Truth in the Text Part IX – Digging up the Roots of Your Family Tree

“This is the family tree of the sons of Noah as they developed into nations. From them, nations developed all across the earth after the flood.” (Genesis 10:32).

How far back can you trace your ancestry? Many of us know the countries from which our fore-fathers came, but with little details. We can, however, start from the other end, from the beginning, and get a different perspective of our lineage. The descendants of Noah left nations in their wake that exist today.

To begin, let’s review some World History:

Creation was approximately 6,000 years ago, and from Adam and Eve there were sons and daughters who had children who had more children and more children for the next 2,000 years. Unfortunately, they were a corrupt bunch who chose to ignore God’s warning of impending judgment, so they died in a world-wide flood. The one righteous man, Noah, was spared with his wife, three sons, and their wives.

Shem, Ham, and Japheth, Noah’s boys, had children who had children and once again there was a population of humans on the earth, all living in one region. God told them to fill the earth but they didn’t, so he sent another big judgment. At Babel (in modern-day Iraq) approximately seventy new languages were distributed among them all at once.

Divided by language, people groups began to fill the earth, starting from Mesopotamia, the ‘Cradle of Civilization,’ and radiating outward. Some lived in caves before building settlements. Others built boats and discovered islands. Some crossed land bridges exposed during the Ice Age, and populated to the tip of South America.

Whoa! Are you sticking the Ice Age into world history only 2000 years ago? And how do you explain the different ‘racial’ groups and skin color? Do all the languages of today show common origins or not? Continue reading

Truth in the Text Part VII – Dragons and Dinosaurs

Adam Naming the Animals, a Byzantine fresco

In 1841 Sir Richard Owen coined the term ‘dinosaur,’ meaning ‘terrible lizard’. It was a new word that would eventually cover a whole slew of never-before-seen beasts. At least never before seen to the men of that day. Dinosaurs were extinct, and had been for a long, long, time.

Or had they?

By Sir Owen’s day, no one remembered seeing dinosaurs. There are images of them around the globe however, from centuries before their ‘discovery’.

Check out Genesis Park (www.genesispark.com) for great photos. Dinosaurs appear in pictographs and petroglyphs in Utah, Canada, Zimbabwe, and the Amazon rainforest. They are painted onto pots in South America, carved from jade in China, engraved in slate in Egypt, made into mosaics in Rome, and formed from terra cotta in Turkey. Winged dinosaurs even appear in the cover plate of John Calvin’s commentary on Genesis, from 1578.

Wait! Winged dinosaurs? As in…DRAGONS? Continue reading

Truth in the Text Part IV – How Old are the Dinosaurs?

I promise I’ll write more about dinosaurs soon. For now, let’s talk about how ages are established for their bones. How do we estimate a triceratops skeleton at 68 million years old?

If you remember from Part III, Carbon-14 (C14) dating is only good for dating samples up to about 50,000 years. Dinosaurs are believed to have died out millions of years ago, so routine sampling for Carbon makes no sense to many scientists. After 50,000 -100,000 years, all the Carbon originally in the animal is gone.

These men and women aren’t trying to hide anything by not assessing the C14 levels. Based on their assumptions about the age of the earth (see Truth in the Text Part I), their research methods are sound. They will use a Parent-daughter isotope that decays much slower, allowing ages to be assessed beyond 50,000 years. The Uranium/Potassium isotope is the one of choice, assessing ages into the millions of years. Unfortunately, there isn’t any in the dinosaur bones.

Q: So how do scientists estimate when dinosaurs roamed the earth? Continue reading

Truth in the Text Part III – Just How are Rocks and Bones Dated?


How do we reconcile a 6,000 year old earth with all the data showing ancient bones, fossils and rocks at far older ages? I can’t say I ever really questioned it in years past, just assumed God created the earth in an already mature state. Adam, for example, was formed as an adult, and the trees in Eden were mature and fruit bearing. Why not rocks with inherent age? What is that to God?

Lately I’ve been looking into the research, however, and discovering some interesting perspectives. It’s good to question, to search for answers. God’s Word is truth, bottom line, but He doesn’t ask us to believe in a vacuum.

Scientific research relies on assumptions. It has to. There have to be parameters from which to begin hypothesizing. Gravity, for example. Any research on rockets has to assume gravity will continue to fight flight in a predictable and measurable manner. The developer of a new medication has to assume certain chemicals will continue to behave as they have in the past, raising blood pressure, inhibiting infections, etc. These assumptions are based on experimentation that can be observed and reproduced.

When it comes to estimating the age of something formed in the past, assumptions are essential. No one has a time machine. No one can go back and watch it actually occur. This is where the contradictions lie between scientists who believe the earth is billions of years old and those who believe it’s around 6,000 years old.  The actual testing isn’t so much a question as are the assumptions the results are based on. Continue reading

Truth in theText Part I – Is the Age of the Earth Important?

This is a great place to start this series on understanding Genesis. The age of the earth takes us to Page 1, to “the beginning.” I would guess the first chapter of the first book of the Bible is the most controversial within the church itself and has certainly provoked debate beyond the walls of Christianity. The creation text is accepted literally, outright denied and custom molded for every belief between these two extremes. Ask a handful of random people how old our planet is and you get a handful of answers. It’s the same among professing Christians and between denominations.

Does it matter that there is no consensus?  Can we agree to disagree? Is this a question that we can even answer? We’ll get to that in a minute. First, let me define the most prominent categories of thought on the matter. The terminology comes from books/articles I’ve read. You can Google these terms for more extensive information. Continue reading