Item description for The Bible, Rocks and Time: Geological Evidence for the Age of the Earth by Davis A. Young & Ralph F. Stearley...
Overview Davis A. Young and Ralph Stearley seek to convince readers of the vast antiquity of the Earth. They point out the flaws of young-Earth creationism and counter the impression by many scientists that all Christians are young-Earth creationists.
Publishers Description Is the Earth relatively young or very old? We've all heard the controversy. The consensus regarding the age of the Earth, based on the best geological evidence, is that it is billions of years old. But many Christians believe that the Bible teaches the Earth is only a few thousand years old at best. What are we to make of this discrepancy? Geologists Davis Young and Ralph Stearley tackle this issue head-on. Thoroughly examining historical, biblical, geological and philosophical perspectives, the amply illustratedBible, Rocks and Time takes a comprehensive and authoritative look at the key issues related to the Earth's antiquity.
Citations And Professional Reviews The Bible, Rocks and Time: Geological Evidence for the Age of the Earth by Davis A. Young & Ralph F. Stearley has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Choice - 02/01/2009
Christianity Today - 12/01/2008 page 62
Christianity Today - 04/01/2009 page 63
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Reviews - What do customers think about The Bible, Rocks and Time: Geological Evidence for the Age of the Earth?
Good book for Young Earth Creationists Jun 27, 2009
The authors make a very strong case for an old earth and against a global Flood. Chapters 10-13 get a bit bogged down with more geology than I needed to know, and the discussion of radiometric dating (14 & 15) has been done better elsewhere. The final chapter (17) contains as good a plea as I have seen anywhere for Christians to stop promulgating YEC because it is detrimental to the spiritual health of Christian youth and also has negative consequences for evangelism and apologetics. I recommend this book for Young Earth Creationists.
A professional scientist's view Jun 16, 2009
If you are interested in the age of the earth controversy, read this book. it is a good examination of the issues and the proof.
Actually, I almost wrote "supposed controversy" as the young-earth argument is so weak as to be practically non-existent.
The single, one-star review is honest in its intent, but fully off the mark on this book and topic, and simply wrong. The review is not about the book, and is a tiresome rehash of old arguments. I do not doubt the author's intelligence, but it is clear that the Bible has been badly misread here - misappropriated as a book of natural history. The words of Genesis which refer to the time involved in the creation of the earth are commonly mistranslated/misinterpreted (the original Hebrew words do NOT support a young earth hypothesis).
Also, while mechanical engineers certainly haver some scientific training/education, they are NOT scientists; just as I would not extend my scientific education as a biologist and chemist too far in trying to make statements about mechanical engineering, so I think the author of the one-star review should realize his limitations. As an evolutionary biologist, I have spent decades accessing the overall biological and geological evidence for evolution, and for the age of the earth.
The age of the earth argument has been progressively more and more settled as geology progressed the past few hundred years. Lord Kelvin's miscalculations seemed the strongest attack on the view that the earth is billions of years old, and it failed miserable in one step. Further, since there is nothing in the Bible to actually support the young-earth hypothesis - so science and Bible need to be at odds here.
This book does a good job of exploring the issue, and should be widely read. With all due respect (pace) IGNORE the well-intentioned, but erroneously argued, one-star review. It merely weakens the legitimate stance of religion in today's society. It is hard to conceive of a weaker argument to make than that favoring a young earth perspective. It is time to to put this one to bed, permanently.
Good Science - Good Theology - Great Book May 10, 2009
It is difficult to overstate how important it is for modern Christians to interact carefully with the array of scientific data that conflict with some of the traditional Christian interpretations of the book of Genesis. This book, written by two deeply devout evangelical scholars, is an excellent resource that will draw careful readers to realize that the acceptance of an ancient earth is in no way a compromise of Scripture.
For many centuries Christians believed the Bible taught that Earth was fixed in space while the sun orbited it. Early proponents of heliocentrism were considered heretical, for heliocentrism conflicts with the "plain reading" of Scripture. As the evidence for heliocentrism continued to pile up, many Christian scholars came to see that biblical passages that seemingly describe a mobile sun were not meant to be taken literally. They described such passages as "phenomenological" instead, meaning the Spirit-led authors of these biblical passages were describing things "as they appeared to a casual observer" rather than "as they would be described scientifically in the far-off future, once the scientific method was in place." Scholars adopted this measure because the overwhelming empirical evidence led them to a fork in the road: they could either go on believing in the Bible as God's inspired Word, modifying their hermeneutic in order to incorporate God's revelation in nature without creating conflict with biblical teaching, or else they could go on interpreting the Bible as teaching geocentrism and thus conclude that the Bible was in error.
I fear many people today are led to a skeptical conclusion regarding Scripture because so many Christians insist that Scripture must be interpreted literally whenever it touches on scientific matters. Ironically, most Christian Bible scholars know better than to approach Scripture in such a monolithic, context- and form-defying manner, but the lesson is lost on the masses of faithful laity and, sadly, most often their pastors as well. For instance, few if any recognized experts in Old Testament literature, Ancient Near Eastern backgrounds, Hebrew, or related fields insist that the Bible argues for a recent creation. They can see from linguistic and literary features in Genesis 1 and 2 that the text is not likely intended as a literal science report on God's work as Creator. They can also see that the topics discussed in these chapters seem tailor-made for addressing (and refuting) common non-Hebrew beliefs about the creation of the world that were current in Moses' day. Assuming Moses wrote Genesis in about 1440 BC, it is fitting that he would be given by God the task of bringing the Hebrews up to speed on the true theology of creation since they had just spent several generations enslaved in Egypt, learning the false Egyptian cosmogonies. It's safe to say that no Jew wandering through the desert with Moses was concerned to hear a scientifically defensible account of God's creation of the universe. What they wanted to know was: Which God is true? Why did he make humankind? What is our purpose? Why do we have war, strife, death, and alienation from God? These are the questions they were asking, and these are the questions God answered through Moses in the book of Genesis. Science was the furthest thing from anyone's mind.
I fear that many faithful Christians are reliving something like the geocentrism controversy all over again in the 21st century, putting Scripture in harm's way by insisting on a literalistic hermeneutic that conflicts with a broad, steady river of empirical evidence coming from our God-made universe. The irony is stunning: God through his creation tells us much truth about his doings as Creator, but many Christians use the Bible in such a way as to shut out his voice. This book by Young and Stearley carefully, methodically, winsomely, and very respectfully shows the many biblical and scientific fallacies of young earth creationism.
It is not true that science supports a young earth, as Christians who are practicing scientists can readily tell you. It is not true that the Bible insists that Earth is young, as the easy majority of Christian Bible scholars can tell you. And it is not true that you must compromise a high view of Scripture in order to accept an ancient creation, much less that you have to embrace a naturalistic worldview.
I follow Christ passionately, revere the Bible as God's inspired and inerrant Word, and love science as a means of delving into the glories of God revealed in creation.
Let Davis Young and Ralph Stearley introduce you to Christian discipleship that honors both Scripture and the testimony of nature.
Jeremy Royal Howard [...]
This book does not disprove Young earth creationism Apr 30, 2009
Ultimately, we need to have a frame of reference, an axiom, by which to judge other things. One can read scientific magazines and try to discern a consensus and then use that consensus to view and judge the world (including Scripture). Alternatively, one can read the scriptures and allow them to develop a world view. It is impossible to judge scripture based on science unless one sits in the first group. I would argue that Christians NEED to be in the later group. This book is clearly judging scripture using science. They deny the historicity of Adam and a global flood and do little to reconcile this fact.
Science is good for evaluating things that can be tested in a lab. Science needs to have a way to test one's hypothesis. When we are dealing with ancient history (i.e. greater than written history), there is no way to disprove a hypothesis. Whether we are dealing with carbon dating or evolutionary theories, scientists can't prove their theories because we can not recreate the theories in a lab. Proving something *can* happen does not prove it *did* happen. This is lost on most people. Even if evolution *could* happen (something I highly doubt) there is no logical reason to suggest that it *did*. All a evolutionary scientist can do is propose things that are feasible. Feasibility is not proof.
Also, those who think the "consensus of science" is always right should do just a bit of research. Since the inception of modern science, not a generation has gone by when the scientific community has not been embarrassingly wrong on something big. Are we in the first generation where this is not the case? Of course not. And I am pretty sure I know where future generations will laugh at us.
I hate to be blunt but I believe that "old earth" Christians are a dying breed. I am convinced that they are irrelevant and will go the way of Bishop Spong liberal Christians from the 60s.
I suggest Christians pass on this book (although I appreciated the authors honesty in admitting that the historic Christian church was almost unanimously Young Earth in its interpretation of Genesis).
Solid Evidence, More Questions Apr 13, 2009
This book effectively destroys the young-Earth view of creation. Anyone who reads this book has to conclude that the overwhelming evidence points to an ancient earth, not one that is only 6,000 years old. The evidence is quite thorough and the authors faithful to cover almost every conceivable objection a young-earth creationist could make. I appreciated the perspective of these writers as Christian scientists and the amount of work that was done to create a working interpretation of Genesis 1 in light of this evidence.
However, the book left me with many more unanswered questions. What about evolution? What about the flood? What about Adam and Eve and the geneaologies that tie together the entire narrative of the Bible? What about the first 11 chapters of Genesis? I realize these questions were not in the scope of the authors' purpose, but they are important in the framework of Christian thinking. I would have like to have seen at least an opinion on them given by the authors. This will have to be the scope for the next scientific manifesto from evangelical academia.