If it was proven that the Earth is no more than 10,000 years old, what difference would it make to how you live your life?
Interesting question, Michael. Can I ask a clarifying question, first? Are you talking about the earth only, or the universe as well?
In other words, could we have 10,000-year-old earth existing in billions of years old universe? Or are we to assume that the earth and the universe are both only 10,000 years old?
Not trying to be a pedant, just want to make sure I answer the question you are asking.
Is that possible? I mean when the big bang happened God created all the planets . So i dont think we can have an 10000 year old earth on a bijillion year universe
Hi Liam, I was thinking just in relation to the earth but why not include the universe too. So, what do you think?
The oldest planets, tho’ relatively rare, formed a billion years after the BB. If Earth had been scientifically proven to be only 10ka old, then it would be an alien artifact built with unbelievable speed. It would have nothing like the structure it has in any regard.
It would mean that whoever made the universe went to inordinate, insane, absurd lengths to deny it.
As in terms of the YEC dating of the universe between 6,000-10,000 years old if it could be proven scientifically then I would obviously jump back into the YEC boat. But, as of now the science shows the universe to be billions of years old.
True, but for the purposes of a thought experiment (and the OP’s question) - all things are possible!
Sure, OK. It is an interesting question. On the one hand, the implications would be massive on the other they’d be relatively minor.
If it were empirically proven beyond doubt that the universe was only 10,000 years old obviously that would be huge; overturning much of what we know about the universe (eg. Big bang, expansion, star/planet/galaxy formation, etc.). It would raise all kinds of questions about why the universe appeared older than it was and where certain elements originated from if not from ancient dying stars, etc. It would also raise massive questions for the fossil record, evolution, geology, genetics, ecology, etc. They’d also be a large uptick in funding requests from museums needing to change their exhibits(!)
More personally, Having transitioned out of a YEC worldview fairly recently, I’d have to ask a lot of searching questions about what caused that shift in thinking and what I need to learn from that process. That I imagine would be quite uncomfortable for a time.
Beyond that though, everyday life would remain largely unchanged. Not to get too classical theist about it all, but I believe that God is the embodiment of all that is true. Discovering that something I thought was true is in fact false can be uncomfortable, but is ultimately another hairpin bend in my journey to know more of God (in this case as creator).
Feel free to follow up with more Qs.
Well, there are 2 ways to answer your question.
If you mean that Science proved that the earth is less than 10,000 years, it shouldn’t lead to anything dramatically difficult.
However, if some method of proof is used other than science, then we have this impossible situation where we don’t know when scientific methodologies are valid or not. It would overturn any sense of reliance on the findings of the scientific method.
That would cause endless problems in today’s world.
Everyday life, no real change. However, it would literally turn things upside down theologically. Concepts regarding the steadfast and unchanging nature of God would be thrown out, perhaps even the goodness of God, as what kind of God would seek to deceive through creation. It would make the Abrahamic faiths little different that pagan religions where man was just created to amuse and serve the gods in a artificial setting. Reality would no longer be consistent will observations, so all knowledge would be suspect.
Given that a 10,000 year old universe would prove that God is a deceiver my reaction would be the “proof” must have come from the Anti-Christ and I would be looking for an immanent return of Christ, if He hadn’t already returned in the first place. But being pre-trib I don’t expect to still be here when this would happen.
From a thought experiment point of view (because I believe the universe is at least as old as cosmologists say), I would feel as if I’d taken the blue pill and entered the Matrix. (One of our TV stations had a Matrix marathon yesterday, so I guess that’s what made me think of the blue pill/red pill conundrum.)
A 10,000 year old universe, if proved by science, would force me to set aside all the wonderful things I learned about chemistry in my younger days, and all the fascinating things about the science of dating objects that I learned when I studied art conservation. How could I rely on any of the physics and chemistry of half-lives, for instance, if the science that was presumed to underlie such principles as radioactive decay was just a pile of hooey? How could I rely on what I learned about rates of chemical processes? Would I have to throw differential calculus out the window because our understanding of rates had been so fundamentally flawed? Could I rely anymore at all on what my senses were telling me? On what my scientific instruments were telling me? On what the history of our planet and our universe were telling me about who God is and what matters most in life?
I would have to give up all the bits and pieces of the science and math that have helped me slowly build a positive, reassuring, trusting relationship with God. I would have to give up the idea (so central to my life) of a Mother Father God who models patience, endurance, acceptance, creativity, conscientiousness, openness to change, healing, forgiveness, and love, and in its place I’d have to accept a God who is impatient, fickle, resistant to change, and willing to create a Matrix-like illusory world that no one could really depend on but everyone would be forced to accept.
So I’d be forced into a small theological corner with the Gnostics and their evil demiurge, and for the rest of my life I would feel discouraged, betrayed, fearful, hopeless, unable to trust God’s love, and unable to trust myself.
That’s how my life would change.
I find the premise of the thought experiment inconceivable. I can’t help but wonder what sort of evidence would explain how all the existing evidence for a billions of years old universe had been misunderstood. Were it to happen reality would take on the quality of a dream where facts are transient and ever changing.
If I woke up in a different world where fairies roamed the land, the world was flat and supported by three elephants and a turtle, all created 10,000 years ago, then I would certainly make an effort to learn whatever magic or different natural laws by which this new world and situation I found myself in worked. And perhaps Terry Pratchett’s books or some other fantasy novel might provide a replacement for Bible and or science texts.
If I woke up and found that the world was flat and supported by four elephants on the back of a giant tortoise I’d consider that more than generous compensation for the universe being only 10,000 years old.
I’d immediately take up with my favorite wizard, Rhincewind, and just follow him around. As long as I was in shape and could run fast, I should be fine then.
Seriously, though, in response to the O.P. it would literally turn the scientific world upside down - probably irrecoverably so. Evidence would no longer mean anything.
If it were proven, that would mean all that we knew up until then was a simulation that we are a part of that had been running for 10ka in a proper universe. Or we’re your solipsism.
Contradicting the evidence already found would mean that Kansas is bye-bye and we have likely slipped into an alternate reality where all our memories of how the world worked no longer applied. Perhaps it is a nonsensical world like our dreams where nothing is consistent from one moment to the next. I would wonder if perhaps I had died in my sleep.
Or it might mean that Douglas Adams’ theory was true: Somewhere in his Hitchhikers series he wrote that if anybody ever successfully explains the universe, then the entire universe is immediately replaced by a different one that is more confusing. And he goes on to suggest that this may have happened several times already.