How Old is the Earth?
Six Thousand Years:
The Bible provides a complete genealogy from Adam to Jesus. You can go through the genealogies and add up the years. You’ll get a total that is just over 4,000 years. Add the 2,000 years since the time of Jesus and you get just over 6,000 years since God created everything.
Is there anything wrong with figuring out the age of the earth this way? No. There is nothing to indicate the genealogies are incomplete. There is nothing to indicate God left anything out. There is nothing in the Bible that indicates in any way that the world is much older than 6,000 years old.
The Bible does tell us, however, that the fossils we find could not have been buried before God created Adam. The animals whose bones became fossilized had to have died after God created Adam. That means those fossils must be less than 6,000 years old. Here’s why:
How do we get fossils?
The animal has to first die. That’s rather obvious. When did death enter the world? Not until Genesis chapter three when Adam and Eve disobey God. So up until that time neither people nor animals died. So, based on the Bible, there could not be any bones to create fossils until after the fall.
Here’s another Biblical reason why the fossils we find could not have been buried before God created Adam:
When we examine fossils, in some of them we see evidence of sickness, disease and cancer. There is evidence of violence and of one animal eating another. So there were some problems. Not everything was good.
Yet, at the end of day six of creation: “God saw all that He made and behold. It was very good.” (Genesis 1:31 NASB)
God didn’t call His creation just good. He called it very good. A world with sickness, disease, cancer and violence is not good. So, the fossilized bones we now find had to have come from animals that died after God created Adam, and after the fall.
How Old is the Earth According to the Bible and Science?
The age of the earth has been a topic of debate among Christians over the last two centuries. Several Christian ministries promote the idea that the earth is less than 10,000 years old, which they say comes from the Bible. In reality, the Bible makes no claim as to the age of the earth, although it does establish a minimum age. This page examines some of the history of the controversy—what the Bible actually says and does not say—and the scientific evidence surrounding the age of the earth.
Age of the earth according to the Bible
The following is a summary of the biblical evidence presented on this website regarding the age of the earth. For more detailed explanations of each topic, please click on the associated link.
History of the age of the earth
As indicated earlier, the Bible does not fix the age of the earth, contrary to the claims of Answers in Genesis.
1 Historically, their claim comes from the work of James Ussher, Bishop in the Church of Ireland, from 1625 to 1656. Archbishop Ussher took the genealogies of Genesis, assuming they were complete, and calculated all the years to arrive at a date for the creation of the earth on Sunday, October 23, 4004 B.C.
2 Of course, even assuming the method was valid, such an exact date is not possible from the genealogies of the Bible (Ussher assumed all the years the patriarchs lived were exactly 365.25 days long and that they all died the day before their next birthday). There are a number of other assumptions implicit in the calculation. The first, and foremost, assumption is that the genealogies of Genesis are complete, from father to son throughout the entire course of human existence. The second assumption is that the Genesis creation “days” were exactly 24-hours in length. It turns out that both assumptions are false.
Biblical GenealogiesBiblical Genealogies
Although Archbishop Ussher assumed the Genesis genealogies were complete, it is clear from the rest of the Bible that those genealogies were telescoped (some names were left out for the sake of brevity), which is common in biblical genealogies but rare in modern genealogies. Similarly, the key genealogical terms (such as “son” and “father”) have much broader meanings in Hebrew than their corresponding English words. The Hebrew word translated “son” can also have the meaning of “grandson,” “great grandson,” “descendant,” etc.
3 Likewise, the Hebrew word translated “father” can mean “grandfather,” “great grandfather,” “ancestor,” etc.
4 An accurate understanding of biblical genealogies is difficult, yet it is important for the understanding of Scripture. Having a proper understanding of biblical genealogies is a prerequisite to attempting to address the Genesis genealogies. By cross referencing the biblical genealogies with other events dated in the Bible, one can find instances where numerous genealogies were telescoped, resulting in the exclusion of numerous generations of individuals. When examining individual genealogies, one can find examples where individuals are excluded or added to the lists found in Genesis. The fact that the genealogies of the Bible are given symmetrically (where the numbers of generations in each group are identical) lends credence to the argument that they are representative of generations found throughout human history. More information about the biblical genealogies can be found in our article, The Genesis Genealogies: Are They Complete?
Length of creation days
Most people who read English translations of the Bible assume that the English words have the same meaning as the original languages in which the Bible was written (Hebrew and Aramaic for the Old Testament, and Greek for the New Testament). In fact, the original biblical languages contained many fewer words than modern English, which means that the words in those languages had more different meanings. In the Genesis 1 creation account, each “day” ends as “evening and morning ‘n’ day,”
5 where “n” is the day’s number. Although many Christians claim this makes the days exactly 24-hours in length, the Hebrew word translated “day” in English actually has three literal translations; the daylight portion of a 24-hour day, a 24-hour day, and a long, unspecified period of time (as in “day of the dinosaurs”).
6 The Hebrew word translated “evening” also means “sunset,” “night” or “ending of the day.” The Hebrew word translated “morning” also means “sunrise,” “coming of light,” “beginning of the day,” or “dawning,” with possible metaphoric usage.
7 Our English expression: “The dawning of an age” serves to illustrate this point. The intended meaning of the word should be determined from the context. More information and examples can be found in our article Biblical Evidence for Long Creation Days.
Holman QuickSource Guide to Understanding CreationAlthough some Christians claim the days of creation are exactly 24-hours in length, it is apparent from the literal reading of the Genesis 1 text that this is not so. Two days stand out, in particular. On the third day, God created the plants. The particulars are important, so let’s look at what Genesis 1 says:
Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind, with seed in them, on the earth”; and it was so. And the earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:11-12)
The interesting part of the account is that God did not create the plants in the manner we might assume He did. Instead of creating a world filled with full-grown plants, God actually created seeds and planted those. We understand this from the word “sprout,”8 which refers to God allowing the earth to produce plants through germination (sprouting). The Hebrew word dasha tells us that God used processes identical to what we see on the earth today. Plants spouted, grew to maturity, and produced seeds. Several kinds of plants are described. The Hebrew word deshe9 refers primarily to grasses; the word eseb10 refers primarily to herbs and the words peri11 ets12 refer to fruit trees. Some Christians claim that God could have sped up the process so that it all this sprouting and growing happened within a period of 24-hours. However, the text clearly states that the land produced the vegetation and trees. Conjecture about what God could have done to speed up the process have no biblical support and directly contradict what the text actually says. Since fruit trees take several years to mature and produce fruit, the third “day” must have been at least several years long.
The sixth day was also a very busy “day.” On the sixth day, God created the nephesh (soulish) animals, including the wild animals (carnivores), cattle (herbivores) and “creeping things” (rodents?) (Genesis 1:25). *****Then God created Adam, the first man (Genesis 1:27, 2:7). He placed the man into a special garden that He had planted (Genesis 2:8). Again, God was playing farmer by planting the garden and letting it grow (Genesis 2:9). Adam was placed into the garden “to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15). We don’t know how long Adam worked the garden before God gave him another assignment. However, it wouldn’t have been much “work” if Adam was there for less than 24 hours. Next, God had Adam give names to “all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air” (Genesis 2:19). The process would have required Adam naming tens of thousands of species (minimum). Even naming one animal every ten seconds would have taken Adam several days, at minimum. Then God put Adam to sleep and created Eve from part of Adam’s side (Genesis 2:22-23). Adam’s response to Eve’s creation is also telling, since upon seeing Eve for the first time, Adam said “at last.”
13 This is not exactly the response one would have expected from a man who had waited for less than one day (or else Adam was the most impatient man in the history of humanity). So, we must conclude that the sixth day was much longer than 24 hours, and probably took at least several years, based on Adam’s response. For more information, see our article Genesis 1: The Literal Interpretation of the Creation Account.
The seventh day
Besides the biblical evidence that at least some of the Genesis “days” are long periods of time, Genesis 2:4 refers to all 6 days of creation as one day:
This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven. (Genesis 2:4)
In addition, the seventh day of Genesis is not closed:
Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. (Genesis 2:3)
In all other days the text says, “there is the evening and the morning, the n day.” In the book of Hebrews, the author tells us to labor to enter into God’s seventh day of rest:
“For He has thus said somewhere concerning the seventh day, And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”… Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall through following the same example of disobedience. (Hebrews 4:4-11)
By any calculation, God’s seventh day of rest from creating has been at least 6,000 years long, since it continues to today. God’s seventh day of rest from creating will end when He creates the new heavens and new earth.
Age of humanity
Other than incomplete genealogies, there are other measures of the age of humanity found in the Bible. First, the Bible says that the Lord made a covenant and commanded his law to 1,000 generations:
Remember His covenant forever, The word which He commanded to a thousand generations, (1 Chronicles 16:15)
He has remembered His covenant forever, The word which He commanded to a thousand generations, (Psalm 105:8)
but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:6)
but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. (Deuteronomy 5:10)
Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands. (Deuteronomy 7:9)
Unless those generations are only 6 years long, these verses indicate that humanity has been around much longer than 6,000 years. In most instances, a biblical generation is ~40 years long,
14 meaning that human beings have been around for at least 40,000 years.
Another, less accurate way to look at the age of humanity is to compare an early biblical event with earth’s natural history. One example is the person Peleg, of whom it is said “for in his days the earth was divided…” (Genesis 10:25) This dividing of the earth was likely a result of the removal of land bridges at the end of the last interglacial period, about 12,000 years ago. During this time, sea levels rose several hundred feet as continental ice sheets melted and flowed into the oceans. Assuming the biblical genealogies were complete, we could calculate that Peleg lived ~4,000 years ago. However, since the dividing of the earth really occurred 12,000 years ago, one can determine that the genealogies represent only one third of the actual generations (12,000 ÷ 4,000). This would place the beginning of humanity at ~24,000 years ago, assuming the missing genealogies are missing at the same rate throughout human history. Since it would seem likely that more of the earlier genealogies are missing, the estimate is likely low, probably being more in line with the biblical 40,000 years.
From a scientific standpoint, ***I would place the creation of Adam as the first modern human (Homo sapiens sapiens), corresponding with the explosion of sophisticated tool making, art, and religious worship in Europe, about 50,000 years ago.
15 I do not believe that Adam was a Neanderthal, Homo erectus, or other hominid species found in the fossil record, but a fully modern, spiritual human being.
Summary of biblical evidence
Contrary to the calculation of Archbishop Ussher, it seems that the biblical genealogies are telescoped, representing only a small percentage of the actual human generations. Therefore, the time that humanity has existed on earth is in the tens of thousands of years rather than thousands of years. However, humanity was the very last of God’s creations, on the sixth days. The days of creation can be shown to be longer than ordinary calendar days, with at least two of the days being years long or longer (in addition to the seventh day, which is a minimum of thousands of years long). So, although the Bible may give us an approximate date for the creation of human beings, we can only guess at how long the other creation “days” are. However, God has given us another “book” that testifies to His power and creative ability—none other than the creation itself. The Bible explicitly tells us that God’s creation is a reliable witness for the truth about God’s power and righteousness. The Bible also says that one can see the truth about God from His creation, so that unbelievers are “without excuse” in denying God’s “eternal power and divine nature.”
16 So, the Bible says that we can learn about God from His creation. Let’s do that!
Age of the earth according to science
The age of the earth can be measured by numerous different techniques, most of which provide just a minimum age. The absolute age of the earth has been most accurately measured through radioactive decay of its rocks. Because of plate tectonics (which recycles the earth’s crust) and the late heavy bombardment, none of the original rock formations appear on the surface of the earth at this time. So, the oldest known rock formations have been dated to 4.0-4.2 billion years old.
17 However, tiny zircons, some of the hardest minerals on earth, have survived these catastrophic events and have been reliably dated to 4.4 billion years old.
18 Rocks returned from the Apollo moon missions,
19 along with meteorites derived from Mars
20 have been dated at 4.5 billion years old. *****Meteorites from the solar system that have landed on the earth have been dated to 4.56 billion years old, which establishes the date at which the solar system and all its worlds were created.
Radioactive Table of ElementsRadioactive Table of Elements
There are over 100 elements in the periodic table (right). The properties of each element are determined by the number of protons and neutrons in each element’s atoms. The atomic number (which defines each element) is a function of the number of protons (positively charged), which is exactly balanced by the number of electrons (negatively charged). The number of neutrons (each consisting of a proton and electron, being charge-neutral) within each atom is usually about the same as the number of protons, although some elements can exist in different forms (called isotopes) based upon different numbers of neutrons. A fundamental physical law, called the weak nuclear force, determines the stability of atoms that contain differing numbers of neutrons. Some isotopes are somewhat or very unstable and decay in a predictable way and at a predictable rate. Depending upon the isotope, this decay can occur in several different ways. One form of radioactive decay consists of a neutron decaying into a proton and electron, which is ejected from the nucleus. The atom’s atomic number increases by one, so it becomes one element higher on the periodic table, although its mass remains about the same. In other forms of radioactive decay, a proton combines with an electron to form a neutron, resulting in its atomic number decreasing by one. Still another form of radioactive decay results in the emission of an alpha particle (two neutrons and two protons), which lowers the atomic number by 2 and mass by 4. Both the original amount of an element and its decay product(s) can be measured to determine the age of the sample.
Isotopes and the age of the earth
The important thing about radioactive decay is that is provides us with clocks that allow us to determine the ages of various materials on the earth. The stability of a particular isotope determines its “half-life,” the amount of time required for half of the atoms to decay. Half-lives of isotopes vary from billions of years (or longer) to fractions of a second. The existence of certain isotopes on the earth give us a minimum age for the earth. It is significant that there are over 150 unstable isotopes, although the vast majority of those do not exist naturally on the planet. It turns out that every isotope (other than those which are products of other radioactive decay or are formed today) with a half-life less than 80 million years do not exist.
21 One could make the claim that maybe God didn’t want to create isotopes with “short” half-lives (other than carbon-14). However, the most compelling answer is that all those isotopes with short half-lives have completely decayed over the earth’s 4.5 billion year history. An earth that was only tens of thousands of years old would be expected to contain isotopes with half lives less than thousands of years long. However, there are none, with the exception of carbon-14, which is formed continually in the earth’s atmosphere, through the bombardment of atmospheric nitrogen-14 with cosmic rays. Some young earth creationists have attempted to get around the radioisotope problem by claiming that the half-lives of radioactive elements were shorter in the past. However, since the half-lives of radioisotopes vary over many orders of magnitude, this would require that God would have had to have changed pre-fall or pre-flood physics to adjust the decay rates of individual isotopes more or less compared to others. Needless to say, creationists who propose such special pleading have never produced any kind of coherent scientific model for how this contrived idea might have been accomplished. In addition, the Bible tells us that the physics of the universe are constant and “fixed,”
22 suggesting that such special pleading is incongruent with biblical theology.
Dating of meteorites
Because of the earth’s aggressive tectonic activity, it was anticipated that dating of the earth’s rocks would yield a minimum, but probably “young” date for the earth. As stated previously, the oldest rock formations are just over 4.2 billion years old, while the earth’s oldest minerals are 4.4 billion years old. Since the moon has no measureable tectonics, its oldest rocks date from 4.5 billion years ago. With the assumption that all the solar system bodies were formed at the same time,
23 scientists have dated meteorites to determine the age of the solar system. Using different isochron methods, the dates for all these meteorites fall in the same range—from 4.5-4.6 billion years ago.
Isochron Dating of Meteorites24
Meteorite Isochron Age (billions of years)
Pb-Pb Sm-Nd Rb-Sr Re-Os Ar-Ar
St. Severin 4.543 ± 0.019 4.55 ± 0.33 4.51 ± 0.15 4.68 ± 0.15
Juvinas 4.556 ± 0.012 4.56 ± 0.08 4.50 ± 0.07
Allende 4.553 ± 0.004 4.55 ± 0.03Other dating techniques
Radioactivity is not the only means of measuring the age of the earth, although it does give us the most accurate measure. However, other techniques allow us to calculate a minimum age for the earth. Below is a table of these techniques, all of which show the earth is much older than 6,000 years.
Techniques for Measuring the Earth’s Age
Part of God’s Creation Minimum Age of the formation (yrs.)
Age of moon rocks 4.5 billion19
Age of meteorites 4.5 billion24
Accumulation of space dust on the moon (at the measured rate of about 2 nanograms per square centimeter per year) 4.5 billion25
Age of earth rocks 4.2 billion17
Relaxation times of star clusters 4 billion26
Erosion on Mercury Mars, and Moon 4 billion27
Length of days of coral fossils 370 million28
Accumulation of sodium in the oceans 260 million29
Rate of continental drift to form the the Atlantic Ocean 200 million30
Reversals of the earth’s magnetic pole recorded in the Atlantic Ocean sea bottom 80 million31
Erosion of the Grand Canyon 17 million32
Geometric measurement to the galaxy NGC4258
Carbonate deposits: The Great Bahama Bank, off the coast of Florida, has multiple layers over 14,500 feet thick
There are sedimentary rock formations on Mars that are over 4 kilometers thick. Such layers would require tens to hundreds of millions of years of running water to form. In addition there must have been millions of years for all the water to have disappeared, since Mars is now extremely dry. (View pictures from the article)
Ooids (small spheroidal bodies): Formation for adding many layers of mineral deposits involves massive time elements. >7 million36
The Green River annual layers (alternating Summer calcium carbonate and Winter organic layers) 4 million37
Geometric measurement to the galaxy M33 2.4 million38
Evaporites: When bodies of salt water are trapped so that circulation is limited, evaporation produces precipitation of calcium carbonate, then calcium sulfate and finally calcium chloride out of the water. Each layer takes several years to form. The Delaware Basin formation is 1,400 feet thick, consisting of 200,000 layers, requiring at least 600,000 years to form. The Mediterranean Sea floor is underlain by about 7,000 feet of evaporites, requiring millions of years to form and evaporation of a 60 miles depth of salt water. >3 million39
Length of time that surface rocks have been exposed to cosmic rays (Antarctic rocks) 3 million40
Huge stalactites, stalagmites, and columns in the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico (Carlsbad reference) 500,00041
Vostok ice core in Antarctica 420,00042
Thickness of coral reefs 130,00043
Organic banks (The Capitan Reef of West Texas, 2,000 feet thick in places, with fossilized remains of organisms.) 100,00044
Radiocarbon dating of wood (upper limit of 14C dating method) 50,00045
Bristlecone pine trees in California 11,00046
Dolomite formation: Replacement of calcium carbonate particles in lime sediment or lime rock gives strong evidence of vast amounts of time required. Rate is as slow as 200 million years/mm.
millions47Conclusion Top of page
The Bible establishes a minimum date for the creation of human beings on the sixth “day” of ~50,000 years ago. However, because the Bible clearly indicates the length of the previous five creation “days,” are longer than ordinary solar days, we must look to God’s creation to establish an accurate date for the length of the days and the age of the earth. The age of the earth is most accurately established by examining the age of its rocks, along with the age of rocks from the moon and meteorites, which were formed around the same time. All these measurements indicate that the earth is just over 4.5 billion years old. Measurement of the ages of some of earth’s features establish a minimum age for those features that is in the hundred of thousands to millions of years. Since most of the measurement merely involve the counting of annual layers, they are unlikely to be grossly inaccurate. *****Therefore, the young earth paradigm that the earth is merely 6,000 years old is falsified by both the Bible and science. The vast ages of the earth does not diminish the power and glory of God, but establishes that God thought that preparing the earth for human habitation was worth the billions of years of preparation. Since God is not subject to the temporal dimension of this universe,48 it all happened “instantly” for Him.
“But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you; And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you. “Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you; And let the fish of the sea declare to you. “Who among all these does not know That the hand of the LORD has done this, In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind? “Does not the ear test words, As the palate tastes its food? (Job 12:7-11)
- Adam and Eve were created at the beginning of the Creation.
- Adam and Eve were created 6,000 years ago, approximately.
That conclusion in the Bible of creation must be the concoction of man and not of an God since God is omniscience, He could never have made such an error when he influenced the writing of the Bible.
When the Bible was written, cosmology, and astronomy were at its infancy and little was known about Heavenly sciences. But we have made great strides in scientific advances in the past 2000 years and we know the errors of early speculations about the Universe.
Man was made from the dust on the ground
Genesis 2:7 King James Bible
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
CREATION FROM CLAY
In the Qur’an, Allah reveals that the creation of the human is a miracle. The first human being was created by Allah shaping clay into human form and breathing a soul into it:
Your Lord said to the angels, “I am going to create a human being out of clay. When I have formed him and breathed My Spirit into him, fall down in prostration to him!” (Qur’an, 38:71-72)
Today, with greater knowledge of human biology and genetics there is a consensus that man was not created as described in the Holy Scriptures but have most likely evolved over millions of years. This again disproves that the Holy scriptures were the work of omniscient God but of fallible man.
Heaven, the heavens or seven heavens, is a common religious, cosmological, or transcendent place where beings such as gods, angels, jinn, saints, or venerated ancestors are said to originate, be enthroned, or live. According to the beliefs of some religions, heavenly beings can descend to earth or incarnate, and earthly beings can ascend to Heaven in the afterlife, or in exceptional cases enter Heaven alive.
Heaven is often described as a “higher place”, the holiest place, a Paradise, in contrast to Hell or the Underworldor the “low places”, and universally or conditionally accessible by earthly beings according to various standards of divinity, goodness, piety, faith, or other virtues or right beliefs or simply the will of God. Some believe in the possibility of a Heaven on Earth in a World to Come.
Journey to the Seventh Heaven
According to Islam, the Night Journey took place ten years after Muhammad became a prophet, during the 7th century. Muhammad had been in his home city of Mecca, at his cousin’s home (the house of Ummu Hani’ binti Abu Talib). Afterwards, Prophet Muhammad went to the Masjid al-Haram. While he was resting at the Kaaba, the angel Jibril (Gabriel) appeared to him followed by Buraq. Muhammad mounted Buraq, and in the company of Gabriel, they traveled to the “farthest mosque”. The location of this mosque was not explicitly stated but is generally accepted to mean Al-Aqsa Mosque (Temple Mount) in Jerusalem. This mosque is sometimes confused with the TEMPLE OF THE ROCK which was constructed in 691, 49 years after Muhammad’s death. At this location, he dismounted from Buraq, prayed, and mounted Buraq, who took him to the various heavens, to meet first the earlier prophets and then God (Allah). God instructed Muhammad to tell his followers that they were to offer prayers fifty times a day. At the urging of Moses (Musa), Muhammad returns to God and eventually reduces it to ten times, and then five times a day as this was the destiny of Muhammad and his people. Buraq then transported Muhammad back to Mecca.
Heaven, or the 7 levels of Heaven are accepted by most people of faith. Heaven is up there in the skies where God lives and rules. Hell, on the other hand, is there in the pits, somewhere. People believe that their souls will go the Heaven when they die and look forward to meeting God there.
But modern science has allowed us to travel and examine Jupiter. Jupiter is 365 Million miles away in the heavens.
When the two planets are at their closest point, the distance to Jupiter is only 365 million miles (588 million kilometers). From its closest point, Jupiter shines so brightly that even Venus dims in comparison. At its farthest, the gas giant lies 601 million miles (968 million km) away.31 May 2017
So our probes have travelled 365 million miles and yet have not reached heaven. Heaven must be at infinity. Hence it would take in infinite amount of time to travel to Heaven, i.e., a Soul will Never Reach Heaven because it will travel for an infinite time.
The errors and discrepancies in all the Holy Texts prove that omniscient God never had anything to do with such text and therefore all such Holy Books were made created by man and mostly mythical. All religions as based on ancient myths and legends and in truth God does not exist. It will be impossible to prove the existence of God. However, faith creates impossibilities.