But uniformitarian thinking is still widespread, and secular geologists will seemingly never entertain the idea of the global, catastrophic flood of Noah’s day.
The age of the earth debate ultimately comes down to this foundational question: Are we trusting man’s imperfect and changing ideas and assumptions about the past?
Under the entry “creation,” Young’s Analytical Concordance of the Bible9 lists William Hales’s accumulation of dates of creation from many cultures, and in most cases Hales says which authority gave the date. Historian Bill Cooper’s research in After the Flood provides intriguing dates from several ancient cultures.10 The first is that of the Anglo-Saxons, whose history has 5,200 years from creation to Christ, according to the Laud and Parker Chronicles. for creation, which is surprisingly close to Ussher and Jones!
Cooper’s research also indicated that Nennius’s record of the ancient British history has 5,228 years from creation to Christ. Even the Mayans had a date for the Flood of 3113 B. This meticulous work of many historians should not be ignored.
Their dates of only thousands of years are good support for the biblical date of about 6,000 years, but not for billions of years. The approximate 6,000-year age for the earth was challenged only rather recently, beginning in the late 18th century.
These opponents of the biblical chronology essentially left God out of the picture.
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.
Hutton said: The past history of our globe must be explained by what can be seen to be happening now. Thinking biblically, we can see that the global flood in Genesis 6–8 would wipe away the concept of millions of years, for this Flood would explain massive amounts of fossil layers.
Most Christians fail to realize that a global flood could rip up many of the previous rock layers and redeposit them elsewhere, destroying the previous fragile contents.