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Wade Lichti wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am Catholic and my brother is Evangelical. My question is about the age of the Earth. My brother insists that Christ was a New Earther: that the Earth is only 6,000 years old. His reasoning is because of different Scriptures in the Gospels:

  1. Mark 10:3-9
  2. Matthew 24:37-39
  3. Matthew 12:40-41
  4. Luke 17:28-32, and
  5. John 1:1-5
  • He also said, how could there have been animals that lived and killed each other before the Creation of Adam and Eve?
  • What is the Catholic belief of these Scriptures and how science relates to them?

Thank You!

Wade

  { What is the Catholic view of the age of the Earth and how could there be animals before Adam? }

Eric replied:

Wade,

There is no definitive Catholic position on this. Some saints believed in a young Earth, some in an old Earth. Generally, though, today, the old Earth/theistic Evolution theory is most common belief.

As for Mark 10:3-9, I don't know what Moses and divorce has to do with the age of the Earth. Looks to me like he thinks that the existence of Moses, Noah, and Jonah somehow proves a young Earth but I don't see how; if the earth were 4.543 billion years old when Adam came on the scene, nothing prevents Noah, Jonah, and Moses from appearing after him.

As for how it can be that animals killed each other before Adam, that's an excellent question; the standard answer to which is that death entered the world only for man, not for man and beast.

Another point is that Genesis is not to be taken strictly literally but simply as an explanation of how man fell, and to convey theological truths in language the Hebrews would understand — not as a scientific treatise.

The problem with young Earth creationism is that there is too much scientific proof of the age of the universe. To make it work would require that God had deceived us, but God can neither deceive nor be deceived.

Eric

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