# Does the Bible say the earth is 6000 years old? - Phil Vischer answers

Neat quote from Betrand Russell on this

There is no logical impossibility in the hypothesis that the world sprang into being five minutes ago, exactly as it then was, with a population that “remembered” a wholly unreal past. There is no logically necessary connection between events at different times; therefore nothing that is happening now or will happen in the future can disprove the hypothesis that the world began five minutes ago.

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Not if He’s an honest being – it would be the equivalent of forging an antique.

Because the 6k year-old universe claim portrays God as dishonest and makes Christianity look foolish. All the apologetics theater required to make a 6k year old universe appear to work drives people away from the church.

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It’s too bad apologists can’t build off the marvel of God calling a lowily hominid creature to bear his image. I still think that rubbed a number of angels the wrong way.

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Just the number of galaxies should be a pretty strong indication. The low end estimate is 200 billion galaxies, with 100 billion stars per galaxy. That’s 20 trillion stars.

I haven’t done the math, but it would seem problematic to jam all of those stars into a sphere with a radius of 6,000 light years. Images of being inside an exploding nuclear bomb come to mind.

Oh, and an excuse to post the Hubble Deep Field image. This happens to be the first one. Later editions were even more spectacular.

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Actually - 200 billion times 100 billion is 20 sextillion! (20 * 10^21). But hey. What’s a few exponents among friends?

Or as a chemist might put it - that’s about a 1/30 of a mol of stars!

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Billion is a confusing term because it could be 1 thousand millions or 1 million millions. But you are correct, a few exponents is a small detail in the big picture. The figure is simply ‘terribly much’.

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Another reminder that I shouldn’t do math quickly in my head.

This time, I used python.

``````import math
galaxies = 200e9
stars = 100e9
vol_star = 1.4e18
ly_km = 1.057e13
yec_age = 6000

vol_yec = (4/3)*(math.pi)*(ly_km*yec_age**3)
vol_allstars = vol_star*galaxies*stars
perc_star = vol_allstars/vol_yec*100

print(f'volume of YEC universe = {vol_yec} km^3')
print(f'volume of all stars = {vol_allstars}  km^3')
print(f'percent of YEC universe taken up by stars = {perc_star} (%)')

output:

volume of YEC universe = 9.563510692351903e+24 km^3
volume of all stars = 2.8e+40  km^3
percent of YEC universe taken up by stars = 2.9277951267824755e+17 (%)``````

Using our Sun as a stand in for volume, if we jammed all of the stars in the universe into a sphere with a radius of 6,000 ly then the volume of stars would be in excess by 16 orders of magnitude. Hoping I got the math right this time.

I would call that a problem.

Added in edit: I actually did screw this one up pretty badly. I didn’t cube the entire radius but only the 6,000 year bit. Oops. Correct math below.

``````import math
galaxies = 200e9
stars = 100e9
vol_star = 1.4e18
ly_km = 1.057e13
yec_age = 6000

vol_yec = (4/3)*(math.pi)*((ly_km*yec_age)**3)
vol_allstars = vol_star*galaxies*stars
perc_star = vol_allstars/vol_yec*100

print(f'volume of YEC universe = {vol_yec} km^3')
print(f'volume of all stars = {vol_allstars}  km^3')
print(f'percent of YEC universe taken up by stars = {perc_star} (%)')

output:
volume of YEC universe = 1.0684822757519471e+51 km^3
volume of all stars = 2.8e+40  km^3
percent of YEC universe taken up by stars = 2.6205394918970396e-09 (%)``````

Still, having 2 billionth of a percent of the universe filled with stars is an extremely bright sky, if not lethally radioactive. As it is, cosmic rays coming from the spread out stars we do have pose a serious health risk to astronauts.

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I love Python for this stuff! And your (its) math looks just fine, though I didn’t directly check it all.

But it did make me curious about one other thing - densities. (If we’re going to speak of cramming stars into places where they definitely don’t fit!)

Looking up quick on Google, I see that the sun’s photosphere (the part that actually registers as the ‘edge’ of the sun to our vision) is 3*10^-4 kg/m^3. In contrast to that, the Martian surface atmosphere (already mostly a vacuum compared to earth’s) is 0.02 kg / m^3. (And the earth sea-level air will be roughly 1 kg / m^3). This means that the outer bits of sun we actually see are about 67 times less dense than Martian surface air, and over 3300 times less dense than our own atmosphere here!

So … unrelated to anything we’ve been speaking about above … If I was transported into the sun’s photosphere, and could be temporarily protected from radiation by just having a tinfoil shield between me and the sun’s center, I might not actually feel much or any heat, right? Because my space suit would just be in a vacuum (better than most or all vacuum pumps can pull on earth), meaning that convective heat transfer would be virtually non-existent. The only thing that would roast me quickly would be exposure to the intense radiation!

Does all that sound correct?

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If memory serves, the backside of Mercury is pretty cool, so you should be fine if all you are worried about is radiated heat.

However, hard radiation from accelerated atomic nuclei would probably be an issue. The strong magnetic fields around the Sun turns these into bullets travelling at relativistic speeds. Jupiter does the same thing which is why an hour on the surface of Europa would be lethal.

If you changed that to a 360 degree 3 foot thick lead shield with an outer reflective surface then it might be a bit better.

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We discussed that here:

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Oh, and I did royally screw up the math by messing up the factor that is cubed. Might have to hand my math card in. Anyway, added the fixed version in an edit.

Well - nice catch then! It’s a good thing you and I aren’t in charge of figuring out how many oxygen tanks will be needed for somebody’s spacewalk!

I often joke with my math students - asking them how they would feel about being passengers in a jet where the pilot admits to everyone that he was shown a lot of grace in flight school. Not to worry, though! In the simulators he usually got pretty close to the runway while landing. And being one of the kinder, gentler institutions they let him on through!

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And now - maybe as a partial penance for straying from the OP topic so badly here, I’ll swing back around to something at least a lot closer to the original topic …

It’s fun to listen to knowledgeable Bible readers/scholars - either from within the faith, or at least “faith-peripheral” (shall we say, ‘faith-friendly’?) wrestle with the text at the levels it is meant to be read. A recent example of that for me was to listen to Jordan Peterson and Catholic Bishop Barron talk with each other about biblical themes - among which early Genesis figures prominently. Tellingly, the age of the earth never even comes up in their discussion. Not even a mention! They’re way too busy trying to harvest all the important stuff it has to say about our human condition and about God.

But to give the OP a more direct answer: No - the Bible doesn’t say the earth is 6000 years old. But nor does it say it’s not. It just shows no interest in that question at all.

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I think Landing the Aircraft 101 is usually taken as a Pass-Fail course.

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The density wouldn’t actually be that bad-- about 1.3 x 10^-7 kg/m^3.

While I wouldn’t say it is, as a quantity of objects in space, infinite. I did wonder just how big it is when I saw for the first time pictures of the cosmic web last year.

“All we can truly conclude is that the universe is much larger than the volume we can directly observe.”

“Like a hall of mirrors, the apparently endless universe might be deluding us. The cosmos could, in fact, be finite. The illusion of infinity would come about as light wrapped all the way around space, perhaps more than once—creating multiple images of each galaxy,”

Oh my… I remember when me and @Klax wrote about it as a hall of mirrors

Ha! What if it wrapped itself around last Thursday?

And got a trophy for participation.

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