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
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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. donner

    All real Christians know the earth is 375 years old.

    December 1, 2012 at 11:51 am |
  2. drysonbennington

    Defeating War – A Creation of Death and the Leviathan and the Leviathan's master.Being a Partiotic American I have to slam those slamming Israel for their expansion here in America for the simple if we look at our American history America did the same to the American Indians that Israel is comptemplating on doing in Gaza.
    How many deaths on all sides occured because of the goal of the early American colonies expanding into the uknown wilderness?
    So those slamming Israel need to check their vocal Mozart's at the door.
    The ONLY REAL SOLUTION to the overcrowding of areas like Gaza that does not result in war or death occuring is the colonization of planetary bodies like the Moon and Mercury both of which have more than ample supplies of water to create habitats for humans.
    Everyone says such a goal is too hard, that it costs so much, but would rather instead waste TRILLIONS of dollars finding ways to simply kill each other when those trillions of dollars spent on killing could be spent on finding ways to colonize the Moon and Mercury.
    Which process is more excellent?
    Spending money on trying to find ways to kill each other thus causing even larger widespread Death and destruction because is it far simpler to appease Death and kill and destroy and then build on the same ground the same process over and over again with no real progress or evolution but merely adding to the links of Deaths chain that keep us all chained inside of his deep and dismal dungeon.
    or is....
    Developing ways to colonize the Moon and Mercury where humans can expand too cost to much and take to much thinking and hardwork to accomplish the feat of building on both planets? Has humanity been fooled so much by Death and Death's constructs that they have forgotten their first evolutionary rule of survival that has been passed on up through the centuries of human existance? That number one evolutionary rule of survival is "When Death is at your doorstep and has chained you to the walls without seeing the light of Creation or that which can be created then the human must fight against Death and invent new ways of defeating Death and his minions."
    Early man defeated Death many times over by evolving and creating humanity into the modern day society that we are. But as usual Death seems to have blocked humanity in this time with large economic burdens and constant war over lands that are trivial to begin with. Wars and strife that continue to keep humanity chained to Deaths walls while Death remains very powerful and Creation begins to wax and wane in the mind of humans.
    The first part of any religious textbook on Earth always discusses the Beginning or Creation thus making this first rule for all humans. Create new places to live including off world on other planets so that Creation will be remembered by humans so that humans will experience Creation and all that Creation has to offer. To think and do otherwise to worship Death and his master the deepest and darkest one of all, the Leviathan.
    So where are the Genesites, or those who are of Creation and by Creation, to lead humanity off world to build and colonize on the Moon and Mercury?
    Are you a Genesite or are you part of Death's March across the Universe enslaving life and that which has been created for the simple loathing that because like Death itself who cannot create but only destroy that you loathe all those who can create and do create in such a manner because like your master your want all to worship you giving you power over all instead of empowering humanity to have power over Death?
    Humans are kept so busy with the work of Death here on planet Earth on a daily basis that they are constantly made to forget about their freedom that is just there over the horizon on the Moon and Mercury.

    December 1, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • lol??

      Ralph, “To the moon Alice!”.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  3. estaban

    Creationists are cretins. They are either mentally incapable of grasping complexities and simple scientific evidence (which we should treat with pity) or they are willfully ignorant, usually arrogantly so (which we should treat with absolute contempt). The good news is that they are going the way of the dinosaur themselves, and their museum to "Creation" in Kentucky, or whatever benighted state houses it, would make a wonderful zoo for the survivors, where they could be put on exhibit as anthropological curiosities.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • lol??


      December 1, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Kenny

      You probably called every teacher who ever corrected you a "hater" too, right?

      December 1, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  4. Mac

    GOD /BIBLE is the biggest lie PERIOD!!!

    December 1, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • John A

      Ask that again Mac in 100 years. Both God and the Bible will be read & followed and doing just fine.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Ms Chris

      John A says:
      December 1, 2012 at 10:36 am
      Ask that again Mac in 100 years. Both God and the Bible will be read & followed and doing just fine.
      So will Moby Dick!

      December 1, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Smack

      The difference will be that people will still take Moby Dick as a serious peace of interesting literature while the Bible slowly becomes fodder for comedians as it is today.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • John A

      The final word over mankind, while everyone’s long gone.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • PaulB

      John A
      Except that, by that time, most Christians will be completely OK with evolution, same se x marriage, and maybe even abortion; and they'll be able to cite verses to support their position just like the Christians who oppose these things can today. If we know one thing about the Bible it's that its cryptic enough to be used to support anything.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Ms. Chris

      But what about the musing of one intelligent "Moby Schtick?"

      December 1, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  5. jebgohome

    Old earth creationist are growing in number. Theologically, it allows for a prior civilization that lives vicariously through our current civilization invisibly through temptation. The Word talks about it in Jer 4 & 2 Peter 3. "WHO told thee that thou [wast] naked?" Rhetorical question: who is the WHO?

    December 1, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • End Religion

      Jeb, go home.

      December 1, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  6. lol??

    For Christians who are mesmerized by the entertainers:"Hsa 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children"......... It happened in the physical and is happening now in the spiritual.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:40 am |
  7. Jack Nelson

    Science definately has its place in our world. It's good for headache pills and coffee makers, but it can't tell what happened three weeks ago with complete accuracy, let alone tell us the origin of mankind. Creationism on the other hand agrees with what we witness today, and that is "every seed after it's own kind". Of course if my dog ever has a litter of kittens I may change my mind.

    December 1, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • jason

      wow , people really are that dumb . get an education please

      December 1, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • John A

      Good one Jack.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • .

      I can say,with complete accuracy,that three weeks ago the evangelical backed,science deniers got their butts kicked in an American election.This I know.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Smack

      Jack, if you got your DNA tested you would find that it partially matches Neanderthal DNA unless you are African. Like it or not, your descendants interbred with Neanderthals over 40,000 years ago and there is nothing you can do about it.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • lol??

      "descendants "? He must be a god unimpeded by time.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • PaulB

      Jack Nelson
      I guess you're wondering why we haven't found any mermaids or centaurs yet as well, or is it crocaducks? 🙂

      December 1, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • End Religion

      Every aspect of young earth creationism has been debunked, rube.

      December 1, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  8. 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

    Douglas Adams presents a more realistic story about how the Earth might have been created than does The Babble, no gods required.

    December 1, 2012 at 5:19 am |
  9. Dave

    13.7 billion years...just saying

    December 1, 2012 at 4:59 am |
    • John A

      Don't try to put a specific number, you are only embarrass yourself as this will change.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • End Religion

      of course it might change, my idiot brother, John! It would be highly ignorant to pick some random explanation/age and then stick with it throughout eternity no matter what evidence to the contrary presents itself. Why, that would end up with something like a really old book filled with lies about how the universe started/works.

      December 1, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  10. End Religion

    NASA finally announced! Mars rover found Quato and Terbidum ore!

    December 1, 2012 at 1:55 am |
  11. Johnny 5

    Welcome to the reality club Mr. Robertson. What took you so long?

    December 1, 2012 at 1:40 am |
  12. Reality

    Determine your own evolution for your $199 and a DNA swab:

    As per National Geographic's Genographic project:

    "Included in the markers we will test for is a subset that scientists have recently determined to be from our hominin cousins, Neanderthals and the newly discovered Denisovans, who split from our lineage around 500,000 years ago. As modern humans were first migrating out of Africa more than 60,000 years ago, Neanderthals and Denisovans were still alive and well in Eurasia. It seems that our ancestors met, leaving a small genetic trace of these ancient relatives in our DNA. With Geno 2.0, you will learn if you have any Neanderthal or Denisovan DNA in your genome."

    December 1, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • lol??

      Sounds like a marketing ploy. Why don't they pay us? It's for science.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:31 am |
  13. Mike - WA

    46% believe - give me a break!! I think that 46% go along with this nonsense in order to fit in with their neighbors or even more likely for business purposes. I have never seen a businessman that doens't claim to be religious. Why – because it is good for business,

    December 1, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • John A

      100% of Americans will die. Nobody has your back outside of God after that.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • End Religion

      Why would anyone need our back after death, I mean, aside from bacteria, insects and plants?

      December 1, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  14. Mike - WA

    "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.” What kind of hillbilly world are we living in. These corrupt sunday morning preachers are brainwashng the ignorant.

    December 1, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Athy

      The ignorant brainwash themselves. All the Sunday morning preachers do is give them a nudge. Anyone with an IQ over their shoe size is immune to brainwashing.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:39 am |
  15. Pedro

    Those who believe the earth was created in six 24 hour days are just as crazy as evolutionist

    December 1, 2012 at 12:05 am |
  16. Pedro

    The origin of life is from SOMETHING eternal or SOMEONE eternal. Based on the 'design' we see on this living earth, we were created.

    November 30, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      yo momma & yo poppy ?

      December 1, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Cal

      Why? And who "designed" this outside designer?

      December 1, 2012 at 12:21 am |
    • Athy

      Haven't you heard of the designer designer? And then, of course, there has to be a designer designer designer. And etc.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:42 am |
  17. donner

    Blasphemy!! Everybody knows the earth is 375 years old.

    November 30, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    too bad MArco Rubbio's head is still stuck in Pat Robertson's rear end 😉

    November 30, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
  19. roland

    Pat Robertson's case of Alzheimer's needs to be studied. He's actually becoming more lucid.

    November 30, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • lol??

      Dream on.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • joseph

      thats wright roland. and examine it twice by two different doctors

      November 30, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • joseph


      yeah you should dream on not roland.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • oscar

      That's was hysterical! nicely done. Thanks for the laugh.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • lol??

      I think the culture has had enough "lucid dreaming", especially after that Dreams From My Father, fiasco. You didn't have enough of swaggert and son, armstrong and son, Robert Schuller and son? Copycats.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • Lance Webster

      Before you make a judgement on Robertson's alzheimer's - or intelligence - don't rely on medicine or science. Those people make things up. Instead, look for a sign from God. If God decides Robertson is sane, lucid, does not have alzheimer's, and has a some reasonable degree of intelligence, he will send us a sign. I'm waiting. Still waiting. Still waiting.

      Still waiting.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
  20. joseph

    hey pedro where are you?

    November 30, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Pedro


      The gumdrop bridge proves design!

      December 1, 2012 at 1:08 am |
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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.