Age of the Earth


#1

I was wondering what the Catholic Church’s stand is on the age of the earth. All our lives we have been taught in school and such that the earth is millions if not billions of years old. I realize that whatever our belief is, is that it cannot contradict our belief in creation rather than evolution. But nowadays, there are evangelicals or the “young earth” croud claiming that the earth is something like 8, 9, or 10 thousand years old. What is the Catholic Churchs belief on this? Do they accept most scientists belief of the millions or billions of years as long as creation is not contradicted or are they more in line with the “young earth” belief?


#2

[quote=hoser]I was wondering what the Catholic Church’s stand is on the age of the earth. All our lives we have been taught in school and such that the earth is millions if not billions of years old. I realize that whatever our belief is, is that it cannot contradict our belief in creation rather than evolution. But nowadays, there are evangelicals or the “young earth” croud claiming that the earth is something like 8, 9, or 10 thousand years old. What is the Catholic Churchs belief on this? Do they accept most scientists belief of the millions or billions of years as long as creation is not contradicted or are they more in line with the “young earth” belief?
[/quote]

The Catholic Church does not require us to reject science. The sole caveat is that we cannot hold that the soul evolved – there was never a creature with half a soul.

We must also hold that God is the Author of Creation – that it came about through His will.


#3

Hello hoser,

Physical time is the measure of change between physical matter, energy and empty space. God is spiritual and exists outside of the physical time that He created. God is Omni-Present to the whole of physical time.

God does not have to sit around waiting for tens of billions of years to bring man into creation. It is free willed, love for God capable, man which is at the focus point of God’s reason for creation. Thousands of years ago there was nothing; no empty space, no matter, no energy, just nothing. From God’s focus point of free from the will of God, love for God capable, Adam, tens of billions of years of past if not infinite past and tens of billions of years of future, if not infinite future flowed out into existance from our Omni-Powerful God’s hand.

One has to remember that the past of physical time must bend to our Omni-Powerful God’s hand. If God chooses to destroy Nineveh with meteorites, then for tens of millions of years meteorites may have been headed for Nineveh. If God relents and forgives then God can now make a physical past of tens of millions of years without meteors headed for Nineveh.

Scientist will never see the past where rainbows never exisited because God modified the past of physical time allong with the future of physical time when God first put his covenant into the sky at the time of Noah. Scientists will never see a past where snakes have legs because the past of time was remolded by the Power of Our Spiritual God’s Hand right along with future physical time. Physical time has no power over God’s Powerful, Omni-Present to the whole of physical time, Hand.

God is just that Powerful!
Please visit Creation


#4

The Catholic Church, to my knowledge, has not made any official pronouncements either way and probably never will. The age of the earth is not an issue of faith or morals but of natural science. However, I get the impression, reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church, that an “old earth” view is favored over a “young earth” view. Consider the following:

  1. The question about the origins of the world and of man has been the object of many scientific studies which have splendidly enriched our knowledge of the age and dimensions of the cosmos, the development of life-forms and the appearance of man. These discoveries invite us to even greater admiration for the greatness of the Creator, prompting us to give him thanks for all his works and for the understanding and wisdom he gives to scholars and researchers. …

  2. God himself created the visible world in all its richness, diversity and order. Scripture presents the work of the Creator symbolically as a succession of six days of divine “work”, concluded by the “rest” of the seventh day. …


#5

As far as I am concerned the Earth is at least 39 years old.

I come to this conclusion because I am 38 years old and the Earth has been here for as long as I can remember and I am sure it was here for at least a year before I was born.

Other than that, I leave it to science to argue this because it doesn’t come up in my life at all.


#6

[quote=Steven Merten]Hello hoser,

Physical time is the measure of change between physical matter, energy and empty space. God is spiritual and exists outside of the physical time that He created. God is Omni-Present to the whole of physical time.

God does not have to sit around waiting for tens of billions of years to bring man into creation. It is free willed, love for God capable, man which is at the focus point of God’s reason for creation. Thousands of years ago there was nothing; no empty space, no matter, no energy, just nothing. From God’s focus point of free from the will of God, love for God capable, Adam, tens of billions of years of past if not infinite past and tens of billions of years of future, if not infinite future flowed out into existance from our Omni-Powerful God’s hand.

One has to remember that the past of physical time must bend to our Omni-Powerful God’s hand. If God chooses to destroy Nineveh with meteorites, then for tens of millions of years meteorites may have been headed for Nineveh. If God relents and forgives then God can now make a physical past of tens of millions of years without meteors headed for Nineveh.

Scientist will never see the past where rainbows never exisited because God modified the past of physical time allong with the future of physical time when God first put his covenant into the sky at the time of Noah. Scientists will never see a past where snakes have legs because the past of time was remolded by the Power of Our Spiritual God’s Hand right along with future physical time. Physical time has no power over God’s Powerful, Omni-Present to the whole of physical time, Hand.

God is just that Powerful!
Please visit Creation

[/quote]

I’m sorry but this is so incredibly ignorant it can’t go unanswered. Some very intelligent people - Organic Chemists, Astronomists, physics doctorates have spent decades of their lives discovering facts about our earth and universe. These’ ‘scientists’ have done a lot more than make up some fantasy based on biased religios/denomimational attitudes.


#7

Hey I almost let this one slip by… :cool:

“According to the widely accepted scientific account, the universe erupted 15 billion years ago in an explosion called the ‘Big Bang’ and has been expanding and cooling ever since. Later there gradually emerged the conditions necessary for the formation of atoms, still later the condensation of galaxies and stars, and about 10 billion years later the formation of planets. In our own solar system and on earth (formed about 4.5 billion years ago), the conditions have been favorable to the emergence of life.” ( De Fide – International Theological Commission 2004 statement )

"With the same clear and critical gaze with which it examines and judges the facts, it discerns and recognizes there the work of creative Omnipotence, whose strength raised up by the powerful fiat uttered billions of years ago by the creating Mind, has spread through the universe, calling into existence, in a gesture of generous love, matter teeming with energy’ " ( De Fide – Pope John Paul II, citing Pius XII, to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, 10/3/1981, “Cosmology and Fundamental Physics” )

“Instead of this we now face measurements that transcend all comprehension. Today we hear of the Big Bang, which happened billions of years ago and with which the universe began its expansion – an expansion that continues to occur without interruption. And it was not in neat succession that the stars were hung and the green of the fields created; it was rather in complex ways and over vast periods of time that the earth and the universe were constructed as we now know them.” ( De Fide – Cardinal Ratzinger’s commentary on Genesis )

“He who does not say the earth is somewhere in the vicinity of 4.5 and 4.6 billion years old, let him be anathema.” ( De Fide – Council of Trent, Session XXXXVIII )

Just kidding about the De Fide part, you get the idea.

And oh yeah, how Christian creationist geologists knew the earth was very old well before Darwin. It’s all spelled out in the books by Davis Young (evangelical geologist from Calvin College).

Phil P


#8

“the “young earth” belief”

go away, young-earthism
groups.google.com/groups?selm=Pine.LNX.4.44L.01.0310190200530.8725-100000%40linux1.gl.umbc.edu


#9

The young earth creationsit and the fundamental circles preaching that the earth is less than 10,000 years, some even claim that we have not yet reached 7,000 years. Read the Genesis story from a literal point of view only they treat that text as science.

Anyone who claims such a thing in his/her doctrine of faith has missed the point of the story.

The most humorous thing about this is they will claim 6 literal days of creation as scientific fact bc the bible says, yet when it comes to Jesus Christ own words about the bread and wine is trully trully his flesh and blood as a figure of speech.

As a former fundamental I would say that the devil as crept in to their church and is misleading many good people, as a new Catholic I now see why it was not only important but imperative that Christ through the Holy Spirit will never leave His Church, and the promise that the gates of hell will not prevail against it.


#10

Science peers back in time and makes pronouncements about what it observes looking through the lens of our own time.

This is the best they can do for assumptions have to be made. These assumptions may later be proved to be false or simply carry on as assumptions. .

There can be circumstances such as a slowing of the speed of light that may obscure or confuse these conclusions.

Bottom line is we don’t really know and may never know. What we can know is based on our own history which began some 10-12000 years ago. So we know the earth cannot be younger than our own history.


#11

The ancients who passed along stories about the creation of the earth and the creation of man and his fall were not concerned about being scientifically factual. They would never have thought that mere facts would/could explain such great mysteries, but would have laughed at the very idea. They believed the things we can see and know from nature only bear witness to the greatness of God not that they prove anything about his existence nor how he created everything there is, including man. We have to bear that in mind when we read the creation stories because what they wanted to convey was the simple truth that God created everything good and that we humans failed to be obedient to the God who made us, not when all this happened and how long it took.

As to the age of the earth being so many thousands of years old, that was based on a faulty interpretation of family genealogies from both the OT and the NT–the so-and-so begat so-and-so passages. Those who used these genealogical passages either didn’t know or overlooked the fact that not everyone related to the descendant in the passage is mentioned but only those of any interest to the reader. The names were used as historical mileposts and were never meant to list everyone in the family’s history. Besides, they were only interested, once again, in showing a particular person’s lineage, not in telling us how old mankind is or anything like that.


#12

Interpreting the Genealogies of Genesis Page 1

Challenged with the idea that Adam’s date is 4004 BC and that the Flood occurred in 2238 BC, Robert Sungenis shows that, according to biblical chronology and archeological findings, these dates would be impossible, for it would leave only 66 years between Noah and Abraham. Read as Robert shows that the genealogies are actually a biblical calendar that takes us back to about the year 10,000 BC, with the Flood occurring around 5,000 BC.

more…


#13

[quote=buffalo]Interpreting the Genealogies of Genesis Page 1

Challenged with the idea that Adam’s date is 4004 BC and that the Flood occurred in 2238 BC, Robert Sungenis shows that, according to biblical chronology and archeological findings, these dates would be impossible, for it would leave only 66 years between Noah and Abraham. Read as Robert shows that the genealogies are actually a biblical calendar that takes us back to about the year 10,000 BC, with the Flood occurring around 5,000 BC.

more…
[/quote]

Sorry, but I don’t accept anything from a man who insists that the universe revolves around the earth. He is not credible in my view.

Peace

Tim


#14

[quote=Orogeny]Sorry, but I don’t accept anything from a man who insists that the universe revolves around the earth. He is not credible in my view.

Peace

Tim
[/quote]

Nothing? Nothing at all? I am disappointed. Even you have to admit he could accidentally be right on something.


#15

[quote=buffalo]Nothing? Nothing at all? I am disappointed. Even you have to admit he could accidentally be right on something.
[/quote]

Only if it were backed up by a reliable source.

Peace

Tim


#16

[quote=Orogeny]Only if it were backed up by a reliable source.

Peace

Tim
[/quote]

Are you taking issue with the geneologies?


#17

[quote=buffalo]Are you taking issue with the geneologies?
[/quote]

Nope. I’m taking issue with using Sungenis as a resource.

Peace

Tim


#18

[quote=cynic]I’m sorry but this is so incredibly ignorant it can’t go unanswered. Some very intelligent people - Organic Chemists, Astronomists, physics doctorates have spent decades of their lives discovering facts about our earth and universe. These’ ‘scientists’ have done a lot more than make up some fantasy based on biased religios/denomimational attitudes.
[/quote]

Hello cynic,

The physical world that scientists are looking at is billions of years old. God exists outside of physical time. Time is only a measure of change between matter, energy and empty space. Time has no control, limits or power over our Omni-Powerful God who exists outside of physical time.

If God decides to destroy a city with meteorites then meteorites heve been heading toward that city for tens of thousands of years. If God changes His mind and decides not to destroy the city with meteorites, now meteorites never were heading for that city for tens of thousands of years. Our Spiritual God exists outside of physical time and God has complete control over past and future physical time.

Where there was no physical creation past or future, God brought past and future physcial existance into existance. God is just this powerful.


#19

Let’s not forget that God did not create the Sun until the third day. Who is to say how long a “day” was prior to that point since there was no Sun as a point of reference. It could have been 25 hours instead of 24 hours. It could have been 24 days instead of 24 hours. It could have been 2.4 billion years instead of 24 hours. Without the sun (and the stars) as reference points, there is no way to know how long those earlier ‘days’ were.

So the age of the earth could be 5 billion years without causing conflict with scripture.


#20

[quote=ByzCath]As far as I am concerned the Earth is at least 39 years old.

I come to this conclusion because I am 38 years old and the Earth has been here for as long as I can remember and I am sure it was here for at least a year before I was born.

Other than that, I leave it to science to argue this because it doesn’t come up in my life at all.
[/quote]

Let me help you to a larger understanding. The earth is actually at least 43 years old. I’m 43. If we give it the same margin of error/benefit of the doubt as you did in your computation (one year), it’s probably closer to 44…or it will be when I turn 44 in April of 2006.
Hope this helps.


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