Old earth creationism
Old earth creationism is the belief in religious creationism that stays with the current scientific community's assessment of the Earth's age. The view is accepted by a large number of Christians. Some have made alternate interpretations of the scripture in keeping with the evolutionary time line. Most old earth creationists hold that the flood detailed in Genesis 6-8 was a local or regional flood.
Types of beliefs
There are three main schools of old-earth creation science thought:
- Progressive creationism - also known as day-age creationism, is an attempt to harmonize the Bible with current scientific beliefs such as stellar evolution, and the fossil record. It assumes the days of the creation were actually broad lengths of time, and proposes that God separately created the various kinds of animals and later man, but over a long period of time. It also accepts the evolutionary time scale (simple to complex over millions of years) but has more input from God. Hugh Ross and the Reasons to Believe ministry teaches progressive creation. The illustration above is quite similar to a progressive-creationist timeline chart.
- Gap theory creationism assumes that a vast period of time elapsed between the first two verses of Genesis. Most variations of this theory interpret Genesis 1:1 as the first creation, which included the creation of the heavens, the earth, plants and animals, and even a race of humans preceding Adam. Perhaps billions of years then elapsed, during which time Satan and his angels fell and corrupted the inhabitants of the earth. God then judged and destroyed the earth and all its inhabitants. Thus, the earth became "formless and void" (Genesis 1:2 ) and remained that way for eons. The second creation, according to the gap theory, began in Genesis 1:3 with the first day of the familiar six days of creation of the (re)creation week.
- Theistic evolutionism is the belief in both the theory of evolution and God (a combination of evolutionism and theism). It is held by most that the creation account in the book of Genesis is a non-literal story written simply to teach that man is fallen, and not meant to describe the specific circumstances regarding the origins of the universe. Theistic evolutionists fully accept that evolution is the scientific description of how organisms change over time and the result of descent with modification. At the same time, the theistic evolutionist is a theist - who believes in a God who is both personal and concerned with His creation. Theistic evolutionists could thus belong to any of the three main monotheistic faiths, or to any other theistic faith.
- Main Article: Creationist groups
- Affiliation of Christian Geologists
- American Scientific Affiliation
- Answers In Creation
- Christian Geology Ministry
- Christians in Science UK organization
- Genesis International Research Association
- Genesis Proclaimed Association
- Institute for Biblical & Scientific Studies
- Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute
- Reasons To Believe
- Gerald Schroeder, Genesis and the Big Bang Theory: The Discovery of Harmony Between Modern Science and the Bible, 1991, ISBN 0553354132 (articulates Old Earth Creationism)
- Hugh Ross, A Matter of Days: Resolving a Creation Controversy, 2004, ISBN 1-576-83375-5
- Hugh Ross, The Genesis Question: Scientific Advances and the Accuracy of Genesis, 2001, ISBN 1-576-83230-9
- David G. Hagopian, editor, The Genesis Debate : Three Views on the Days of Creation, 2000, ISBN 0-970-22450-8
- Alan Hayward, Creation and Evolution: Rethinking the Evidence from Science and the Bible, 1995, ISBN 1-556-61679-1
- An Old Age for the Earth Is the Heart of Evolution by Jonathan Henry. Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 40, No. 3. December 2003.