A little over two hundred years ago, if you would have asked almost anyone, from Biblical scholars to naturalists and geologists, "How old is the earth?" Except perhaps for a relative handful of atheists, the answer would be, without almost any hesitation, “Less than six thousand years.” Fifty years later, even before the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species, the answer given by most students of geology, and even many members of the clergy, would have been millions of years. Today, of course, the answer given by students of geology as well as the majority of the clergy would be several billions of years. Those who still believe in the literal interpretation of the Torah - and they still make up a sizable minority - are viewed by the secular media and the general college educated public as being hopelessly misinformed. The truth is, however, that those who do believe in the literal reading of the text of the Torah, have very strong support for their views, not only from the Torah itself, but also from compelling geological and other scientific evidence. Unfortunately, their position is rarely ever articulated to the general public. This lecture is the first part of a three part lecture entitled: The Age of the Earth. These lectures will explain the basis of the various views of the earth’s age, and the various interpretations of the Torah that are embraced by those who take a more modern view of the age of the earth, including the evidence for the existence of life before the recorded “six days of creation”.
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