Detail of ‘God creating the Sun, the Moon and the Stars’ by Jan Brueghel the Younger.

Is the Universe Only 6,000 years old? Young Earth Creationists Say Yes!

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Although most mainstream scientists and most of the developed world now accept the theory of evolution and the scientifically established age of Earth and the universe, there is still a group of people that resist the status quo and insist, based on a particular literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11 in the Hebrew Bible, that the universe is only 6,000 years old and was created in six literal days.  As of 2014, 42% of Americans believe that the universe was created about 10,000 years ago and that all life was created more or less in its present form at that time. This has, of course, been a common belief in Christian circles for most of the history of the faith, but the modern Young Earth Creationist movement has relatively recent origins in the Seventh Day Adventist movement. The prevalence of Young Earth Creationism in the United States is also related to the history of Christianity in the United States, from the founding of the Republic to the culture wars which have raged for the past few decades.

‘The Creation of Adam’ (c. 1511) by Michelangelo.

‘The Creation of Adam’ (c. 1511) by Michelangelo. ( Public Domain )

Guessing and Dating the Age of the Universe

For the first 1700 years of Christian history, belief in a literal six-day creation and a world that was a few thousand years old was widespread within Christendom. This is because, until the early Modern Period, there was no reason to think otherwise. The early Church Fathers and Medieval theologians did not know about radiometric dating or how rock layers formed, so a few thousand years was a reasonable guess for the age of the universe.

In 1650, the Anglican archbishop James Ussher calculated that the world was created around 4004 BC based on the genealogies recorded in the book of Genesis. In terms of what was known about human history and the history of the universe at the time, this was a perfectly reasonable date. It was compatible with the science of the day.

Portrait of James Ussher by Peter Lely.

Portrait of James Ussher by Peter Lely. ( Public Domain )

Problems with this interpretation began to arise in the 18th century, when scientists began to study geological formations and found that they had been laid down slowly over long periods of time rather than rapidly in a great flood as described in the book of Genesis. This concept is today referred to as deep time. Deep time was further popularized by Charles Lyell. By the early 19th century, almost all geologists had embraced deep time, including geologists who were professing Christians. These Christian geologists did not originally see belief in long ages as conflicting with the Bible.

Geological time spiral.

Geological time spiral. ( Public Domain )

Denial of Deep Time Emerges

Between 1910 and 1915, a group of conservative Evangelical Christians published The Fundamentals which laid out what they believed to be the fundamentals of the Protestant Christian faith. This launched the Fundamentalist movement. One thing that might surprise many people considering the modern connotations of the term “fundamentalist” is that the leaders of the Fundamentalist movement did not have a problem with evolution or deep time. One of the original Fundamentalists, Benjamin B. Warfield, a prominent conservative theologian of the day, even talked about how evolution could be the process used by God to create life.

As evolution became widely accepted in the 1870s, caricatures of Charles Darwin with an ape or monkey body symbolized evolution.

As evolution became widely accepted in the 1870s, caricatures of Charles Darwin with an ape or monkey body symbolized evolution. ( Public Domain )

It was not until the 1960s that denial of deep time and evolution became prevalent in Evangelical circles in the United States. If this is the case, then where did the Young Earth Creationist movement come from? Why did the position of many American Evangelicals shift so dramatically?

Modern Young Earth Creationists

Although most conservative Christians did not reject evolution or deep time in the early 20th century, there was one group that did, the Seventh Day Adventists (SDA). The Seventh Day Adventists are an unusual but nonetheless theologically orthodox sect of Christianity which was founded by the prophetess Ellen White in 1863. One of their more visible beliefs is that church services should be held on Saturday instead of Sunday. Ellen White had a series of visions which her followers took to be divinely inspired. Among these visions were visions of how the world was created. From her visions, she concluded that the universe was created only 6,000 years ago in six literal days and that all the rock layers and fossils within them were laid down in a global deluge based on the flood account recorded in Genesis 6-9.


The people who believe the Earth was created in 6 literal days ignore the etymology of the word day. Day comes from the PIE word *agh- meaning a span of time (think of phrases like 'back in my day'), and meant as much at the time of the Septuagint. Because of the nature of etymology, people did not realize this when they pinpointed the origin of the universe in the middle ages. Rita Louise in her book ET Chronicles correctly points out if you think of the 'in the beginning' part as 6 eras instead of 24 hour periods it matches closer to the modern origin theories starting with the Big Bang Theory through the time of the dinosaurs etc. all the way until when Adam and Eve show up.

Hi Bruce: thanks for that information - my intuition tells me you are spot on, in the supposition. I learned more from your brief comment than i did in reading this entire article.

I was about to question, with a rant and rave, the need for A-O dot net to even post an article like this. so thank you for helping me avoid that drama :)

Your comment reminded me that only through discussion and 'knowledge sharing' can a truth emerge which can validate a 'theory' - more than ranting and raving does anyways.

so, thanks Bruce - good comment

Rita's book did more to open my eyes about the likely truth about the origin of the universe and life on Earth than my entire high school and college tenure combined. She's really worth reading

The Hebrew word for "day" always refers to a 24-hour period in Genesis. No need to conclude otherwise for the Creation account.

As for "science" determining that the Earth is billions of years old, that is only wishful thinking on the part of the Darwinist; all sorts of assumptions are made in order to support the time spans that give Darwin's creation myth a chance at seeming possible.

No scientist was present to observe the Earth's formation or to verify the accuracy of radiometric dating. The Darwinist hides behind a curtain of argumentum ad verecundiam.

The Hebrew word for day is yom and can have a number of meanings, including a 24 hour period (just like the PIE words for day). If you realize the word Yom to mean age in the context of the first 6 days in Genesis, they correspond to the first 6 eras of the universe and ancient Earth according to modern theories. they also correspond to the mythology of most of the ancient cultures through out the world.

You really ought to read the book by Rita that I mentioned in another post. If you are open minded, she puts things in perspective.

ya, ok, I'll give you that one, but where in the Bible does it say that God made Earth in six days? Jesus never said it, which means it either isn't true or it isn't important. What's not to say that Genesis had multiple authors? The Pentateuch (Genesis - Deuteronomy) seems to have at least 4 authors according to Scholars. Honestly, I take Genesis 1 figuratively. Adam and Eve are mostly literal, but also represent mankind at the time (Adam and Eve were NOT the first humans). Then Cain, after killing abel, was afraid that anyone who found him would kill him (Adam and Eve killing Cain, their son?!?!?! I don't think so). So Cain left his parents and went out into the world and found a wife and built a city with the help of others. We can't assume Cain married his sister because it doesn't say that. The Flood is literal but not global, and is regional. The Tower of Babel is figurative to explain the origin of languages even though the previous chapter says Noah's sons went into their own countries with THEIR own language. Chapter 10 ends with that but Genesis 11 opens with saying there are only 1 language.

Genesis 10:31-32 "31 These were the sons of Shem, according to their families, according to their languages, in their lands, according to their nations.32 These were the families of the sons of Noah, according to their generations, in their nations; and from these the nations were divided on the earth after the flood."

Genesis 11:1 " Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there."

How can there be one language after Noah's sons and their descendants were already scattered with multiple languages?

Plants were created on the third day. The sun on the fourth day. If a day was a significantly longer period of time than a day as we know it, how would the plants have survived?

According to my Bible, he created light (i.e. the sun) on the 2nd day, not the 4th. nice try.

I don't know what Bible you read but the sun, the moon, the stars, were created on the 4th day. The 2nd day God divided the waters and made the firmament,. Nice try though.

Sorry. but teh Hebrew Word for day is the word YOWM. It can mean a period of time of indefinite period as you said. But in Genesis 1 it is clearly defined that the day was an evening and a morning . The Bible is very clear it is 6 24 hour days.

Also if the days weere eras instead of days, most life would not have survived. There is a symbiosis between plants and some living creatures. Flowers will not survive without bees to pollinate them and you cannot have plants living for an undefined era without bees .

Very nice reply, Ron.

perhaps you should reread the passges in Genesis, it clearly states, “and the evening and the morning were the first day...second day...third day… fourth day… fifth day… sixth day… and then God rested on the seventh day” 


the Hebrew word for day in Genesis 1 is yom which can mean an unspecified time. owever god seemed to foreknow the problems arising so He made sure the world would know it was 24 hour days when He said after each creative time:

"There was an evening and a morning - a first yom, a second yom.....

Caleb, 97% of Christian seminaries have been teaching Old Earth for decades...If you factor in class size I doubt 1% of seminary grads taught Young Earth would be too low. So, why this stubborn, visceral belief in young earth?

Well, it may actually be vascular, not in fully preserved vascular components of freshly discovered t-rex fossils...if you can even call them fossils. The scientific word for them is NON-PERMINERALIZED, fossils that have'nt been fossilized! Google t-rex soft tissue and you'll discover that their '92 find was kept quiet until 2005, and, the Hell Creek formation smells of CADAVERS....I wonder why? Strange, too, why the famous Dino Jack Horner is in no hurry to C14 date these finds. They might turn out to be THOUSANDS of years old and not scads of non-permineralized fossils have already been scientifically proven to be.

So, you're absolutely correct in concluding religious fervor has gotten us to where we are today. Too bad the mullahs of misinformation, the ones hiding behind their sacred creeds, are those tenured scientists who fear honest debate, precise definitions, and following the data wherever it leads.

William Bradshaw's picture

Most people either believe in creation or evolution but not both. I am the first person in the world to prove that BOTH creation and evolution are correct. Remember that God, in Sanskrit, means “one to whom you pay tribute”. The God from the Bible is only a tetraploid human, a giant. Their cranial capacity is almost twice that of us  normal diploid humans. They are an advanced race of humans that have been around for about 12,000 years and we share a common ancestor. My book explains EVERYTHING using science. 

Creation of humans (only some) occurred around 7,800 years ago in a breeding project by the tetraploid humans. Many humans are actually genetically modified such that a more sedate breed would take over the planet. This is so that the tetraploid humans could control us more easily without fear of being overwhelmed by violent humans. The existence of RH- humans is PROOF that some humans are genetically modified. Those are the ones that have divine right to rule while they created other lower status humans as well.

These Hidden Ones or Serpent People (just the name of their clan) want us to be like bonobos rather than chimpanzees. They created humans as well as many other plant species by increasing the ploidy level (e.g. wheat, sequoia trees) and thus they consider themselves the CREATOR. They are known liars as evidenced by the Sumerian Kings List and their refusal to tell us the truth. Their plan is secret and their agenda is the eventual enslavement and/or eradication of mankind.

The TETRAPLOID HUMANS wrote the Bible and they occupied the roles of God, Satan and Lucifer. They were the angels and demons of old. All of the PROOF is in my book, Secrets of the Pink Kush.

William H. Bradhaw, Dipl. T, CPIM


Pink Kush? Isnt that a flavor of marijuana? Satan has many names and variations for his game and the desired outcome is always the same. Dont be deceived by the father of lies.

Who / what were the Nephilim?

In all probability , the nephilim were the hybrid race that was the result of angels marrying human women and producing the men of renown as Genesis 6 says.

This is what brought the worldwide flood about.

Sheeple will be sheeple. Man created god, not the other way around.

So a single celled organism, over the course of billions of years, evolved into a poop eating ape that humped everything, into man as his is today? Your family, maybe, not mine!

God's time is the best time, as a Bach cantata, one of the best, says. There are among us theoretical physicists who hold the Buddhist beliefs that ultimately Maya, or illusion, not only governs all of our own actions, but that its activities extend to both historical time and physical time and distance, but nobody sane has ever suggested they are certain about the age of anything at all, beyond that which can be measured in our own historically documented period, attested to by film and by photographs, that are in fact the only visual evidence that we have that events occurred at all.

Once the humans extant during the Nazi epoch are all dead, we shall only have film and photography as proof that either the Holocaust or World War II itself ever happened, and that is why the camera is the single most important human invention, as it provides evidence words and unreliable dating systems cannot.

However there is in fact in the Mind of God itself an exact record of the totality of everything that has ever occurred within our Deity's jurisdiction, but it is very seldom revealed to anyone at all.

There have been visionaries who have experienced life in Christ's time, and in other periods, But as have yet to see the Creators home movies ourselves, we have no idea, and cannot, and should not even begin to guess the age of anything older than we are, as we have each of us in fact only our parent's word for it that we are the age claimed for us now, and in many societies even this first record of our own beginnings is a mystery, because nobody filmed it or wrote anything down, or kept hospital records. If you were not born in a hospital, or if you were and its records are lost or destroyed, only oral tradition records your birth, and those who experienced it, once dead take even that tiny fact (which is completely irrelevant to you as a person anyway, with them.

Any form of speculation about the age of the earth or the cosmos is as irrelevant. It does not matter, won't make you happier, and cannot solve mankind's and the environments problems.

Its not even an arcane form of theology: but it is burying your heads in the sand(s of Time!)

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Myths & Legends

Trailer for Ouija Movie. (BagoGames/CC BY 2.0) Insert: Ouija board on your skull: noe valley, san francisco (2015).
Ouija boards, also known as talking boards or spirit boards, are a relatively modern tool/game that strikes fear and wonder in the hearts of many people. Almost everyone has heard stories of someone connecting with malevolent beings or suffering unfortunate events following the use of a Ouija board. But what’s the real story behind these terrifying tales?

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