Earth’s Existence

During the nineteenth century, evidence mounted that apparently showed that the Earth had existed for millions, perhaps hundreds of millions, of years. This seemed to contradict the account given in Genesis that holds that the Earth was created less than 10,000 years ago. In response to this challenge, Philip Henry Gosse, an English theist, replied roughly as follows: In creating Adam and Eve, God would endow them with navels, and thus it would seem that they had been born in the normal way, and thus also seem that they had existed for a number of years before they were created by God. Beyond this, their hair, fingernails, bones, and so on would all show evidence of growth, again giving evidence of previous ex- istence. The same would be true of the trees that surrounded them in the Garden of Eden, which would have rings. Furthermore, the sediment in the rivers should suggest that they had flowed for very many years in the past. In sum, although the Earth was created fairly recently, God would have created it in a way that would make it appear that it had existed for many more years, perhaps millions of years in the past. Thus, the actual creation of the Earth less than 10,000 years ago is compatible with scientific evidence that suggests that it is much older than this. Evaluate this line of reasoning.

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