Essays on Religious Topics
number 1: Creationism

The term “Creationism” refers to the idea that an omnipotent God created the universe and everything in it by an act of volition.  Nothing existed prior to the act, and everything was made from nothing.  Frequently, the chronology of the universe is taken from an analysis done by Bishop James Ussher of Ireland who determined that the universe was created on 23 October 4004BC.

While the chronology of the “Bible” (the name is placed within parentheses because there are several versions of the “Bible”) might be correct in the sense that when a person traces the history of personal ages the total amounts to some 6,000 years, that number has no relevance to the age of the earth or the universe.

There are other difficulties with the modern idea of “Creationism”.

Argument 1        If Creationism is true, there can be no certain knowledge.
This statement follows from the logical conclusion that God could create the universe at any time with all the attendant characteristics we think exist.  Such creation could occur at any instant, just as it supposedly did on 23 October 4004BC.  We can imagine that at 11:59pm on 22 October 4004BC nothing existed.  Then, when the clock struck midnight, the universe appeared.  If such an event is possible, then similar events could occur at any time.  If that condition is the case, there is no way to ascertain when the universe was created.  Thus, we cannot know anything for certain.

Argument 2        if Creationism is true, God deliberately misled us about the age of the universe.
Our ability to measure things is highly developed, and our measurements indicate that the universe is very old.  Measurements of radioactive elements indicate that our earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old.  When we measure the distances that stars are from the earth, we find that they are millions of light years away from the earth.  These (and many other) measurements indicate that the universe is old.  However, if Creationism is correct, then God made the universe as it is, deliberately placing the stars at great distances from the earth, and creating the radioactive elements as we find them.  By virtue of this creation, we are misled into thinking that the universe and our earth are very old when they are no more than about 6,000 years old.  Thus, we are deceived by the intentional creation of God.

Argument 3        The chronology of Bishop Ussher argues against Creationism.
If history is true (as Bishop Ussher claimed through his studies of the Bible) that fact argues against creationism, because it supports the idea that ordinary measurements of time are valid.  In this case, Ussher used the biblical chronology to determine the starting date of the universe, thus directly assuming that time measurements were valid, and that our historical record was more than momentary imagination.  In fact, Ussher’s assumptions about time meant that he believed our history actually stretched backward to the first day, and that knowledge was certain.  This position cannot be maintained if God can recreate the universe at any second.  The possibility of the creation of a new universe complete with stars, elements, and history eliminates the possibility of any knowledge beyond what appears to be our mental states.  That is, we think we have a history, and we think we know things, but there is no way to know if God recreated the universe just a few seconds ago, and gave us what we think is our history.

Argument 4        If Creationism is true, then a vast body of “scientific knowledge” is false.
If Creationism is true, then the body of information we call “scientific knowledge” is false, because that “knowledge” leads us to think that the universe is very old.  Creationism, then, dismisses all objective means to know about the universe, and replaces such endeavors with simple faith in an idea which can neither be proven nor disproven.  Almost all of the “knowledge” derived from Archeology, Astronomy, Chemistry, Geology, Geometry, Paleontology, Physics, and Trigonometry must be considered as false in order to maintain the idea of Creationism.


Go to: Family Arts   or   Carro Family Home Page