Dr. Jack L. Arnold




Lesson 9

The Apparent Age Theory (Part 2)

Genesis 1:1-31



A.  The Apparent Age theory says that God created the world in six literal 24-hour solar days, and that the basic facts of geology and paleontology can be attributed to original creation by apparent age and Biblical catastrophism.

B.  In a previous lesson (cf. Part 1), it was shown that a normal interpretation of Scripture gives strong evidence for a creation in six days of 24-hours. NOTE: Those who believe in verbal-plenary inspiration are more likely to hold the Apparent Age theory.



A.  Biblical Catastrophism.   All geologic discoveries can be explained by biblical catastrophe seen in (1) the Creation, and (2) the Fall, and (3) the Flood.

B.  Apparent Age.  A real creation demands that that substance which has been created must have been created with an appearance of age. This is confirmed by the scientific principle of energy conservation, the First Law Thermo­dynamics, which states that energy, in its fullest sense, includes everything in the physical and biological universe and this law essentially affirms that no creation of energy is now taking place. This creation must have been in the past. Morris states,


To some extent, therefore, the whole world was created at some time in the past, by processes unknown to us, with an “appearance of age.” This fact must be given full consideration in the construction of a geologic history or the use of a geologic chronometer. For instance, the primeval ocean may already have been saline radioactive minerals may already have contained daughter elements, light from distant stars may have been visible on earth at the instant of the creation, and so on, even as Adam was created as a full grown man (Henry M. Morris, Biblical Catastrophism and Geology).


C.  Fallacy of Evolution. This can be explained in the Second Law Thermodynamics, which states that in any closed system, there is natural increase of disorder and disorganization. Everything tends to wear out, to grow old, to run down and finally approach the state of death. This law contradicts evolution, which assumes that everything naturally tends to become more orderly and highly organized.

D.  Biblical Paleontology. The Bible teaches that there could be no suffering or death until man had sinned, subjecting the whole creation to a curse Rom. 5:12­14; 8:20-22). Therefore, the fossils of all formerly living animals now found in the earth’s sedimentary rocks must be dated after the Fall. If this is true, then nothing but a great catastrophe can explain the fossil-bearing strata.  This catastrophe can be explained by the universal flood. Morris states,


The Biblical descriptions of the Flood indicate a tremendous complex of events occurring during the Flood—great destruction of all forms of life, followed necessarily by extensive burials in great graveyards of future fossil deposits. An infinite variety of depositional characteristics could be postulated at various times and places during the Deluge, often violent but also often relatively quiescent. 

In general, however, the depositional sequences of fossils, in any one vertical column, would tend to be from simple to complex, with increase in elevation. This order is that of: (1) increasing elevation of habitat-­an ecological zonation; (2) increasing resistance to settling, because of more complex boundary geometry and lesser specific gravity; and (3) increasing size and mobility, with consequent ability to postpone inundation and burial by rising Flood waters. These sequences would of course be statistical rather than absolute, and would be subject to many exceptions, but they would certainly represent the dominant trends. And all of this is exactly what is found in the strata, even though it has been misrepresented by evolution! (Biblical Catastrophism end Geology)


E.  Geologic Implications.  Most of the geologic discoveries can be explained by the following:

1.  The world was created with “apparent age.”

2.  In Genesis 1:2 the earth was covered with primeval waters. It seems only reasonable that, even if the earth’s creation was accomplished in an instan­taneous act, its internal heat and the waters on its face would immediately have begun to perform works of profound geologic change.

3.  On the second, and especially the third day of creation, there must have been great geologic changes. This process would have been performed by great erosion and redeposition of surface materials as the waters flowed down the new basins.

4.  Apparently, the ante-deluvian world was covered by an atmospheric blanket (Gen.

1:7; 2:5), or an invisible water vapor cloud. Such vast expanse of water vapor would have a great effect on terrestrial climates and therefore on geologic activity.

5.  At the time of the universal Flood this atmospheric blanket was broken up and it rained for the first time on the earth, and its great precipitation brought on the Flood. The Flood brought world-wide torrential rains, tremendous erosion, world wide tectonic and volcanic upheavals, violent wind storms, gigantic waves, etc. With the Flood came the breaking up of the “fountains of the deep,” vast pockets of water under the earth. All of these forces pressing against the earth for at least a year would perform great geologic change.

F.  Continental Glaciation.  Morris comments,


The Bible indicates that there existed before the Flood a vast blanket of water vapor around the earth. Among other things, this thermal canopy would have produced just such a universal warm, pleasant climate as is indicated for most of the systems of the geologic column Its precipitation not only was one of the two main causes of the Flood (the other was the break-up of the “fountains of the deep,” which were probably vast subterranean waters and magmas previously restricted under great pressure below the crust), but also would have led to a sudden chilling of the climate and resultant continental glaciation. (Biblical Catastrophism and Geology).