How Can the Earth be Both 4.5 Billion and 6,000 Years Old?

Robert A. Herrmann, Ph.D.

[What follows essentially comprises a portion of my Final Personal Statement on the creationary beliefs I accept. These personal statements can be found under index #15.]

The Scriptures indicate that the Flood "rains" did not actually come from "clouds" but had different sources. Indeed, Biblically, it's highly probable that there was no cloud-initiated rain prior to the Flood (see * at the end of this section) and the long life spans were a product of a different set of perceived physical processes than those that exist today. Using "event sequences," a process used for the General Grand Unification Model (GGU-Model), the "rain" can simply appear as though it was being poured from the sky, from heaven. The Biblical statement is "the windows (floodgates, crevices) of the heavens are opened" Genesis 7:11, where the plural "heavens" is correct.

For my GGU-model interpretation, this re-enforces the relation that exists between the first heaven and second heaven in producing alterations in physical behavior. This additional strengthening of this notion seems to imply that what occurs is not the result of something previously realized. That is, the event sequence produced rain need not be related to any past or even future physical-system regulations that might be humanly comprehensible. As discussed below, this would all be rather startling to the Earth inhabitants, where the capital "E" signifies that this is the pre-Flood original "Earth." Further, there is the "water" that suddenly emerges from the "great deep." [In what follows, the symbol (LE) means "with its local environment."] This Flood scenario is very probable from the event sequence viewpoint, where the Earth (LE) prior to the Flood is not what we generally observe today.

An examination of the term "earth" ('erets) as used in Genesis 1:1, 1:9, 1:10, as is done above with the "window" notion, also yields ambiguous results. The Genesis 1:2 description in various versions indicates that the earth is other than the created water. But to what type of "land" is it referring? The Hebrew used has various distinct contextual meanings. Some appear to consider the term as it appears in Genesis 1:1 to mean just the "dry" land since in 1:10 it states that "God called the dry land 'earth' " (RSV). The NIV uses three distinct terms for the exact same Hebrew term "'erets;" in 1.1 "earth;" in 1:9 "ground;" and in 1:10 the dry ground is called "land." But then the Concordant Literal also states for 1:10, ". . . the dry part 'land.' " But they suggest that it might be called "earth" as well. Thus, comparing various scholars, when 'erets is used it can be rather ambiguous.

So, what does 'erets mean? As stated in "Nelson's Expository Dictionary of the Old Testament, Thomas Nelson, Nashville, 1980, p. 108" "'Erets does not only denote the entire terrestrial planet, but is also used of some of the earth's component parts. English words like land, country, ground, and soil transfer its meaning into our language." This reference indicates that "terrestrial" means the "material world," "including the 'mountains,' 'the seas,' 'the dry land,' 'the depths of the earth' (Ps. 2:8, 95:4,5; Amos 4:13; Jonah 1:9)." Thus, it appears to be highly contextually controlled.

Certainly, prior to the Flood, humankind would noticed that there is something solid below the water-line. I briefly discuss in my strict Genesis article what I accept 'erets to be in 1:1, the unrealized water and non-water aspects of a physical entity that is soon to be inhabited and observed by humankind, the Earth. The idea as stated in Matthew Henry's commentary and upheld by the NIV and Concordant Literal is that it is most likely that the Genesis 1:1 'erets means a portion of the total water, the deep. That is, in this context the water below becomes the Earth, both the water portion and the non-water portion. but this Earth has not taken its proper form as yet. It would appear, as compared to what is formed, to be chaotic, formless and would not yet display any of the non-water features. (The LXX states this as "unsightly and unfinished.") I take the "land" as the dry portion. (The basic LXX translation uses the term "land" for the non-water part of Earth.) As done in the NIV, I take the "ground" as the non-water portion of Earth. Then one may need, if possible, to differentiate contextually between these distinct meanings. A basic reason for this analysis is to reasonably establish what the term 'erets means in Genies 6:13. and the phrase "destroy them and the 'erets."

There is no actual guidance given as to how 'erets is to be understood in the 6:13 case. An analysis such as above, yields nothing that aids in this determination. For one version, the Living Bible, 'erets implies that only land life is destroyed. The NIV indicates that its meaning here may be ambiguous since they do not note that "land" can be substituted for Earth at this point. Other versions simply state that 'erets will be destroyed by the Flood. From the LXX, this verse has "gê," which is understood there as the solid portion in contrast to the sea, but is translated there as "earth." Thus, one needs to make choices. In 6:13, does the term 'erets mean the ground, the land or the earth? And, what does "destroy" mean? My choice is that the land is "cast off." However, due to the ambiguous nature of this term, individuals tend to select the meaning that corresponds to a particlar Flood model.

There is an indication from our knowledge of today's earth that when God destroys something the result, from a direct viewpoint, is a complete form of destruction. This is the result of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genies 19. Thus far, no convincing physical evidence has been found that even indicates that these cities existed. But, such destructions can also yield evidence that requires Holy Spirit discernment. That is, the evidence can be interpreted in more than one way and only through a process as stated in 1 John 2:27 can the correct interpretation be known. I choose that all the ground has been highly altered from what it was prior to the Flood.

The pre-designed Earth (LE), as an event sequence realization, is step-by-step described in Genesis, and I consider it an extreme modification of an unrealized pre-designed earth (LE) called the "current earth." The physical laws for our current earth (LE) are the same as those that govern the external universe. To various degrees, the current earth (LE) comprises portions of the "ancient" earth (LE). (An ancient earth is one formed via a particular cosmology.) At the conclusion of the Flood, a covirtual earth with its local environment "replaces" the Earth and its local environment. The "cast off" concept. For me, the "current earth" upon which we reside is the realized earth of today and contains evidence for the existence of both an ancient earth and the Earth.

Today's current earth requires interpretative discernment in order to differentiate between purposes for physical laws and the technical methods used. Originally they are given so that human beings can subdue various aspects of the Earth (LE) and, to various degrees, our current earth (LE). The facts are that the Bible gives very little information as to the any technical methods used prior to the Flood. There is no indication as to whether Noah and his family possessed all the technical knowledge developed prior to the Flood. They knew how to build boats and, probably, possessed knowledge of how to operator a farm and how to care for animals. But, the Bible does not indicate whether any member of Noah's immediate family could work with iron and brass (Gen. 4:22). Having great technical information prior to the Flood is rather unnecessary since Noah, his family and many of his descendants trusted God to supply the necessary information wherever it is necessary.

After the indicated Biblical time, the Bible states that the "waters" abated (Gen 8:11). Then Noah waited seven more days and indications are that the "waters" had "dried up off the earth" (Gen 8:13), where the term translated here as "earth" can just as well be translated as "ground." Such waters serve as a type of "interface" between the Earth (LE) and the current earth (LE) that was realized, with combined evidence as here understood. The current earth (LE) replaces the Earth (LE). This interface yields a type of conjoining of portions of the Earth (LE) with the ancient earth (LE) via a library of event sequences as predicted mathematically. Consequently, I believe that our current earth (LE) exhibits features that comprise portions of the Flood destroyed or ruined (Gen. 6:13) Earth (LE) that, depending upon interpretative evidence, can appear to be superimposed over an ancient earth (LE), where physical-system behavior is consistent with that displayed by the external universe.

Although the Earth (LE) is cast off, for those that have the proper discernment, such Earth (LE) evidence constitutes a signature that the Earth (LE) existed. Moreover, from an interpretive viewpoint, the current earth (LE) has anomalies associated with the vast time-scale accepted by many physical scientists for its development. These anomalies occur in physical-science theories. Since this is an interface process that necessary involves ultranatural events, an in-depth description as to how this interface actually leds to the description given in Genesis 8 cannot be determined. Some claim that there is a clue given in Genesis 8:10-11 that there may not have been a corresponding global flood on an Earth. They, however, use a different mode of interpretation to make this claim. I do not accept this claim. From an event sequence viewpoint, it is not necessary that there be such a global flood on the ancient earth in order for the current earth's aquatic life to be preserved on our present earth. Notice, however, that there is a seven-day period prior to sending out the dove and its return with a "olive leaf plucked off." This indicates the supernatural aspects of the conjoining of these two earths since the existence of such a plucked off olive leaf implies that the land where the Ark came to rest is rather immediately inhabitable.

The major evidence would be evidence that a global Flood occurred. This evidence can be such that "other" evidence can attest to a non-global flood or no Flood at all. Such contrary evidence would point to the replacement notion, a replacement that contains reminders that a global Flood did occur on the Earth. Further, the idea that the earth of today is but 6,000 - 8,000 years old is not based upon any actual Biblical statement relative to the actual "ground" upon what humans walk. It is based only upon the Biblical stated ancestral age of humankind.

In more detail, such anomalies within a specific theory imply certain possibilities. (1) If an accepted scientific theory and corresponding observations imply the existence of the Earth (LE) and The Flood, then there are anomalies that seem to be best explained by an ancient earth (LE) theory. (2) If an accepted scientific theory and corresponding observations imply an ancient earth (LE) (say billions of years old), then there are anomalies that seem to be best explained by the existence of the Earth (LE) and The Flood.

The anomalies may be purely interpretative in character. Or, the anomalies of (1) and (2) can be "explained" by accepting that there was a conjoining, a superimposing, of both earths, and that a global Flood and Earth (LE) evidence is mingled in various ways with an ancient earth (LE). Indeed, such anomalies can be explained as either (i) mingled material evidence, (ii) mingled (or apparently altered) physical-system behavior or characteristics or (iii) method-signatures such as "relative sudden appearance" in fully functional form. That is, that not only was the Earth composed of the Genesis described physical objects obtained by suddenly realization in Biblically described functional form, but all of the physical objects that comprise the ancient earth (LE) are the products of sudden realization at various levels of complexity.

For example, there has been a great effort put forth to explain many geological features exhibited by our current earth as produced by a global Flood. Then this is extrapolated to other features that do not, at present, support such an interpretation. This is explained as but mingled physical-system behavior. Indeed, I accept that there is a global Flood, exactly as stated in the Scriptures, on the Earth (LE). After this Flood, during Ark-time and prior to Noah leaving the Ark, the ancient earth (LE) appears with various incorporated Flood features. To those with discernment, the current earth (LE) has strong reminders of the original Earth (LE) and the global Flood and, hence, the reasons for it. How much of the Earth and the ancient earth is mingled can only be determined by those who can discern the differences.

There are specific Scriptural concepts that appear to enhance these mingling notions. As the Living Bible states it "Instead, God has deliberately chosen to use ideas the world considers foolish and of little worth in order to shame those people considered by the world as wise and great" (1 Cor 1:27). (Also 1 Cor 1:20-21, 3:19-20.) Further, it also models the very significant idea of a "strong delusion" (2 Thess 2:10-11).

Recall that event sequences are not generated by what we perceive as "physical laws." Such "laws" are the regularities we comprehended that seem to sequentially control the images.

It is very clear to me that the Flood mechanisms or driving processes as described in Genesis 7:11 and that yield the Flood do not correspond to any form of present-day perceivable physical laws. I reject attempts to interpret Genesis 7:11 in order to force these descriptions to conform to any known present-day processes. I favor the pure event sequence approach, a formation that can preserve remnants of the Earth (LE). For appropriate applications, the pure event sequence approach corresponds to a rather "sudden" replacement.

Of course, Biblical analysis does not indicate when, during the Flood period and prior to Noah leaving the Ark, this replacement process occurred. But, it is definitely a display of God's exceptional "power" while other Flood models tend to diminish His influence. I point out that God's pre-designed event sequences contain this particular mode of conjoined earths. The mingled evidence gives to those that have the proper discernment the necessary reminders of the Biblical facts and of "what could have been." If there should be a concern as to where the "water" went, there are pre-designed event sequences that produce a disappearance as well as an appearance of physical entities. One can ask many questions relative to this possible mingling of evidence. Since no biological entity within the universe is an higher-intelligence, then answers to such questions can exist but, as established by the GID-model, the answers can also be beyond human comprehension. Note that the general notion of replacing one "earth" with another "earth" is a specific method mentioned in Rev. 21:1. (Notice that the Greek translated as "first" in this verse (KJV) carries the meaning of "former" in time or order.) Although the process can now be stated in scientific terms, the replacement idea is not Scriptural speculation.

On the current earth (LE), there may be evidence for biological entities from an ancient earth, entities that were not brought on the Ark. God reminded Noah, in Gen 9:6, that "humanity" is created in God's image. This signifies, to me, that all Biblical references to humanity, humankind, man etc. refer only to biological entities that are "made in God's image." This refers must strongly to the "spirit" aspect of His created. Further, all such humans are descendants of Noah. If the Hebrew and Greek words often translated as the Earth, or after the Flood, the entire current earth are associated in any manner to humankind, then necessarily these words only refer to entities that are related to the descendants of Noah.

The current earth (LE) is obviously "cursed," when compared with the Earth (LE). In Gen 9:2-5, some of the actual changed and "cursed" behavior for animate objects is described. In Gen 9:13, we find that the current earth has different physical-system behavior. I accept, for the current earth, verifiable biological change within kinds for all biological entities throughout the universe, including descendants of the original Ark inhabitants, but not via random mutilations. As shown elsewhere on this web site, all such alterations attributed to mindless random mutations are actually produced and directed by an higher-intelligence. I believe that for the modern theory of evolution (common descent etc.) there will be found, especially relative to the kinds present on the Ark and the descendants of Noah, anomalies that are best explained by applying the ideas - the model - presented in this article.

I also believe that there are method-signatures that indicate that some of the methods used to produce the Earth (LE) such as relative sudden appearance have also been utilized to establish an ancient earth (LE) and, by restriction, a current earth (LE). In particular, for the ancient earth what may appear as an addition of information that yields a distinctly different biological entity is actually a signature for relative sudden appearance as it is exhibited by pre-designed event sequences. The theological interpretation for pre-design validates the Scriptural concept of "foreknowledge." Further, theologically, pre-design is a technical term that refers to the "mind of God," where to speak or command entities into existence is distinct from just being in the mind of God. What I have presented here is a "model." Hence, it mirrors behavior. Since we are dealing with an higher-intelligence, my descriptions must remain very incomplete. I do not contend that this model is precise. This means that the described mechanisms need not be the actual ones that lead to the described behavior.

*The Bible first mentions "to rain" (matar(maw-tar')) in Genesis 2:5. This is done in the negative sense. ". . . had not caused it to rain upon the earth." This is coupled with the 2:6 "mist" statement. I accept that such statements are placed in the Bible for definite purposes. They are germane. Hence, an obvious question would be "When did it start to rain water?" I note that matar denotes an "operative" statement that is used for other purposes not related to "water."

An actual beginning moment when the rain would occur in the form of water (rain-water) should be present in the Bible in order to properly complement this Genesis 2.5 statement. The Bible might be silent on the matter. But, in that case, the "no rain" and "mist" statements are rather unnecessary. Indeed, removing these statements from the Bible would seem to have no significant affect upon "there was not a man to till the ground" and the creation of man. From my viewpoint, this Genesis 2:5 environment was pre-designed to be highly distinct from other environments in which God could have placed humanity. This is counter to the notions of evolutionary-creation and progressive-creation.

In general, there are reasons why God might not give explicit reasons for His behavior or for His commands. As shown in the "Theory of Ultralogics," it can be rational assumed that there is a type of "Divine" language. This "language" has linguistic rules similar to many ordinary humanly written and spoken languages. However, this language cannot be communicated directly to humanity. This implies that when God sets out rules or commands that humanity is to obey, then He need not give reasons for His rules or commands. However, an answer to this "rain" question does not appear to fall in this category.

As mentioned, there is the notion of Biblical speculation, as used by many cults. Such conjectures often follow from the belief that "the Bible is silent on the matter." I follow the rule that Biblical speculation must be greatly restrained and should be consistent with all other strictly interpreted Biblical statements. Relative to a various questions that one might ask about this Flood model, speculation should be applied only when one can demonstrate that there are no Biblical statements that answer the question in a reasonable manner. All such speculation must be consistent with any previously interpreted Biblical statement.

Does God demonstrate such a supernatural control over a long-time-period of this type for the rain-water operation? In James 5:17, James tells us how God further demonstrates His control over this operation.

Since there is no mention of the rain-water operation after Genesis 2:5 and through 7:4, one can speculate that the actual notion we associate with the rain-water operation, occurred at some unknown period between Genesis 2:5 and 7:4. But, this does not follow the rule for proper speculation since Genesis 7:4 does mention a rain-water operation. Thus, I have chosen that moment as described in Gen. 7:12 as the first actual application of the rain-water operation. I cannot say whether Noah knew the complete meaning of the term God communicated to him - matar. He certainly became aware of it during the deluge and why the boat God instructed him to build would not sink due to the rain-water. The Ark was built like a "room" and thus had a top and sides. This would protect the interior from flooding. Indeed, all other inhabitants on the earth would have been very startled by such an event and would not have had any means to avoid drowning since they would have had no experience with such a physical-event.

[5] Although, for my approach, the articles would need to be altered, many questions relative to all of humankind being descendants of Noah and post-Flood aspects of this planet on which we dwell can be found at the following URLs.

Where are all the human fossils?

The human fossils still speak!

How did the different 'races' arise (from Noah's family)?

Where are all the people?

The mystery of ancient man

The following lists (2-12) a small amount of "evidence" for a young earth. Rather than the exact explanations giving in this article, the "mingling" notions stated above can be applied more effectively.

Evidence for a Young World

22 AUG 2011. Revised 21 APR 2017

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