August 31, 2014

THE EARTH IS NOT FLAT

My friends,

Understand this: the Earth is not flat nor is it young. Neither is the Universe.

I have to tell you I have some wonderful people in my Congregation. There is one old saint in particular that I dearly love. I admire and esteem him because he is full of Holy Spirit and nothing but love comes out of him. Jesus indwells. You would see it too.

Today after Sunday School we got to talking and in response to some of my teaching he mentioned to me the Earth could not possibly be more than 10,000 years old. He noted that this was an established fact and that he had seen the evidence in various creation oriented museums and exhibits in Texas and Oklahoma. Any science that maintained otherwise was false and misleading and likely a work of the devil.

Doubtless you have friends and acquaintances that espouse this position and perhaps you yourself may be skeptical about the great age of the Earth and the Universe taught by contemporary science.

I love my friend; he lives in victory but he is wrong and so are all those who believe in the so called “Young Earth” concept of Creation. Maintaining that the Earth and the Universe are only 6,000 to 10,000 years old in the light of revealed truth and empirical data is as silly as maintaining that the earth is flat in the face of photographs that show to the contrary.

Consider this verse from Jonah:

2:8 – “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.”

Why do so many continue to cling reflexively to superstitions proved false? Like cherished icons fashioned by men we cannot cast away because we suppose they possess some mystical power like a talisman, we also maintain theologically indefensible positions that should be dispensed with like worthless idols. Perhaps we continue to cling to what amounts to superstition because change is uncomfortable and it is preferable to be confortable ignorant rather than uncomfortable challenged to look at life and the question of existence in ways new and different from past ages when people of faith believed the Sun revolved around the Earth.

Consider that if we are willing to look anew at the Creation account in Genesis in light of the facts and seek to understand the deeper meaning that God is revealing about Himself and His creation in the amazing narrative of the first three chapters of the Bible, we would be graced with an even greater depth of admiration for our Awesome God; see His hand more clearly and not appear ignorant and backward to the un-churched, whom we are trying to lead to Salvation.

I teach clarity of understanding in my writings and at this site. My aim is to dispel superstition; build credibility for the Scriptures and equip you with logical, coherent and practical tools for communicating spiritual truths.

For the sake of clarity and understanding, let me offer up three tiers of evidence that do not depend on sketchy dating methods that show unequivocally that the Earth and the Universe are of great age.

 

The Astrophysical Evidence

The speed of light is constant at 186,000 miles per second. The speed of light is constant in order to provide a uniform reference point at any given place in the universe to evaluate the residue of time and affirm positions. If the speed of light was not constant, regardless of what angle or what speed or the relative motion of the observer in relation to the point of origin of the light, it would not be possible to evaluate anything chronologically or positionally with any accuracy.

Amazingly the speed of light is constant – no matter what. Light can be absorbed and deflected but it cannot be speeded up or slowed down. God has made it so. Why? It enables an absolutely ordered and systematic look back into past events so that the observer can extrapolate future outcomes based upon past patterns.

If light could be absolutely speeded up or slowed down by natural forces at work in the cosmos, over great distances the relative age and position of the heavens would be skewed to the observer and the perception of order and incremental progression would be lost. Our perception of the heavens would be warped. It would be impossible to tell with certainty where anything was in relation to anything else. It would be impossible to calculate mathematically relative positions if our observations of motion in the universe were not absolutely predictable because of the constancy of the speed of light.

The galaxy in which we live is 100,000 light years across, that is, it takes light 100,000 years to traverse from one end to the other at 186,000 miles per second. If the universe was only 10,000 years old 90% + of the stars resident in our galaxy would be missing from our field of view because the light emanating from them would not have reached Earth yet since the day of creation. The center of our galaxy would be missing from the night sky and the disk we call the Milky Way undiscernable. The entire rest of the cosmos would be missing from the night sky as well. Whole sectors of the sky would be dark with no visible stars at all. We would have no knowledge of galaxies either because we would not be able to see any, they being excessively far away (the Andromeda galaxy being 2.5 million light years away, for instance). We would all be waiting 2.49 million years for the light to reach us.

THE EARTH IS NOT FLAT AND THE LIGHT DOES NOT LIE. The pictures of the cosmos are accurate and they are not being manipulated nor is the speed of light being misrepresented by evil forces. The light that enables us to view the heavens in their totality has come a long way to us from a far distant past. Mathematics enables us to accurately measure with clockwork precision the motions and emanations of the heavens and apply the information practically to celestial navigation in the near earth environment in which we send spacecraft on a daily basis.

The data is reliable and actionable. To believe otherwise is to believe that God has somehow and for some reason crafted a fantastic illusion that is unreprentative of reality. Why would our Creator construct a deceptive reality? The devil is in to smoke and mirrors, lies and deceptions – not God. God is the author of integrity and what we observe in the heavens is an understandable and measurable manifest reality that points to an omnipotent, omniscient and eternal Father. Give Him the glory and understand Him through His works.

I would conjecture that if we had the measuring devices sensitive enough to collect the data we would discover that the universes stretches to infinity in all directions and is of unfathomable antiquity.

 

The Geophysical Evidence

Eighty percent of the rock composing the crust of the Earth that is observable to Men is sedimentary. That means it is composed of particles of matter that have been eroded out of the igneous and metamorphic rock that compose the majority of the substance of the Earth below the observable surface.

Because of the seasonality of climate; in streams, lakes, oceans, deltas and plains, these particles are deposited by water into annual layers. When these layers are compressed overtime by the weight of succeeding overlapping deposits they form bands of sedimentary rock, sometimes hundreds of feet thick. Often, within these bands the individual annual layers are still discernable. They can be counted. They can be measured. There are millions of countable, measureable annual layers of sediment visible to observation throughout the surface of the Earth, and that can be cored through drilling. They form a chronological record of the history of the planet.  Find a canyon wall and go look for yourself.

Add to this the observable phenomenon of plate tectonics. Even the most casual observer can discern from looking at a globe that the continents at one time fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Through the process of continental drift the land masses of the earth have been moving apart and then together again over vast spans of time. We know this because their rate of creep aka their MPH if you will, can be calculated based upon measurable observations as the plates that compose the Earth’s surface slip along abutting fault lines. Who among us has not experienced an earthquake or seen the pictures? At the rate of speed at which the continents are moving relative to each other it has taken hundreds of millions of years for them to have assumed their present positions.

THE EARTH IS NOT FLAT AND THE ROCKS DO NOT LIE. Geology is not being manipulated by evil forces. Geologic evidence that is observable and measurable points to an Earth that is in excess of 2 billion years old not 10,000 years.

To believe as some do that the current form of the Earth was crafted predominantly by the Noahtion flood calculated to have occurred sometime between 2,500 BC and 2,300 BC is to live in denial of manifest reality.

 

The Biological Evidence

 So let us speak to the flood of Noah and the reality of what can be observed.

In the White Mountains of Eastern California and on remote arid mountain tops in Nevada and Western North America reside groves of Bristlecone Pines. These are the most ancient trees on Earth. Through core sampling and counting the tree rings it has been determined that the oldest living trees are in excess of 5,000 years old. By analyzing the boles of dead trees standing and fallen it is possible to construct a tree ring chronology stretching back 9000 years. Yes, there is dead wood 9,000 years old on top of those mountains – perhaps even older wood is present. These were the parents of the trees still living.

Understand that there are living things on this earth that predate the flood of Noah and there is un-fossilized, un-decomposed tissue that you can touch and feel present on the surface of the Earth that predates that flood by thousands of years and that goes well beyond the presumed Creation date of 4,004 BC famously postulated by Bishop Ussher.

This is my testimony: I have held in my hands a prepared section of the ancient Bristlecone Pine known as the “Prometheus Tree” that was cut in 1964 and determined to have 4,860 countable rings. I have touched with my hands the ancient boles. Thirty-five and forty years ago when I was investigating these facts (I hold a degree in this field) writers in the journals of my denomination openly scoffed at the idea that this could be possible. The flood would have washed it all away they mused. No tissue could survive that long un-decomposed.

I do not dispute that there was a global flood but I do dispute the notion that it radically reformed the Earth, created the fossil record and washed away all surface evidence of antediluvian life.

There are ancient trees and ancient wood present on the top of those mountains because the climate is so arid that it never rains or snows enough to wash things away and the wood is so resinous and dense that is resists decomposition in the high altitude.

The flood did not wash it all away because when God destroyed the world of ungodly Men He did not alter the laws of physics to do so. IT SNOWED at the higher elevations (the ancient trees inhabit elevations just below the tree-line at 11,000+ feet) just like it does today. The snow melted gradually and did not take the trees with it in the thaw. Trees dead today and whose remnants we have were alive at the time and lived through the event. Many now living trees were some hundreds of years old already at the time of Noah.

Also consider that there are clonal plant colonies, such as stands of Aspen trees in Utah, and Creosote Bushes in Arizona and Nevada, that have parental root systems that date back as far as 80,000 years. While no individual plant is that old the colony, particularly of Aspens that share common root systems, can be demonstrated to be of great age.

THE EARTH IS NOT FLAT AND THE TREES DO NOT LIE. The data has not been manipulated by evil men. I have verified it myself. The Earth is significantly older than 10,000 years and there are living organisms present in the contemporary environment that can substantiate that.

 

Flat Earth Theology

I cannot tell you how I chafe at the smarmy scoffings of the atheists who blog all sorts of belittlements of the Faith because of the stubborn refusal of many of our number to accept established facts. They appear as ridiculous as those who maintain the Earth is flat.

When we deny truth we appear ignorant and backward and discredit the Message of Salvation. When we continue to cling to Flat Earth notions like the “Young Earth” and myths such as the fossil record dating from the flood of Noah or dinosaur encounters with humans, which are absurd ideas, we suggest that the Bible is just another absurd myth we embrace.

Why not reexamine the facts and conceive a sophisticated understanding of how Gods purposes are unfolding so that you can communicate a precise, compelling and accurate explanation of Biblical truth to seekers and the skeptical?

In my writings I show how manifest reality harmonizes perfectly well with Biblical truth. The Creation Account in Genesis is not absurd nor is the notion of a global flood.

I have included in the book postings section on this site an excerpt from my book on Genesis entitled “The Retelling”. It is an understandable and coherent narrative, less the figurative language, that explains how God formed the World through process and which is consistent with true scientific inquiry.

I hope you found this discussion interesting and I hope you will find “The Retelling” interesting as well.

Friends – the Earth is not flat and neither is The Bible.

M.J.O.