Appearance of age and exegesis

Allan Harvey (
Mon, 1 Apr 1996 10:43:33 -0700

Peter Vibert reports on his Sunday school experience:

>The reactions were predictable - bemusement at the large numbers,
>puzzlement about how then one should think of Genesis, and strong claims
>that this is just the way God made things appear even though He created
>them recently. I passed out Loren Haarsma's posting on "a glossary of
>positions" on creation(ism) from back in February (thanks, Loren!), and
>several people expressed relief that there were "more options than they

Peter reports something I have noticed, namely that the "appearance of age"
position seems to be getting popular these days. Perhaps this is the last
refuge of YEC's who have realized that the science does not support their

But what I am wondering is the following: Is there any exegesis (preferably
something scholarly as opposed to assertions about Adam and Eve's
bellybuttons) of early Genesis that would lend support to the appearance of
age theory? Or that would argue against it?

Of course there is indirectly - if one's exegesis requires a young Earth
then the appearance of age position is the only one not inconsistent with
scientific evidence, whereas if one's exegesis does not require a young
Earth then there is no incentive to adopt the position. But I am wondering
if the text has anything more direct to say on the issue.

| Dr. Allan H. Harvey | |
| Thermophysics Division | Phone: (303)497-3555 |
| National Institute of Standards & Technology | Fax: (303)497-5224 |
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