How Old Do You Think the Earth Is?

According to a team of researchers from the University of Minnesota, how you answer that question is a “strong predictor” of what you think and know about the theory of evolution. They interviewed 400 college students taking an introductory biology class but not majoring in the subject and found that students who understand the Earth is more than 4.5 billion years old are much more likely to understand and accept evolution.
This is an important finding, says Sehoya Cotner, a biology professor who led the study, because it means the “role of the Earth’s age is a key variable that we can use to improve education about evolution.” That said, the researchers recognize that deep time is a tough concept to grasp, and it’s a lot easier to teach and learn creationist ideas about the age of the Earth than it is to work through the scientific evidence and explanations.
The researchers also found that students who are more religiously and politically conservative are more likely to endorse young-Earth beliefs than students with more liberal views are, and they’re less likely to correctly answer questions about evolution. Yet, as the team writes in its paper:

Holding young-Earth views may not significantly impede a student’s ability to learn facts about evolutionary theory. Thus, although it is not the role of biology instructors to engage in political or religious proselytizing, there remains the possibility of changing what students know about evolution via academic instruction.

Category: Science Education

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57 Responses

  1. Martha says:

    In the beginning, God or in the beginning, no God. If you don’t believe in God, then you must explain origins without God. If you do believe in God, then you can explain origins but you don’t have to, because in essence God is your explanation. To say someone who believes in God has been indoctrinated when you believe in the power of observation and evidence is undermining your belief system and falls short of the truth. Observation and evidence is not at odds with the Christian faith. It is foundational to it. The physical universe speaks to the existence of God. Why? For me, it’s pretty simple. We don’t understand it. We don’t understand our own brains. The evidence is the complexity of the universe, its beauty and majesty. The observation is my brain cannot explain my brain. Therefore One exists who can – God. Is that why I believe in God? Not really. I believe in God because He saved my life. I was lost and then found. I was blind and then I could see. I was dead and then I was brought to life. Jesus Christ, the word made flesh, through whom all things have come into being, gave me new life. That’s my evidence and observation – my proof – what I have seen and heard. I was filled with despair, He gave me hope. I was filled with doubt, He gave me faith. I was angry and hurt, He gave me love. It’s not the first creation as wondrous as it is that astounds me, it’s the new creation that took my heart of stone and gave me a heart of life — eternal life. Can love be measured? No greater love has a man than this – than he would lay down his life for his friends. The world we live in came forth from great love.

  2. D.Howard Davis says:

    Not all Christians that are informed believe the earth is 6,000 years old. They do believe man as we know them was created(due to the amazing complexity of the human body-it could not have formed of it’s own and possess even the nutritive functionality (which is hardly discussed in depth)microscopic and amazingly complex!-the liberal has turned Evolution into a creator-god-so we can have our great God a creator!!!) about 6,000 years ago; but the Bible doesn’t teach the earth itself is 6,000years old! That’s a theory. Evolution is a theory on man’s origins.
    The most important thing is why are we here and where are we going. We Christians believe the Bible answers those questions-not science with their hot button theories today with changes and more new theories on the way tomorrow.
    Daniel predicted thousands of years ago that “in the last days knowledge would be sharply [Hebrew]increased.”

  3. Steven says:

    Hi,
    I am trying to be nice but i am Christian and our bible never said that the earth was made 6000 years BUT the new creation was made 6000 years ago so basically if you read gensuis 1:2 org said that the earth was their but it had nothing on it and it was dark. In conclusion, the earth is so older than that but the creation is not some Christian might believe in the theory that there was a creation before our and then the devil destroyed it and then God remade the earth but it wasn’t completely destroyed. I hope that made scene. Yep earth is so older than 6000 years but the new creation isn’t .

  4. Michael says:

    Steven, it does say in Genesis that the earth was created by God! You need to read your bible more. You misspelled Genesis too.

  5. Patric says:

    Psalm 90:40

    A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night
    .

    2 Peter 3:8

    But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

    Time is just a human reference for us to wrap our heads around. It says that God created the earth in 7 days. Does that have to be a literal 7 days? I don’t think so. Is a day measured differently on Jupiter than it is on earth? Of course it is! So which point of reference are we using? Heaven? How long is a day in heaven? The point is this,

    Faith according to Paul:

    Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

    Time is measured differently by God, but he doesn’t know us an explanation. You don’t need faith when you have the proof in front of you. This is what God says about relying on your own wisdom:

    Proverbs 3;5-6
    Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding semicolon in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct your paths.

    In recent times Big Bang Theory has been more accepted than the theory of relativity which relied on an infinite space. But we know the universe is continually expanding and that it is cooling down. Well this would not be the case for an infinite universe where these measurements would be constant.
    So atheists need to explain how the universe came out of nothing, but they just ignore this little fact. As far as evolution goes, Darwin never explains how life came about. He starts off with the single celled organisms which are far more complex then scientists of his age were able to discover. For example there is enough information in the DNA of an amoeba to fill 1,000 volumes of Encyclopedia Britannica. If you think that happened randomly you have a lot of faith. Darwin himself begin to doubt his own theory when he contemplated the complexity of the human eye in chapter six of his book . I don’t have all the answers but there’s enough scientific evidence that points to God. And remember this when you’re analyzing his handiwork:

    1 Corinthians 2:7

    But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

    1 Corinthians 3:19

    For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”

    1 Timothy 6:20

    Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge.

    And one more for you non believers:

    “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.”

    -Albert Einstein

  6. janice baice says:

    Both science and Christian beliefs and or calculation are accurate. How? Here’s a brief explanation: Take a new house for example…though the house was build 5 years ago (new house), the materials used for building the house are older for example: timber used comes from a tree that existed for over 200 or more years; then you have tiles or other materials that were made way over 5 years before but were sitting in the warehouse waiting to be bought and utilised.
    Planets just like the stars have lifespan as well – – before this humanly earth was built there was a dinosaur planet that existed. When the dinosaur planet came to an end, the whole earth exploded leaving the debris (namely the rocks etc) floating around the universe.
    So, when God created the new earth (that matches to the calculation of the Christians beliefs in terms of time), He had to use the materials scattered or floated on the universe (that’s over billions years old). Thus, as He commanded, all the debris left from the dinosaur world came together to form this planet that we now called: Earth!
    So when the archaeologists / scientist tested the earth, not only they were surprised at the age revealed by the rocks which floated over 4.5 billion years before it came together less than 100,000 years ago when earth was created, but they also discovered the fossils of the dinosaurs that were stuck on the debris / rocks from the previous world.

  7. janice baice says:

    Both science and Christian beliefs and or calculation are accurate. How? Here’s a brief explanation: Take a new house for example…though the house was build 5 years ago (new house), the materials used for building the house are older for example: timber used comes from a tree that existed for over 200 or more years; then you have tiles or other materials that were made way over 5 years before but were sitting in the warehouse waiting to be bought and utilised.
    Planets just like the stars have lifespan as well – – before this humanly earth was built there was a dinosaur planet that existed. When the dinosaur planet came to an end, the whole earth exploded leaving the debris (namely the rocks etc) floating around the universe.
    So, when God created the new earth (that matches to the calculation of the Christians beliefs in terms of time), He had to use the materials scattered or floated on the universe (that’s over billions years old). Thus, as He commanded, all the debris left from the dinosaur world came together to form this planet that we now called: Earth!
    So when the archaeologists / scientist tested the earth, not only they were surprised at the age revealed by the rocks which floated over 4.5 billion years before it came together less than 100,000 years ago when earth was created, but they also discovered the fossils of the dinosaurs that were stuck on the debris / rocks from the previous world.

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