March 6, 2019
The age of the earth was the topic of today's Apologia chapel for the Rhetoric School (9th-12th grade). Some of Trinity's science faculty was on hand to present the case for various views. It was not a debate but rather a presentation for students to consider various theories and to learn the science behind the theories.
Mr. Evan Freeman was up first, with the Old Earth Creationist (OEC) view, the view that the earth is millions of years old, and he shared scientific reasoning to support the view he described.
Mr. Eric Margrave came next, with the Young Earth Creationist view (YEC), the belief that the earth may be as young as 6,000 years. He gave Biblical support as well as scientific support for YEC, all the while referring to people who hold this view as "Yeckers" - because he didn't want to keep saying Young Earth Creationists. So if your students talks about Yeckers, you'll know it's not some new slang that teenagers are using.
Dr. Mark Phillips, Trinity's Chair of Theology and Science, rounded out the lesson with the Mid-Earth Creationist view, which puts the age of the earth somewhere between the many millions and the few thousand, at about 13 million years. More importantly, he made sure the students understood that it's not so much the age of the earth that matters to our Christian faith, but rather the fact that the view we hold as Christians is a Creationist view. WHEN God created the earth is not as important as THAT He created it. He discussed the fact that the theory of evolution (which all Rhetoric School students have studied by now) is falling out of favor even in the scientific community. Many college professors have signed a document saying that they find that the idea of macroevolution (species evolving from other species) should be seriously questioned. Many other college professors are simply waiting until they achieve tenure before signing the document, as they fear their jobs would be in jeopardy if they signed before earning tenure status.
Dr. Phillips knows these students are going to head off to college soon and they will hear scientific arguments against creation; they will hear people say that they don't believe the Bible because it contradicts science. Trinity's science faculty want students to know that the Bible does NOT contradict science, but in fact, as scientists discover more, the Bible is supported more and more by God's "second book", which is nature. Trying to explain the creation of the earth by naturalism or by macroevolution simply doesn't work. There is not enough support for those theories. A study of the complexity of DNA is enough to demonstrate that there must be a Creator. Phillips paraphrased Bill Gates, who likened DNA to a computer program more complex than any we could ever conceive. And a complex program like DNA points definitively to the need for a "Programmer."
The chapel ended with a brief time for students to discuss with their neighbor something new they had just learned and then about 15 minutes of Q & A, led by Dr. Dixon. Students asked thoughtful questions and the panel of teachers were very knowledgable and helpful to shed light on complex subject matter.
ICYMI, here is a link to YouTube to view the chapel talk.