Origin of the universe

Yo Nat! See above.strong text

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An unspecified length, based on evidence, close to 13.8 GY all together.

By faith and by evidence, respectively.

4.54 ± 0.04 GY

~>3.5 GY

Messing with radiometric dating either destroys every proton or makes God deceptive.

That seems to be an accurate description of reality.

Genetic and fossil evidence.

I am not certain, but I would tend to say yes.

The evidence presented in the Bible suggests that they are real people, at some point in the past ~100,000 years, but does not specify beyond that. My personal preference is to put them as ancestral to, but not the sole ancestors of all modern humans.

I accept it as God’s written word, but it’s because I believe what that recorded testimony teaches that I accept Christ as the living Word of God without whom the use of any printed words is in vain.

Regarding the age and origins questions … you’ve already got good evidenced-based appraisals given above.

I think they are real in whatever important ways our scriptural narrative makes them real (which isn’t necessarily in the historical sense, though that can certainly be part of it for much of scripture.) Just as a “day” is probably an ordinary day as anyone would think of it since that was the chosen language to mediate something profound to us. That we want to retreat from the profundity of the real message back into modernistic squabbling about whether it’s 24 hours or how to squeeze the mechanics of it all into that is our own modern, tunnel-visioned provincialism and not at all the ancient scribe’s agenda.

  1. Yes. Skipping to the meaning of the “days” in Genesis 1 skips over the fact that the universe and earth was created at an undisclosed time prior to the beginning of the days. In this recently published, peer-reviewed article I show that the Bible does not teach Young Earth Creationism because it doesn’t establish a dateable chain of events back to the original creation: "The Beginning of Days”, JBTS (beginning on slide 71, p. 153): https://jbtsonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/JBTS-6.1Part-2.pdf

  2. That’s a matter for science since, as above, the Bible doesn’t make a claim.

  3. According to Hugh Ross, there’s not enough time, even accepting the scientific age of the earth, for evolution to explain the different species.

  4. Yes. Adam is the head of the human race (Romans 5:12ff).

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The way the juxtaposition of thread title and OP equate universe with the earth and the description of Genesis 1 does irritate me as a physicist… few issues here…

  1. While the Earth is 4.543 billion years old, the whole universe is 13.8 billion years old. It is true I often point out that this is not a huge difference considering how much had go into making the heavy elements of the Earth, but that previous 9.257 billion years is hardly insignificant.
  2. I was recently reminded that not all believe God created the whole universe – the LDS (and Klax?) being examples. And while I certainly do believe that God created the universe myself, that doesn’t mean that the Genesis 1 account is about the creation of the whole universe. That is problematic for quite a few different reasons.
  3. I do think it is perfectly natural for the purpose of communication for the Biblical account to be confined to the cosmological perspective of the people to whom this was addressed. Talk of galaxies and the true scale of the universe would be as absurd as getting into the details of quantum field theory in explaining things to a kindergarten class.

8 posts were split to a new topic: Origins of the universe vs. origins of life


Isnt it widely held that much of the bible has a sort of time stamp on
when it will become understood?

Explain please.

I won’t bother rehashing similar answers to everyone else, but rather, will highlight one point where I differ from some.

Why do I believe in common ancestry?

No, not because of the evidence for it, even though I know it is solid.

It’s because of trust. As an ex-scientist in a different field, I know first hand that scientists in that field are competent, knowledgeable, and act in good faith.

It is reasonable to assume that biologists are, too. If they’re not stupid and they’re not setting out to deceive, then I should trust what they claim with high confidence to know, rather than deluding myself that I am competent to challenge the evidence, or believing some other layperson’s delusion about themself. I don’t have 8 years of university training and years of professional experience in biology. Humility demands I defer to those who do.

I have read enough of the evidence to be convinced on those grounds alone, but I also appreciate that I am only across a tiny fraction of the vast body of evidence that professional experts aee across. So, their professional opinion means even more to me than those bits of evidence I have personally been exposed to.

Belated edit to add, am I accusing YECs of hubris? I must admit, sometimes I do feel like that, although I think I am wrong to do so. Most of them are genuine in the faith, and understand the commandment to humility. I think there might be a couple of factors at play here.

I think whereas I view God’s Creation of an intelligible Universe as a material revelation to His image-bearers (Psalm 19:1. Romans 1:20), they perhaps subscribe to a more Platonic or mystical metaphysics that sees the physical world as secondary to some ideal realm. And therefore they are perhaps less troubled than I am about the material evidence vs their beliefs in the light of the teaching that God cannot lie (e.g. Titus 1:2).

Secondarily, I think those people through no real fault of their own might not fully appreciate the truths that scientists are competent, knowledgeable and well-intentioned, and are really very confident in positions such as a very old Universe and evolution of species through common descent. People are products their experience and their cultural milieu and the latter especially has been subject to decades of erosion in trust in authority, whether that be trust in epistemic authority or in moral authority…


I agree with the consensus on the questions, but on 4, the historicity of Adam and Eve, I would say, I do not know. And it does not matter. I do tend to heavily lean toward their story being symbolic, as the elements of it are not really historical, but accept that there may have been two individuals who first had the capability of a relationship with God. And blew it.
If they are not historical, however, that does not make them less real in a sense. The story of their experience is still true and relevant to our relationship with God.

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And whose fault was that?

Im no bible scholar tho ive read it.

I have heard it said of obscure passages, " we are not meant to understand it yet.

I asked a Lutheran how she could say “eeewww” about spiders when
she believes God made them and said they are good.

Kind of disrespectful? She said its the kind of thing she will understand in the bye and bye

@ phil

True even though it did not actually happen?

Metaphors can be true because they can portray true principles, like parables.

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Sure. Just wanted clarification.


Without evidence for any “sort of time stamp on when it will become understood,” these are no more than poor excuses. If they don’t know the answer then they can just say that they don’t know.

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I don’t know why the simple admission of not knowing
is so hard.
I’ve noticed that fundamentalist Christians, at least, seem to find it impossible to admit to any error.
Any idea why that is so?

The Dunning-Kruger Effect, observed only among humans, may have a lot to do with the inability to admit to error. Fundamentalist Christians are hardly a majority of confidently inerrant individuals. The latter are common wherever there are human beings. My own hypothesis is that said confidently inerrant individuals are most often found in forums, but that hypothesis merits testing and verification.

True all of that. Just, it semmingly universal for
Why is there such a connection?

They cling to an imagined authority from a presumption that they speak for God. It is the same deal with creationism. They don’t want people asking for answers from other people like scientists even when they don’t really have any answers themselves.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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