Correcting “The Origins of Young Earth Creation” Video

Old Earth Bias; Young Earth Fact

Michael Jones of InspiringPhilosophy has put out a cleverly deceptive video ostensibly on, as the title puts it “The Origins of Young Earth Creationism.” In actuality, it’s a hit piece designed to undermine both young earth beliefs and Young Earth Creation (YEC) as a movement in general.

As Jones points out, he has already been criticized for his argument failing because it is a type of genetic fallacy (an argument which claims the subject of discussion is invalid because of how it originated:

As you can see in the tweet above, Jones is denying it’s a genetic fallacy, because he’s claiming he’s merely talking about the origins of YEC. That’s where the deception comes in, which once understood, reveals the criticism to be valid. Because Jones is not merely talking about the origins of YEC, he is tacitly saying YEC claims and beliefs are untrue. In relation to that tacit claim, his entire video is indeed a genetic fallacy.

But there are deeper flaws than that. To see the other flaws in Jones’ argument one must recognize that his argument is an example of the fallacy of the “Complex Question.” The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy – Fallacies defines the fallacy of the Complex Question as:

“You use this fallacy when you frame a question so that some controversial presupposition is made by the wording of the question.”

“The Fallacy of Complex Question is a form of Begging the Question.”

In the above tweet, Jones claims that “I never state in the video the origins of the YEC movement means their worldview is wrong.” And that’s where the clever deception and the complex question fallacy comes in. He never states it directly, he merely assumes YEC is wrong (and assumes you agree with him that it’s wrong) by agreeing with supposedly scientific statements that claim it’s wrong. By agreeing with supposedly verified or proved science that YEC is wrong, he is tacitly stating YEC is wrong.

He gives the game away in his introductory statement of what he’s going to discuss:

“Many people today think that the belief that the earth is 6000 years old, is an essential belief of Christianity. That the Bible teaches that the earth is young and some Christians only started to re-interpret Genesis after modern scientific advances demonstrated that the earth was billions of years old.

But you might be surprised to find out that this is a caricature of the truth. Several Christians in the past didn’t necessarily believe the earth was young. And some that did, still interpreted Genesis figuratively or allegorically.”
(Emphasis mine)

Notice his statement, “Christians only started to re-interpret Genesis after modern scientific advances demonstrated that the earth was billions of years old.” If he were really merely discussing the topic, he wouldn’t use “demonstrated” as if disputed evidence is settled fact. (Perhaps it is settled in his mind, but that just further shows he is not approaching this discussion from a neutral position). If he was not concerned to talk about whether or not YEC is true, instead of  using “demonstrated”, he’d have used tentative words like “suggested”, or “is understood by some as showing” or “allegedly demonstrates” or something that shows that his interpretation (and the Old Earth position) is in dispute. The fact that he is stating that modern science supposedly proves the earth is billions of shows he’s in  agreement with those beliefs.

Since we know he’s in agreement with those beliefs, it’s clear he’s no longer just discussing the origins of YEC, he’s also stating YEC is incorrect, and implying its origins have something to do with it being incorrect. The implicit presumption that YEC is incorrect is embedded in his view and approach and as the IEC points out, his whole approach is one of “begging the question” – a type of circular reasoning that assumes the proposition from the beginning with no proof – as Jones does.

That statement about science “demonstrating” an old earth is not the only one he makes that reveals his position – so this is no unintentional slip. Other indications he’s firmly backing an old earth view:

  • “By the time the science of geology was developing and revealing that the earth is billions of years old,” (10:47)
  • “So all the rock layers that demonstrated the antiquity of the earth…” (16:39)
  • “For instance Price appears to be one of the first to incorrectly claim that the geological column was based on circular reasoning” (17:00 – In so stating he affirms a multi-billion year old interpretation of the geological column.)
  • “But Price to his credit unlike modern creationists didn’t claim the universe was 6000 years old.” (18:18 – Clearly rejecting a young earth position and confirming an old earth/universe position.)

So there is no mistaking his firm support of an old earth view.

In support of his old earth views, Jones spends his time in the video quoting people who support any view other than the traditional, grammatical-historical understanding of Genesis 1, where the six days of creation are understood as six, normal, 24-hour days. Apparently he believes the old age claim needs no support, which is further evidence that he’s in agreement. Thus he is not merely discussing the origins of YEC, but tacitly stating the YEC beliefs are incorrect.

Addressing both Implied And Stated Arguments

So while Jones claims in the tweet he’s merely talking about the origins, clearly that is not the case. There are too many errors about Christianity and YEC for me to address them all. So narrowing down to his most egregious errors, let me list both explicit and implicit arguments or questions brought up and address them all.

  1. Is YEC belief an “essential belief” of Christianity?
  2. Is the figurative or allegorical interpretation of Genesis 1 correct?
    a) The use of Narrative in the days of creation
    b) The meaning of the word
    יוֺם “Yom” “day” in the creation account
    c) Are there Hebrew expressions for long ages?
  3. Was young earth belief rare until the YEC movement?
  4. Is young earth belief correct?
  5. Do young earth beliefs trace back to “…the visions of an alleged prophetess”?

Additionally I’ll address the following comments or arguments he made in passing:

  1. Was Price incorrect in his statements that fossils date the rock layers and rock layers date the fossils?
  2. Did God lie to Adam and Eve about when they would die?
  3. Is the gap theory correct?

Okay, so here we go:

1. Is YEC belief an “essential belief” of Christianity?
Jones does not define his terms here. What does he mean for it to be an “essential belief” of Christianity?(00:04) Or “pivotal to Christianity?”(24:58) Is it essential for salvation? I suspect he doesn’t really want the answer to that question because the answer is clear. A quick search on the websites of the YEC ministries that he talks about would prove him wrong. YEC ministries clearly state young earth belief is not necessary for salvation; it’s a matter of the authority of scripture, and properly aligning your faith under that authority.

Here’s a statement from CMI:

“However, no leading or notable YEC would ever claim that belief in a young earth is necessary for salvation.”[1]

Here’s a statement from AIG’s Ken Ham:

“Scripture plainly teaches that salvation is conditioned upon faith in Christ, with no requirement for what one believes about the age of the earth or universe.”[2]

As a YEC myself, I will tell you Christianity is about a relationship with God and salvation from sin through faith in Christ. And point you to verses like Rom 10.9-10; 1 Cor 15.2-8, John 5.24-25. None of those verses have anything to do with the age of the earth. YEC ministries make clear that the YEC issue is a separate issue from salvation. So why is he stating that it’s an “essential belief”? Here again he’s being deceptive by not defining what he means, thus leaving the impression that YEC belief is necessary for salvation – a topic that is essential to Christianity – when no reputable YEC ministries teach that.

2. Is the figurative or allegorical interpretation of Genesis 1 correct?

Here his argument takes the form of an appeal to the people (another fallacy), where the people appealed to are respected ancient church fathers. He appeals to:
Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Clement, Philo of Alexandria, Athanasius, Origen and Augustine as church fathers who held a non-literal view (either figurative or allegorical) of the days of creation.

He conveniently leaves out people who took it literally like Thomas Aquinas, Ephraim (Ephrem) the Syrian, Basil of Caesarea. Like today, back then you can find multiple interpretations of Gen 1. If he were interested in a stronger argument, instead of appealing to a mass of people who agree with you, and ignoring people who don’t, it would be better to determine exactly what the author (God) of the section in question meant. So we’ll look at that next.

The use of Narrative in the Days of Creation

Hermeneutics is the discipline of determining the meaning of written texts. A better approach would be to apply a hermeneutical understanding to the original Hebrew text. And, as you might imagine, that has already been done.

When William Lane Craig started to go off the rails with his “mytho-history” denial of Genesis historicity, I highlighted the work of Hebrew scholar Steven Boyd who examined the days of creation account (Gen 1.1 – 2.3) and determined the use of the section was clearly meant to be understood as historic narrative, not poetry – which would exclude not only the mytho-history interpretation of Craig but also an allegorical or figurative understanding. Below is a graph of his findings which documents the use of the preterit tense in poetry versus narrative such as Gen 1.1-2.3. The point being the preterit dominates in historical narratives as you can see in the graph below. You can read the full explanation here.[3] 

Use of the preterit in Hebrew Narrative vs Poetry

I’ll reinforce what Boyd says about understanding the passage as narrative by the use of the preterit in the creation passage (the preterit is a specific form of the imperfect tense used with the waw consecutive.) by highlighting what Hebrew scholar Gesenius, author of the scholarly book on Hebrew grammar, said in his book on Hebrew grammar. Gesenius notes:

“The Imperfect consecutive is used in this way most frequently as the narrative tense…

The continuation of the narrative by means of the imperfect may result in a series of any number of such imperfects, e.g. there are forty-nine in Gen 1.” [4]

Thus the writer of the scholarly and widely accepted Hebrew grammar book states that Genesis 1 is narrative – not poetry. And thus it is neither figurative nor allegorical.

Further we could look at the specific words used. Consider:

God called the expanse “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning–the second day. (Italics added.) Gen 1.8

Note the specificity: evening, morning, an ordinal number (second) followed by “day.” If God intended an “age” or a long period of time as many old earth believers contend, why did he specify events that happen in one day (evening and day)? In his commentary on Genesis, Hebrew scholar and writer of a commentary on Genesis John Sailhammer notes the importance of the repeated specification of evening and day in his discussion on the elements of structure:

“One of the more obvious elements is the repetition of the phrase ‘evening and morning,’ which divides the passage into a seven-day scheme. Creation forms a period of one work week concluding with a rest day.”[5]

Clearly the usage is to identify individual days as well as to identify the first week as Sailhammer notes. (A point commentator Matthew Henry made some 250 years ago, which we’ll see below.)

The Meaning of the word יוֺם “Yom” “day” in the Creation account

In his commentary on Genesis, Hebrew scholar Michael Rydelnik writes concerning the creation days of Genesis:

“The complete day, as presented at the end of v. 5 and comprising both evening and morning is unquestionably to be understood as a literal (i.e. 24-hour) day (for further discussion see “The Days of Creation” in the introduction”[6]

Rydelnik clearly states the days are to be understood as regular 24-hour days and explains why in the noted section in his commentary.

Further support can be adduced by pondering why the writer of Genesis numbered the days as if they were individual days and not collections of long periods. Turning again to the writer on Hebrew grammar, Gesenius explains how the definite article is used in the construction of these phrases. In speaking about the use of the definite article, Gesenius notes:

“So always with ordinal numbers after יוֺם [yom], e.g. Gen 1.31 (cf. 2.3, Ex 20.10, etc.) יוֺם הַשִּׁשִּׁי [yom hashishiy] – the sixth day (prop. a day namely the sixth; but יוֺם שֵׁנִי [yom sheniy] a second day, Gen 1.8)”[7]

According to Gesenius, the text is clearly numbering individual days. It is not speaking of ages or long periods of time. For those who are counting, that’s four Hebrew scholars – Boyd, Gesenius, Sailhammer and Rydelnik – stating the meaning of the word  יוֺם  “yom” (day) in Genesis 1 is what it appears to be – a normal, 24 hour day.

Are there Hebrew Expressions for Long Ages?

Further, if God had wanted to specify long periods of times – long ages – there are phrases in Hebrew he could have used to do so. Some are listed below. If you’re familiar with the basics of Hebrew poetry, you’ll recognize in a number of the following passages a rhyming phrase (a repetition of the same thought). That reinforces what the lexicon tells us about the use of words like dor (generation) that it is used mostly in poetic passages. Since Genesis is narrative, not poetry, it makes sense that we don’t see that typically poetic word in in the narrative passage on creation in Genesis. Here are the passages:

Job 8.8 KJV: “For inquire, I pray thee, of the former age” 

age= דוֹר
– root word: dor -(generation or age)

Ps 77.5: “I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.”

days of old = יׅמׅים מׅקֶּדֶם (root words: yom plural (days) qedem (antiquity/earliest times) literally: “days from the earliest times”
years of ancient times = שְׁנוֹת
עוֹלָמׅים (root words: shenah (plural)  (years) olam (eternity – plural) literally: “years of eternities”)

Is 51.9 KJV: “as in the ancient days, in the generations of old.

ancient days =  יׅמׅי קֶדֶם (root words: yom (plural) = days)
generations of old = דֹּרוֹת
עוֹלָמׅים  (dorot ‘olamim – generations of eternities)

Dt 32.7: “Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past

days of old” =  יְמוֹת עוֹלָם yemot ‘olam (“days from eternity”  (‘olam is often translated “eternity”))
Generations long past” (שְׁנוֹת דוֹר-דוֹר shenot dor-dor) literally “the years of generation on generation” (shaneh=year, dor=generation or age)

Summary of some Hebrew words used to express long ages:

Passage Hebrew Root word(s) Literal Translation modern translation
Job 8.8 דוֹר dor generation or age generation or age
Ps 77.5 יׅמׅים מׅקֶּדֶם yom miqqedem Days from the earliest times days of old
שְׁנוֹת עוֹלָמׅים shenah olam years of eternities (both plural) years of ancient times
Is 51.9 יׅמׅי קֶדֶם yom qedem days of antiquity ancient days
דֹּרוֹת עוֹלָמׅים dor olam generations of eternities (both plural) generations of old
Deut 32.7 יְמוֹת עוֹלָם yom olam days of eternity days of old
שְׁנוֹת דוֹר-דוֹר shenah dor dor years of generation on generation generations long past

You can see from the above chart, which is not exhaustive, that there are many ways in Hebrew to express “long ages” or a long indeterminate amount of time. Many are poetic. None of them were used in Genesis. For those who want to claim that, like in usage today, the word day, “yom”,  can be used for long periods of time, consider this: That’s true. But context determines the meaning. Just as I used “today” to mean this general time period, not a particular day. But you understood that from the context, didn’t you?

Likewise, as the above chart indicates, when “yom” means other than a literal day, there are plenty of clues in the text indicating that, including clarifying words, and often a Hebrew rhyming parallel thought that indicates it’s pointing to a long period of time. (See for example, Ps 77.5, Is 51.9 Deut 32.7) So once again the hermeneutic principle stands firm: Context determines meaning. The context of Genesis 1 indicates specific, individual, 24-hour days.

So clearly, if God had wanted to speak of long ages or if he had wanted to speak poetically or figuratively or allegorically to specify a long period of time, he had the words to do so. He chose not to use them. Instead he used words that are meant to be understood literally, in the normal sense: Day – the type of day that you can number individually and that consists of an evening and a morning. That “day”, which we now specify as a 24-hour day. The fact that he did not use any of the many phrases that denote long periods of time, and instead used very concrete, specific, nonpoetic terms should tell you something.

3. Was young earth belief rare until the recent YEC movement?

In his opening statement, Jones states:

“In fact the modern young earth movement is relatively new. And has a peculiar origin that many people are not aware of.” (00:33)

In stating that the “modern young earth movement is relatively new” it appears Jones is trying to create the impression that belief in a young earth is young, since the “movement” is relatively new, and thus belief, if it was there, was rare previously. Whether or not he’s trying to create that impression intentionally is ambiguous. To the contrary, he does state, “As we noted earlier in centuries past many believed the earth was relatively young.”(23:19)

But the impression that he’s equating the movement with the belief lingers throughout his presentation. If it’s intentional it’s a type of equivocation. If not, it’s apparently more of his tendency to present material deceptively. So let me address the question directly. Is young earth belief recent?

The short answer is no, young earth as exemplified by a belief in a six-day creation is not recent and, to the contrary, has been the long-standing, traditional understanding of the biblical creation account. Interestingly Jones chooses to start his examination with the early church fathers. But Jesus points out that salvation history goes back a long way – before the church fathers. Jesus makes clear the history of salvation starts with the Jews when he states,

“… we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.”
John 4.22

Jones doesn’t want to go back to the Jewish understanding of Genesis likely both because he apparently doesn’t want to deal with actual hermeneutics (since he ignores dealing with what the text actually means) and also perhaps because early Jewish understanding doesn’t support his case.

Traditional Jewish understanding is that the text means what it appears to mean – the universe was created in six days. In “Creation Days according to Ancient Jewish Commentators” researcher Douglas Hamp writes concerning early Jewish commentators,

“They claim that the age of the earth is less than six thousand years old. This becomes an important control for us in that by claiming that the earth was created less than six thousand years previous to their day, they are stating their belief in a young earth, and hence, the six, literal 24-hour days of creation.”[8]

He gives specifics on a number of early Jewish commentators which you can review for yourself if interested. I’ll highlight one since he’s well known: Josephus, the first century Jewish historian writes:

” Accordingly Moses says, That in just six days the world, and all that is therein, was made.”
(Josephus Antiquities Book 1, Chapter 1)

Christian Responses to False Doctrines

Along with giving the impression that young earth belief was rare until the modern age, Jones states that Christians tried to change the clear meaning of the text due to modern scientific findings. In his introduction he states:

“… That The Bible teaches that the earth is young and some Christians only started to re-interpret Genesis after modern scientific advances demonstrated that the earth was billions of years old.” (00:07)

“Reinterpret?” Here he points to teachings to accommodate billions of years in the creation account like the gap theory and the day-age theory. Some Christians did abandon the clear meaning of the text to embrace incorrectly interpreted scientific evidence. What he gets incorrect, however, is that the huge uptick in the interest in correctly teaching the creation account was due not to “the visions of an alleged prophetess”(25:05) as he states in his close.

Rather it’s due to a recognition by the Christian leaders and the church that these “scientific” proclamations were leading people astray and corrupting long held understandings of the creation account. Just as there has been an uptick in the teaching of biblical morality and sexuality due to the sexual revolution and the LGBT+ movement, resulting in the church and Christian leaders responding with clarifications of biblical morality like the Nashville statement. Similarly the teachings of Hutton, Lyell (who wanted to “free the science from Moses“), Darwin and others who were popularizing the idea that earth history contained billions of years, prompted a response from the the church and Christian leaders. But note that in both cases the biblical doctrine – be it on morality or creation – was neither new nor rare. The only change was an emphasis by leaders on teachings already long held to combat false teachings, similar to what Iraeneus (who Jones references) did in his treatise “Against Heresies” for the growing threat of Gnosticism .

Also consider this: You tend not to respond to items you don’t deem to be an issue. That the earth revolves around the sun and not vice-versa is not seen as an issue today, so no churches are responding to a threat of the geo-centric view of the solar system taking over and leading people astray. Likewise for old-earth thinking before it was popularized.

For example, Matthew Henry lived about a century before Darwin. He wrote a commentary on the Bible that is still used (by some) today. But just as Jones assumes people believe in billions of years today (except YECs), Henry assumes people believe in a 6 day creation when he wrote in the 18th century:

“The evening and the morning were the sixth day [Gen 1.31]; so that in six days God made the world. We are not to think but that God could have made the world in an instant. He that said, Let there be light, and there was light [Gen 1.3], could have said, “Let there be a world.” and there would have been a world, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, as at the resurrection, 1 Cor 15.52. But he did it in his own way and in his own time. So much would the Sabbath conduce to the keeping up of religion in the world that God had an eye to it in the timing of his creation.”[9] [bracketed verse addresses added]

It’s important to note both what Henry discusses and doesn’t discuss here:

  • He affirms a six (normal) day creation
  • He affirms God could have made everything instantaneously as Jones points out some of the church fathers believed
  • But he denies that’s what God did because:
  • God had a purpose in creating it in six days – namely, to create the passage of time such that the end of the first week was crowned by a marker – the Sabbath – to promote proper worship of God (As Sailhammer also noted.)

Note that he doesn’t discuss day-age theory, or gap theory, or address any theory of long ages or billions of years because when he was writing (he began in 1704) neither Darwin nor his Origin of Species (published 1859) existed, so none of the long-age problems were widespread issues at the time, so they are not reflected in Henry’s commentary. In contrast, if a commentary has been written recently, it appears to be rare and the exception if it’s on Genesis or the creation and does not mention issues concerning the age of the earth – even if the author ultimately chooses not to resolve the issue.

Dennis Prager for example, in his commentary on the 10 Commandments acknowledges, but doesn’t resolve, the issue of the length of creation days. (The 4th commandment restates that God created in six days. So though it’s not a commentary on Genesis, he’s forced to address it with the rest of the Decalogue.) Instead of resolving the issue, Prager merely says “However you interpret the days…”[10] So, today, even if you don’t want to resolve the issue, it is still mentioned. Because it’s a huge issue. That was not the case in Matthew Henry’s day. There was no need to bring up the length of a day in the creation account because everyone knew it was a regular 24-hour day. That has been the case for many centuries.

4. Is young earth belief correct?

Those who accept the plain, grammatical-historical reading of Genesis 1 already know the earth is young. Many others, however, are looking for evidence. I’ll only present one here, because there have been plenty presented elsewhere on this site, including 10 which I listed in “Are young earth evidences needed to defend Christian Faith?” One of my favorites is spiral galaxy wrapping.

Briefly explained, spiral galaxies are spinning at a known rate, and will continue wrapping like thread around a spindle as time goes on. If the universe were really 13.7 billion years old, given when the stars were supposedly formed, and their steady rate of spin, what would they look like today? Astrophysicist Jason Lisle did a simulation to determine how they should look. Below is a picture of such spiral galaxies at 1 Billion years. Recall the universe is supposed to be around 13.7 billion years old. Note even at the 1 billion year mark spiral galaxies would look nothing like what we actually see in the sky today. Clear evidence the universe is not billions of years old. You can view the dynamic simulation here.

Spiral Galaxy wrapping proves a young universe

In fact, there is plenty of evidence of a young earth. Here is a list of 101 of them from CMI’s Don Batten: “Age of the Earth – 101 Evidences of a young earth and universe.” Those who believe there is no evidence of a young earth have simply never looked for it. 

5. Do young earth beliefs trace back to “… the visions of an alleged prophetess”?

Jones ends by stating: “And the modern dogmatic adherence to a young earth really traces back to the visions of an alleged prophetess.”(25:01)

It’s already been demonstrated above that a young earth is taught in Genesis, and it was affirmed by both Jews and Christians alike at least since Moses wrote it (the Exodus was 1446 BC – so at least since around that time) until Hutton, Lyell and Darwin and the like began popularizing belief in an old earth. I didn’t mentioned Jesus, but he too clearly held to a young earth belief:

  • Matt 19.4 (If humans were created at the beginning as scripture states, they cannot have evolved near the end of a long period of time as evolution requires.)
  • Matt 22.43-45 (Jesus presents the Pharisees a genealogical conundrum. Thus clearly he believes the genealogies represent truth. Ussher used genealogies to establish the 6,000 year old age of the earth. Thus Jesus believing the genealogies are true means he believes in a earth compatible with the genealogical records in scripture, which means a young earth.)
  • Mark 2.27 (If the Sabbath were made for man (a clear reference to the creation week), clearly it cannot be a long period of time (which man cannot enjoy), it must be a regular, recurring day.)

The six-day creation of the heavens and the earth is clearly stated in Genesis 1, affirmed by early rabbis, church fathers and historians, Christian commentators and also affirmed by Jesus. So not only is it incorrect , but it’s rather insulting to call that well established doctrine to be traceable to “an alleged prophetess” that most Christians would identify as a false prophet if not an outright heretic.

6. Was Price correct in his statement that fossils date the rock layers and rock layers date the fossils?

Jones states, “For instance Price appears to be one of the first to incorrectly claim that the geological column was based on circular reasoning.” (17:00 – emphasis mine) He also pokes fun that Price looks like young earth creation evangelist Kent Hovind. (16:28) So I’ll let Kent Hovind refute Jone’s claim and demonstrate that circular reasoning was indeed used to initially establish dates in use today. Since it was used to initially establish the dates the results of the circular reasoning are still evident today. To the argument that it is no longer used today, radiometric dates are used, Hovind points out, radiometric dating would not be possible if the geological column dates were not established first. A reference point was needed first – and circular reasoning was used to establish that reference point: the billion year geological time frame that long age uniformitarians were intending to establish.

Since radiometric dating is not absolute and is, instead, rather inaccurate as I point out here, it is common for reference points of expected age to be given even today to testing labs when looking for a radiometric date. In “The Greatest Hoax on Earth?” Sarfati points out:

“When samples are submitted to radiodating labs, the forms usually have an entry for ‘estimated age’. But why should this be, if the method were absolute?”[11]

Good question. The answer: clearly the dates are not absolute, and it’s been demonstrated by testing rocks of known age that radiometric dating is not reliable.[12] Further, for those who want to rely on radiometric dates, then you must come to the conclusion that the earth is young since the same amount of Carbon 14 is found in all the layers of the geological column strata. This points to the fact that all the layers formed at the same time (not over millions of years as depicted in the geological column and as evolution requires) and were formed in the recent past. For a bit more on this, see this video.

But I digress. To return to circular reasoning, in the video below, Hovind presents statements that confirm circular reasoning was used in assigning evolutionary dates. These statements were  published in evolution supporting sources such as The American Journal of Science, New Scientist and the Encyclopedia Britannica and were made by evolutionists admitting the fallacy was being used, including a statement from the well known evolutionist Niles Eldredge, co-author of the evolutionary theory update called punctuated equilibrium. (An update was needed since the evidence was so clearly against standard Darwinian evolution.)

7. Did God lie to Adam and Eve about when they would die?

Jones spends some time on Iraeneus’ misunderstanding of Gen 2.17:

“but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
Gen 2.17

According to Jones it led Iraeneus to move to a day-age position where a day is a thousand years, and since Adam didn’t live to be a thousand years, Iraeneus figured he could state Adam died the same “day.” (3:14)  Iraeneus, author of the well regarded treatise which refutes Gnostics, “Against Heresies” is a great apologist, but there’s a simpler answer to this question: a clearer, more accurate translation of Gen 2.17, in particular, the key phrase “מוֹת תָמוּת” (mot tamut) – “you will surely die” (NIV translation). Instead of “you will surely die” a more accurate rendering of this infinitive absolute with the imperfect verb is “dying you shall die.” In other words, the day you disobey and eat of the tree that you shouldn’t, you will begin the process of dying, and that process will result in your death – spiritual and physical. Many point out the spiritual death was immediate. (Gen 3.9 – Adam is now lost – God now has to look for him – just as the good shepherd has to look for his lost sheep. Luke 15.4; John 10.11) But there’s no thought or implication that the beginning of the process of death – physical death – will end on the same day it begins. For more on this, see the AIG article, “Genesis 2.17-You Shall Surely Die.[13] So to be clear: God did not lie. God cannot lie. To be able to lie you must have sin (darkness) inside, and scripture is clear – there is no darkness in God: “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1.5

8. Is the Gap theory correct?

Jones points out (9:40) that well known people such as Immanuel Kant, John Wesley, John Milton as well as Bible commentators accepted the “Gap” theory  in the 18th century – which would be before the publication of Origin of Species in the  19th century. The Gap theory attempts to add long periods of time between Gen 1.1 and 1.2. Thus Jones is essentially arguing that the claim that Christians only turned to the Gap theory in large numbers after the publication and popularization of Darwin’s theory is incorrect.

But the very emergence of the Gap theory at least three millennia after the writing of Genesis is evidence it is trying to displace an already well established, long held belief: that of a young earth. And regardless of when it became popular, the Gap theory fails for some very simple reasons. The theory requires an understanding that verse 2, instead of reading as the text states, “Now the earth was formless and empty,” it must read “Now the earth became formless and empty.” Michael Rydelnik explains why this won’t work:

“Since vv. 1-3 pertain to the same “stage” in the creative process, it is impossible to infer any historical “gap” between any of the clauses in these three verses.”


“However, v. 2 has the word was not ‘became.’ Moreover, v. 2 indicates a contemporaneous situation, not a subsequent one (as required by the ‘gap theory.'” (emphases his) [14]

For those concerned with what the text actually says, the gap theory simply won’t work. It doesn’t fit. More importantly, it’s not necessary to correctly understand the biblical text.


By closing with the statement:

“And the modern dogmatic adherence to a young earth really traces back to the visions of an alleged prophetess.” (25:01)

one can’t help but get the impression that Jones is trying to besmirch young earth belief and the young earth movement simply because Seventh Day Adventists, whose church was started by a self proclaimed prophetess, believed in a young earth (but not a young universe). But if you dig a bit beneath the surface, what you will find is not only an old earth believer trying to find some shocking revelation to discredit the biblical teaching of a young earth, you’ll also find an old earth supporter who argues very poorly – using selective evidence, a complex question, and question begging to try to tarnish the well established, and scientifically well supported biblical teaching of a young earth and universe created in six literal, 24-hour days.

Duane Caldwell | January 21, 2022 | Printer friendly version


1. Andrew S. Kulikovsky, “In the Beginning…They Misunderstood”, CMI, Journal of Creation 28(2):45–50, August 2014,

2. Ken Ham, “Does the Gospel Depend on a Young Earth?”, AIG, Jan 1, 2010,

3. Steven Boyd, Ref from, Thousands…Not Billions, ICR documentary DVD, 2005

4. Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar, Edited by E. Kautzsch and revised by A.E. Cowley; Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 2nd ed. 1910, p. 326

5. John Sailhammer, “Genesis” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Volume 2, Grand Rapids Michigan: Zondervan Pubishing House, 1990, p.10

6. Michael Rydelnik and Michael Vanlaningham, Gen. Editors, The Moody Bible Commentary, Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2014, Kindle Edition, Loc 975

7. Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar, pp. 408-409

8. Douglas Hamp, “Creation Days According to Ancient Jewish Commentators”,, August 24, 2011,

9. Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible in One Volume, Edited by Leslie F Church, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1960, p.5

10. Dennis Prager, The Ten Commandments – Still the Best Moral Code, New York: Regnery Publishing, 2015, Kindle Edition, Loc 322

11. Jonathan Sarfati, The Greatest Hoax on Earth? – Refuting Dawkins on Evolution, Atlanta, GA: Creation Publishers, 2010, p.194

12. For example, rock formed during the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1986 yielded a radiometric date of up to 2.8 million years old. For this and other examples, see:
Bodie Hodge, “How Old Is The Earth” in The New Answers Book 2, Ken Ham General Editor, Green Forest, AR: MasterBooks, 2008, pp. 51-52

13. Terry Mortenson, Genesis 2:17 – “You Shall Surely Die”, AIG, May 2, 2007,

14. Rydelnik and Vanlaningham, The Moody Bible Commentary, Locs 951 and 958

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Cowboy Bob Sorensen
2 years ago

As you may have seen on Twitter, someone was practically demanding that I join in with AiG and CMI to refute Philosophy-to-Inspire-You-to-Doubt-God’s-Word. I took the approach of, “I have better things to do than throw a stone at every barking dog”, and explained why. You had the time, and eviscerated the arguments of this theistic evolution fifth column member and #Liar4Darwin. You did an excellent job in several areas, and clearly, this took a great deal of time. Clearly, if God intended to mean long ages, he had better words to use than yom. Also, the circular reasoning and other… Read more »