000 years ago (the age of the Universe) sat back and waited 10,000,000,000 years for the Earth to form, then waited another 3,720,000,000 years for human beings to gradually evolve, then, at some point gave them eternal life and sent its son to Earth to talk about sheep and goats in the Middle East.
While here, this divine visitor exhibits no knowledge of ANYTHING outside of the Iron Age Middle East, including the other continents, 99% of the human race, and the aforementioned galaxies.
Either that, or it all started 6,000 years ago with one man, one woman and a talking snake. Either way “oh come on” just doesn’t quite capture it.
Hmmm, that looks familiar.
YEp, looks like I am popular today. I guess there is no rule on the internet that one should cite sources......
Hey folks, apparently Colin wrote what I just posted. Hey Colin ... sorry man, not sure how many people copied and pasted it before I found it. Well done. I like your work.
Hey Phillip. I hope you enjoy your day.
Thanks for the best reply (and chuckle) to this religious nonsense I've read in a long time.
There is plenty of evidence that humans and dinosaurs lived together.
In fact, according to my sources, mankind domesticated several species of dinosaur.
"The Flintsones" is a docu.mentary series, right?
It is true that teabaggers believe that early automobiles really were foot powered.
I'm sure that @fred would agree!
Yabba dabba doo!
You are right... there is plenty of evidence that humans lived with dinosaurs... and in fact continue to live with dinosaurs today. The only thing is, the living dinosaurs today are called "birds".
Doc. For sure. They even served Brontobergers and ribs at the drive-in they went to. And Dino was a pet umm, dino.
This guy has already been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Why does the media keep reporting on his actions?
Actually, Pat once told a guy to leave his wife with Alzheimer's. Just divorce her and move on. What a prince!
Wow... it looks like a CNN moderator removed my post pointing to creationism in scripture. Way to be unbiased!
There are no mods, just an automatic filter that looks for certain letter combos. You can be paranoid instead if you want, though.
Plain and simple. You lie.
Preston, Tameth thy paranoia, ok? Check your post for these words-within-words.
Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters or some html tricks to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
co-on.....as in racc-oon, coc-oon, etc.
cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, sopho-more, etc.
ho-oters…as in sho-oters
ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
p-oon… as in sp-oon, lamp-oon, harp-oon
p-orn… as in p-ornography
pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
sm-ut…..as in transm-utation
sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, t-itle, ent-ity, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, salt-water, etc.
va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
There's another phrase that someone found, "wo-nderful us" (have no idea what sets that one off).
There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.
enjoy it while it lasts Christians. Another 10 or 20 generations and the human race will look on your God and Jesus the same way as we look on Zeus and Thor and Ra (and santa claus and the tooth fairy) today. What a giggle!
Now wait just a danged minute: you leave Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy out of this discussion. The Easter Bunny too! You'll hurt their feeling and they WON'T bring you presents! :)
Arrogance pays a price. God has always preserved a remnant. Whether 99.9% of the world is pagan or not..our duty is to spread the word of salvation, even to those who refuse to believe. But I suppose you are right, at some point God does say shake off your sandals and move on.
And on the seventh day god created nascar, for he knew that teabaggers like to watch shiny objects go around in circles.
Ahh, Palintwit. Thjey do that already. Run around in circles, that is. Just like their logic, circular. Hmm, there's a pattern there, yes?
This guy is still running loose?
We should round up the Robertsons, Crouches, Schullers, Bakker, Swaggarts, Phelps, Wildmons, Gantrys and anyone close to them and flush them down a symbolic toilet. Only then can we make some real progress on "Americanizing' the world.
prime number is on CRACK!!!
The existence of dinosaurs is not in dispute, it's the timeframe as well as whether humans evolved from them, or whether humans and dinosaurs lived on the earth at the same time. Some points to consider:
1. We don't know what an "old earth" looks like, as we have never found another planet that supports life that we can compare to. So to say our earth "looks" old is a fallacy.
2. Evolution theory is based on a set of assumptions, among those that abiogenesis occurred at some point; that life came from non-life. This directly contradicts the Law of Biogenesis. The idea of abiogenesis isn't even a working theory, because no one has ever provided evidence that life can come from something non-living.
3. The extinction of dinosaurs is based on the assumption that they all disappeared prior to humans, and that something catastrophic had to have happened to wipe them ALL out.
4. We have many dinosaur BONES, but relatively few intact SKELETONS. Many dinosaurs you see constructed in museums are best guesses in terms of their height and shape. Ideas about their diets are based on fossilized stomach contents and their teeth. Skin color, eye color, and any other skin attribute are entirely guesswork based on modern reptiles, because these attributes simply can not be determined from bones.
5. Radiocarbon dating is only accurate to about 5700 years, after that it becomes much less reliable, and only can be used on organic material. A dinosaur bone can not be accurately dated to so many millions of years, specifically because of the radioactive decay of the Carbon's isotope. Instead, scientists use other dating techniques on the non-organic rocks around where the bone was found.
6. Geological dating techniques are based on the assumption that the rate of decay is constant. Scientists have seen that rates of decay are NOT always constant in nature.
7. The general population believes most dinosaurs were giant T-Rexes and long brachiosaurs and humans couldn't possibly survive with Jurassic Park all around them. In fact, many dinosaur bones that have been found indicate strictly herbivores and on the smaller side...no more threatening than most mammals we have today.
Granted that Pat Robertson is already something of a fool, but his coming out against Creationism confirms his lack of faith and his ignorance in thinking that religion and science can't be compatible. Certain unproven scientific ideas are not compatible with Creationism, but more often than not, science proves unintentionally that there must be design and purpose to the universe and everything in it.
Here are some alternative ideas:
1. Dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time.
2. Ancient man did not evolve from apes and were not idiots, but were clever enough to discover fire and medicine from plant life around them.
3. Ancient man may have tamed some dinosaurs.
4. Ancient man may have hunted and eaten some dinosaurs (this is supported by many cave paintings that show people hunting what looks like dinosaurs).
5. Over time, through hunting as well as climate change, and migration to less hospitable areas, dinosaurs were simply hunted to extinction and the survivors couldn't survive the climate.
6. Not all dinosaurs are "dinosaurs". There are many stories and drawings even as late as the Middle Ages of winged serpents and (flying as well as, in China, harnessed to carts and commanded by people) dragons. Without the skin, a dragon would look like a dinosaur skeleton. Fire-breathing is not a problem, either. Consider the bombadier beetle that has two natural substances in separate pouches, which when attacked it squirts out of its backside, creating a natural napalm. All you need is a volatile substance and an ignition source. Imagine an animal with the same sort of pouches inside its mouth/throat, and two hard bones inside its mouth. It sprays the substances out, clicks the bones, and ignites the mixture...instant fire-breathing "dragon".
Do not be fooled by ignorance. Do not by mindless sheep following the idea that God must not exist because science can't prove it. Look at the natural universe, at its obvious design. You never have design without a designer.
Check out apologetics press dot org for rational discussions of creationism vs evolution theory, random chance vs design.
You have no idea what you're talking about and, obviously, are scientifically, factually and logically challenged.
Here's al alternative theory... My Gawd the Flying Spaghetti Monster created everything in the universe exactly as it stands a week ago last Thursday. All your memories of anything before a week ago last Thursday have been implanted by His Noodliness for your comfort and to give you a sense of continuity as we move forward in this brave new world.
As he created everything with the illusion of time we believe our measuring devices are reading everything as 13.7 billion years old, but in actuality it's all part of his plan which we call "The Grand Recipe".
you cannot prove it isn't true, so it must be true.
I SERIOUS BELIEVE I just became dumber by reading this. rc is, quite poossibly, the stupidest human being on the face of the Earth
Its about time someone had the guts to ignore science and stand up for the truths found in the flintstones show. Bravo rc
oh for Pete's sake. Almost nothing you said is true, and much of it is irrelevant.
1. strawman and irrelevant
2. logically flawed. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
3. irrelevant. And there is good evidence that something wiped them all out.
4. true, but irrelevant
5. false. Yes, there is error in radioactive dating and variability in decay rates. But this is why we triangulate using more than one type of dating. And an error of a few thousand years is trivial when we're talking about millions. The evidence of the earth's age is basically indisputable. Only kooks question it.
6. see 5.
It's not clear what you've demonstrated here other than a lack of knowledge and a lack of understanding about how arguments are made. Your "alternative ideas" have been almost entirely debunked by science–yes, the same science that makes your computer possible.
RC – to say all that and then say "Do not be fooled by ignorance". The irony there is positively overwhelming.
RC is completely wrong and what he says is contrary to evidence. Made stories to explain made up stories does not make them true. I am just amazed how people can believe this in the first place.
Wow. That is two minutes of my life I will never get back wasted on reading that drivel.
Jesus rode a dinosaur to school as a kid.
Wow. Just wow. If anybody has any doubts about how bad the eductaion system is in this country, just read this post by rc. In the history of blogging, in the entire English speaking World, never has a stupider comment ever been posted. Why you Christians get offended when people call you dumb, when this is what you produce, is beyond me.
Although you have done some research into the issue, the idea that man existed at the height of the "dinosaur age" is without any support in the fossil record. And carbon dating is used for man-made artifacts, for the exact reason you cite. However, your statement that rates of decay vary in nature is totally misleading... specifically, the decay rates of uranium-238, uranium-235 and potassium-40, each of which has a half-life of more than a million years, do not vary under anything but contrived, unnatural conditions. Nobody contests the mechanism of evolution, i.e. natural selection, and nobody contests that some kind of mass extinction of dinosaurs occurred (the reason is disputable). There has been full DNA sequencing of neanderthals, where are they in the bible? In any event, you can try to merge theology with science, but you'll always fail, and lose credibility in the process, as Pat has done. Science is the study of how, theology of why.
The theory of evolution applies as long as life exists and is independent of how life came to be. I've seen somewhere that's a bit like saying umbrellas don't work without a theory of meteorology. Abiogenesis happened that's all evolution needs.
btw the Miller-Urey experiment showed that life can come from something non-living although it is not accepted as the actual abiogenesis explanation.
I stopped reading at #5 to preserve brain cells. Stupidity like the original post is dangerous to other peoples sanity.
To RC. I find it funny that creationist like you go to great lengths to show how the scientific evidence and the conclusions based on them are wrong. Yet you spout out your alternatives with little or no evidence and expect the world to accept them just because you say so.
Does science answer all of the questions, no. Science keeps testing, learning new ways, correcting past conclusions (dare I say evolve). That is what the scientific process is all about.
Fred Flintstone tamed a dinosaur.
The 6000 years I have never believed for a bit. That doesn't make the Bible false. Archbishop of Ireland James Ussher didn't prove anything with his assumptions. I believe the anchient drawings that show some dinos with skin and anatomy that would would have been hard to figure out with just the bones. It wasn't till recently that we realized many of them had feathers. I believe for a period of time there were some dinos that survived the meteor impact and lived with Ancient man. I am sure they would have been hunted to extinsion.
rc's post is an excellent example of what happens when you purposefully choose to be ignorant about science, and instead get your "sciency" sounding information from the "Pastor Dave's" of the world. The problem witth this approach is that "Pastor Dave" is as big a scientific idiot as his minions.
I am not a believer and not a scientist. I'm an open minded human with a lot of curiosity about our world and the possibility of God. I read your sincere post with sincere attention, and I must tell you that, if you want to appear scientific, you must be logical. You come across as someone who will defend your ideas whether or not they make sense. Keep trying.
Luckily, Christianity and belief in THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY make no assumptions like your secular "science" must do. No assumptions have to be made to know an all-knowing omnipresent super-ghost creates universes and planets from nothing using his cool god magic! Come on, it's just common sense!
why would we take the word of bronze age goat herders over modern scientists utilizing all of today's technology?
Come on people! Be religious by all means but know that the Bible is not the word of God, it's a book of bronza age stories, the same as the Book of Mormon is a book of stories from a renowned con-man in the 1800s and Dianetics is a book from a 2nd rate sci fi writer in the 1950's.
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.