Revealed Science? Why Televangelist Pat Robertson Denies A Young Earth


robertson-dinoA viewer named Michelle asked the following of televangelist Pat Robertson:

“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.

For more information regarding the Age of the earth, check out: http://creation.com/how-old-is-the-earth

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11 thoughts on “Revealed Science? Why Televangelist Pat Robertson Denies A Young Earth

  1. Pingback: Why I Didn’t Need to Call NASA To KNow the World Isn’t Going To End on December 21, 2012 « Defending Genesis

  2. With all due respects.
    So much of this article contains arguments that have been thoroughly discredited.
    The harm that this does to the church is immeasurable. Factually incorrect and inaccurate articles such as this drive more and more people from the church every year.
    Why is it that my church has become a sanctuary for the ignorant, the uneducated and cult fodder fools?
    Please stop, take a science class and open your mind to the wonderful creation of God. There is no conflict between the Bible and the accumulated scientific study for the last 400 years.

    • Mr Wow,

      I hardly know whether to take you seriously.

      As I’ve stated many ties over, I was raised a creationist, but was then converted to a belief in millions of years of evolution in public school. It destroyed my faith, for if pure naturalism could account for the world, what need had I for God? After a decade, I returned to Christianity, and initially supposed that God could have used evolution and the days of creation could be figurative. Careful independent study revealed that millions of years of evolution was an all-natural just-so story which stands directly at odds with the Biblical account of supernatural creation. When men chain science to pure naturalism and deny the authority and veracity of Scripture, there is very much a conflict between the Bible and the claims of science regarding our origins. Only a fool would suggest otherwise. Or an atheist hoping to disarm Christendom…

      By the way, I’ve taken several college science courses and enjoyed them immensely, but since science can only tell me what happens in the world as usual, it cannot tell me when God’s agency was responsible instead; we need the Bible to tell us when God acted in a manner contrary to what we observe in nature… an authority scientists deny or at the very least fail to consider in the least.

      Now imagine if Christians denied other doctrines based on the all-natural findings of science. Would we affirm that Jesus rose physically and bodily from the dead, a condition of salvation per Romans 10:9? Naturalistic science denies that the dead rise again after all, so if we were consistent, we would have to deny the very lynchpin of Christianity and per 1 Corinthians 15, our faith would be in vain and we would still be in our sins.

      You see, all you’re saying to me is that if I believed the traditional tenets of Christianity less that folks would believe Christianity more. Liberal politicians have duped conservatives on this score, telling the that if they were only more moderate [more liberal], they would gain more conservative voters! No thank you. If I am less X and more Y, I do not strengthen X, but rather I make a case that Y might be more reasonable after all. Christianity is a religion that posits a supernatural Creator not an all-natural origin to the universe.

      How did you get so turned around that you forgot this simple fact?

      As for any of my arguments being discredited, hand waving will never suffice. If you can discredit these arguments, I invite you to do so.

      Think about it,
      Tony

  3. Pingback: How Televangelist Pat Robertson Should Have Answered Concerned Mother Michelle’s Dinosaur Question « Defending Genesis

  4. I’m not an expert on these things but here is my take on it. The word “Day” in the original biblical text of Genesis could be translated into many meanings such as: daylight, day, time, moment, or long era of time or a period of time. If you read it, it tells how God made the animals and man to dominate the beats of the field as hunters. Later in Genesis he made the Garden of Eden and had no one to till the soil. It states then he made Adam and Eve to live there. So animals and men were here before Adam and Eve. That explains the Neanderthal, dinosaurs and the like. When Cain was banished, was he not afraid of the “other people” who he said would surly kill him? Where did they come from? They were already here. Follow the timeline in Genesis before you tell me I am wrong. Just my two cents.

    • MSgt. Patrick A Kinney [USAF Retired],

      You are absolutely correct that the Hebrew word “yom” [rendered “day” in most English Bibles] can have several different meanings: the daylight portion of the day/night cycle, a 24-hour day, a generation, or even an indefinite period of time. The following sentence illustrates this perfectly: In my grandfather’s day, it took three days to travel to Detroit by the light of the day. We must point out here that it is the context which determines the meaning of the word.

      Consider this: When used elsewhere in Genesis, when the word yom/day is used with word night, it always denotes a literal 24-hour day. When its used with morning or evening or both morning and evening, it always means a 24-hour day. When it is combined with an ordinal [number], it always means a literal 24-hour day. Now read the first chapter of Genesis with these normative conditions of context in mind. What do we see? It’s overkill: morning, evening, number, night… day.

      Now, if you read Genesis it states that MAN is given dominion over all the animals (Gen. 1:28) [including the beasts of the field], but NOT as hunters. Show me a single verse where the Bible says that man was a hunter in Genesis. In fact, quite to the contrary, the Bible says that man was given plants to eat [Gen. 1:29] and that animals also lived on a vegetarian diet [Gen 1:30]. It is not until after the Flood of Noah, that God allows man to eat meat [Gen. 9:3]. So your understanding of the Bible here is in error with no room for hunters or even nature red in tootth and claw.

      The Bible is clear in its teaching that death is the result of sin [Romans 5:12]. Are you ignorant of the Bible’s claim that in Adam all die [1 Cor. 15:21-22]? Are you unaware that the Bible calls death the “last enemy” [1 Cor. 15:26]? If you know these things, answer me this: If Christ denied that he could cast out devils by the power of the Devil (for a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand[matthew 12:24-26]), how can you say that God created by a cycle of mutation, suffering and Death when Death is the Last Enemy? Does the One who called himself the Way the Truth and the LIFE [John 14:6], will He who created all things [John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16] create by the power of His enemy? Whose kingdom would He be building, and how could He call His creation VERY GOOD [Gen. 1:31]. As a result of Adam’s sin, His once very good creation is fallen, for Adam had dominion over creation by God’s proclamation [not by his own prowess in hunting] and as a kingdom suffers for the fault of its king, creation fell and even now groans for rebirth [Romans 8:20-22]. Sin’s power is in death, but the grace’s power is in righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ [Romans 5:21]; what hath Christ to do with the devil [2 Cor. 6:15]? what does sin have to do with righteousness? what does death have to do with life? what does an all-natural origins have to do with a supernatural creation? How can you answer the witness of Scripture against you?

      Lastly, I must answer a question so common that I cannot count how many Biblically faithful creationists websites, books and radio programs have addressed it: Where did Cain get his wife? Here you go: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/who-was-cains-wife

      By the way, you can also find answers to the question of dinosaurs and Neandertals [also answered to the point of infinity by Biblically faithful creationists groups the world over], if you will but humbly take the effort to study the Bible you have so badly summarized in order to accomodate the fallible, ever-chaning opinions of finite men.

      God bless you with repentance and wisdom,
      Tony Breeden

  5. Tony Breeden does not consider that maybe his interpretation of the Bible could be wrong. Instead radiometric dating, astronomy, the fossil record and geometry all which work remarkably well and are predictive with regards to other matters suddenly stop working when dealing with the age of the Earth. To be good Christians one must be bad scientist and embrace any loopy theory which is less science and more Biblical apologetic.

    • There are lots of PHD’d scientists who are creationists, so your final retort is a mere straw man. The old earth dating methods you mentioned are all based on uniformitarian naturalism. They can only give us the age of the earth if the supernatural or the catastrophic was not involved [you know, as the Bible claims]. True science can only claim that IF pure uniformitarianism and IF pure naturalism is true then the earth is millions of years old. Or did science suddenly lose its tentative, falsifiable nature where microbes-to-man evolution and the age of the earth are concerned?

  6. This is a Google generation. You can’t indoctrinate children that have access so much scientific data. Keep preaching this ridiculous nonsense & you will drive even more people away from Christianity.

    • The distortion actually occurs through a one-sided uncritical proselytizing of millions of years of microbes-to-man evolution as fact through public schools and popular media. Google allows those children to see the evidence they weren’t privy to before. Cheers.

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