Are creation and evolution compatible?

Many Christians try to make the bible fit in with evolution because they have more faith in scientific claims than they do the bible. Those who disagree with evolution are usually looked upon as being mad, or stupid, and for many Christians their social standing in this world is more important to them than their standing with God. Nevertheless, however people try to join the bible up with evolution it just won’t work.

The age of the earth

Scientists tell us that the earth is about 4.5 billion years old. The bible certainly doesn’t agree with this, no matter how much one twists the scriptures.

The bible, although it does not specify the age of the earth, provides a chronology allowing us to estimate the age of the earth as roughly 6,656 years old:

The bible gives a precise account of the lineage from Adam to Noah, with a total of 1,656 years from creation until the flood.

After the flood the bible does not provide as much detail; however, with the information that is given* we can calculate that from the flood until the time of Christ was roughly 3,000 years, and if we add about 2,011 years after Christ, the total number of years after the flood is now roughly 5,000 years.

Reliable historical records of human civilisation only go back about 5,000 years, with Sumerian Cuneiform being the oldest form of writing, dating back to around 3,000 BC.

Scientists had estimated the earliest evidence of mankind on the earth as being 200,000 years ago, based upon Mitochondrial DNA mutation rates. In October 1997, at the First International Workshop on Human Mitochondrial DNA, researchers discovered that the mutation rates were much higher than first considered, and the estimate for the origin of mankind was changed to 6,500 years ago, tying very nicely with the biblical age of the earth.

Six literal days of creation?

“But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” – 2 Peter 3 v 8

Many Christians, in order to get the bible to agree with evolution, suggest that the days of creation in the book of Genesis are not literal but allegorical. Occasionally the Bible uses the term ‘week’ to describe a seven year period (i.e. a week of seven years), which, along with the above scripture, is used to back up the claim that the bible’s specified time periods may not be literal.

Moses, giving the children of Israel the commandments of God, specifically refers to the six days of creation in the same way as referring to normal days:

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” – Exodus 20 v 8-11

“And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” – Genesis 1 v 5

The bible clearly tells us that the first day of creation consisted of ‘the evening’ and ‘the morning’, specifically with the evening being darkness and the morning being light. This leaves us with no confusion that these are literal days, each of which is one full rotation of the earth.

The only way for the bible to agree that the earth is 4.5 billion years old would be if one single day of creation, or one rotation of the earth, was equal to 642 million years. This would mean that there would be 321 million years of darkness followed by 321 million years of light, and this process would repeat seven times. It would mean that the earth would have to revolve once every 642 million years, and after seven revolutions it would have to speed up dramatically!

Imagine Adam, Eve, and all animals and plants living in the cold darkness for 321 million years, then being permanently baked by the sun for 321 million years.

The bible tells us that man was created on the sixth day, and that Adam was 930 years old when he died. Obviously this tells us that days six and seven of creation were literal days, not millions of years, otherwise Adam would be 1 billion years old.

The bible clearly tells us, in the first chapter of Genesis, the order in which things were created:

  1. Heaven and earth
  2. Water covering all the earth
  3. Dry land and plants
  4. The sun, moon, stars and planets
  5. Sea creatures and birds
  6. Land creatures and man

The earth was created first, and the sun, moon, stars and planets were created on the fourth day, which goes completely against the Big Bang theory of evolution.

Death before sin?

According to the bible, no creature was carnivorous before the fall of man (i.e. before mankind first sinned). All creatures ate leaves, fruit and seeds:

And God said [to man], Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.” – Genesis 1 v 29-30

Evolution claims that dinosaurs and other meat eating creatures roamed the earth millions of years before mankind existed. Considering that the bible tells us mankind was created on the same day that land creatures were created, and also that these creatures did not eat meat at least until after the fall of man, the bible clearly goes against this theory. Dinosaur bones have been found that have been affected by disease, including cancer. If dinosaurs roamed the earth before mankind, this would mean that disease would have been in the world before the fall of mankind, before sin entered the world. Surely, God would not call his creation ‘good’ if disease and death were already at work?

Before the fall of man, we are told that the earth and everything in it was perfect. Christians who do believe that there was death – and that creatures ate each other – before the fall of man are claiming that God did not make the earth perfect; they are suggesting that death and suffering were introduced before the fall.

Some Christians claim that plant life died before the fall of man, and that this is evidence of death; however, there is no suggestion in the bible that this occurred. Only the leaves of grass are eaten by creatures, not the roots; also, eating leaves, fruit and seeds does not kill a plant. In the Hebrew, which the old testament was written in, plants are not categorised in the same way that creatures (e.g. man, birds, animals) are. There is no scientific evidence that plants suffer, even if they die: although a plant can react to physical damage it doesn’t have a brain, so it cannot process ‘pain’. To suggest that plants can feel pain would mean that God introduced enforced suffering before the fall of man, which goes against the bible.

The bible does not fit in with the theory of evolution.

* The lineage of Christ is presented in Luke 3 and Matthew 1.
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