Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Length of Time for the Earth

Scientists like to show that the earth is billions of years old.  The latest count sits at about 4.55 billion, while the age of the solar system is placed at 4.6 billion, and the universe itself is said to be 13.7 billion years, or by some between 10 and 20 billion years old, though recent work in what is called plasma cosmology, suggests a much longer period of time—in fact, endless.
However, regardless of what science might say, it would be impossible for the premortal life prior to the Fall to have produced any fossils. Lehi, in his teachings to his son Jacob, proclaimed that the life in the Garden of Eden was one in which there was no death or change.
"And now behold, if Adam had not transgressed, he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the Garden of Eden.  And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end."
Obviously, one cannot believe in the special creation as indicated in the scriptures, and also believe in the theory of evolution as espoused by Darwin and others—phyletic gradualism, sybiogensis, molecular evolution, quantum evolution, macro evolution, lamarckanism, zoogenesis, emication, orthogenesis, gangenesis, or any of those who have suggested such combination theories as the Gap Theory, Theisic evolution, or creative evolution, which latter three are incompatible with the scriptural creation.

The pre-mortal earth was a terrestrial (paradisiacal) one to which the renewal of the Tenth Article of Faith refers and in which reproduction and death were unknown.  Such a state of life could hardly have filled the sedimentary rocks of the earth with fossils.  Yet fossils exist.  Therefore, they must have come from one of two sources:
• They were deposited by other creations then extinct.  That is, in the remodeling of the earth, or its organization as indicated in the first two of the three methods indicated earlier, left over bones (fossils) from the previous tenants remained in the matter used to remodel or organize the earth;
• They were left by the posterity of those creatures that were with Adam and Eve in the Fall.  In this sense, biologists and other evolutionary theorists have misread, mislabeled, or misunderstood the fossils that have been found, which non-evolutionary scientists claim have happened.
Obviously, we are living in the latter days, and many great and wonderful things are being manifest to us.  We know more about the cosmos, more about the principles by which God made this world, than ever before.  Why is the Lord pouring out this knowledge unto the earth if not to verify His word and to provide answers to the questions about creation, the heavens, and scientific matters that for so long have escaped the learned men of the earth?  Is this important for us to know, and if not, why did He tell us He will reveal things that are above, and things that are beneath, things that are in the earth, and upon the earth and in heaven. Can we say that this scripture is more important than that scripture, or that this revealed fact is less important than another?  Perhaps the Lord expects us to know more about our world than we might think (D&C 124:41).
To understand the age of the earth and to determine just how plant and animal fossils exist that are claimed to be millions of years old and, in many cases, of creatures long extinct on the so-called evolutionary ladder, two important points must be recognized:
• The age attributed to living things is based upon Radiocarbon dating (Carbon-14 or C-14).  Though this is widely accepted, there is every indication that this time clock was originally set incorrectly based upon carbon-14 having achieved equilibrium despite evidence to the contrary.  When the clock is set in an unequilibrium method, Radiocarbon dating shows the earth to be less than 13,000 years old.
• The remodeling process which organized this earth.  That is, was it a gathering together of elementary, unorganized matter, or was it more like a remodeling job where parts of previously used planets or earths were brought together?
While the actual age of the earth as a whole, or as a celestial body in the scientific sense, is not given explicitly either in ancient or modern scripture, the Lord gave a particular definition of "earth" based upon which an approximate age may be assigned from scriptural references:
"And God said, let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear:  and it was so.  And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters caIled he Seas..."                             
Since the beginning of "earth," in this sense, was after the "second day" of creation, based on the scriptural time scale, the age of the dry land called by the Lord earth, is between ten and eleven thousand years. It is interesting to know that Radiocarbon dating of once living organisms, when using the Libby time clock in an unequilibrium state, shows the earth to be about 10,000 years old!
Scripturally, of course, the universe is ageless, from everlasting to everlasting. Age is thus meaningful only as regards specific stages in a changing, yet never ending universe.  The real prehistory of the earth pertains to its existence in a form or forms unknown prior to the remodeling process known as "the creation." In this sense, element, or matter, has and will always exist, however, it can be formed, molded, and organized into different “creations.”
A truly meaningful age is thus that of mortal life on the earth.  It began on the "earth" and in the "seas" six to seven thousand years ago (5th and 6th days) according to the literal interpretation of biblical history and modern revelation. The scriptures are literal; they tell the true story of the creation and the time scale placed upon it by the Lord—beyond such eminent testimony there is really no need to go.
"So far as the philosophy and wisdom of the world are concerned, they mean nothing unless they conform to the revealed word of God. Any doctrine, whether it comes in the name of religion, science, philosophy, or whatever it may be, if it is in conflict with the revealed word of the Lord, will fail.  It may appear plausible.  It may be put before you in language that appeals and which you may not be able to answer.  It may appear to be established by evidence that you cannot controvert, but all you need to do is abide your time.  Time will level all things.  You will find that every doctrine, every principle, no matter how universally believed, if not in accord with the divine word of the Lord to his servants, will perish.  Nor is it necessary for us to stretch the word of the Lord, in a vain attempt to make it conform to these theories and teachings.  The word of the Lord shall not pass away unfulfilled, but these false doctrines and theories will all fail.  Truth, and only truth, will remain when all else has perished."
An educated man, according to Thomas Monson, is not one whose memory is trained to carry a few dates in history.  He is one who can accomplish things.  A man who cannot think is not an educated man, no matter how many college degrees he may have acquired.  Thinking is the hardest work anyone can do, which is probably the reason why we have so few thinkers.  

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