How can an educated person believe the Earth is only several thousand years old?
In this article, nuclear physicist Jim Mason responds to a presentation by a University of Adelaide professor whose position was
a) the Earth is 4.54 billion years old, or
b) the Earth was created to look like it is 4.54 billion years old.
Dr. Mason responds that with a careful explanation of many layers of evidence in favour of the conclusion that the Earth actually is, and appears to be, around 6000 years old, consistent with the Bible’s account.
This is an excellent summary of many of the reasons why I myself have come to firmly believe the Bible is correct in its testimony that the Earth is not billions, but merely thousands of years old. You will notice, if you read the article carefully, that these reasons are scientific. That is they are based on observations and interpretations of physical evidence. Although I already believed the Bible was an accurate and trustworthy record of history before I had heard of any of these lines of evidence, I used to hold to the second option above (“the Earth was created to look like it is 4.54 billion years old”). This was an uncomfortable position to hold because of the implication that God had perhaps deceived us by making a young world look old. However, I now conclude, with Dr. Mason apparently, that the best scientific option, even though incredibly unpopular, is that the world really is “young”–just as the Bible teaches.
Lastly, those pastors and other Christians who take the position, that the “old Earth” scientific consensus must be correct, that it is anti-cultural or arrogant to promote the belief that the Earth is young, and that there is no solid evidence from science for believing the Bible’s straightforward testimony on the age of the Earth to be true, seem to be to be regularly repeating rather poor arguments which, given the lines of evidence presented here, can be seen to be misinformed. It may be that in the next life, I will ask God about the age of the Earth and He will tell me I was wrong–that the world really was 4.5 billion years old (although I think this is so far from likely as to be almost certainly untrue in my opinion). But my point here is that there are good scientific reasons, aside from “faith”, to challenge the “old Earth” consensus and maintain a “young Earth” view.