“I have three teenage boys and now two of them are questioning the Bible. This scares me! They tell me if the Bible is truth then I should be able to reasonably explain the existence of dinosaurs. This is just on of many things they question. Even my husband is agreeing with them. How do I explain things to them that the Bible doesn’t cover? I am so afraid that they are walking away from God. My biggest fear is not have my children and husband next to me in God’s kingdom.”
Pat Robertson responded by first saying:
“I know people will probably lynch me for this, but Bishop Ussher, God bless him, wasn’t inspired by the Lord when he said it all took 6,000 years. It just didn’t.”
Ugh. This response is taken from old earther Hugh Ross’ play book. Ussher isn’t the only one to have come up with a young age for the earth based on the chronology and genealogies of the Bible, so pushing it off on Ussher is not only in bad taste, it’s a bad argument. Biblical creationists don’t affirm 6,000 year age of the earth on Bishop Ussher’s say-so; we do so for the same reasons he did: we can trace the history of the created universe in the inspired Word of God back to Adam, created on day 6 of the Creation Week, to about 6,000 years ago. Furtherore, we affirm the 6,000 year age of the earth derived from the inspired Word of God in spite of the uninspired claims of fallible men who claim the earth is much, much older! Pat’s response betrays a fundamental ignorance of the issue in general; rather, he parrots Hugh Ross in credulity.
He goes on to say:
“You go back in time, you have carbon dating, all these things, and you have the carcasses of dinosaurs frozen in time. They are out there. And so there was a time when these giant raptors were on the Earth and it was before the time of the Bible. So don’t try to cover it up and make like everything was 6,000 years, that’s not the Bible.”
I’m sure he meant radiometric dating, for old earth scientists claim that carbon dating is only good for dating things that are less than 57,300 years old. Radiometric dating comes with a host of assumptions, including the idea that the rate of decay from parent to daughter isotope has been stable [did not change, speed up or slow down], that we know the parent/daughter ratio [we weren't there, so this is a big assumption] and that nothing has been added or removed during all the years we haven’t been watching! Proponents of such old earth dating methods claim that the fact that different radiometric dating methods give “basically” the same age range of millions of years, but even if this were true [there is actually a wide range in most cases], we should expect the same basic results from dating methods that operate under the exact same assumptions! Radiometric dating has shown igneous rocks formed in volcanic eruptions we know to be less than a hundred years old to be millions of years old, so I think we have to assume that the assuptions behind radiometric dating methods require an extreme amount of calibration! If we can’t trust radiomentric dating to give us an accurate age for rocks of known age, how can we reasonably trust these old earth dating methods for rocks of unknown age?
Furthermore, it is interesting that he refers to carbon dating by mistake. As noted, radiocarbon dating is only supposed to be useful for dating things less that about 57,000 years old, yet creation scientists have sampled pieces of fossilized wood from “rock layers supposedly 32 to 250 millions of years old all contain[ing] measurable radiocarbon, equivalent of “ages” of 20,700 to 44,700. (Creation geologists believe that with careful calibration, even these exremely “young” ages would be less than 10,000 years old.” [src: "Radiocarbon Dating?" Andrew A. Snelling. How Do We Know the Bible Is True? Vol.2. (Master Books) 2012, p.137]. We also find measurable radiocarbon in coal and diamonds, each touted as being formed millions upon millions of years ago. This glaring inconsistency is yet another reason not to trust the uninspired all-natural opinions of men [even men in lab coats!] over the inspired truth of the Word of God.
As for Pat Robertson’s claim that dinosaurs existed before the times of the Bible, he is mistaking an interpretation of the facts consistent with pure uniforitarian naturalism with the facts themselves. You see, the facts themselves are that we do find the bones of dinosaurs “frozen in time” in rock strata. The naturalist says that no Gods are allowed as an explanation of these facts. The pure uniformitarian geologists says that these rocks are comprised of strata that formed at the rate we observe today. The Biblicist says that God’s Word reveals that God is personal and has acted in His Creation, that He spoke the heavens and earth into existence over 6 calendar days [the basis of our six day work week and the Sabbath day of rest per Exodus 20:11], that living organisms were created according to their kind and commanded to procreate according to their kind [implying biological limits, rather than common descent from a single ancestor organism] and that His “very good” creation is now fallen under Adam’s curse… so all-natural explanations are a slap in the face of the truth of Biblical revelation! The Biblical [catastrophist] geologist believes that these facts [to borrow Ken Ham's phrase, billions of dead things buried in rock layers laid down by water all over the earth] are best explained by a world-covering flood in the days of Noah as revealed in that self-same inspired Word of God. In other words, we have the same facts, but our interpretation is different because we believe the Bible’s claims over the all-natural, uniformitarian clais of mere men.
Pat Robertson ends his wholly unBiblical response with the following:
“If you fight revealed science, you’re going to lose your children, and I believe in telling it the way it was.”
Revealed science? Where does Pat Robertson get this idea? This time, he has borrowed a page from Hank Hanegraaff’s’ play book. The so-called Bible Answer Man believes in a Two Books Approach to scientific inquiry, that both nature and the Bible are equal revelations of God. It is true that nature reveals God’s existence, his power and glory, but there is a limit to natural revelation. It is not God-breathed, as the Scriptures are. For example, if we looked at the suffering and death in the post-Fall natural world, we might think God is an ogre who only cares about the big picture. We would never presume He was a God who cared about sparrows, much less the sort who saw each one fall. No, we get that revelation of a personal, loving who cares about the little things from revealed Scripture which necessarily trumps the findings of natural revelation in all that it speaks. Where any man – whether in a lab coat or not – contradicts the revealed Word of God, we declare, Let God be true and every man a liar! Even if that means we don’t presently have an alternative answer. By faith, we affirm that God’s Word will be vindicated in spite of all opposition, as it always has.
Besides, if Pat Robertson were consistent in his claim about “revealed science,” I submit that scientists deny that men may rise from the dead. Will he have us fight revealed science on this point and deny the Resurrection of Christ and our future Blessed Hope in the process? Is it really fighting “revealed science” chained as it is to pure anti-Biblical naturalism that causes us to lose our children, or affirming their claims in spite of the clear revelation of God’s Word that causes apostasy?
I invite Pat Robertson to pick up a copy of Already Gone, if he’d like to know why we lose our children. We lose our children because vipers like Pat Robertson and Hugh Ross echo the words of the Edenic Serpent, asking them “Did God really say the earth is young? Did God really say Adam and Eve were real? Because my science teacher tells me something else and now Pat Robertson says I can’t take the Bible’s inspired words without calibrating them against the all-natural claims of uninspired men…” No, his methods seed doubt and unbelief while claiming to make the Bible more credible! It’s like chipping away at the foundation and claiming it makes the building stronger after all!
In a future post, I’ll tell you how Pat Robertson would have and should have] answered Michelle if he still believed the Bible in its entirety. In the meantime, give your money to your local church as the Bible prescribes, not these televangelist ministries.