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
[twitter-follow screen_name='DanMericaCNN']

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. CSX

    Pat, did not Adam not have a father?
    Pat, was not the star light seen once they were made? Sped up by tens of thousands of years.
    Your god cannot create in 6 days? He must be weak.

    December 2, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
  2. PRISM 1234

    When it is all said and done, nothing really matters other then what God says and whether our names are written in the Book of life or not. We human beings are susceptible to many false influences. Consequently, unless we take heed to God's revealed Word, and allow His Spirit to convey the meaning of His Word to us, we are lost and open to deception. Satan knows what is is doing, but the foolish people of this world don't know anything beyond what their impaired minds can grasp. And they are impaired becaue of blindness of their hearts toward God who is the Source of all wisdom and knowledge. This should not be so hard to understand to any reasonable person, but hearts and minds blinded by sin and rebellion toward God are cut off from the life of God, and any knowledge of Him. And since he is the author of all wisdom and udnerstnading, by willfuly rejecting Him, theuy become and remain FOOLS. And that's just the way it is, no variations of shades of gray!

    December 2, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Still idolizing Samuel Barber, Prissy? You DO know he was gay as a day in May, don't you?

      December 2, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheese makers

      That is quite the cult you have there.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • sam stone

      still foaming at the mouth, eh prissy?

      December 3, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • sam stone

      also, prissy, it is the impaired people who wrote, translated and edited the book you so joyfully insert deep in your rectum

      December 3, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • End Religion

      Personally, I was not aware May was gay. Thank you.

      December 3, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
  3. donner

    Here's the real crime. The House Republicans that sit on and chair the Science Committee all believe in creationism. They also believe that the imaginary voice in their heads is in charge of our destiny. Want to know why America is falling behind? Look no further than this gutless filth.

    December 2, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
  4. Chic

    Human life could not have existed for billions of years, and the Bible talks about God's relationship with Man from the beginning of time.
    Robertson- let us not get confused with inanimate things which have no direct bearing on the accounts given to Man in the Bible about his personal relationship with his creator.

    December 2, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • mike

      Zeus is God! Read the Illiad!

      December 2, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
  5. Believer

    So if a creationists uses imperical evidence, why is mainstream science so uninclusive to these men and women? Wouldn't you agree that if a scientist would question rock formations such as those in the Grand Canyon imperically,and other scientists tested the imperical evidence, wouldn't the results be legitimate?

    December 2, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      It depends on a whole host of factors which you are not providing.

      December 2, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Believer

      Wrong Moby, Creationism is considered pseudo-science, so they can just say that and not even look at the study. Where have you been? This is your science? LOL. The Bible says that if you want evidence that there is a God, look at nature. What are you missing?

      December 2, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • End Religion

      "Creationism is considered pseudo-science"

      Wrong. Creationism *is* pseudoscience.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      What I'm missing, Believer, is the specific details of the case. How can I know why a study was rejected if I don't even know what study or scientists or experiments you're talking about?

      A recent Nobel winner was caught fabricating his findings and he was stripped of his prize by guess who? Scientists who thought his data was fishy. If what you are claiming is true, then there's tens of thousands of scientists right now jumping all over the case because to whistleblow on such a landmark fvckup would make them instantly famous within the scientific community.

      So what are you hiding from. What study are you talking about and what scientists were involved? What peer-review boards covered up this young earth creationist evidence? Out with it.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • peridot2

      Believer, I am a believer, too. However, there is no empirical evidence for Creationism. I don't believe in the Biblical story of creation. Nevertheless, I believe in God.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Believer

      How about Neanderthal man? The jaws of the Neanderthal skull copies are illustrated in a way that imply an ape like jaw that protrudes. When these skulls were xrayed the man who xrayed them, Jack Cuzzo, noticed that the skull and the jaw actually fit together like a human jaw. The models that had been made were incorrect! He also dicovered many things that make me believe these Neanderthals are my ancestors. OK now I have given you an example, when will I see the review boards?

      December 2, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • End Religion

      Creationism is fraud upon fraud upon fraud. Learn more about Jack Cuozzo:

      December 2, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • Athy

      Peridot2, you're halfway there. Now take the next step and chuck mythology altogether.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Believer

      "Its absence on a radiograph published in 1958 must therefore be apparent, not real" Now scientists are saying things that are not there really are there? Read Cuzzo's book. Chris Stringer nowhere comes close to addresing the isues Cuzzo brings up. Not even close. Its a strawman attempt to get surface evolutionists to skip over the evidence.

      December 3, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • End Religion

      First, if you're going to crusade for him, do him the courtesy of spelling his name correctly. Then I may reconsider reading his book if you send me a free audio copy of its Cliff Notes.

      December 3, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
  6. PRISM 1234

    If man's intelligence is all he has to rely on, he is a beggar indeed!
    A wise 'Anonymous'

    December 2, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • sam stone

      still on your knees, begging for salvation, prisspot?

      December 3, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  7. End Religion

    lol i am trying to post a video but it's youtube shortcode has the word "arse" in it! lol...
    This video is a fellow refuting the diamond claim 5 years ago. His youtube page has the refutation cited. Video shortcode: T-o7ArSeSOY

    December 2, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • Believer

      I hope he talks about crystals: D. DeYoung, Thousands…Not Billions. "If the earth formed over four billion years ago, all helium should have escaped from zircons, yet the crystals are loaded with this element" "The atmosphere should be full of helium atoms, the byproducts of millions of years of radioisotope decay, but it isn’t.", ICR. And what about the oceans, they should all be salt by now, how does he explain that. You all go to college and they teach you to question everyone but them. LOL.

      December 2, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • End Religion

      Stop your ad hoc hypothesis. You asked a question, you got the answer, one you don't like, so you pile on more questions. I am not google. Creationism was refuted years ago. Go find the answers yourself. We can't spend our lifetimes answering every stupid question you have. That is what Google is for. Go waste your own time.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  8. Believer

    End Religion,

    Evolution has been refuted as well.(http://creation.com/refuting-evolution-index) What should we do now? lol

    December 2, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • End Religion

      What we do is learn what the word refuted means. That might be a good first step.

      December 2, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • trollbuster

      ok look its one of you. i figure misinformed willfully ignorant trolls would show up here.

      December 2, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  9. John P. Tarver

    Evolution as a means to species is racist nonsense, not science. Species occur rapidly following a mass extinction, the opposite of evolution.

    December 2, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • ME II

      First, there is nothing "racist" about evolution.
      Second, availability of new resources, like those freed up after other species die off, can be taken advantage of by new mutations and/or adaptattion, when previously, those resources would have been consumed or occupied by the other species.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • End Religion

      Being John P. Tarver as a means to intelligence is nonsense.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  10. Believer

    It is very important to remember that Jesus was conceived by Mary after the Holy Spirit overshadowed her. So how long did that take? Not long at all. Mary was found with child sometime soon afterward. "Oh you of little faith" would be out of context, but applicable.

    December 2, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • ME II


      December 2, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "It is very important to remember that Jesus was conceived by Mary after the Holy Spirit overshadowed her. "

      You spelled r@pe wrong.

      December 2, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • End Religion


      December 2, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • End Religion

      Believer, why was he named Jesus after god supposedly commanded/prophesied he would be named Immanuel?

      December 2, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Believer

      End religion, what does Immanuel mean? Why didn't they name him Prince of Peace? But to answer your question, the angel told them to call him Joshua. Jesus is the greek name for Joshua. Joshua means Savior. Savior for your sins, that is.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • End Religion

      Immanuel is a name. Jesus is a name. God commanded them to name him Immanuel and they didn't.

      December 2, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • peridot2

      That's in the New Testament. It has zip to do with the creation story in the Torah, which is the Old Testament.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • End Religion

      Peridot you didn't answer the question, you avoided it.

      December 2, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • I wonder

      End Religion
      "Immanuel is a name. Jesus is a name. God commanded them to name him Immanuel and they didn't."

      It's surprising that they didn't back-fill that story like they did with the other "fulfillments" - they really jumped the shark with the one about Jesus calling for those donkeys to ride into Jerusalem – "to fulfill the prophecy"!

      December 2, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
  11. PRISM 1234

    I have seen over and over again that this man's theology is tainted with self interest. I do not grab hold of NOTHING this man says as if it came from authority that comes from God. He needs to step down, get in his closet and get some dirty laundry out of it!

    December 2, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      All theology is self-indulgent.

      December 2, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      And you ar so full of self that you find no place in you to discern the true theology from the false, so you trash them all! It is a very miserable shape to be in!

      December 2, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Truth does not ask to be believed, it asks to be tested. Scientists do not join hands every Saturday or Sunday and sing…”Yes gravity is real! I know gravity is real! I will have Faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up, must come down, down, down! Amen!” If they did we would think they were pretty insecure about the concept.
      -Dan Barker

      December 2, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Believer

      Cheesemaker... Three types of theology. 1.non-biblical, self indulgent, 2.biblical, a la cart or pick and choose and 3. systematic scripture interprets scripture.

      December 2, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • lol??

      Cheesie, how 'bout something from Bob Barker, of Truth or Consequences fame? Something maybe along the lines of fighter pilot school. That would be far more exciting.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • End Religion

      rism you wouldn't know truth if you sat on its spiky goodness.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      If man's intelligence is all he has to rely on, he is a beggar indeed!
      A wise 'Anonymous'

      December 2, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • peridot2

      Religious Troll v Atheist Troll

      A fight between two who have zero chance of converting one another.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
  12. stormsun

    “If you fight science, you are going to lose your children, and I believe in telling them the way it was,” Robertson concluded. This might be the first intelligent thing I have ever heard attributed to Pat Robertson...bless his heart. Now, please explain how supernatural beliefs are aligned with anything supported by objective, scientific evidence? Supernatural stories of the religious variety are 100% the product of human-generated statements. Those who claim to believe in God do so based exclusively on what other MEN have told them, and with no other proof, evidence, or support. As a rational, secular humanist, on the other hand, I know that men LIE regularly and frequently when it serves their purposes and when they hope to gain money, power and control – which is what religion has been about since, oh, maybe 100,000 years ago or whenever language was first invented and the shaman discovered that scaring people and getting them to give him their food and women was easier than working. But then, I am just a man and you should absolutely question my words – like those of any other man. Bottom line: think for yourself, the advise the priests hate.

    December 2, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • lol??

      Thanks for the permission to think, boss. BTW, if "priests" are so successful why do you say they hate? You are ignoring the hate on these threads by the A&A's. Jesus is the Christian High Priest. He told us to not call anyone Rabbi or Father.

      December 2, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • k

      Think for yourself, you say. But all you're doing is regurgitating the ideas of people like Sartre, Camus (on your best days) and Dawkins and Hitchens (on your worst). So what makes you a free thinker? Lets hear something original.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • End Religion

      jesus was the drunk village idiot who occasionally managed a few coherent kind words.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  13. donner

    I'm still waiting for someone to explain to me how Obama, who is a Christian, lost the Christian vote to Romney, who is a cult member. Someone care to take this one on?

    December 2, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Because as with anything, it is all about the money.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Or about old white dudes sticking with another old white dude. . .

      December 2, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • stormsun

      All religions are cults.

      December 2, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • kendrick1

      I can ask a question and answer it, but you can't ask a question and answer it yourself (no credibility for you)!
      My question is: Why is it that when the borer mole digs a 12-15' deep hole he never leaves any dirt at the top of the hole?

      My answer: Because he starts at the bottom of the hole and digs upward!

      Your turn!

      December 2, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Athy

      So where does he put the dirt? Behind him? If that's true, he doesn't really leave a hole, does he?

      December 2, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
  14. donner

    True Christians know the earth is 221 years old.

    December 2, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "220....221,,,,whatever it takes"

      December 2, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  15. amjp

    Ok, let's forget about scientific explanations for a minute and turn to those people who REALLY know and understand the text of the Hebrew Bible - Orthodox Jews or, at the very least, Talmudic scholars. NO branch of Judaism accepts the Biblical text literally. There have been commentaries – first oral, than written – for more than 3000 years. The purpose of these discussions and commentaries – which continue to this day – is to try to examine and explain what the text actually is saying, especially since the same topics are treated differently in different books of the Hebrew Bible. Unlike the uneducated evangelicals (or most of them, exclude those like Jim Wallis), they know the languages of the text and acknowledge that many portions may not say what they seem to
    say superficially. This history makes discussions like this completely unnecessary and useless.

    December 2, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Which begs the question why would an all knowing god provide such a convoluted message that anyone can interpret falsely with equal vaidity?

      December 2, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • amjp

      Blessed: You miss the point. How would someone who is "only human" really know what God actually meant? And it certainly isn't an issue of a text "that anyone can interpret falsely with equal vaidity." That's ridiculous and not what has happened for thousands of years. What one person may suggest as an interpretation is continuously challenged and debated – in person or in text. It's more like, "well, what do you think of this?" The most astute and educated scholars (e.g., Rashi or Maimonides) have provided well reasoned arguments to support their positions. No one's arguments are accepted unconditionally (although there have been a few attempts to try that; Christianity may be one).

      December 2, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • amjp

      Incidentally, Maimonides was a physician as well as a Biblical scholar, and, for his time, a well respected scientist. In Judaism, there is no conflict between science and religion.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Moby Schtick


      God should know how to communicate better with imperfect beings that he made to think in a way he designed. How stupid to think that he can communicate the rules of mathematics and chemistry consistently but not his own will-–unless it is his will to be this confounding.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Without proof that their, or any, god exists, and that what they claim is the word of some god is actually true, any discussion about what a holy book means is merely the hacking over of the rules to the world's oldest fantasy role playing game – heavy emphasis on fantasy and game.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


      you said.

      "No one's arguments are accepted unconditionally (although there have been a few attempts to try that; Christianity may be one)."

      Here is my point that you missed. Arguments should never be accepeted unconditionally. It does not matter how reasoned the argumant is. There was a well reasoned argument for the apparent retrograde motion of the planets...which was wrong. The reason we know it was wrong is because it was falsifiable, as was the true motion of the planets, hence we were able to "prove" it. Why wouldn't god provide us the ability to "vet" the information? As is now there are many well reasoned arguments that contradict each other that can be equally supported.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • lol??

      stchick sayz, "..........imperfect beings that he made......" Show or give me the text for that. I want to look it up.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  16. Chewy

    I'm still stuck on "How did we go from nothing to the Big Bang"? and "who's to say the earth was rotating on its axis once every 24 hours when dinosaurs roamed the earth"?

    December 2, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "I'm still stuck on "How did we go from nothing to the Big Bang"?"

      Mankind is still stuck on that question, though there are some good answers starting to emerge. Even if it is never answered it does not justify the answer "god did it".

      December 2, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  17. niknak

    Hey fundies, its Sunday, the day you supposedly take off to get on your knees to pray to your sky fairy.
    Guess what?
    Ain't know one listening.
    You are wasting your time, and the material on the knees of your pants.
    Get off your knees.
    Stop wasting your time and money at your corporate store religion of choice.
    Start thinking for yourselves, and stop following a stone age myth.

    A mind is a terrible thing to lose, to religion.

    December 2, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Believer

      We don't believe you, obviously. If you don't understand why we rest in Jesus' good works, then ask us!

      December 2, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • End Religion

      Your jesus didn't exist.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  18. Eyegabalot

    As we are still in the seventh creative day, the sabbath day, Gen 2:3, it seems that the creative days are at least 6000 years in length. But that the creative days were towards the earth after its creation is estabished in Gen 1:1 The heavens and the earth were already created before the first creative day towards the earth.

    December 2, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • niknak


      Even when you fundies try to make some sense of your fairy tale, that too is a muddled pile of poo.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Yes, "god" is still on "his" "day" of rest (on vacation) and that is why there is not a trace of "him."

      December 2, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I can make stuff up too.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  19. Reality

    DNA testing shows the human evolutionary time line. Determine your own evolution for $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 2, 2012 at 10:18 am |
  20. lol??

    "PaulB sayz
    The Genesis 1 account has man and woman created at the same time, after the animals. The Genesis 2 account has Adam being created first, then the animals, and finally Eve being created out of Adam's rib. These are different stories, right?" Don't quit your day job. Running the clocks at the NFL is more involved than you think.

    December 2, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • lol??

      It's like this, PaulB. God knew the H saps memory power, as they aged, wouldn't be as good as Adam's was when he was created. So in a conciliatory gesture to your failing attention span and short term memory problems, He reminded you of the beast and fowl thing when telling us of Adam's naming fun.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • lol??

      One more thing PaulB, Adam did it for fun. Evolutionists demand payment and prestige. You know how those new kids on the block can bluster!

      December 2, 2012 at 9:32 am |
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About this blog

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.