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What is young earth creationism?

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Young earth creationism (YEC) is the belief that God directly created the universe in six literal days and that the earth is relatively young. Young earth creationists usually place the age of the earth at 6,000 years (10,000 years being an upper limit). Other points held by young earth creationists include the occurrence of a global flood during Noah’s day, God’s creation of the world with apparent age, and (often) the existence of a single continent before the flood. Young earth creationism is the official position of Got Questions Ministries.

Young earth creationism is the counterpart of old earth creationism (OEC), which says that the earth is about 4.5 billion years old, based on the geologic timescale, carbon dating, and other common dating methods. Variations of old earth creationism include progressive creationism, the day-age theory, the gap theory, and theistic evolution.

Skeptics, both secular and Christian, often portray young earth creationism as an unsophisticated, ignorant theory espoused only by a few religious (and therefore unscientific) zealots. Much of the bias comes from the fact that the old-earth perspective has held a monopoly in schools, major universities, and the media for generations; it’s no surprise that most scientists have an old-earth worldview. It is all they were ever taught. It is what most, if not all, of their colleagues profess.

Young earth creationists often call themselves biblical creationists because their position takes a direct, literal interpretation of the early chapters of Genesis. Young earth creationism views Genesis as a historical record of what actually happened, not an allegory or metaphor. Young earth creationism interprets the words day, evening, and morning without symbolism, as plain terms meant to be understood literally. Young earth creationism keeps the creation of the plants, sun, and animals in the biblical sequence, whereas old earth creationism usually rearranges the order listed in Genesis. Young earth creationists believe that when Romans 5:12 says “sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin,” it is saying that death did not exist prior to Adam, while old earth creationists believe that Romans 5:12 only refers to human death and insist that a lot of dying happened (billions of years’ worth) before Adam appeared.

Young earth creationists see no need to be in harmony with uniformitarian models of the earth’s beginnings, especially when such models are usually rooted in a naturalistic (and atheistic) worldview. Science demands that evidence be examined, and young earth creationism does not shy away from geology, astronomy, biology, or any other field of study. It is the interpretation of the evidence that makes the difference. Proofs for young earth creationism are published by organizations such as the Institute for Creation Research and we have a brief article listing some of the evidences here.

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This page last updated: June 6, 2024