Does Appearance of Age Render God a Deceiver?

After reading everything that’s been said so far, one question comes to my mind. Is it possible that when or if God created the universe (depending on whether you believe in God) that He not only created the world instantly but also created a mature earth? In this sense it might be said that science can’t tell us the age of the earth because we simply don’t know how many rings the first trees had or how much C-14 was in existence. Of course like I said this is unprovable, but if it were true, would it provide a functional model of the origin of the universe while still having the earth less than 10,000 years old?

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Wouldn’t that make God out to be The Great Deceiver?

In ordinary life, when somebody makes something have an appearance of being far older that it really is, we usually describe that with words like “fraud” and “deception.”

Can you give me an example?

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2 posts were split to a new topic: Does Plants Before Animals Mean Young Earth?

Great to see you here @Faithdefender and great question. Let us be clear about a few things.

First off there are different types of appearance of age, which we can call:

  1. Created mature or ready for a function, which might appear like age to us.

  2. The appearance of a false history, which also might like age to us.

  3. The appearance of false history, unrelated to maturity or function, that is inconsistent with a global flood, which also might look like age to us.

Each of these cases might need to be thought about differently. In some cases, it might make God out to a be deceptive, but this depends on the theological details of what is being claimed.

Most people should agree that the deceptive God objection (DGO) doesn’t apply to the case #1. Case #2 most people think DGO applies, but I’m not sure. Case #3 is a large problem however because DGO does certainly seem to apply. For Lake Varves, Volcanic Ash, and the Great Isaiah Scroll, there is no good reason I’ve heard or could imagine that could explain why God would create evidence that miraculously survives a global flood to demonstrate an ancient earth.

We also call it art. It is common to make things for artistic purposes that appear older than they really are, and this is not considered deceptive.


thats a good thread. In a created world everything is created and done. Adam was a man and not a boy or baby.
So why not many elements in the earth? It is implied by the writer everything was finished and reproduction would happen later. Whops. Except God told nature to be fruitful and multiply and so there must of been room and not full. I suspect God only made pairs of kinds and some vegetation. otherwise the earth was empty. this would explain the uniqueness of Eden. A finished place and a finished garden in it. the rest was yet to have biology take over.
Indeed rating things based on the elements would be distorted by a newly created world.
so rates are biased already if excluding the option of a head start.

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@Robert_Byers, I’ve already agreed with you on one point. The issue is different. It appears there is evidence of an old earth that would have required God to supernaturally preserve this evidence during a global flood. Why would God supernaturally preserve evidence of an old earth through a global flood?

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The reason Peaceful exists is to make it possible to honor both what the natural world tells scientists… AND what the Bible tells creationists.


As others have mentioned, there is a difference between maturity and history. What geologists and chronologists measure is history, not maturity.

I think we would all agree that in a YEC scenario there would need to be a functioning Earth. For example, Adam would be created as an adult and not a baby. At the same time, would God create Adam with evidence of past events? For example, would God create Adam with a nodule of calcification on his right tibia consistent with a past bone break? Would God create Adam with a large scar on his arm from an injury he never suffered? These are pieces of evidence for past events that are not needed for Adam to function in a new creation, so why put them there?

Geology is no different. Rocks and geology would work just fine without fossils already in the ground, so is there any functional reason why God would put them there? If you are going to argue that rocks date old because they were created with maturity then you will necessarily have to conclude that God created those rocks with the fossils already in them. Rocks will also function just fine with any old ratio of Uranium and Lead, or Potassium and Argon, so why would God adjust multiple ratios of parent and daughter isotopes so that they produce the same age when we use their observed half lives to measure the age of rocks? Maturity or function has nothing to do with how we measure the age of rocks, and therefore the ages of fossils in those rocks.

Of course, you are not the first person to arrive at this idea. In the 1800’s a guy named Phillip Henry Gosse wrote a book titled “Omphalos: An Attempt to Untie the Geologic Knot”. Omphalos is the greek word for belly button, and it referred to the long standing debate as to whether God created Adam with a belly button since Adam was never attached to an umbilical cord. The clergy did not look favorably upon this book. This is what one reverend had to say:


We find fossils below those rocks. This would mean the Earth would need to be created with fossils already in the ground. How is this not deceptive?

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He wouldn’t. The appearance, of coarse not actully see by us, is just a interpretation.
If god created adults in biology then its a creation of age but nit really. The process of age is only to bring us to be adults. Its required because God doesn’t do it. only the first time. Its not really AGE but a result THAT demands, after creation, age to account for it.

YEC would say no fossils of biology are below anything except the sediment they were also caught up in.
YEC would say nowhere on earth can we touch something before the flood. everything was shook up.

Not necessarily. Appearance of Age is because of an assumption of uniformitarianism… which itself is based on the assumption that the earth and the universe arose through natural processes.
If it is deception, it is self deception.

The uniqueness of the fossil strata of Australia shows the deception to be self-imposed by Creationists.

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Not necessarily. Assumptions of initial conditions influence conclusions.
If the assumptions are wrong, the conclusions can also be wrong.
All aging techniques depend on decay rates/ speed of light(for age of the universe) etc for empirical measurements. The age of the strata depends on these measurements and other assumptions connected to gradualism.
So, in such a case the actual age of the fossils wouldn’t be more than a few thousand years.

For YEC to be right on the science, uniformitarianism must be wrong.i.e things like the speed of light, decay rates etc must change with time and other factors.
I don’t agree with them that this is actually the case, but its possible.
And if it is so, there is no deception on the part of God. He did not promise to anyone that he will keep things like decay rates, or the speed of light constant. Nor can we constrain God with respect to inital conditions.

End of the day, the biggest problem for YEC is not geological strata or fossils. Its the speed of light.


You misunderstand my reference to Australia fossil strata. There is no Young or Old Earth scenario that explains why no placental mammals existed on Australia while marsupials radiated into a continent of empty mammalian niches!


I don’t know much about bio geography. However, as far as i understand, there are a lot of challenges for the evolutionary view also regarding how animals ended up where they did.

A lot of swimming and crossing oceans is proposed even when evolution is assumed.
Besides marsupials are currently understood to have originated in South America… So the question is -
How did they get to Australia…
and why did they disappear from South America.
And what happened to the mammals in Australia?
These are fun questions to ask. However i dont see them as much of a threat for either evolution or young earth creationism.

And the trade of restoring antiques. No deception there! :slight_smile:


Not really an issue of threats. Just what explanation better fits the known facts. An open-minded approach is “wow, look at these fossils and their distribution? How can we explain that in terms of Continental drift, sea level and climate changes” and so on. Or do we start with a fixed idea and shoehorn in or ignore evidence that doesn’t fit our fixed idea?

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By the time, questions of bio geography are approached,Both are fixed ideas that tries to shoe horn things in. That’s why evolutionary biologists have to resort to animals crossing oceans on rafts.
The big problem for YEC is not Bio geography, because evolutionary theory also has a large no: of challenges in how it explains or explains away various mysteries.In fact the biggest challenges to YEC is not even from Biology. Its from Physics.

the really open minded approach would be to acknowledge the deficiencies of the theory when it comes to explaining some facts. Unfortunately, evolutionary biologists tend to make up stories as often as YEC Scientists do.