The Age of the Earth is Not the Issue

Gary DeMar | November 27, 2012

Once again a Republican presidential hopeful is under attack by the Left and some on the Right for comments about the age of the earth. An article in GQ, Gentlemen’s Quarterly, wanted a little more information on what Florida Senator Marco Rubio meant by socialism not having “worked in 6000 years of recorded history.” The media don’t want to know why socialism doesn’t work; they only want to set traps for non-liberals.

Candidates need to understand how to answer “trap” questions, no matter what they are. A trap question is designed to get someone off topic and raise an issue that is irrelevant to the discussion. It takes practice and skill to learn how to deal with “trap” questions.

The first thing that a Christian must understand is that a reporter is not his friend. A reporter is not after the truth, will most likely not report the whole truth even if he knows it, and probably wouldn’t know the truth if it smacked him in the face. I know. I’ve had a great deal of experience in this area. Read my article “Red Meat Journalism.”

Let’s take the age of the earth question. I would have asked, “Are you saying that recorded history is older than about 6000 years?” The age of the earth is not what the reporter is after. He only wants to find a soft spot that he can turn into a festering sore for his very liberal readers and then claim that you are “anti-science.” In fact, recorded history is around 6000 years old, and anything that old was most likely written on clay or carved into stone, and we don’t have very much of it.

We have artifacts that may be older, but they do not meet the modern definition of “written history.” On this point Rubio was right. Here’s the opening paragraph on Wikipedia on “Recorded History”:

“Recorded history is the period in the history of the world that has been written down using language, or documented using other means of communication. It starts around the 4th millennium BC, with the invention of writing.”

Let’s do the math: 4th century BC (4000 years) + 2000 years AD = 6000 years. Rubio should have answered the question with a question: “Are you saying that written recorded history is older than 6000 years?”

At the bottom of it all, it’s not about the age of the earth; it’s about the existence of God, how we know what we claim we know is true and why, the place of man in the cosmos, and what God requires of us. These things can’t be measured by science, so scientists dismiss them as “religious questions.”

I would love someone to confront liberals on these issues instead of being sidetracked. We need to learn to take the discussion back to fundamentals. Do the folks at GQ believe the cosmos sprung into existence out of nothing, a view that is contrary to every principle of science known to man and advocated by physicist Stephen Hawking? Simply put, where did the original “stuff” of the cosmos come from?

I would then have asked whether they could supply any empirical data that shows that chemicals evolved into biological life forms. From there I would ask the origin of the organized information necessary to animate the newly evolved chemicals into life forms, that is, how did rationality, logic, and the mind evolve?

Then just one more question. Can morality be accounted for, the origin of it and its legitimacy, given evolution’s something-out-of-nothing beginnings? How can anything be right or wrong when we’ve evolved from chemicals? Were any of these original chemicals obligated not to kill other chemicals? I’m not looking for theories. I want scientific evidence — hard, cold, facts, you know, the very things scientists tell us are lacking when Christians talk about origins.

With no answers forthcoming, I would then have said the following:

“The evolutionary model is more religion than science. Phillip E. Johnson described it this way: ‘In the beginning were the particles. And the particles somehow became complex living stuff. And the stuff imagined God, but then discovered evolution.’[1]

“The age of the earth — whether it is 6000 or 6 billion years old — is a debate that does not affect the moral question unless you’re an atheist who has to account for morality in a world that ‘consists entirely of particles,’ and nothing but particles, the only things that scientists can study since nothing else exists but particles.

“So much could be said on the moral implications of a purely materialistic view of humans who are only a few DNA measurements away from ape-like animals that often kill and eat their own without any moral regret or legal consequences.”

“Then I would ask this question: How would you develop a moral worldview from the following comment made by Richard Dawkins — the premier evolutionist of our time — and apply it to the realm of morality and politics?: ‘In the universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, and other people are going to get lucky; and you won’t find any rhyme or reason to it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is at the bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good. Nothing but blind pitiless indifference. DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is, and we dance to its music.”

Debating the age of the earth is a red herring. Debating if there is right and wrong given the materialistic assumptions of evolutionists is a question that should be asked of every politician and every liberal reporter.




  1. “In the Beginning Were the Particles” (March 5, 2000).