Old-Earth creationism

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Old-Earth creationists (OECs) believe that Yahweh created the Earth as described in Genesis, but they interpret the biblical word for "day" as a symbolic unit meant to designate a much longer, unspecified period of time. Thus, OECs believe they are able to reconcile scientific facts (the old age of the Earth) with the Genesis account of creation. This is also known as "having your cake and eating it too."


Was the Sun created after the Earth?

The Bible appears to say the Sun was created on the fourth day of creation Genesis 1:16-19 Bible-icon.png, which was after the Earth was created. Scientists generally consider the Sun to be older than the Earth. Apologists argue that the Earth's atmosphere was dense but translucent until this time so that while the sun was created on the first day, it was only distinctly visible on the fourth day.

"Both science and the Bible (8) have told us that at the earth's creation, it was covered with a dense layer of clouds and gases which would have made it dark at its surface. [On the fourth day,] the translucent cloud layer was removed so that the sun, moon and stars shown through.[1]"

Gap principle

The gap principle, also know as gap theory, states that the days referred to in Genesis were not necessarily 24 hours, particularly since the sun was created on the fourth day. Genesis 1:16-19 Bible-icon.png

"In support of the Gap Principle, even the words, “in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens” [Genesis 2:4 Bible-icon.png] are employed to describe an indefinite length of time for the entire creative period of the heavens and the Earth. [2]"


  1. The text never mentions that we are to take this story as anything but literal.
  2. The age of the Earth and universe are not the only things the Bible is in error on with regards to the creation story. The Genesis account also dishes out misinformation such as "the order of creation" that contradicts the obvious (e.g., plants created before the sun or moon). It also contradicts the fossil record which shows more complex organisms appearing over time and not, as the creation "fifth day" presents, sea life and birds appearing together in one fell swoop.
  3. How do you know when to interpret the Bible as symbolic or literal? After the Bible is shown to be in error by science?
  4. Why should be the Bible be trusted if it has to be rationalized or revised starting in the first chapter?
  5. Why does God allow "his people" to be blinded by the truth on this point for thousands of years? Why did he leave room for people to misrepresent him when he could have been clear on this point from the beginning?
  6. Since the church usually eventually bows down to science when it has been shown to be in error (see Galileo), it's better to save oneself the constant fence-hopping and just start without supernatural assumptions.


  1. [1]
  2. [2]

See also

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