Interpreting evidence is a somewhat subjective process because evidence can always be viewed from multiple vantage points. Police detectives examine crime scenes to determine the most likely perpetrators of the crimes. Sometimes the evidence seems to point in one direction only to later be proved to have been pointing in a different direction all along. Evidence rarely has only one possible explanation.
Old earth creationists examine the cosmological and geological data and conclude that the universe is billions of years old. Young earth creationists admit that the earth and the universe appear to be billions of years old but contend that the data is being misinterpreted.
Most young earth creationists believe that God created the earth and the universe with the appearance of age, much like Adam and Eve were created as adults. If a doctor had examined Adam and Eve on the second day of their existence, the doctor would have said they were decades old even though they were only created the previous day. Similarly, God created the universe and earth so that it could sustain life from the moment He created it. Therefore, it gives the appearance of having aged billions of years even though it is only thousands of years old. So, all the cosmology, geology, and other sciences that uncover evidence for billions of years are in fact pointing to the appearance of age that resulted from God creating a mature and stable universe capable of harboring life.
Most old earth creationists reject the “appearance of age” argument and see it as unnecessary, even deceptive. Why would God create something that appears to be old when it is in fact young? Further, there are many phenomena in the universe with origins seemingly unexplainable other than by allowing for billions of years, and they are unnecessary to harbor life. The old earth creationists say that, if everything in the universe seems to point to billions of years, it should be accepted that the universe is billions of years old.
Both sides examine and interpret the same data. Young earth creationists see anything that points to billions of years as evidence for God creating the universe with the appearance of age or as examples of the scientific community misinterpreting the data. Old earth creationists see everything that points to billions of years as evidence that the universe is actually billions of years old.
So, whether it is continental erosion, subterranean fluid pressure, global cooling, lunar recession, helium diffusion, radiometric dating, the geological column, the big bang theory, redshift, distant starlight, etc., both young earth and old earth creationists believe they can explain the evidence in such a way that supports their viewpoint and/or refutes the other side.
Is there evidence for young earth creationism? Possibly. Is there evidence for old earth creationism? Possibly. It all depends on which viewpoint is correct. In reality, all of the evidence points in the direction of the truth of how long ago God created the universe. It is a matter of us interpreting the data correctly.
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