The Origins of Young Earth Creationism

Seventh Day Adventists unlike YEC, put their money where their mouth is. They say they believe in the Sabbath on the Seventh Day and they honor the Sabbath on the Seventh Day, from sundown to sundown just as the Jews did and do.

I have yet to hear YEC explain how they can say that God blessed the Sabbath and hallowed it ,yet they do not follow God’s commandment in this area.

We’ll never know if you don’t answer my question.

And YECism evolved!

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Again, another half truth… typical. The reality is…

“His views did not become common among creationists until after his death, particularly with the modern creation science movement starting in the 1960s” George McCready Price - Wikipedia

Adam, it is quite apparent how much scorn you feel for the narrative expressed here that SDA (and E.G. White in particular) played a key part bringing modern YECism to where it is (not inventing it from nothing, mind you - nobody here is claiming that.)

Okay - you object. I get it. But what I would like to hear from you then is your own positive version of the SDA role (and White’s role) in all this history as it pertains to G. Macready Price and Co. too. I know you don’t like what you see as the typical narrative around here - fine. I want to hear your narrative. And please don’t ask me to research it for myself - I already have, though not recently (reading Ronald Numbers’ book which I’m guessing you wouldn’t care for.) I’m not interested in spending a lot of time researching this on my own, but I am interested in the thoughts of someone like you who apparently offers us a more sympathetic SDA view rather than the lot of us here who only see these groups from without.

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Hi Mervin,
look i appreciate that all of us have our own theology…that is a given. It is also not surprising that discussions will get robust, theistic evolution is a very heated debate at the best of times as it is a theory that is neither accepted by evolutionists or Christians…so its a minority that is stuck between a “rock and a hard place” . My hope is that is remains so btw as i believe the problems with the theology are so extensive that they cast doubt on the authenticity of the very essence of all Christianity.

ok back to the point…when someone on a forum posts outrageously inaccurate information, with the dedicated purpose to support a theology using a “discrediting” tactic, then that person should at least provide CREDIBLE supporting evidence!

The reality here is, the evidence provided is not only not credible, it actually refutes its own claims!
For example, the OP makes the claim that a minority organization, in its infancy, on a different continent of the world to the origins of evolution, had such a vast influence on the rest of Christendom so as to re invigorate the YEC movement using, what is claimed by that vast majority of mainstream science and even Christian science of the day as “crackpots illiterate theories”, is just absurd!
I am no academic, however, honestly, that is not going to get raving reviews by those who really do their research because they are interested in finding the truth!

In answer to your queastion about EG White, she is proven to be one of the most prolific authors in history…that is no secret and is widely known. Havving said that, she was not an educated academic, why would one expect a person who did not complete their education would accurately reference? I think it very unfair to earbash a poorly educated person about such things. What it does prove however, if she was so poorly educated, where on earth did her extensive insights and writings come from? I do not read her writings for my research…i have read bits and pieces over the years but Im not an EG White first person. Having said that, she does have some incredible insights into the bible that are really nice to read.

In any case, It would be absurd to claim the whole lot that she wrote was plagiarised because if one does that, then they also destroy the credibility of other writers whose words were used at times…this would then destroy the very beliefs of those others writers and their denominations as well (where they were Christian).

Finally, we cannot make the claim a poorly educated person cannot write and contribute to knowledge and understanding…if that is the way this world works, how then do we find so many individuals in society receiving accolades such as community awards and indeed even honorary doctorates?

I hope that answers your post…if not, then i would urge that you do some balanced research on this.

What is very clear to me is this:

the resurgence of the YEC almost certainly, correlates with the rise in theistic evolution. It should come as no surprise that the defenders of the Christian faith would feel the need to counter the attack on the very essence of said faith that is evolution, so its a bit naive to look for a minority denomination with almost zero influence and lay the blame at the feet of it when very clearly that is an inaccurate representation of the facts.
Yes the SDA denomination pushes such things, however, they most definitely are not the only one that does. I can quite categorically state that during my own time at an SDA institution completing my higher education studies, there were a number of lecturers and even students, within the science area who were moving towards the evolutionary model. Whether or not that is still the case now I cannot say (this was over 20 years ago).

Generally, i would be quite comfortable in stating SDA’s are mostly YEC’s, however, I am quite sure that not all are.

Might i just complete this post by addressing a premise that is categorically false that continues to be pushed…YECism is not an SDA led science/theology. The SDA movement is just one of a large number of denominations that believe it and whilst i am sure the church would love the free marketing, they are not the leader in this field nor did EG White start the movement as is being claimed here.

Based on an article from 2008 in Educate Truth, the answer is yes.

That is not quite what is being said. SDA belief in a young earth is the leaven that leavened the whole lump. The idea only took off when it was introduced into other, larger denominations. Who had, I suspect, other reasons for opposing evolution.

Did you find something wrong in the video I posted, which is what this thread is about, after all? If so, please be specific.

Possibly, … but what the heck? Playing in a forum “sandbox” usually is, unless you think that forums serve an invaluable function greater than venting. Personally, I’m inclined to think you’re missing an opportunity to play on a bumper-car, which can be jolly good fun unless and until a moderator intervenes to call a halt to the bangitty-bang-banging of the bumper cars, and closes the thread. Consequently, … having plenty of time and chutzpah in my backpack, I say: Let’s go for it, let’s bring out our hunting dogs and see if, between yours and mine, we can “tree” a coon or corner a fox and put an end to their pesky egg-stealing.

Don’t get me wrong: I ain’t an SDA and have more than one belief that will raise the hair on the back of your neck, but I’ve got Deaf cousins who were and are and my mother’s maternal grandmother and great-grandparents were SDA.

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Hehe …I like your thinking…great post.
It’s just laughable that on the one hand the wider religious communityof hundreds of millions claims it needs protecting from the dangers of an illiterate plagerist, and on the other, theistic evolutionists claim she is responsible for the major worldwide push against evolution. I’m not sure which side needs to be laughed at first.
One has to question what is really going on…I think the outcome is a lot of Chinese whispers and very little fact.
If an evolutionist needs a scapegoat to feel better about themselves and their theology… Well darn, I’m sure EG White would gladly put up her hand to be 'the fall guy".
I’m sure my local church will be delighted when they hear that we are responsible for the resurrection of YECism movement almost half a century after White passed away.

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I think you’re misunderstanding what’s being said. I don’t think anyone has claimed that SDA beliefs about creationism and evolution had much direct influence on broader Christian beliefs on the subject (and if they have, I think they’re mistaken). Rather, the content of YEC and specifically scientific creationism, including many of its detailed arguments, can be traced to Price, whose work was motivated by his SDA beliefs. That content only came to be widely accepted because Whitcomb and Morris were widely read. For details of all of this, you could read the standard history of creationism, The Creationists, by Ron Numbers.

Not really, historically speaking. If you read early fundamentalists, including those who wrote The Fundamentals, you’ll find that they were generally quite comfortable with old earth creationism and were even open to considering a role for evolution. The Bible most widely used by fundamentalists (and the Bible I grew up with) was the Scofield Reference Bible, which explicitly endorsed an old-earth view. The decisive shift toward specifically young earth creationism only occurred some 40 years later, during the 1960s. I suspect its appeal had more to do with the culture wars then (and still) being fought than with any need inherent in fundamentalism or evangelicalism to believe in a young earth.


I remember reading that in the Scofield commentary! Thanks. I wish that were more widely read.
That also reminds me of how, when I was 17 and YEC, my grandparents offered to buy me a Bible with the translation of my choice. (They gave one to each of us grandkids as a “coming of age” recognition.). I chose the NIV Study Bible, and was surprised when my grandma protested that it was pro-evolution. I still don’t see how that could be the case, but it’s amazing how politicized translations could be (though it was the commentary, not the translation, in Scofield that was pro old-earth, as I recall).


Yes, the translation was King James.

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Uhhh, … actually, Steve @glipsnort , the claim appears to be more specific than that, … as the current results from my preliminary, cursory unbiased investigation show me: the claim is not that SDA beliefs about creationism and evolution had much direct influence on broader Christian beliefs on the subject; but that Ellen G. White’s beliefs about creationism and evolution were directly responsible for the “modern young creation movement.”

By all means, correct me if you can. The problem is that the OP is missing a warning sign:
Screenshot 2022-01-14 at 05-05-29 Slow Blind Corner Proceed with Caution Sign - 10 x14 - 040 Rust Free Aluminum - Made in U....

Here’s what I have found:

  • The OP tells readers that it provides a link to a video “explaining the origins of Young Earth Creationists”. The OP goes on to say that “modern young earth creationism came from the visions of Ellen G. White, the prophet of Seventh Day Adventists.”
  • For the benefit of those who prefer a transcript of the video and don’t know how to get one, I’ve downloaded the transcript and posted a copy here: The Origins of Young Earth Creationism
  • The spokesperson in the video says, at 00:32: “In fact the modern young earth movement is relatively new and has a peculiar origin many people are not aware of” and “this is what we see with modern young earth creationist organizations “Answers in Genesis” states on their website that that creation took place in 4004 BC. Creation Ministries International and the Institute for Creation Research also have articles on their websites stating that the earth is roughly 6 000 years old.” (01:04)

So, from where I sit, it looks like the OP merely repeats a claim that is made in the video. If the OP has some other basis for its claim, it should have said so. What claim does it make? Again, the claim is that Ellen G. White is responsible for the “modern young earth creationism movement”. The only question, now, is: Is that claim true, more true than false, more false than true, or false?

Another way to state the question, IMO, is: Does the video contain a "Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy or not?

(To be continued)

I’m not all that interested in excavating exactly who said what, but… ‘directly responsible for the modern young creation movement’ is a different claim than ‘modern young earth creationism came from the visions of Ellen G. White.’ The former is not true, the latter is (I think) at least a reasonable interpretation of the history. I don’t think there’s any question that Whitcomb and Morris based many of their arguments on Price, and Price himself explicitly based his approach on White’s teaching. Do you think that summary is inaccurate, or is your complaint that earlier posts don’t accurately capture that chain of events?


Nonetheless, SDA views came to dominate the modern YEC movement we see today.


Not a problem for me. So, you don’t have any “skin in the game”. Good thing, eh? FYI: Adam has some skin in the game; He’s an SDA. I don’t, but I’m retired and am looking for something to do between sleeping and eating.

You don’t know how happy it makes me to know that you can see the difference between the two statements.

Hear! Hear!

Are you a gamblin’ man? I haven’t completed my research, but … I have a hunch that the $20.00 in my wallet would enjoy the company of another $20.00.

Too soon for me say one way or the other with any certainty.

Sorry, I’m retired and looking for something to do between sleeping and eating, remember? I don’t have a complaint. As for earlier posts capturing that chain of events, I’m not all that interesed in trying keep track of what earlier posts capture. What I am interested in is whether your summary is accurate or not.

Modern YEC’s such as Kurt Wise agree that Price was foundational to what we see today. Price was completely open about his SDA motivations. There are no whispers. It’s a crowd of shouters.

Scapegoat for what?

A more interesting question is if YEC would have emerged in the 1960’s without Morris and Whitcomb. It may have. As @glipsnort mentions, there was (and is) a culture war that has a strong anti-intellectual component to it, and YEC fits right into that larger movement. That strain of anti-intellectualism stretches back even farther into American history, as discussed in a Pulitzer Prize winning book from the 1960’s.

Morris and Whitcomb’s seed of creationism found fertile soil. It is just a matter of factual history that they were directly influenced by George McCready Price and passed on many of Price’s arguments and theories which can still be found largely intact in modern YEC.


LOL! Gotta love it when an atheist wants to participate in a debate over who is responsible for modern young earth creationism.

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One could of course question the motives of those recounting the history, which smacks of trying to discredit YEC by associating it with SDA. I’d probably be pretty annoyed by that if I were an SDA.

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