Those who accept evolution and debate with creationists try to persuade us with the evidence, but fail to realize that our histories are different. Evolutionists come to their conclusions because they assume the past has operated (for the most part) exactly as it does today. Their assumption seems logical in their naturalistic worldview. Creationists do not share that assumption. We have a different assumption about the past that stems from the Biblical explanation of history. We see four very different ages that the earth has/will pass through. In each age, we see reason to believe that many things may have operated differently than they do today. That is one of the many reasons we have to reject extrapolated data such as radiometric dating methods. Let me explain the four ages, and why scripturally the world may have behaved differently than today.
THE 1st AGE: Creation to Corruption
Creation (approx. 6000 years ago) to the Fall (first sin, probably very soon after the creation week).
God creates everything in six literal 24-hour periods. The created world simply pops into existence mid-life cycle. Trees are full grown, vegetation is ready to eat, animals and the humans are adults able to sustain their life. Think about the implications of things created mid-life cycle versus slow evolution would have on dating methods alone! The creation is perfect (“very good”). There is no death, disease, or decay. The world works much differently than today. A mist came up from the ground (Gen.2:6) to water the plants versus the current evaporation/rain model. All creatures were vegetarian (Gen.1:29-30) – no death, no carnivory. Humans were designed to live forever (the tree of life kept them alive until removed later). The pre-fall world was designed to operate much differently than the world we live in today, and therefore it is incorrect to judge that age by today’s processes.
THE 2nd AGE: Corruption to Catastrophe
From the curse following the fall (probably very soon after creation week) to the Flood (approx.. 4300BC).
After man disobeyed God, he put a curse on the earth (Gen.3:17). Many things changed: death entered the world, thorns came up out of the ground (but yet evolutionists say they are in the fossil record millions of years before man’s sin – a big issue for those who believe in a God-directed evolution), pain in childbirth, carnivory, etc. More than likely, many process started to resemble the decay we see in the world today. Many creationists believe that rain did not begin until the flood citing “the vault” of Gen.1:7 that separated the “water under the vault from the water above it” (there are issues with this model, but we will discuss that in a future post). Therefore the post-curse / pre-flood world introduced the concept of decay for first time.
THE 3rd AGE: Catastrophe to Consummation
From the flood (approx. 2300BC) to the return of Christ (end of time).
This is the age we are currently in. The world was drastically altered by the flood. Mountains raised, valleys lowered, scars of sedimentary rock layers preserving the dead all over the world. In this age we know for certain that radiocarbon decays at a given rate, starlight travels at a given rate, tectonic plates move at a given rate, etc. Evolutionists use the data they collect in this age to draw incorrect conclusions about the first two ages. This is why we disconnect.
THE 4th AGE: Consummation through Eternity
From the return of Christ (end of time) to all of eternity.
When Christ returns at the end of time he will restore a “new heavens and a new earth” (Rev.21:1). Christ will restore us all to the original design: perfection. No more death, suffering, or decay of anyway. This is the good news.
When one properly understands that the way the world works today is not necessarily the way it has always worked, we can understand why creationists and evolutionists have such wildly differing perspectives on earth’s history. These perspectives are not rectified by comparing evidences. It takes faith on BOTH ends. They must have faith that their extrapolations reach into all of history, and we must have faith that the history recorded in the Bible is trustworthy.
Keep in mind that I am not suggesting that the laws of the universe wildly change at any whim. I am saying that according to the historical record recorded in the Bible there has been times in the past where God intervened in the world – and that will always affect the natural world. Faith is necessary, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have evidence. The evidence (rocks, trees, fossils, etc) all align with a young-earth view when interpreted through the above model versus uniformitarian assumptions about the past.