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Earth is the third planet from the Sun in our solar system. It is the only planet — or, indeed, the only place in the universe — that we know harbors life.

Scientists estimate the age of the Earth to be approximately 4.57 billion years. This is roughly one third of the estimated age of the universe, 13.7 billion years. These estimates directly contradict the views of young earth creationists that the universe (including Earth and its life) was created by God 6,000 to 10,000 years ago in accordance with the book of Genesis.

In some religions the Earth is worshiped as a deity.

Center of the Universe

It was previously thought that the Earth was at the center of the universe. From a person on Earth, they would see the stars and planets moving. Naturally, being the young humans, they assumed that the Earth was at the center of the universe and everything moved around it. This formed the basis of the Catholic church believing that the Earth was at the center of the universe. Scientists such as Copernicus and Galileo theorized later on that the Earth was not at the center of the universe, but was revolving around the Sun. The scientists who did support this position were attacked and prosecuted by the Christian Church.

In the late 1900's and the early 2,000's, the Pope officially recognized that the Earth was revolving around the sun and regretted how they have acted against Galileo and other scientists.

Young Earth Creationism

As afore mentioned there are Christians who hold the belief that the world is 6,000 years old. They gain this belief, allegedly, through scripture. Christians who hold this belief assert that scripture is infallible. They then take the geneologies in Genesis 5 and 11, from Adam to Abraham, and get a number of roughly 1946 years. They then add this number to 2,000 B.C. This latter number is the well accepted date of Abraham's life and times. From here they get roughly 4,000 B.C. as thus being the time when Abraham was created and therein the world. The only way this works, however, is if there is a literal 24 hour 6 day creation.

Cf: Newman, Robert C. and Herman J. Eckelmann, Jr. Genesis One and the Origin of the Earth. Hatfield, PA: Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute, 1977.

There are many Christians, however, that see the problems between science and the young earth creationist view and have re-evaluated their exegesis of Genesis 1. They have derived that because of Genre, Accommodation, Hebrew language and understanding of Cosmogony, the Genesis 1 account was never meant to give an account of when creation was created, merely that it was. They thus find no problem in asserting that scripture is infallible and that the world is not 6,000 years old but 4.6 billion as science suggests. These individuals are called Old Earth, or Progressive Creationists.

Cf:Phillips, Perry G. “Are The Days of Genesis Longer Than 24 Hours? The Bible Says, “Yes!” IBRI Research Report #40 (1991).

Ross, Hugh. Creation and Time: A Biblical and Scientific Perspective on the Creation-Date Controversy. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress Publishing Group, 1994.

Walton, John H. The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2009.

See also

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