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Q&A: How Old is Mankind?

Question: Science tells me that the universe is 13.7 billion years old, the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, man is 200,000 years old and organized civilization is 6,000 years old. But, my pastor tells me that the universe, Earth, man and civilization are all 6,000 years old. So, who is right?

In a way they are both right. The Bible tells us that first God created the heavens and the earth from nothing but the power of the Holy Spirit. Science agrees and calls this moment of creation the Big Bang. This gigantic explosion cause space, matter and time to come into existence. Due to the creation of gravity, gas clouds coalesced, ignited and created stars. The gravity of stars caused rock matter from the Big Bang to coalesce and form the planets. The earth was created 4.5 billion years ago the exact same way as all planets were created. So, the Bible says God created the heavens and the earth and science tell us how and when He did it.

The Bible tells us that God also created all life on earth. However, the Bible does not tell us how long God waited after the formation of the earth until He created life on earth to include man. This unknow time lapse is called the Gap Theory and is found between Genesis verse one and verse two. When it pleased God, He gave a regeneration command on each of five days. Scripture is unclear if His commands caused instant changes, or the changes occurred over an unknow number of years. But scripture is clear is that God commanded the actions, they occurred and He was pleased. So the Bible tells us God created all life and the order of its creation and science agrees that life was created in this order.

We are also told that God personally created Adam last on day six. He formed and breathed life and an eternal spirit into him. However, He immediately transported Adam out of the greater world and into a secluded garden specifically designed for his needs and safety (Genesis 2:15). Therefore, while very ancient human skeletal remains have been found, this is immaterial to the Genesis story concerning the creation of Adam and Eve. Adam was a one-off creation by God to bring about a race of Godly people that would eventually have its zenith with the birth of Christ. The Bible does not mention the possibility of other earlier races of men because they are not germane to its focus which is the birth of the world’s Messiah and the eternal salvation of mankind.

For the record, the Bible does not implicitly state that Adam was the first man nor the only man. It simply states that God decided to make a race of men in His image. It then focuses on the creation of Adam, the patriarch of this race. The Bible tells us that man was the last and supreme being created by God and science agrees that man is the most recent and dominant life force on earth.

It is difficult and tedious to try and understand why people continually try to twist the Bible into a science book or a genealogy of the entire human race. While the Bible gives us the basic and scientifically proven tenants of creation, it was designed by God as a spiritual guide. A series of love letters to His beloved children.

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