©1986 by Paul D. Ackerman    http://www.creationism.org/books/ackerman/ 


Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and
not a God afar off?  Jeremiah  23:23


The challenge that creation scientists have raised against Darwinian evolution has been carried forward with increasing success in every quarter. In debates on college campuses in the United States and other Western nations, such heroes of the movement as Henry Morris and Duane Gish have carried the battle into bastions of the educational and scientific establishment where Darwinism in its modern form has had dominance for many decades. These debates have been a triumph for the cause of creationism and an embarrassment for evolutionists. As Robert F. Smith, a member of the Western Missouri Affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, put it:

For the past five years, I have closely followed creationist literature and have attended lectures and debates on related issues. . . . Based solely on the scientific arguments pro and con, I have been forced to conclude that scientific creationism is not only a viable theory, but that it has achieved parity with (if not superiority over) the normative theory of biological evolution. That this should now be the case is somewhat surprising, particularly in view of what most of us were taught in primary and secondary school.

In practical terms, the past decade of intense activity by scientific creationists has left most evolutionist professors unwilling to debate the creationist professors. Too many of the evolutionists have been publicly humiliated in such debates by their own lack of erudition and by the weaknesses of their theory.1

In Perspective

At this point the war centering around Darwinism and its control over the scientific discussion of origins is going well for the creationists, and evolution is being defeated in many battles. But there is one issue that has yet to receive its proper due. I am speaking of the issue of "age." Even for many creation scientists and Christian laymen, the issue has been considered one to be avoided. Many Christians have been fearful of taking the initiative on this subject. They feel that since evolution has too strong a case for long age periods, creationism can only suffer and be embarrassed by bringing up the topic.

There is a roughly parallel view held by the evolutionists. They feel that to have challenged Darwin was an act both arrogant and ignorant, but to question the millions and billions of years of time—supposedly extending back beyond the reach of man's historical experience—can only be characterized as insane. To the average person it is certainly more bizarre and mind boggling to question modern scientific conclusions regarding the age of things than it is to debate the general question of evolution. Thus, the matter has often been treated by even some of the most stalwart defenders of creationism as a skeleton in the closet. The purpose of this book is to open the closet door.

Of all the topics that constitute the arsenal of the scientific creationists and their challenge to the dominance of the evolutionist establishment, there is none stronger than the case for a recent creation. Yet many fellow Christians, who have finally been persuaded by and have become generally sympathetic to the great body of anti-evolution arguments and evidences, are still afraid of the age issue. They are dead wrong in this fearfulness. The fact is that the age issue is one of the creationist's strongest areas. Yet it remains the least understood.

The case for a young universe stands at the same place where the battle against Darwinian evolution stood just a few years ago, when the majority thought the anti-evolutionists were crazy. As one of my colleagues put it upon first hearing that I was a creationist, "Not believing in evolution is like not believing in gravity." Today, just a short time later, the whole situation has been turned around so that Darwinism is on the defensive. The same thing can and must happen on the question of age. As Caleb reported back to Moses after spying out the land of Canaan, "Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it" (Num. 13:30).

Let me be blunt on this matter. Evolutionists around the world have had to learn the hard way that evolution cannot stand up against creationism in any fair and impartial debate situation where the stakes are the hearts and minds of intelligent, undecided—but nevertheless objective and open-minded—audiences. Experience will prove that the same is true for the age issue as well. Evolutionist beliefs regarding the origin and development of life cannot withstand the scrutiny of an informed opposition, and neither can evolutionist claims to the effect that the universe has existed for 10 to 20 billion years and the earth for 4.5 billion years. To delay the collapse of widespread public acceptance of such claims, it will be necessary for evolutionist scientists carefully to avoid debate.

I first became a "scientific creationist" as a result of evidence and arguments relating to the age issue, and that conversion was one of utter joy. The fact that I came into creationism via the route of joy has always flavored my approach to the subject as I have gone around speaking to church and school audiences. My approach has not been that of one who is bringing a moral mandate for action but rather that of a bearer of extremely good news. "Look!" I want to cry out. "God is alive, the Bible is his word, and the evidence is falling into line around these two great truths. God is doing a mighty work in our midst; let us rejoice and open our eyes of faith." I can only hope that this message of joy will come through to the reader, even as it earlier did to me upon reading my first "creation evidences" book. May God bless you.

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