Sir David Attenborough has revealed that he receives hate mail from viewers for failing to credit God in his documentaries. In an interview with this week’s Radio Times about his latest documentary, on Charles Darwin and natural selection, the broadcaster said: “They tell me to burn in hell and good riddance.”
Telling the magazine that he was asked why he did not give “credit” to God, Attenborough added: “They always mean beautiful things like hummingbirds. I always reply by saying that I think of a little child in east Africa with a worm burrowing through his eyeball. The worm cannot live in any other way, except by burrowing through eyeballs. I find that hard to reconcile with the notion of a divine and benevolent creator.”
But Iâ€™m thinking that no matter what, weâ€™re talking ages significantly longer than say, 6000 years. In fact, unless Antarctica was moving at a pace faster than you can jog, weâ€™re talking millions if not hundreds of millions of years here.
Of course, creationists have an answer for this, including “catastrophic plate tectonics”, which apparently can have all the continents scurrying across the face of the Earth like cockroaches avoiding light. Go ahead and read that link; itâ€™s pretty entertaining. According to them, the continents all got pushed around by Noahâ€™s flood, then suddenly stopped, except not really stopped; now they move slowly, and at just the right speed to be in concordance with the hundreds of other pieces of evidence that show that the Earth is billions of years old.
You canâ€™t make this stuff up.
position: the whole bible is the “why” and genesis is a very short answer to man’s age-old question of “where did all of this come from?”
when god revealed the HOW (as he probably did to the first people, who took the story and ran with it, until moses got the “written” version), he did it in a way that could be understood by 8,000 or more worth of human beings — even ones who had not yet figured out how to make fire, or use a wheel.
and, yet, the account fits perfectly with the science:
check out this graphic showing the timeline of the universe, as the science currently says it happend, when compared to what genesis says, from the point of view on the ground, at earth.
amazing similarity, no?
i started to doubt that the earth was 6,000 when i first read stephen hawking’s “a brief history of time”. for those that are unfamiliar with it, it is a “primer” of sorts on current cosmological theory, with things such as gravity, how light works, and more explained in (more or less) everyday terms.
the book made sense, but i was angered that it went against what the bible clearly said.
so i went looking (this was before the internet was in every home!), and was shocked to discover that the bible did not require the “24 hour day” meaning of the word YOHM, as i spoke to in my last post.
armed with this, i went looking even deeper, and discovered that there were, in fact, many christians, some of them quite prominent, who were at least open, if not outright supportive of an “old earth”.
i still questioned, and felt guilty about questioning my faith, but kept looking into the science and the hebrew.
eventually, after a few years of this, i simply faced the facts, as i udnerstood them: the universe was old, and the bible had no problem with it.
once i accepted this, i was free in a way i couldn’t have imagined before.
this was in 1992 – 1994 or so. (ironically, i was in no way living my life in a way that pleased christ at that time, but was living quite selfishly for me.)
in any case, just recently the science has gotten even better: in early summer last year, new views of the universe has proven, beyond any doubt, that the univesrse is roughyly 156 billion lightyears across — which translates, with the inflationary model of expansion — to 13.7 billion years old. more info here
einstein’s theory predicited that the big bang had to have happened, and the bulk of the scientific community balked, because of the theological implications, but the science has proven too good to ignore, and it has become the accepted theory of how the universe was kicked off.
(the big bang requires a “starter” for it, where the “steady state” theory that had been popular until then did not)
there are many other signs just in our planet that require an old earth, as well:
- there’s WAY too much fossil fuel: we know where it comes from, and at any given time, there’s not nearly enough plants and animals on the earth to have made it all (even in some planet-covering flood)
- plate tectonics: we know how slowly the continents drift, and we know how far apart they are now, so we can deduce how much time they have needed to get where they are. (again, the flood doesn’t account for this, either: such a huge shift in only a month or so (thousands of miles!) would litterally rip the earth apart, and the surface would be uninhabitable for hundreds or thousands of years. think of the devastation that 1 earthquake that’s “only” a 9 on the richter scale has caused in asia this past couple weeks. and that is NOTHING compared to how much the earth would have shaken to move the contients as far as they have moved. (not to mention that the ark wouldn’t have survived the quaking)
- light appears old: the light that reaches us appears aged, in that it is scattered, and red-shifted in a way that it would not be if it had only been traveling 6,000 – 12,000 years.
some thoughts that i have, too, regarding the nature of god:
everything we encounter in this life, whether WE do it, or we SEE it done, happens through process.
our spiritual growth is a process. the way we are born is a process. the way we learn, the way we create, be it art, music, or writing, or math.
and we are created in god’s image.
i see much evidence in this creation that its creator LOVES process.
i see no evidence that god lies — and much that we see in our universe would be a lie if it is not old: fossils of tiny and large animals, the distance starlight has traveled before we can see it without eyeballs, the wear and tear on rocks that comes from erosion.
these things, and many others, point to this planet, this universe having been here a long time.
why would god fake that stuff?
bottom line is: i have decided he would not fake it. it appears to be old because it is old.
what’s more is: none of this takes away from god’s power, or detracts from the miracle of it all: this universe is a singularly unique place, and it was made that way, prepared specially for mankind, over the course of 13.7 billion years.
there are thousands of things that must be just as they are for us to even be discussing this, from the average distances between galaxies (this is a HUGE deal) to the distance form the earth to the sun (no error for margin here), to the mixture of gasses in our atmosphere.
it’s all simply a miraculous thing, and i love him for it.
i hope this helps.
as i said before: we have no need to be afraid of asking questions. our god is a god of truth! let us always seek it.