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How Old is Old?- Part 2

Chris Holland
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Chris Holland

Associate Director of HopeLives365 and World Evangelist for Adventist World Radio

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  • October 15, 2016
    11:30 AM
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It has stood the test of time with God's Book the Bible still relevant in today's complex world. It is with messages of hope around the world difference I'm so glad that you've joined us for part two. How old is old how old are we not when we were born but the origin of the earth the origin of the universe. How old are we. Today I have a special guest Dr Tim Standish Dr Standish so glad that you are joining us once again to have discussions on how old is old and I'm glad to be back. And yes I both I'm so Intel with me too. So I'm excited about this program. Yes we're going to we're going to get into the show and tell Dr Standish you are the senior scientist for the geoscience Research Institute geoscience Research Institute is out of California Southern California. What are you doing these days at the geoscience Research Institute. Well obviously we're a research institute so that means that we engage in a fair amount of research activity. We have major projects going on in Peru which is the maybe surprising to some people studying the geology and also the fossils in one of the driest places on earth. Wow And particularly fossil whales there which is. Particularly interesting. We also have a major project going on with the Granites. The felde there in Southern California. Questions about how they formed. So those will be two major projects that that we're involved with Currently now. Why are you doing those projects are you just there to spend a little time in Peru and and be out in the sun in Southern California. Why are you doing these projects. Well obviously none of these things is done for one reason. Yes but the ultimate reason is to understand the past. We want to know what it would. To produce those fossil whales. Yes What occurred to produce those law. Granite structures in Southern California. What's that all about what does it tell us about the history of the earth and. Possibly. How does that inform our understanding of history as it's recounted in the Bible. And that's very interesting because that's really where we ended we kind of left on a little bit of a cliffhanger last week we talked about this issue of Nature observing in nature and just as a review to those who maybe didn't catch the show last week. We talked about this issue of natural selection which a lot of people call survival of the fittest and as we talked a little we actually saw that in nature. We actually don't observe this constant fight for survival but rather we observe a a a harmony and interaction. I believe you called it in interdependence. And what we saw in that interdependence or maybe let me ask you Dr Standish when. We see that interdependence the BE and the flower working together the bacteria in the stomach and a human being. Working together. What are those things all point to what is this harmony point to. Well ultimately applies to a plant. There was a plan that was in place so that all these various parts of nature would work together in a coordinated way that benefits. All of the organisms that are involved. It's a beautiful set of relationships that we see it this way. This is the ecologist to me coming out. I love to see that it is a beautiful thing. Yes a beautiful thing to see that wonderful cooperation that's going on between organisms. That's necessary for our survival. And and we kind of drew to a conclusion last week that seeing that there's a plan. Well in order to have a plan. There must be a planner. And ultimately that plan or that has generated the plan is the God of the Bible that certainly what I believe. Now we've got this harmony. Plan planner and you have some rocks there and we're going to talk about those but we have a little bit of a problem. Dr standards are maybe I'll say I have a little bit of a problem. Dr Standish we see that harmony. But we see death. We see dying. We see. Lions chasing antelope. We see that things aren't all harmonious. In the Lion's Den just chase the salute. Yes they are they kill them and eat them. What's going on what's going on what's going on there. This is this is a major question you know what. Most. People look around at the world and they understand there is something wrong here. There's a kind of profound in justice in what's going on. I like cats but I also like rabbits and the rabbits. They're pretty harmless creatures Well we can they can scratch you. Yes but then you know they're not doing anyone any harm. Really. And yet they are the prize for different kinds of cats and also eagles and other birds of prey foxes. Everything seems to go after the pole the rabbits. Just doesn't seem right now the good guy doesn't win all the time. Yes and what the Bible tells us sort of within the biblical world view. Yes this problem of evil in nature. Yes is not ignored. What we're told is that this was not God's plan. When God did the creation at the beginning it was very good. Yes death was not part of that system. It's hard to understand. I'm a biologist. I can't imagine an ecology working without death. But that's the way it was initially and then human beings were left in charge. God said You will be my stewards. To human beings. Human beings made the decision to go with a different plan and that's what we see playing out today. And you know and not to make a light of a very important subject but it seems that that is kind of something that can be observed throughout history when human beings are put in charge we to. And they kind of mess things up and things sometimes go roll. Yes. So some things go wrong. Human beings choose a plan other than God's plan. If you're watching today and you have questions about this. We actually did a whole series on know why where we talk about this problem of sin and the entry of sin. If you'd like to get that program you can go to our You Tube page youtube dot com forward slash I.W. Canada and get them in depth answers but Dr Standish we see sin. We see death. We see the plan the creation marred however. With that death. That death has left a record of fossil record and even though death is a bad thing it's our enemy the Bible says death is are the enemy and. Yet the same Bible that says that death is our enemy and Romans eight twenty eight says that God can bring good out of bad things and so we have the fossil record which is really if we if we lay it all out and just put it very plainly the fossil record is a record of death is. However this record of death plays into this conversation we have on origins. So let's talk about that a little if I'd also want to point out that the Bible talks about death being swallowed up in victory. Yes that's the sort of great divine justice that we look forward to that God's judgment is to raise people from the dead take them to heaven through the new. Creation. It sounds like a good kind of judgment to me. Yes. And before we get to those rocks it's very interesting you say that because we don't want to have people. If you look very bad that God has a plan and his goal is to get us back on that plan and that plan is a new creation. One of my favorite authors talks about after the new creation uses this line that I love it says that after God makes this new creation. There will be one pulse of harmony. Throughout the universe and that sounds like. What God's original plan was this harmony of interdependence and that's what God wants to get us back to this victory and this harmony that he has for his creation certainly sounds like a beautiful thing doesn't it. Yes. So let's talk about summer. So now I don't want to call them rocks but they may look like rocks However they are fossils and these fossils point out some amazing things because often when we talk about fossils. We may see these fossils that as a as a science museum or something like that as evidence of Darwinian evolution is however as a scientist you may see some different things in this. You know there's a there's a difference between data in science and interpretation. Yes and the standard interpretation of fossils is that they show the evolutionary history of life. Everybody agrees that fossils a record of things that lived in the past. OK Now the interesting thing about the fossil record. Is that it's a little bit like a book. And you can think of these layers of rocks as being like pages in a book one on top of the other or like a layer cake. Yes with different things in there and there are patterns in terms of what appears on the different pay. Ages or on the different levels. OK of the fossil record. So one of the things that I wanted to point out to you was was this this is this is an organism called a trial abides a trial of ita trial by now. We might look at it and say That looks like a fairly simple organism. But these were not simple organisms any more than a cricket or an insect you know some other kind of insect might be a simple organism these these trial bites different from other arthropods like insects. But they they seem to have had some similarities with them. I know the interesting thing about these is. As you come up through the layers of rock. Just as when you start turning the pages of a book you know how this sort of next to nothing on those first few pages yes that's what it's like in the fossil record. First for some time. OK And then. All of the sudden you have these guys show up. OK and they appear there. You don't see organisms below them that look like this literally turning into trial abides. The trial by it's just suddenly appear. And they have very complex. Ah yes they had a complex system of. Growth that allowed them to shed their this their exoskeletons as they grew they had complex nervous systems. These were really really complicated things and they show up in incredible diversity. And they show up with a whole bunch of other organisms. All in one layer of rock that's called the Cambrian layer. OK. This is something that's called the Cambrian explosion. There. Ah a few fossils you find underneath. But they don't look like they are slowly evolving into these organisms that you see in that care brain latest form all the sudden you have huge diversity of organisms. You may not have as many species as you have living today. But you have whole groups of organisms that simply are not no one to be living today we certainly haven't found them anywhere. And they and trial bites would be an example of these whole groups of organisms that have disappeared. But the point is they show up all of a sudden including interesting Lee enough even vertebrates. OK now not human beings. Sure. Human beings don't show me human fossils don't show up with a camera but fish like fossils do. So and none of these organisms. Do you do you see coming from some sort of slow Darwinian evolutionary process. As you go up to other layers in the fossil record. You also see things suddenly appearing. Birds for example. OK right at the top of a layer called the Jurassic that some people but have heard of because of a film called Jurassic Park right at the top of that layer. And the bottom of the next layer above called the Cretaceous all of a sudden you have a lot of different kinds of birds and they appear pretty much all over the world all in that same layer of rock. So the sudden appearance is something that you see in the fossil record. It is this essentially the opposite of what Darwinian evolution predicts what. Now this is now this is fascinating. So I just took a visit out. Drumheller I so you're in Canada and Drumheller is the dinosaur capital of the world right here in Canada when we went out there to Drumheller in the Badlands you can look out and you see. This layering happening you know various colors various densities various different things and what you're saying is as you look at the fossil record. You don't have organisms underneath the I believe you called the Cambrian layer where the tribal bites are found that are organisms that look like they're becoming tribal by its organisms becoming trial or bites. They simply just appear. That's right that's it's as if they came from nowhere. But you see the same thing with. You see these the same thing with other major groups of organisms the the the the appearance of flowering plants in the fossil record. Charles Darwin talks about it as an abominable mystery. And he was well aware of this problem. Yes what he attributed it to was problems with the fossil record rather than problems with his theory. Which was which is an interesting thing he says. He called it. Imperfection in the geologic record the logical record. So that's an interesting thing. Another thing that you see is sudden disappearance of things I think things are very systematic in this. So for example this this here is a little piece of dinosaur blood and dinosaurs which we've already talked about a little bit. They appear in what is called meses rocks you can think of the Mesozoic as being like a chapter in the book The These layers of rock make up then they disappear. At the top of the Mesozoic. At the same time another kind of organism is called an ammonite disappears as well. In fact a huge number of all. Isms disappear. And we never see them again. They don't live in a not found living today. There's a big question about. What caused things to be sorted out in the way they are in the fossil record. Yes. And to be perfectly honest with you. I've listened to lots of explanations. Yes I've listened to explanations that involve huge periods of time they don't work. I've listened to explanations that evolve short periods of time. And of course those of us who believe the Bible believe that the time is thousands of years not millions or billions of years and to be perfectly honest with you. I haven't heard an explanation that really accounts for these kinds of patterns the sorting out that we see in there. However the sudden appearance does not go along well with Darwinism. OK. In addition to that when you look at these organisms you look at this trial by here. It's it's a beautiful thing. These organisms look just as complicated. Just as elegant just as beautiful as the organisms that we see living today. We don't see organisms going from simple to complex. We don't see organisms going from just one kind to multiple kinds as you go through the fossil record. What we see is a sudden appearance of complex elegant beautiful creatures. And so sudden appearance sudden disappearance but let's just focus on the sudden appearance of complex beautiful creatures you say you haven't. You've heard lots of lectures no explanation I've read lots of books too. There are explanations but none of them really fits. None of them does an adequate job of truly explaining why the things sorted out so neatly in the fossil record. Invoking huge periods of time. Is not particularly helpful for many reasons and and we could talk about that but it takes a long time to unpack which is what we give you one example is if you've ever been to the Grand Canyon. Or pretty much probably in Drumheller you can see this. Did you notice that the layers were very flat. Yes there are some of those layers are supposed to have gaps of time between them millions of years. Well over millions of years things erode away. That's how you're supposed to get things like the Grand Canyon. Right. It's a host of take it I mean. Now I don't believe that the Grand Canyon took millions of years but my point is this everybody understands that there should be erosion in there. You shouldn't have nice flat layers. They should be eroded. Yes dramatically eroded. But that's not what you see it doesn't look like the time. Is there. So what's the explanation then Dr. Well I wish I could you know I don't want to give you a glib simple explanation. I believe that much of the fossil record can probably be accounted for by a global catastrophe. Now I'm being very possum Irenaeus. Because other scientists believe that there were several global catastrophes. OK so I'm only saying I just think there was probably why on global catastrophe. We call it Noah's flood. Yes. And the that may explain much of what we see the problem is no one was there and the. Count of the flood that we have is the closest thing that we have to a sort of eyewitness account or at least. I count that was passed down over time to the modern people. Yes but. You know we see that account in cultures all over the world. Yes it seems it seems like it made a profound impact on humanity. Yes. So you're we're seeing this pattern. And these patterns showing up in the fossil record patters patterns that seem to point to some type of catastrophe happening worldwide. What are some other conclusions that we can draw from these patterns that we're seeing and this question of origins and how old are we really well there are a couple of points that I pulled out of this first of all it's very interesting to me that the Bible provides both a coherent story of origins or account of origins one that one that at least provides an adequate cause for what we see with living things and then it also provides an account of a global catastrophe the flood. OK. That also may help us understand why we find all of these fossils stacked up. As they are. Now it also leaves plenty of open mysteries for sure we don't know why it is that you only find the. Dinosaur remains in the Mesozoic rocks. Why why is that it's a very interesting and mysterious thing. Maybe they will figure it out one day maybe we'll have to wait until Jesus comes. But the thing that I would point out is these patterns do not fit with the Darwinian model the Darwinian model of slow gradual change. Over long periods of time is not recorded in the fossil record. And so saying that you know it's very interesting. Jesus made a statement one time he said that as he was making the triumphal entry and the and the fairest seas were telling him to quiet the people who are all happy to see he was coming to glory to God in the highest and he says if I quiet them. The rocks will cry out. And Dr Standish it seems to to me as you're talking about this that the fossil record and I know scientists wouldn't like for me to call fossils rocks but it would seem to me that the rocks are crying out that our world over simplifying things a little but our world me as a human being. I'm not the product of some accident or rearrangement of atoms but it seems that it points to something. Dr Stan is what's a pointing to. Well I would say that points towards that. First of all it points backwards towards a creation something these organisms that lived in the past just as amazing as the organisms living today. They didn't slowly come into it into existence so points back to you. Riginal creation and it also encourages us to look forward to the new creation that the Bible talks about God says I will make all things new Dr Standish it is hard to believe we are out of time and once again thank you for sharing this and let's have a word of prayer thanking God that he has a plan and that plan is driving toward a new creation. When all things will be are harmonious once again. Let's pray Heavenly Father we are so grateful that you are. Or the plan or that you had a plan and that plan is that each of us would be a part of the new creation in heaven where we could spend eternity with you. We thank you so much. My dear friends how exciting it is the fossil record which is a record of death which is the enemy. Yet even the enemy that record of data points to a god that has a plan and that plan is to bring us back to the new creation today I'd like to offer to you and authentic fossil. I also want to offer to the Discover Bible guide discover Bible God will help you get to know the planner Jesus Christ. Here's the information you need to receive today's offer to request today's offer. It is written Canada. It is written Canada and select the T.V. Program tab for Canadian viewers the offer will be free and postage paid for viewers outside of Canada shipping charges will apply if you prefer. You may call toll free at one eight hundred eight. That's one eight eight eight call. Call any time lines are open twenty four hours daily. That's one eight eight eight call or if you wish you may write to us at it. Is written Box two thousand and ten Oshawa Ontario L. one H. seventy four. And thank you for your prayer requests and your generous financial support that it is written Box two thousand and ten Oshawa Ontario L. one age seventy four. Dr Standish thank you so much for being with us today and thanks for having me. Dear friends. Join us again next week as we continue this discussion. How old is Until then remember it is written man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

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