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. Charles E. Miller, BA, MA

    I am a Christian and a member of the United Methodist Church. I believe in Old Earth Creationism of which there are three types. There is Progressive Creationism, which does not accept evolution. There is the Gap Theory, a concept that also does not accept Darwin's Theory, and there is Theistic Evolution also known as BioLogos. I tend to accept Progressive Creationism. A professor at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. David Snoke, accepts this view also. I do not accept Young Earth Creationism, since it places human beings and dinosaurs together. That is impossible!

    June 11, 2013 at 7:44 am |
  2. Alfonzo Besong

    Most people will have some problem with allergies or allergic reactions at some point in their lives. Allergic reactions can range from mild and annoying to sudden and life-threatening. Most allergic reactions are mild, and home treatment can relieve many of the symptoms. An allergic reaction is more serious when severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) occurs, when allergies cause other problems (such as nosebleeds, ear problems, wheezing, or coughing), or when home treatment doesn't help.

    June 7, 2013 at 1:42 am |
  3. Science

    Update :

    See for yourself below.................The fairy in the sky did NOT create us !!!

    Monkey Math: Baboons Show Brain's Ability to Understand Numbers ..........E = mc2..............(U-Pb) numbers do not lie !

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    OR.........take a ride on a DINO.

    Fossil records are better to read than the nasty bible..................no god(s) required !

    Oldest? New 'Bone-Head' Dinosaur Hints at Higher Diversity of Small Dinosaurs

    May 7, 2013 — Scientists have named a new species of bone-headed dinosaur (pachycephalosaur) from Alberta, Canada. Acrotholus audeti (Ack-RHO-tho-LUS) was identified from both recently discovered and historically collected fossils. Approximately six feet long and weighing about 40 kilograms in life, the newly identified plant-eating dinosaur represents the oldest bone-headed dinosaur in North America, and possibly the world.


    May 8, 2013 at 7:29 am |
    • Science


      May 8, 2013 at 7:32 am |
  4. Science

    Free speech helps educate the masses................POLITICIANS too !

    Where do morals come from?

    By Kelly Murray, CNN


    Gravity is not up for debate ! ............E = mc2..........(U–Pb).................two math formulas..........that do not lie or sin !!!..........

    BY the way ...................Splat goes a fairy in the sky !...............bye bye tinker bell !

    Einstein's Gravity Theory Passes Toughest Test Yet

    Apr. 25, 2013 — A strange stellar pair nearly 7,000 light-years from Earth has provided physicists with a unique cosmic laboratory for studying the nature of gravity. The extremely strong gravity of a massive neutron star in orbit with a companion white dwarf star puts competing theories of gravity to a test more stringent than any available before


    Hey James Madison................religion has none it looks like.............with the comments on this blog.

    The Big question is ETHICS ! does religion have any ?

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    April 30, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |

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    Dinosaur Egg Study Supports Evolutionary Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs: How Troodon Likely Hatched Its Young


    And NO ANGELS the pope KICKED them OFF the TEAM last year !

    From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life


    the wrong path is Adam and Eve !

    Human Y Chromosome Much Older Than Previously Thought

    Mar. 4, 2013 — The discovery and analysis of an extremely rare African American Y chromosome pushes back the time of the most recent common ancestor for the Y chromosome lineage tree to 338,000 years ago. This time predates the age of the oldest known anatomically modern human fossils.


    No god(s) needed or required to graduate from public schools in the US

    Remember : Adam had to POKE himself hard with his OWN BONE to create Eve.

    No god(s) needed................... Old. DNA works..................also catches crooks !

    Ancient DNA Reveals Europe's Dynamic Genetic History

    Apr. 23, 2013 — Ancient DNA recovered from a series of skeletons in central Germany up to 7,500 years old has been used to reconstruct the first detailed genetic history of modern Europe.


    Ca-nabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®) – National Cancer Insti-tute


    Mar 21, 2013 – [1,2] These plant-derived compounds may be referred to as phytocannabinoids. ... have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors. ... In lung cancer cell lines, CBD upregulated ICAM-1, leading to ...

    Good stuff !

    The fact...............the earth is to old for this nonsemse ! Time to EVOLVE !

    Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

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    For what...................... ? Make sure to read what the pope said !

    Where do morals come from?

    By Kelly Murray, CNN


    Learning is fun with facts.......................... and facts work when teaching children.

    Atheist Prof. Peter Higgs: Stop calling Higgs boson the ‘God particle’

    Professor Peter Higgs said recently that there is no God and so people should stop referring to the theoretical partial that
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    Pope praises science, but insists God created world updated Thur October 28, 2010
    Stephen Hawking is wrong, Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday – God did create the universe. The pope didn't actually mention the world-famous scientist, who argues in a book published last month that the laws of physics show there is no need for a supreme... \



    Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says updated Tue May 17, 2011
    By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor The concept of heaven or any kind of afterlife is a "fairy story," famed British scientist Stephen Hawking said in a newspaper interview this week. "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when...


    April 7th, 2012

    08:32 PM ET

    The Jesus debate: Man vs. myth


    Make sure to read comments

    April 18, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |

    Breaking News

    NASA: Three planets found are some of best candidates so far for habitable worlds outside our solar system.


    NASA: Mars could have supported life

    Star Dust we are


    Holy Hallucinations 35


    The ORIGIN story is bullsh-it...............so is the bible............... nasty !

    From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life


    Scientists have unearthed the first direct signs of cheesemaking, at a site in Poland that dates back 7,500 years.

    Human Evolution


    BBC. Planet of the Apemen. Battle for Earth 1. Ho-mo Erectus


    BACKFILL on E =mc2.....

    Einstein letter, set for auction, shows scientist challenging idea of God, being 'chosen'

    By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

    Decades before atheist scientist and author Richard Dawkins called God a "delusion," one world-renowned physicist – Albert Einstein – was weighing in on faith matters with his own strong words.

    “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends,” Einstein wrote in German in a 1954 letter that will be auctioned on eBay later this month. "No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”


    May 4, 2013 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |

    Cheech & Chong's History of 420


    All cults...........creationists, ID believers and devil cults.................

    The fact...............the earth is to old ...........time to EVOLVE !.

    Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

    Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.


    Dover Trial Transcripts............................................. FACTS.

    Below are the complete transcripts from the Dover Trial. Thanks to our friends at the National Center for Science Education for helping us fill in the missing transcripts.


    Education works for children

    Earth From Space

    Detailed satellite images reveal the web of connections that sustain life on Earth. Aired February 13, 2013 on PBS

    Program Description

    "Earth From Space" is a groundbreaking two-hour special that reveals a spectacular new space-based vision of our planet. Produced in extensive consultation with NASA scientists, NOVA takes data from earth-observing satellites and transforms it into dazzling visual sequences, each one exposing the intricate and surprising web of forces that sustains life on earth. Viewers witness how dust blown from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon; how a vast submarine "waterfall" off Antarctica helps drive ocean currents around the world; and how the sun's heating up of the southern Atlantic gives birth to a colossally powerful hurricane. From the microscopic world of water molecules vaporizing over the ocean to the magnetic field that is bigger than Earth itself, the show reveals the astonishing beauty and complexity of our dynamic planet.


    February 16, 2013 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |


    May 5, 2013 at 9:25 am |
  5. Carolyn

    God is not consumed with TIME, to Him a DAY is like a thousand years, and a thousand YEARS is like a day ! ( 2 Pete 3:8 ). To say he created the heavens and earth in 6 literal days is absurd, because just as a building requires design and planning, so did God's PLANS ! The earth is more than a billion years old, and Man is less than 6000 years old . . . .5773 years according to the Jewish calendar ! There are scientists who believe in God, of which one was Robert Boyle, the father of chemistry. He had great faith in God and in the Bible. He was a HUMBLE man, with an insatiable desire to ind the truth, in all matters ! What he discoverd about the universe and the marvelous construction of living creatures convinced him that there MUST be a Designer and CREATOR ! He concluded that NO ONE who used his power of reason honestly, could fail to believe in God. Boyle did not think that Human reason alone was the way to true ENLIGHTMENT. He saw the need for some kind of revelation from God. That revelation he said was God's Word, the Bible ! He gave money to support the translation of the Bible into many languages . . . Native American, Irish, Arabic, Malay, and Turkish ! Since Boyle was a " lover of the truth ", he refused to financially support the publishing of SPURIOUS books, such as the non-biblical writings in the Apocrypha !

    April 6, 2013 at 1:08 am |
  6. Mark

    Pat Robertson's comment doesn't mean he's not a creationist. It means he's an Old-Earth creationist. Until 1960, most creationists accepted that the Earth was very old.

    April 4, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
    • Carolyn

      Pat Robertson says whatever he thinks his followers want to hear ! Jesus told the TRUTH, and was not about making money ! I think Pat Robertson is getting senile, so I hope he doesn't end up with Alzheimers, because he said it's okay to divorce a spouse, who has that disease,but Jesus said that ADULTERY is the only grounds for a divorce ! ( Matthew 19:2 – 9 ). If a person divorces, s(he) cannot marry until one of the dies ! ( 1 Corinthians 7:10, 11, 39 ). However, I agree with the apostle Paul's opinion ( in verse 40, of the same book ) ! Heehee. The book of Malachi 2:14 – 16, says that God hates a divorce ! So, why isn't Pat Robinson familiar with these IMPORTANT scriptures ? He is past RETIREMENT ! For real.

      April 6, 2013 at 1:19 am |
  7. hsbfpgwnsb

    ByEOQu cjsrwswuxgfn

    February 24, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
  8. joshmo

    Creator God is a potentially verifiable truth claim, in life or at least in death.
    Evolution, by its self-imposed time scale, is not a verifiable claim to scientific truth. Comparing the two claims, is utterly futile, unless you happen to be a publisher.

    January 21, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      Evolution is not only viable, it's proven. There are plenty of ways to get around the time scale challenge.

      April 4, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
  9. Al

    I’m not an expert on these things but here is my take on it. The word “Day” in the original biblical text of Genesis could be translated into many meanings such as: daylight, day, time, moment, or long era of time or a period of time. If you read it, it tells how God made the animals and man to dominate the beats of the field as hunters. Later in Genesis he made the Garden of Eden and had no one to till the soil. It states then He made Adam and Eve to live there. So animals and men were here before Adam and Eve. That explains the Neanderthal, dinosaurs and the like. When Cain was banished, was he not afraid of the “other people” who he said would surly kill him? Where did they come from? They were already here. Follow the timeline in Genesis before you tell me I am wrong. The word "day" has been mistranslated. Thats my 2 cents.

    January 21, 2013 at 9:02 am |
  10. Lois

    Mr. Robertson's family needs to help him retire away from the media.

    December 20, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Will


      Your family needs to take you to the doctor. You may be psychotic.

      January 10, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
  11. frank merrill

    My belief is that God's days exist in His realm, which is more than the mere three-dimensional one that we're aware of. I am not sure that "days" have a meaning to God that we can ever understand. I believe the Seven Days, but that they (from (OUR point of view) all run CONCURRENTLY...AND ETERNALLY. Why does anybody even believe that God-days are 24 hours long? Earth may be the only inhabited place in the Milky Way with 24-hour days. (Yes, I believe there are well-evolved life forms on other worlds.) Consider that :days" on our own Moon are nearly a month long there, the amount of time needed for The Moon to make one revolution around Earth. God's "days" cover the entire Universe, and His measurement of one day isn't going to be calibrated to Earth time out of all the possible choices. Days on Jupiter are very long from our perspective, etc.


    With His days being concurrent and eternal, the "First Day" is constantly happening, as new stars continue to be formed. (The first day was "Let there be Light," right?) The final day is constantly happening, as great works of art – such as The Grand Canyon, the Aurora Borealis/Australus, incredible creatures, the constellation Orion, etc. – exist, change, form, or are born.

    December 17, 2012 at 6:45 am |
    • Mirosal

      So tell me, WHY would a "god" create a universe anyway? For what purpose? A "god" doesn't need a physical universe, does it? So why do it to begin with?

      December 17, 2012 at 6:54 am |
    • Robert Leake

      ":days" on our own Moon are nearly a month long there, the amount of time needed for The Moon to make one revolution around Earth"

      A full revolution around Earth by the moon is a year, not a day. One full ROTATION on its AXIS is a day. Your time may be correct, but your logic is flawed as can be.


      Yes, I'm sure what God wanted was a scientific theory that gives merit to the idea He doesn't exist. Empirical evidence isn't the enemy of faith, but the current direction of this type of empirical data is certainly biased against faith.

      I did agree with your notion that God's time and perception of time is very different from our own. In spite of that fact, I disregarded your opinion due to your gross ignorance, inaccuracy, and stupidity.

      For everyone else, bring some real meat to the table if you're really going to argue this. There are points to be made for both sides (Creationism and evolution). For example, there is data out there that supports radiocarbon dating is tragically flawed and should not be considered reliable for determining the age of artifacts. Archaeopteryx was a fossil hoax which was at one time believed to support evolutionary theory and is still in current published biology texts for high school students. Somebody get at me with some real data or keep it silent.

      February 14, 2013 at 12:13 am |
      • Rich

        The Moon spins once on its axis in exactly the same amount of time that the Moon revolves around the Earth, or once every 29 days or so. That's why we only see one side of the moon. I don't think that's relevant to this discussion though. You don't age more quickly when you're on the moon.

        Question: Why do you think God is bound by our definition of a day?

        July 18, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • redzoa

      @Robert – The moon revolves around the Earth once every ~ 28 days. It rotates at the same frequency so that we always see the same side (something other moons in our solar system do as well). The Earth revolves around the sun once a year and rotates once every ~24 hrs. Radiocarbon dating is reliable and is validated via comparison with multiple other dating methods (together, providing significantly similar dates). Creationists are the only group who question its reliability based on misrepresentations of methodological constraints, e.g. pointing to isolated contamination reports, etc. Lastly, you appear to be confusing the multiple Archaeopteryx fossils with the unrelated "Archaeoraptor" forgery. The forgery was presented without peer-review in National Geographic and was quickly refuted as a forgery by actual paleontologists. Archaeopteryx, along with the well developed record of feathered dinosaurs and very early birds, provides a wonderful example of transitional features within extinct forms bridging those features present in extant forms, just as evolution predicts they should.

      February 14, 2013 at 1:32 am |
  12. joe lanyadoo

    earth was created on the tird day. the first two days were god days...so what's a god day?
    if one assume god wrote everything.....the hindu myth ithe only myth that defines a god day, claims it is a stupid 4.32 billion years...so combining the two stupid myths suggests earth was created 8.64 billio years..or ..2 god days. maybe god justsplit the info to confound it?
    and then he said: he created the sun...and he called it שמש (shemesh) if we replace eng we get CMC...then...Einsein said...MC2..no...maybe? the speed of light is 300 in km and the letter SHIN has the value of 300..no way...h2o = hoh..subsituting the Hebrew letter for water the letter מ we then get מימ ' water in Heb....brahma and Abraham are both married to Sara?

    god thought of the word – letter combination and then wrote DNA programs...and left it to rule over us...and the word was(and still is) god'. The DNA program was created to rule over us...
    Blessed be The Word blessed be Hashem, Blessed be his Name.

    December 16, 2012 at 7:28 am |
    • Lance

      Seriously? Impressed with the mental gymnastics to try to rationalize your belief. Doesn't it just make more sense to say that science and religion are two different things?

      December 16, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
  13. oldtimeadventures

    Does Pat Robertson still consider himself to be a Christian?

    December 15, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
  14. RLTJ's

    Religions that reject science are being left behind and are in danger of going extinct. In fact there is already along list of religious beliefs that had gone primitive thus extinct.

    December 15, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • Daniel Garcia

      Welcome to enlighten. The more we learn the more we understand God is not responsible for much of anything. Things happen, God has nothing to do with it. Don't plain him or condemn him.

      December 15, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
  15. RLTJ's

    I think the future is fusing religion and science. A religions that reject science is being left behind and are in danger of going extinct. In fact there is already along list of religious beliefs that had gone primitive thus extinct.

    People who will take only science but will reject the idea of an existence of God are called atheists.

    Science per se is not really atheism. Many scientists in themselves believe in God. To the outside world they say or conclude only based on proof.

    That there is no God is a statement of an atheist. A true scientist will rather keep mum. Because he has no proof that there is no God.

    December 15, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
  16. RLTJ's

    What is this, a meeting of ignoramus? Two children just found a bone of a mastodon, a mammal that got extinct 10,000 years ago. And we've got museums that hold fossils of creatures dating back millions of years ago. But that is nowhere in the beginning.

    A thing is there so something created it. That is old mankind. That is when God came into the picture.

    Matter cannot be created nor destroyed. That is modern man. The universe has always been there[cannot be created], no beginning, and no end [cannot be destroyed]. Matter just keeps on changing forms. If we limit to science then God does not exist.

    If we fit God in modern time, then, God is the creator of what cannot be created. It follows matter, and all the laws governing matter, is from him. I cant see any conflict.

    December 15, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
  17. Correctlycenter

    I'll believe God's account of creation and not the godless "intellectuals" who claim the earth is millions or billions of years old.I believe Mr. Robertson is a false prophet because he made some prophecies that NEVER came to pass. He needs to re-read all 66 books of God's word, and not lean on his own understanding, trust in God...

    December 15, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • RLTJ's

      I think you are confused. Old mankind had been groping in the dark so that God created bright minds to explain to mankind how exactly his universe has been and is being created. It is continuing. No hocus focus, just things clear, believable and understandable.

      December 15, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
  18. Galaxy

    Who would have thought Pat Robertson was so "enlightened". Now, does he also accept the Earth is billions of years old?

    I wish the article had more details....

    December 15, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • Will

      You've overturned the laws of physics and radiometric dating? So then nuclear power doesn't exist by your logic because it operates under the same laws of nuclear physics as radiometric decay.
      You should write your ideas down, submit them to a peer reviewed science journal and collect your Nobel Prize!

      January 10, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
  19. E101

    Scientists have unearthed the first direct signs of cheesemaking, at a site in Poland that dates back 7,500 years.

    December 12, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • tldnr

      A trick by Satan to confuse us and move us the from the word of the hippie, self hating jewish fellow whose message was delivered to Europe by Roman legions that slaughtered all who did not kneel and bow.

      December 15, 2012 at 6:38 am |
  20. Nietodarwin

    Mom and Dad, I can't get into college because I failed biology because you taught me that evolution is a lie, but the teacher says it IS the FOUNDATION OF MODERN BIOLOGY. I'm really screwed up because all the other student's make fun of me and call me "That FREAKY "CREATIONIST" KID. Why did you do this to me Mom and Dad??? Jesus WAS right about that, I should HATE my parents, just like it says in (Luke 14:26)

    December 11, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
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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.