Smith and Cuvier believed untold ages were needed for the formation of rock layers. No powers are to be employed that are not natural to the globe, no action to be admitted except those of which we know the principle.12 This viewpoint is called naturalistic uniformitarianism, and it excludes any major catastrophes such as Noah’s flood.
Hutton said he could see no geological evidence of a beginning of the earth; and building on Hutton’s thinking, Lyell advocated “millions of years.” From these men and others came the consensus view that the geologic layers were laid down slowly over long periods of time based on the rates at which we see them accumulating today. Though some, such as Cuvier and Smith, believed in multiple catastrophes separated by long periods of time, the uniformitarian concept became the ruling dogma in geology.
The age of the earth can be estimated by taking the first five days of creation (from earth’s creation to Adam), then following the genealogies from Adam to Abraham in Genesis 5 and 11, then adding in the time from Abraham to today.
Adam was created on day 6, so there were five days before him. So a simple calculation is: At this point, the first five days are negligible.
Today, secular geologists will allow some catastrophic events into their thinking as an explanation for what they see in the rocks.In 1913, Arthur Holmes’s book, The Age of the Earth, gave an age of 1.6 billion years.14 Since then, the supposed age of the earth has expanded to its present estimate of about 4.5 billion years (and about 14 billion years for the universe).But there is growing scientific evidence that radiometric dating methods are completely unreliable.15 Christians who have felt compelled to accept the millions of years as fact and try to fit them into the Bible need to become aware of this evidence.The question of the age of the earth has produced heated discussions on Internet debate boards, TV, radio, in classrooms, and in many churches, Christian colleges, and seminaries. Let’s give a little history of where these two basic calculations came from and which worldview is more reasonable. Of course, the Bible doesn’t say explicitly anywhere, “The earth is 6,000 years old.” Good thing it doesn’t; otherwise it would be out of date the following year.But we wouldn’t expect an all-knowing God to make that kind of a mistake. In essence, He gave us a “birth certificate.” For example, using a personal birth certificate, a person can calculate how old he is at any point. Genesis 1 says that the earth was created on the first day of creation ().