Boyle and gap view

From: Ted Davis (
Date: Mon Apr 02 2001 - 10:44:28 EDT

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    I'm doubtful that Boyle endorsed the "gap" view in any form, as Michael
    Roberts has suggested. I say "doubtful", b/c I am open (as always) to being
    convinced from specific passages that I am mistaken. But the lengthiest
    passage I know of, in which he comments on the earth's age, is in The
    Excellency of Theology (1674), where he implies (almost states flat out)
    that the earth is no more than 10,000 years old, and where he also states
    the following:

    "I see no reason to embrace their Opinion, that would so turn the first two
    Chapters of Genesis into an Allegory, as to overthrow the Literal and
    Historical sense of them." Now I agree that gap advocates often argue for
    the literalness of their view, since it preserves the six days as literal
    days, but I doubt he had this in mind.

    Furthermore, Boyle admired his father's close friend James Ussher, indeed
    it was probably Ussher who inspired Boyle to undertake his own study of
    biblical languages in order to write critically about the Bible. I have no
    reason to doubt that he thought Ussher was pretty near the mark.

    Ted Davis

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