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How Old is Old?- Part 3

Chris Holland
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Chris Holland

Associate Director of HopeLives365 and World Evangelist for Adventist World Radio

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  • October 22, 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. Fred thank you so much for choosing to watch it is written in the third part of our series. How old is old not when we were born or when our last birthday was but asking the question of origins. How old are we where did we come from how long ago did we come from it and out me in this conversation. I want to welcome again good friend Dr Tim Standish Dr Standish thank you so much again for being here with us. Well thanks so much. You know I'm having fun with this and I hope that everybody's enjoying just digging into these questions a little bit. We don't have all the answers. But. You know there are some great odds as they're both in size and and in the Bible that can really I believe build our faith and give us hope for the future. Absolutely and and speaking of that you work for the geo science research institute as a senior scientist and part of your mission is to look at this relationship between. Faith. The Bible and Science. What are some of the projects that you're working on right now as a group to look at that relationship between. It's science and the Bible. But I will tell you that one project that we're looking at right now has to do with the problem of evil. OK. How do you what what really does the Bible say about this. How do we explain things in nature. How does the Bible explain things in nature the look designed look like they're designed for an evil purpose. So for example how do we explain things like the inventor mation system that you see in rattlesnakes. That's a system that's designed to kill. How could a good God have made something like that we're actually taking a step back with some other. With some other colleagues because we don't work in isolation. We work with with other academics looking at what the Bible actually says about these things. So we're taking actual real scientific examples. OK and comparing them with. What the Bible says to see hey you know is there something there that actually makes sense is there something that makes that works in all of this. Wow that is very exciting and if somebody wanted to kind of follow that research or read about other research that the geoscience Research Institute is doing. Where might they find some of that information they can follow us on Facebook. OK. And certainly I encourage them to visit our Web page. That's G R I S D A dot G G R I S T A dot org And we have a blog there we have a huge collection of excellent papers and articles on science and faith. We have a constantly updating. Series of links to the. Articles that deal with questions relating to science and faith. So it's an interesting constantly changing page some things are very academic other things of for a more broader audience. You know Dr Standish we have been having conversations about this issue of how old is all that. What are our origins. Dr Stannis you are a biologist you have a Ph D. in environmental biology and public policy. You have a master's of science in biology you have a Bachelors of Science in zoo ology you've taught is just as a professor of biology in two different universities. So when we look at this issue of fossils of rocks. Why why are they so important. Well the most important thing for me at least about fossils is that they allow us to do the closest thing we can to time travel. Because we can't go backwards in time. Yes We we have to look at whatever record is there. Obviously the best thing is a written record by somebody who actually witnessed something. But. The fossils reveal to us important information about organisms that lived in the past. And what we talked about in our last show was patterns we see these patterns and probably most importantly. The pattern that is absent from the fossil record is organisms. Such is the trial by which we talked about. Shows up in the Cambrian layer. But before that you don't have organisms that look like they're becoming trial of bytes and eventually. Developing the trial abides what's happening there. They just appear from nowhere. Apparently yes and we talk about those patterns and those patterns point to a plan a design a plan or and and actually this fossil record although a record of death although a record of of the marring of creation because somewhere along the line creation kind of set off on a different plan. The fossil record shows that there is a God a master designer behind it. Now here's my question though that we need to get into today. Because that's wonderful that the fossil record shows patterns. Here's the thing. A lot of science literature. When I took science class in junior high high school talked a lot about fossils in fact I fell in love with dinosaurs when I was very young. But here's the here's the issue. When we read the literature when we hear scientists when we look at our science textbooks. Most of them are talking about fossils being millions if not billions of years old. What are your thoughts on that. Well first of all is that a horrifying thought. For the millions and millions and millions of years hundreds of millions of years by by most accounts in numerable organisms have been dying. You know suffering and death suffering and death for hundreds of millions of years now there are a few fossils that supposed to be billions of years old but those are rare and unusual is really fossils that show up in that Cambrian layer which is supposed to start about five hundred forty million. Years ago where all of a sudden you see Lou. Lots and lots and lots of fossils below that not so many of them. However there's a recent paper that is very fascinating when it comes to these things. And that bears on this issue of Time. OK. It turns out that the cabin that you find in living things. Has a slightly different isotopic ratios it has a little like a chemical signature. That's a little bit different from carbon let's just out there and didn't come from a biological source. Now the interesting thing about that is they find carbon with that biological signature in it. That is in one rocks little desert on crystals. OK. Little zircon crystals that are supposed to be older than four billion years. Now why is that important. Yes. Because even in the conventional dating scheme of things. It means there was no time for life to evolve. Basically the way things are supposed to work. There's this about four point five billion years ago Fahrenheit. I do not believe these New York a four point five billion years ago dust and stuff all belong together to form the planet Earth. But it was very hot. And so the Earth was a molten ball and nothing could live on the surface of molten rock Sure. And supposedly it took half a billion years for the earth to cool enough to have a crust on it. So what that means is rocks that are older than four billion years. Barely the first rocks formed when the when the Earth cooled enough to get a get a crust on it. There's there's no time between being a molten ball and this organic carbon. Full life to actually evolve. Now somebody will probably figure out a way of inserting a few years in there. But the point is that even when you take these numbers. Yes for what they claim there are major major problems with the development of life getting giving life anough time to develop from chemicals. It's hard to imagine that happened in an instant sure we haven't observed it happening in several thousand years. So you know the idea that it would occur than in an instant is pretty optimistic let's put it that way. So if that model is not a model that works in your mind. Let's talk about time. What is a model that does work well I believe that the biblical account of history is an accurate one. And it's it's still not necessarily that easy to put your finger on exactly when the Creation occurred. Remember the I'm a biologist so my primary interest is in when the organisms were created. Yes. So there was that six day creation week followed by rest on the Sabbath where all of the creation is basically enjoying rest after a very eventful week. Yes. The question then is when did that we can happen. And the Bible gives us some great data to work with. We see it in the form of genealogies OK so. In these genealogies what it will say is well in such and such a year when so and so or so such and such an age they had a son. Yes and that son's name was such and such could be no hour. Something like Oh yes and then when Noah was such and such an age. Then he had that may have been shared. Let's say yes and if you look at these you can actually figure out OK there. There is a certain number of years between all of these births and you can get up to an actual historical event at which point you can then figure out the time between that historical event that we have a date for and the present day. And when you do that huge get something between six and something in less than ten thousand years. It depends on how you add the numbers up and there are some other variables that you can put in there so we can put a finger on exactly when the day of creation was but the point is this it's thousands of years ago. It's not millions or billions of years ago. According to the biblical account. So then the question is Well why is it that scientists saying well life was never created and it came into existence billions of years ago basically and there's this huge amount of time. Well there. There are two major reasons why that's done. OK number one. The thinking is that if you have enough time. That combined with natural selection will be kind of like the magic sauce that somehow or other produces this. Amazing diversity of life that we enjoy and celebrate today. There are major problems with that. I mean obviously it sort of becomes unscientific after a while. Yes it what it's saying is because we scientifically do not observe this happening today we're going to put it well beyond the possibility of the observation by putting it way back in time. Everybody agrees that no human being was there to observe the creation. That's right. So somehow or other we've got to use data and we have to look at what our philosophical system demands the materialistic Darwinian system demands huge amounts of time. Now as we discussed before even with those huge amounts of time there are immense problems for the Darwinian system. Time is not the same thing as magic. And stuff that you know we we believe to at least a limited degree that the present is the key to the past as scientists we believe that the laws of physics remain the same and so on. So why would we expect an event that we don't happening today to have occurred a billion years ago or three billion years ago. Or longer. And it just it. It's kind of a leap of faith. I'm not all that comfortable with leaps of faith like that myself. Then the question but but there's there's this other major reason why a scientist might start talking about long periods of time and that is because there's actual data that are well interpreted within that kind of model. OK. And you've probably heard of radiometric dating. Yes that's probably the number one thing out there but there are other methods as well you might look at rates of erosion things like things like that. OK and then sort of doing extrapolating from that. Now we had some previous discussion in our previous shows that. That first thing reason that you're talking about of long periods of time and natural selection. The sort of philosophical reason I would call. Yes. Is that just doesn't seem to work because the evidence of the fossil record for example the trial the bite. It doesn't show this long period of time in the fossil record where you have this evolving organism that becomes a trial by. You simply have trial bites that. There they are there they are and so that the evidence the observable scientific evidence not there. Now this second thing radiometric dating and some of these other things very briefly and we don't have time to have a in-depth conversation for radiometric dating. I need to be able to ask you intelligent questions and it would be very hard for me to understand but very elementary explanation. What challenges are we having there. Well when we look at rocks there are certain isotopes certain variations on elements. OK What we find in there and some of them are unstable. So they'll convert for one type to another type of atom basically OK and we can easily met well not easily but in the lab we can measure the the quantity that is present. OK And so the bottom line is this if you know how many were there in the first place and you know how many of us. You have now. And if you know that it changes. From one form to another at a constant rate over time you can calculate the time. That's the basic idea OK so little they complicated. It seems to work sometimes. But then sometimes it doesn't seem to work. The thing that fascinates me about radiometric dating and the best method. That I understand. I should say the method I understand the best is carbon fourteen dating. It's the only one that really can measure how old a biological sample is OK. Now it's quite limited. You really can't get dates much beyond one hundred thousand years. OK using carbon fourteen dating. OK So carbon fourteen dating has never shown and can't show in theory even that something is millions of years old. OK And the thing that's interesting to me about carbon fourteen dating is actually as far as I've been able to determine Nobody truly believes. At least the theory because instead of using the theoretical rate at which Carbon fourteen is supposed to change actually to nitrogen fourteen interesting. OK. Instead of using that a standard curve has been developed based on the No one dates of samples and you can imagine where this is going what that means as people don't truly believe the theory and they go with with these no one dates but that assumes that you actually know the dates of these pieces a word or whatever it is that you're working with so it's an interesting method of dating things it does sometimes seem to work sometimes it doesn't seem to work. So for example when you look at the dating of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Yes sometimes the carbon fourteen dating lines up with the dates that are actually written in the scrolls. Sometimes they don't. OK. Which is kind of unexpected Yes sure. But that would be an example of how there's a lot of uncertainty in this. I'm more interested in not you know was something within one hundred years of a certain date. I'm interested in this big question is life. Hundreds of millions of years old or is it thousands of years old. And that was that's what I was going to ask you. So we have we have a challenge here we have a great deal of science saying millions and billions. We have the Bible saying thousands. We have a fossil record that seems to indicate millions and billions not possible and thousands much more plausible. So what do we do with that Dr Standish Well obviously. You should have an understanding at least as a scientist I believe you should have some sort of evidence based idea about this. Yes. So you're going in between is basically coming up with a theory that doesn't have any data to support it. Yes I have to go with the Bible but it does turn out that if you look at fossils. Yes there's plenty of evidence that in fact they are not millions of years old and there is some of that I'll give you an example this here is a piece of dinosaur bones. OK. I mean it's been cut through there and you can see that this particular dinosaur bone is is is per mineralized it's it's the original bone that was there has been replaced by minerals of various kinds. However sometimes you find dinosaur bones in the. Doesn't have the burn actually replaced by other minerals. OK. And you can remove the normal minerals that are found in both in that calcium phosphate is there. And in bone there's actually quite a bit of protein. OK present. Now this has been reported in the scientific literature. Now bear in mind. Dinosaurs are supposed to have gone extinct. About sixty five million years ago. OK so any dinosaur bone should be more than sixty five million years old. OK. And he yet. Various biological molecules and in particular specific proteins have been found inside these birds. That is shocking news. Yes very shocking news. So we're shrinking down that major long. Ages proteins do not last. Millions of years. This is being tested very very carefully in laboratories because it's one of those things that can be used in forensic science you want to know how old the body is one thing you can look at is how fast the proteins break down in those patterns. Now they might be able to stay around for thousands of years but millions of years. Well that's pretty optimistic Yes that's pretty optimistic. So that would be a biological example. OK. It's not just proteins. Right now. I and some colleagues have been collecting papers reporting in the peer reviewed scientific literature the presence of biological molecules associated with fossils of various kinds pro. Teens fats other things that are produced by living things they shouldn't be there and yet they're present. But this is fascinating. Dr Standish who we are running a bit short on time but you were going to show I think something else here let me show you one more quickly. So you can we. I like show. Yeah insult there a little bacteria that get trapped inside the salt crystals Yes these bacteria that are supposed to be. On the order of hundreds of millions of years old can be brought back to life. Now there are obviously multiple explanations that you can have for this but if those bacteria truly over one hundred million years old. There is no possibility that they could have lost that kind of time period and still be alive in there. Why that's just just incredible and I guess that this is in the peer reviewed scientific literature it's not some sort of marginal thing or somebody who's just sort of making this up so that would be another example. Another example has to do with the rate at which the human genome and the genomes of other organisms seem to be breaking down. The idea that you can push the ancestors of human beings back hundreds of millions of years without their genomes simply breaking down to the point that everything goes extinct is very optimistic thousands of years. Yes. Millions of years and you know Dr Standish we are out of time and we could say a great deal more on this topic. But once again we see evidence of a recent creation or recent design by a loving God who wants to lead us to a new creation. Let's have a word of prayer as we end our time today. Heavenly Father we thank you. We thank you. That we are designed and we are fashioned in your likeness and that you want to make us a new creation. We pray in Jesus' name amen amen friends evidence demands a verdict and the evidence points to a plan with a planner and that planner is Jesus Christ today for our offer I want to give you some of that evidence like to offer for you your own fossil where you can see the evidence of God's divine plan. In addition to that offer I'd like to offer you the D.V.D. The three part series on a D.V.D. of Dr Standish and I discussing how old are you can add that D.V.D. for any size donation the fossil absolutely free. Here's the information you need to receive today's offer to request today's offer. Just log on to W.W.W. dot. It is written canada dot ca That's W W W dot. It is written canada dot ca and select the T.V. Program tab for Canadian viewers the offer will be sent free and postage paid for viewers outside of Canada shipping charges will apply. If you prefer. You may call toll free at one eight eight eight call I.I. W That's one eight eight eight call you 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 age seventy four. Dr Standish thank you so much for helping us on our study of how old are we. I'm so thankful to the Lord that he hasn't left us suffering for millions of years. I am as well. Dear friends I want to invite you to join us again next week 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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