Young-Earth Creationist View Summarized & Defended Terry Mortenson, MDiv, PhD


Young-Earth Creationist View Summarized & Defended Terry Mortenson, MDiv, PhD

Feb 16, 2011,

Dr. John McLean has my permission to use this article

with his online course at Liberty University.


There is a great amount of controversy in the church today regarding evolution and the age of the

earth. Many competing views attract the attention of Christians producing great confusion and

leading many Christians to conclude that it just doesn’t matter. In this article, I will explain and

give a brief defense of the young-earth creationist view as the only proper understanding of

Scripture. All other views are compromise with error. I will also explain some of the reasons

why this matters for all Christians.

This article is an extract from the beginning of a longer paper which was originally published in

Answers Research Journal in 2009 as Systematic Theology Texts and the Age of the Earth. That

paper critiques the old-earth arguments in three of the leading systematic theology textbooks (by

Millard Erickson, Wayne Grudem and Gordon Lewis/Bruce Demarest) used in seminaries and

Christian colleges in America and around the world. The section of that article is used for this

present article with permission of the ARJ editor, and the pdf of this shorter document may be

particularly useful as a handout in Sunday school or other teaching contexts, as two teachers

have previously requested.

Young-earth creationists believe that the creation days of Genesis 1 were six literal (24-hour)

days, which occurred 6,000–12,000 years ago.1 They believe that about 2,300–3,300 years before

Christ, the surface of the earth was radically rearranged by Noah’s Flood. All land animals and

birds not in Noah’s ark (along with many sea creatures) perished, many of which were

subsequently buried in the Flood sediments. Therefore, creationists believe that the global,

catastrophic Flood was responsible for most (but not all) of the rock layers and fossils (i.e., some

rock layers and possibly some fossils were deposited before the Flood, while other layers and

fossils were produced in postdiluvian localized catastrophic sedimentation events or processes).

The biblical arguments in support of this view can be briefly summarized as follows.2

1. Genesis is history, not poetry,3 parable, prophetic vision, or mythology. This is seen in the Hebrew verbs used in Genesis 1,4 the fact that Genesis 1–11 has the same

characteristics of historical narrative as in Genesis 12–50, most of Exodus, much of

Numbers, Joshua, 1 and 2 Kings, etc. (which are discernibly distinct from the

characteristics of Hebrew poetry, parable, or prophetic vision), and the way the other

biblical authors and Jesus treat Genesis 1–11 (as literal history).5

2. The very dominant meaning of yôm in the Old Testament is a literal day, and the context of Genesis 1 confirms that meaning there.6 Yôm is defined in its two literal senses in


verse 5. It is repeatedly used with a number (one day, second day, etc.) and with evening

and morning, which elsewhere in the OT always means a literal day. It is defined again

literally in verse 14 in relation to the movement of the heavenly bodies.

3. God created the first animate and inanimate things supernaturally and instantly. They were fully formed and fully functioning. For example, plants, animals, and people were

mature adults ready to reproduce naturally “after their kinds.” When God said “let there

be . . . ” He did not have to wait millions of years for things to come into existence. He

spoke, and things happened immediately (Psalm 33:6–9).

4. The order of creation in Genesis 1 contradicts the order of events in the evolution story in at least 30 points. For example, the Bible says the earth was created before the sun and

stars, just the opposite of the big bang theory. The Bible says that fruit trees were created

before any sea creatures and that birds were created before dinosaurs (which were made

on Day 6, since they are land animals), exactly the opposite of the evolution story. The

Bible says the earth was covered completely with water before dry land appeared, and

then it was covered again at the Flood. Evolution theory says the earth has never been

covered with a global ocean, and dry land existed before the first seas.7

5. Exodus 20:8–11 resists all attempts to add millions of years anywhere in or before Genesis 1 because Exodus 20:11 says that God created everything in six days. The day-

age view is ruled out because the plural form of the Hebrew word for day (yôm) is used in

both parts of the commandment. The days of the Jewish work-week are the same as the

days of Creation Week. God could have used several other words or phrases here or in

Genesis 1, if He meant to say “work six days because I created in six long, indefinite

periods.”8 But He didn’t. These verses also rule out the gap theory or any attempt to add

millions of years before Genesis 1:1 because God says He created the heavens, the earth,

the sea, and all that is in them during the six days described in Genesis 1. He made

nothing before those six days. It should also be noted that the fourth commandment is one

of only a few of the Ten Commandments that contains a reason for the commandment. If

God created over millions of years, He could have not given a reason for Sabbath-

keeping or He could have given a theological or redemptive reason as He did elsewhere.9

6. In Jesus’ comments about Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah and the Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, etc., He clearly took the events recorded in Genesis as literal history, just

as did all the New Testament writers. Several passages show that Jesus believed that man

was created at the beginning of creation, not billions of years after the beginning (as all

old-earth views imply), which confirms the young-earth creationist view (Mark 10:6 and

13:19 and Luke 11:50–51).10 His miracles also confirm the young-earth view. From His

first miracle of turning water into wine (which revealed his glory as the Creator, cf. John

2:11 and 1:1–5) to all His other miracles (e.g., Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 1:40-42), His

spoken word brought an immediate, instantaneous result, just as God’s word did in

Creation Week.11

7. The Bible teaches that there was no animal or human death before the Fall of Adam and Eve. So the geological record of rock layers and fossils could not have been millions of

years before the Fall. See my development of this point below.

8. The nature of God as revealed in Scripture rules out the idea that He created over millions of years. See below.

9. The global catastrophic Flood of Noah was responsible for producing most (but not all) of the geological record of rock layers and fossils.12 Both a casual reading and careful


exegesis show that this was not a local flood in Mesopotamia.13 It is most unreasonable to

believe in a global, year-long Flood that left no geological evidence (or that it only left

evidence in the low lands of the Fertile Crescent, as some suppose14). The global

evidence of sedimentary rock layers filled with land and marine fossils is exactly the kind

of evidence we would expect from Noah’s Flood. If most of the rock record is the

evidence of the Flood, then there really is no geological evidence for millions of years.

But the secular geologists deny the global Flood of Noah’s day because they deny that

there is any geological evidence for such a flood. So, the fossiliferous rock record is

either the evidence of Noah’s Flood or the evidence of millions of years of geological

change. It cannot be evidence of both. If we do not accept the geological establishment’s

view of Noah’s Flood, then we cannot accept their view of the age of the earth. So, it is

logically inconsistent to believe in both a global Noachian Flood and millions of years.

10. The genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11 give us the years from Adam to Abraham, who virtually all scholars agree lived about 2000 BC. This sets the date of creation at

approximately 6,000 years ago. Some young-earth creationists say the creation may be

10,000–12,000 years old, but the arguments for gaps of any length of time in the Genesis

5 and 11 genealogies are not compelling to this writer and many others. Although there

are some biblical genealogies that do have names omitted (e.g., Matthew 1:1-17 or Mark

10:47), Freeman, Jones and Pierce present strong arguments for accepting these Genesis

genealogies as tight chronologies with no gaps.15

11. For eighteen centuries the almost universal belief of the Church was that the creation began 4,000–5,000 years before Christ.16 So, young-earth creationism is historic

Christian orthodoxy. It was also Jewish orthodoxy at least up to the end of the first

century of church history.17 In light of this fact, it seems inconsistent with the truth-loving

nature of God revealed in Scripture to think that for about 3,000 years God let faithful

Jews and Christians (especially the writers of Scripture) believe that Genesis teaches a

literal six-day creation about 6,000 years ago but that in the early nineteenth century He

used godless men (scientists who rejected the Bible as God’s inerrant Word) to correct

the Church’s understanding of Genesis.18

Two of the points above require further explanation because they are so important and are

overlooked or resisted by nearly all Christians who have advocated the acceptance of millions of

years over the past two centuries.

Death before the Fall?

Simply put, the evolutionary idea of millions of years is diametrically opposed to the Bible’s

teaching about death.19

Evolution says that during the course of millions of years, death, bloodshed, suffering, disease

and extinction eventually led to man’s existence. The late evolutionary astrophysicist Carl Sagan

said, “The secrets of evolution are time and death: time for the slow accumulations of favorable

mutations, and death to make room for new species.”20 So when evolutionists talk about millions

of years, they are not merely referring to a large number. They are imagining a long period of

history in which certain events took place.


The fossils, which the evolutionists say represent millions of years of history, are a record not of

life, but of death. And in many places around the world we see evidence of massive and violent

carnage in fossil graveyards containing millions of former living creatures packed in high


So, whether Christians believe in Neo-Darwinian evolution, or they believe that God

supernaturally created different kinds of plants and animals occasionally during the course of

millions of years, they are still adopting an evolutionary view of death when they accept millions

of years.

But the biblical teaching on death is very clear and consistent from Genesis to Revelation.

Genesis 1 says six times that God called the creation “good.” When He finished creation on Day

6, He called everything “very good.” That “very good” state is reflected partially by the fact that

man, animals and birds were originally vegetarian, according to Genesis 1:29–30. Plants are not

living in the same sense as people, animals, and birds are, according to this and other Scripture

passages. Plants are never called “living creatures” (Hebrew: nephesh chayyah), as people, land

animals, birds and sea creatures are called (Genesis 1:20–21, 24 and 30; Genesis 2:7; Genesis

6:19–20 and Genesis 9:10–17).21 So plant “death” is not the same as animal or human death (cf.

Job 14:7–12, John 12:24).

Adam and Eve sinned, resulting in the judgment of God on the whole creation. Instantly Adam

and Eve died spiritually, evidenced by their hiding from God. But they also began to die

physically and Paul clearly had physical death in mind in Romans 5:12 and 1 Corinthians 15:21–

22 (as the context shows), when he says that death came into the human race through Adam’s

sin. The serpent was cursed, along with other animals, resulting in a physical transformation. It is

reasonable to assume that the other cursed animals were also altered physically in some way,

either morphologically or at least behaviorally (Genesis 3:14). Eve was changed physically so as

to have increased pain in child-birth (Genesis 3:16). And the ground itself was cursed (Genesis

3:17–19), a fact which was still on the minds of people 1,000 years later when Noah was born

(Genesis 5:29).

The whole earth was cursed again at Noah’s Flood (Genesis 8:22). God also threatened and later

executed curses on the land, crops and livestock of the Jews, as well as on the people themselves,

on account of their disobedience (Deuteronomy 28:15-68). The whole creation now groans in

bondage to corruption (because of the Genesis 3 curse), waiting for the final act in the

redemption of Christians—giving them immortal resurrected bodies (Romans 8:19–25).22 When

that redemptive event happens, we will see the restoration and redemption of all things (Acts

3:21 and Colossians 1:20) to a state similar to the pre-Fall world. Then there will be no more

carnivorous behavior (Isaiah 11:6–9) and no disease, suffering, or death (Revelation 21:3–5)

because there will be no more Curse (Revelation 22:3).23 To accept millions of years of animal

death before the Creation and Fall of man contradicts and destroys not only the Bible’s teaching

on death but also undermines its teaching on the full redemptive work of Christ.

If God cursed the earth with thorns after Adam sinned (as Genesis 3:18 says, “both thorns and

thistles is shall grow for you”),24 then why do we find fossil thorns in rocks that the evolutionists

claim are about 350 million years old?25 If the millions of years are true, then God lied. If


Genesis 3:18 is true, then the evolution claims about millions of years are a lie. Were arthritis

and cancer in the “very good” world before man sinned? If the evolutionists’ dating methods are

correct, the answer must be “yes.” Many kinds of disease have been found in the fossil record,

including arthritis, abscesses, and tumors in dinosaur bones dated to be 110 million years old. A

researcher of these bones tells us that “diseases look the same through time … it makes no

difference whether this is now or a hundred million years ago.”26 There is also considerable

evidence of rickets, syphilis, dental disease, etc., in human fossil bones that evolutionists date to

be tens or hundreds of thousands of years before any biblically plausible date for Adam.27 If the

Bible is true, then those dates are false and there was no pre-Fall death and disease.

Evolutionists believe that over the course of a half billion years there were five major extinction

events/periods,28 when 65–90 percent of all species living at those particular times went extinct.

They also claim many lesser extinction events/periods. If this was the way the creation was for

millions of years, then what impact on the creation did the Fall have? None. Contrary to what the

Bible says, the Fall would have only caused spiritual death in man. In fact, we can go further and

say that if the millions of years of death, disease and extinction really did occur, then that “very

good” creation was considerably worse than the world we now inhabit where habitats are

polluted or destroyed and creatures are brought to extinction due to human sin. We have never

seen in human history29 the kind of mass-kill, extinction events that the evolutionary geologists

say occurred before man came into existence (unless, that is, we accept the global Flood of

Noah’s day, but that is the very event that old-earth proponents reject).

So, if the millions of years really happened, then the Fall actually improved the world from what

it was in the “very good” pre-Fall creation. In this case, the Curse at the Fall would actually be a


I conclude then that if the Bible’s teaching on death, the Curse and the final redemptive work of

Christ is true, as it surely is, then the millions-of-years idea must be a grand myth, really a lie.

Conversely, if the millions of years really happened, then the Bible’s teaching on these subjects

must be utterly false, which is devastating for the gospel.

The Nature of God

Closely related to this issue of death is the incompatibility of the idea of millions of years with

the character of God, as revealed in Scripture.30

The events of creation in Genesis 1 were clearly miraculous. God spoke and things immediately

came into existence, as both Genesis 1 and Psalm 33:6–9 state. The emphatic repetition of “and it

was so” and “God saw that it was good” and “there was evening and there was morning, the Xth

day” strongly indicate this. Also, it is difficult to imagine how God could say “let there be light”

and then need to wait millions of years for light to appear. Similarly, Adam surely did not sleep

for days, weeks, months, years, or millions of years while God made Eve. These facts support

the conclusion that all the other divine acts in Genesis 1 were essentially instantaneous or

occurred in a miraculously short period of time, on the respective days they are reported to have

occurred. Conversely, there is nothing in the text that indicates that thousands or millions of

years would have been required for God to accomplish His objective in each act of creation.


It is also clear in Genesis 1 that God supernaturally created the first plants, sea creatures, birds,

land animals and the first human couple because the description of those events is stated in a way

that contrasts with the description of how other such creatures would come into existence after

the original ones—i.e., by the natural growth of seeds in the fruit of the first plants or by the

sexual reproduction of the first animal and human pairs. Also, the nature of all God’s later

miracles in the Bible and the miracles of Jesus in the Gospels were instantaneous. So, again the

way God created requires no vast stretches of time.

If the gap theory is true, then what kind of God is it who would create the earth and all forms of

life, except man, and let them live and die for millions of years and then destroy them all (in a

supposed flood associated with Satan’s fall) before He recreated the world with creatures very

similar to the ones He had already destroyed?

If the day-age view or framework hypothesis or any other old-earth view is true, then what kind

of God is it who would create the earth instantly and then leave it covered with water for millions

of years and then create dry land and plants and let them produce for millions of years before He

made the sun? And what kind of God would make the sun, moon, and stars with the purpose of

enabling man to measure the passage of time, but then wait billions of years before He made man

to measure time periods? That makes God out to be quite foolish.

Or if we reject the order of events in Genesis 1 and say that the evolutionary order of appearance

of the different creatures and the time-scale are correct, we have other theological problems.

What kind of God would create the earth 4.5 billion years ago and let it exist for one billion years

before He made the first microscopic creatures (protozoans31) and then waited another 2.875

billion years before He made the first metazoans32 and then waited another 625 million years

before He made Adam, who was the ultimate goal of His creation and was made to rule over all

the animals, most of whom lived and died before Adam was created?33 This is a bizarre, wasteful

God, and nothing like the wise and omnipotent Creator revealed in Scripture.

And if God really created in the order and over the long time-scales that evolutionists claim, does

this not make God a deceiver or a liar or at least a very incompetent communicator when He

inspired Moses to write the Genesis 1 account of the order of His creative acts, which is so

contradictory to the evolutionary order of events of history?

Furthermore, as we noted before, at the end of Creation Week God called everything that He had

made “very good.” But could the God of Scripture really describe as “very good” a fossil

graveyard of thousands of feet of sedimentary rocks covering the whole earth and containing

billions of fossils of former living things? Could He really call cancer (as seen in dinosaur bones)

“very good”? Could He call thorns and thistles “very good,” when in Genesis 3 He says they are

the result of His curse? If God called all this death “very good” and if God told Adam that thorns

were a consequence of his sin when in fact they existed long before he was created, then again

God lied or He is totally incompetent in His use of language. But the biblical God is the God of

truth, and as the Author of all language He is fully capable of saying exactly what He means. It is

Satan who is a liar and a master deceiver.


Additionally, if God created through a process (either progressive creation or theistic evolution)

that involved millions of years of death, then He is very different from the God revealed in the

post-Fall world. The God of the post-Fall world commanded His people (the Israelites) to take

care of their animals and give them a day of rest (Exodus 20:10 and 23:12). The post-Fall God

commanded them to help lost or trapped animals (Exodus 23:4–5). That God told them not to be

cruel to their animals (such as muzzling an ox while it was threshing, Deuteronomy 25:4). The

post-Fall God says that “a righteous man has regard for the life of his beast, but the compassion

of the wicked is cruel” (Proverbs 12:10). That God says that He cares for the creatures of the

earth in His fallen, cursed creation (Psalm 104:14–16 and 27–28, Psalm 145:14–16, Psalm

147:9, Jonah 4:11, Matthew 6:26, and Luke 12:24).34

If millions of years of death and extinction and disease really occurred, then God is like the

wicked man of Proverbs 12:10 and He was doing exactly the opposite of what He told the Jews

to do. The acceptance of millions of years is an assault on the character of Almighty God.

If God created over those millions of years, then He clearly was not intelligent enough and

powerful enough to create a world right in the first place. Either He lacked the sovereign power

to control His creation so that it did not destroy most of His previous work or He intentionally

created obstacles to hinder Himself from accomplishing His intention of making a very good

world. And then all along the way He kept making creatures very similar to the creatures that He

had just destroyed by intention or by incompetence and impotence. What a monstrous God this

would be! He would be less competent than the most incompetent engineer or construction

worker. And He would be grossly unjust and unrighteous compared to the God of Isaiah who

said that when the knowledge of Him fills the earth, animals will not hurt or kill each other or

people (Isaiah 11:6–9 and 65:25).35 Such a cruel, bumbling, and weak God could not be trusted

and would not be worthy of our worship.

And if these millions of years of death really occurred, then God’s Curse on creation really did

nothing to the non-human creation, and His promises about the future cannot be trusted. In fact,

in this case none of His Word can be trusted.

This point has not escaped the notice of non-Christians. The evolutionist philosopher, David

Hull, is one of many who could be cited. He remarks on the implications of Darwinian evolution

for the nature of God, but his comments equally apply to all old-earth views, even if we reject

Darwinism as the explanation for the origin of the various forms of life. Hull reasons:

The problem that biological evolution poses for natural theologians is the sort of God that

a Darwinian version of evolution implies. … The evolutionary process is rife with

happenstance, contingency, incredible waste, death, pain and horror. … Whatever the God

implied by evolutionary theory and the data of natural history may be like, he is not the

Protestant God of waste not, want not. He is also not a loving God who cares about his

productions. He is not even the awful God portrayed in the book of Job. The God of the

Galápagos is careless, wasteful, indifferent, almost diabolical. He is certainly not the sort

of God to whom anyone would be inclined to pray.36


In his opposition to the old-earth geological theories developing in the early nineteenth century,

the Anglican minister, George Bugg, reasoned this way:

Hence then, we have arrived at the wanton and wicked notion of the Hindoos, viz., that

God has ‘created and destroyed worlds as if in sport, again and again’!! But will any

Christian Divine who regards his Bible, or will any Philosopher who believes that the

Almighty works no ‘superfluous miracles,’ and does nothing in vain, advocate the

absurdity that a wise, just and benevolent Deity has, ‘numerous’ times, wrought miracles,

and gone out of his usual way for the sole purpose of destroying whole generations of

animals, that he might create others very like them, but yet differing a little from their


Only young-earth creationism gives us a view that is consistent with the glory, wisdom, power,

holiness, truthfulness, and omniscient intelligence of the God revealed through the pages of

Scriptures. As the Bible presents them, the doctrines of death and the nature of God are utterly

opposed to the millions-of-years view. If we believe the Bible’s teaching on death and the

character of God, then we must completely reject all old-earth views being advocated by



The Bible clearly teaches the young-earth creationist view of Genesis 1–11. That was the almost

universal belief of the church for 1800 years. Progressive Creationism and Theistic Evolutionism

in all their various forms (day-age view, gap theory, framework hypothesis, analogical days

view, local flood view, etc.) are recent and novel interpretations that will not stand up to scrutiny

with an open Bible. A growing body of overwhelming scientific evidence also shows that

evolution and millions of years are religiously motivated myths masquerading as scientific fact.39

Furthermore, the literal history of Genesis 1-11 is absolutely foundational to the truth of the rest

of the Bible and the gospel itself. Taking these early chapters of Genesis in any other way

undermines God’s Word and the gospel of Jesus Christ, and over the past 200 years such

compromises with evolution and millions of years have done incalculable damage to the spiritual

health and evangelistic and missionary efforts of the Church. That compromise is one of the

greatest, if not the greatest reason that Western Europe is now labeled “post-Christian” and

Britian and America are rapidly approaching that spiritual state. Ultimately, the question of the

age of the earth is a question of the truth and authority of Scripture. That’s why the age of the

earth matters so much and why the church cannot compromise with millions of years (or


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1. See point 10 below in the text for an explanation on the range of years here. Back 2. Most of these points are well defended (including refutation of the most common

objections to the young-earth view) in Chaffey, Tim, and Jason Lisle. 2007. Old-Earth


Creationism on Trial. Green Forest, Arkansas: Master Books. And Sarfati, Jonathan.

2004. Refuting Compromise. Green Forest, Arkansas: Master Books. Back

3. The fact that Genesis records Adam’s poetic and romantic statement in Gen 2:23 and the words of Jacob’s poetic prophecy given to his sons in Gen 49:2-27 does not negate the

fact that Genesis is history. It accurately records what those men poetically said on those

occasions. Back

4. See Steven Boyd, “The Genre of Genesis 1:1–2:3: What Means This Text?” in Mortenson, Terry, and Thane H. Ury, eds. 2008. Coming to Grips with Genesis, pp. 163–

192. Green Forest, Arkansas: Master Books. A fuller technical discussion is Steven Boyd,

“Statistical Determination of Genre in Biblical Hebrew: Evidence for an Historical

Reading of Genesis 1:1–2:3,” in Vardiman, Larry, et al. 2005. Radioisotopes and the Age

of the Earth, Vol. 2, pp. 631–734. El Cajon, California: ICR. “A layman’s summary of

Boyd’s research” in DeYoung, Donald. 2005. Thousands, Not Billions: Challenging an

Icon of Evolution, pp. 157–172. Green Forest, Arkansas: Master Books. Back

5. Even most old-earth proponents recognize that Genesis 1–11 is history. See, for example, the arguments in Kaiser, Walter. 2001. The Old Testament Documents: Are They Reliable

and Relevant? pp. 53–83. Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP. Back

6. See also Hasel, Gerhard F. 1994. The “days” of creation in Genesis 1: Literal “days” or figurative “periods/epochs” of time? Origins 21 no. 1: 5–38; Steinmann, Andrew E.

;as an ordinal number and the meaning of Genesis 1:5, JETS 45 no. 4: 577–84 ֶאָחד .2002

McCabe, Robert. 2000. A Defense of Literal Days in the Creation Week. DBSJ 5: 97–

123. Back

7. See Mortenson, Terry. 2006. Evolution vs. Creation: the order of events matters! Back

8. Stambaugh, James. 1991 The Days of Genesis: A Semantic Approach. TJ 5 no. 1: 70–78. Back

9. Exodus 31:13 and Deuteronomy 5:13–15. Back 10. See Mortenson, Terry. “Jesus, Evangelical Scholars and the Age of the Earth,” in

Mortenson and Ury, Coming to Grips, pp. 315-346. See also Mortenson, Terry. 2004. But

from the beginning of . . . the institution of marriage?, which is a short

response to a web article by John Ankerberg and Norman Geisler on Mark 10:6. Back

11. This is true even of the two-stage healing of the blind man (Mark 8:22–25). Each stage of the healing was instantaneous. Jesus apparently did this miracle in stages for a

pedagogical purpose. Back

12. Barrick, William D. “Noah’s Flood and its Geological Implications” in Mortenson and Ury, Coming to Grips, pp. 251-282. Back

13. See Whitcomb, John, and Henry Morris. 1961. The Genesis Flood, pp. 1–88. Phillipsburg, New Jersey: P&R. And Sarfati, Jonathan. Refuting Compromise, pp. 241–

286. Back

14. Hallo, William W., and William Kelly Simpson. 1998. The Ancient Near East: A History, 2nd ed., pp. 32-33. Fort Worth, Texas: Harcourt Brace. Back

15. See Freeman, Travis R. “Do the Genesis 5 & 11 Genealogies Contain Gaps?” in Mortenson and Ury, Coming to Grips,, pp. 283-31, and his PhD thesis “The

Chronological Value of Genesis 5 and 11 in Light of Recent Biblical Investigation.”

(1998, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary). See also Jones, Floyd N. 2005. The


Chronology of the Old Testament. Green Forest, Arkansas: Master Books. And Pierce,

Larry. 2006. The World: Born in 4004 BC? Answers Magazine 1 no. 1:25–26, 72. Back

16. See also Mortenson, Terry. 2004. The Great Turning Point: the Church’s Catastrophic Mistake on Geology—before Darwin, pp. 40–45. Green Forest, Arkansas: Master Books.

Some followed the Genesis chronology of the Septuagint, rather than the Massoretic text,

and so calculated creation at about 5400 BC Back

17. The Works of Josephus, pp. 29–33. trans. William Whiston. 1987. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson. Back

18. An earlier reader of this paper objected that God used many “evil” nations to judge ancient Israel (e.g., Babylon, Greece, Medo-Persia, Rome, etc.), and He has used non-

Christians to make discoveries in medicine to cure disease or improve technologies. So

why would it be surprising or unlikely that God would use non-Christians to understand

the Bible? Well, in the first case, God was using godless nations to judge Israel for her

wickedness, not to help her understand Scripture. Likewise, making advances in science

is a categorically different activity than rightly dividing the inspired Word of truth, which

teaches us that ungodly men twist the Scriptures, but that God has given spiritually gifted

and godly men to the church to understand Scripture aright. Back

19. I call this the “evolutionary idea of millions of years” because 1) all evolutionists believe in millions of years and 2) because, although the idea of millions of years was accepted

before Darwin’s theory of evolution was published, the uniformitarian naturalistic

assumptions that Darwin used to develop his theory were taken from the writings of the

old-earth geologists before him. And those same assumptions are behind the billions-of-

years, evolutionary stories about the origin and history of the universe. Back

20. Carl Sagan, “Cosmos” TV series, program entitled “One Voice in the Cosmic Fugue.” Back

21. See Todhunter, Michael. 2006. Do Leaves Die? Answers Magazine, 1 no. 2:10–13, See also Stambaugh, James.

1991. Creation’s original diet and the changes at the fall, TJ 5 no. 2:130–138, Back

22. This is the dominant interpretation of Romans 8:19–23 in the history of the Church, which is understandable since this is the only interpretation that really makes sense

exegetically and theologically. See Moo, Douglas. 1996. The Epistle to the Romans pp.

513–514. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans; Schreiner, Thomas. 1998. Romans, p. 435.

Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker; and Murray, John. 1993. The Epistle to the Romans, pp.

301–302. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans. Back

23. While I am inclined to think that Isaiah 11:6–9 refers to the literal 1,000-year millennium right before the eternal state begins, I am not certain on that point. But, even if that is

wrong, clearly the passage is speaking of a future state of affairs that is very different

from the present, for it will be a time when righteousness will fill the earth as the water

covers the seas. In that righteous world both man and the animals will be significantly

changed. Surely in the eternal perfect state this change in the animals will continue. The

point is that carnivorous behavior is part of the fallen world, not the period before the Fall

or after the return of Christ, when righteousness will indeed fill the earth. Back

24. Some might object that God cursed the Garden of Eden with thorns. But this objection fails for three reasons. First, why would God curse the Garden with thorns and tell Adam


about it, when Adam was going to be expelled from the Garden? Second, the ground that

God cursed with thorns was the same ground outside the Garden that Adam would sweat

over to provide food for himself and his family. Third, the Hebrew words for “curse” and

“ground” in Genesis 3:17 are the same as those used in Genesis 5:29, which speaks of the

cursed ground in Noah’s day. Back

25. Stewart, Wilson N., and Gar W. Rothwell. 1993. Paleobotany and the Evolution of Plants, pp. 172–176. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. It shows fossilized

thorny plants (Psilophyton crenulatum) found in the Devonian formation, which the

evolutionists date at 345–395 million years BP (before present). Back

26. Anonymous. 1998. Saurian Sore. Discover October:26. Back 27. Lubenow, Marvin. 1998. Pre-Adamites, Sin, Death and the Human Fossils. Creation Ex

Nihilo Technical Journal 12 no. 2: 222–232. Back

28. The names and approximate evolutionary dates of the supposed five major extinction events are these: Late Ordovician (440 Million Years Ago, 100+ families of marine

invertebrates perished,, accessed 11

Aug. 2009), Late Devonian (365 MYA, 70% of marine invertebrates perished along with

other marine life,, accessed 11 Aug.

2009), Permian-Triassic (245 MYA, greatest mass extinction event, 90-95% of marine

species extinct), Late Triassic (210 MYA, at least 50% of species extinct,, accessed 11 Aug

2009), Cretaceous-Tertiary (65 MYA, second largest mass extinction, 85% of all species,

including all dinosaurs). See

(accessed 11 Aug 2009). The Canadian web site bases its information on Stanley, Steven

M. (a leading evolutionist). 1987. Extinction. New York: Scientific American Library.


29. That is, if we rule out Noah’s Flood as a global Flood—which we logically must do if we accept millions of years. The reason is this: the same scientific establishment that

dogmatically states that the geological record reflects millions of years of history also

insists that there is no geological evidence of a global Flood. To accept what the secular

geologists say about the first point but to reject what they say about the second point is

inconsistent. But to believe in a global Flood that occurred about 4000 years ago and left

no lasting erosional and sedimentary geological evidence while believing that the

geological effects of lesser floods occurring millions of years ago survived the ravages of

time and Noah’s Flood until our day is most unreasonable. So we must decide: either we

believe God’s Word about a global Flood or we believe in millions of years. We cannot

consistently or logically believe in both. Back

30. I am indebted to Dr. David Fouts, whose lecture a few years ago first drew my attention to many of the points presented here. At the time he was an Old Testament professor at

Bryan College in Tennessee. Back

31. Protozoans are microscopic animals made up of a single cell or a group of more or less identical cells and living in water or as parasites, including ciliates, flagellates, rhizopods,

or sporozoans. Back

32. Metazoans are all animals whose bodies, originating from a single cell, are composed of many differentiated cells arranged into definite organs. Back


33. For an explanation of this evolutionist view of history (where the earth’s 4.5-billion-year history is represented as a 24-hour clock), see Miller, Kenneth R., and Joseph S. Levine.

2010. Biology, p. 543. Boston: Pearson Education. Back

34. It might be objected that animals live and die today, and it is not equated with cruelty. So, why could not that be the case in the pre-Fall world? I would reply that animal death

today is not as God intended originally because it is an aspect of God’s just judgment of

His creation (which is now in bondage to corruption: Romans 8:19–23) because of the

rebellion of His highest creation, man. But in light of God’s prophecies about the future

state when animals will not be carnivores or dangerous to man, it is clear that the present

state of affairs is not as God wants it to remain. Also, the fossil record does not speak of

animals dying of old age. It speaks of massive, catastrophic death, even burial alive, of

billions of creatures (which is not happening even in today’s post-Fall creation). And the

problem is having all this carnage in a creation that was not cursed but called “very

good.” Back

35. It might be objected that God brought about the death and extinction of animals during the Flood, which is in the post-Fall period when God shows care for the animals. So, why

could not that be the case in the pre-Fall period? The reason is that the death and

extinction during the Flood was part of God’s Curse on the earth at the Flood (Genesis

8:21), but God never cursed His creation in the “very good” pre-Fall Creation Week.


36. Hull, David. 1991. Review of Phillip Johnson’s Darwin on Trial: “The God of the Galápagos,” Nature 352: 485–486. Back

37. Bugg, George.1826. Scriptural Geology vol. 1, pp. 318–319. London: Hatchard & Son. Bugg was one of many orthodox clergy and scientists who opposed the old-earth

geological theories and the various Christian compromises at that time. See Mortenson,

Terry. 2004. The Great Turning Point for a full discussion. Back

38. For a historical analysis of Luther’s, Calvin’s, Wesley’s, and the nineteenth century Scriptural geologists’ views on this subject in comparison to the views of old-earth

proponents in the early nineteenth century, see Ury, Thane H. “Luther, Calvin, and

Wesley on the Genesis of Natural Evil: Recovering Lost Rubrics for Defending a Very

Good Creation” in Mortenson and Ury, Coming to Grips, pp. 399–424. His fuller

discussion is Ury, Thane H. 2001. “The Evolving Face of God” (Ph.D. thesis, Andrews

University). Ury shows that the implied character of God arising from old-earth views is

historically unorthodox in the church. Back

39. See, for example, Parker, Gary. 2006. Creation: The Facts of Life. Green Forest, Arkansas: Master Books; Patterson, Roger. 2006. Evolution Exposed: Biology. Green

Forest, Arkansas: Master Books; Werner, Carl. 2007. Evolution: The Grand Experiment.

Green Forest, Arkansas: New Leaf Press; Sanford, John. 2005. Genetic Entropy. Lima,

New York: Ivan Press; Mortenson, Terry. 2006. Origin of the Species: Was Darwin

Right? DVD. Hebron, Kentucky: Answers in Genesis; Patterson, Roger. 2008. Evolution

Exposed: Earth Science, Green Forest, Arkansas: Master Books; Snelling, Andrew. 2009.

Earth’s Catastrophic Past (2 volumes). El Cajon, California: ICR; Snelling, Andrew.

Geology: A Biblical Viewpoint on the Age of the Earth (5-DVD set of lectures). 2009.

Hebron, Kentucky: Answers in Genesis; Mortenson, Terry. 2006. Noah’s Flood:

Washing Away Millions of Years DVD. Hebron, Kentucky: Answers in Genesis; Lisle,

Jason. 2006. Taking Back Astronomy. Green Forest, Arkansas: Master Books; Faulkner,


Danny. 2004. Universe by Design. Green Forest, Arkansas: Master Books; Lisle, Jason.

2005. Distant Starlight: Not a Problem for a Young Universe DVD. Hebron, Kentucky:

Answers in Genesis. All these books and DVDs plus many articles dealing with the

scientific evidence are available at Back