Grand Canyon Dating

In news on March 20, 2008 at 8:17 am

Grand CanyonA buddy of mine sent me an article in the Washington Post about recent thinking in how old the Grand Canyon (the one in Arizona not the one in Pennsylvania in case you were confused) is. The article states that there is debate as to whether the pothole-relative-from-space is 5 million years old or 17 million years old. No doubt this makes a difference because when you find objects at different sediment levels, you date them relative to the age of the sediment you found them in and each sediment is dated based on its surroundings. So, the actual age of the Grand Canyon will have some effect on these ages. Nowhere in the article do you find any discussion of “creationism” or any such derivatives, this article is purely informative from a scientific viewpoint and does not attempt to crush any debates, which is a great compliment to the reporter.

Then I read the readers’ comments.

The very first comment on the article was this:

Hey, I thought the Grand Canyon is only a few thousand years old because it was formed during the Great Flood!

At least that’s what a minister once told me. Perhaps he was wrong?

The first one! I kept reading, they’re all the same. Everyone wanted to mock young-earth creationism. This is instantly on the minds of a lot of people, myself included from the other perspective, when they read through any article related to dinosaurs, evolution, geological ages, etc. Why is this? Why do people skip over the content of the article and head directly to the hot topics, the ones that are controversial?

Maybe we can say that deep down, people feel like if they can debunk the truthfulness of the Bible, they don’t have to believe it or the author of it. The Bible says that creation speaks of God’s workmanship and that man has looked upon God’s creation and suppressed the truth that God was the one behind it. So, the burden of proof is not on Christians to defend the creation aspects of the Bible. God has taken this upon Himself.

But, this certainly does not mean that we should give up on pursuing these aspects of study. Christians have been at the forefront of the study of God’s creation (Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Faraday, etc.) for a long time. Without their studies, the world would be lacking in the most basic things we take for granted today (the earth revolving around the sun for example). The study of the sciences and God’s creation should point us to God, never away.

Now it’s your turn to comment. Are Christians the cause of some of this? Have we made too big an issue of creation/evolution and caused that to be a great dividing line? Do you think this is a worthy dividing line?

  1. Here’s one reason for this: I have heard many Christians argue about scientific things like evolution in very unscientific, and even illogical manners. Half the time when I hear a Christian “defend” creationism, even I don’t buy their argument, even though I believe the same as they do! No wonder we’ve stirred up some teasing from unbelievers.

  2. Andrew: wow, that should convict all of us to really dig into our studies and really know just what it is that we believe. Thanks!

  3. By the way, http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4010 has a nice overview of the kinds of arguments I’m talking about.

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