What is Young-Earth Creationism, and the Biblical basis for it?


5 Answers 5


Young Earth Creationism, abbreviated YEC, is the idea that the earth is relatively young (several thousand years old) compared to Old Earth Creationism (OEC) which agree with secular science that currently claims the earth is 4.55 Billion years old.

While there is a lot of good physical evidence for YEC discussed elsewhere the question at hand is what is the Biblical basis for it.

Here is my opinion on the Biblical basis:

  1. If the earth was old that puts death in the world before sin.1
  2. Genesis was as explicit as possible in putting the term day as we mean it without going to the absurd length to have to specify exactly 24 hours.2
  3. Contrary to popular belief the bible does not state that the earth was flooded from rain alone, but instead states that the fountains of the deep broke open AND it rained for 40 days. which is the only way that it could have happened, and if truly global it explains quite a bit about geology.3
  4. In the 10 commandments in Exodus it is explained why the Sabbath is holy: 'In six days did the Lord God create the heavens and earth, and all that is within them and on the seventh day He rested'. Exodus 20:11
  5. 2 Peter 3, talks about scoffers in the last days who are willingly ignorant about the flood destroying the whole world. and talks about how the world will be destroyed again in fire (so if you claim the flood was local, then you would have to conclude that God destroying the world in fire at the end will also be local somehow too). It also warns about people twisting the scriptures, which is what it looks to me OEC's do when they try to get millions of years out of "There was evening, there was morning, Day 1"2
  6. Mark 10:6, Jesus himself said 'From the beginning of creation, God made them male and female'.

The bottom line is to get an Old Earth View, you have to change the standard interpretation of much of the scripture and take many words out individually nit picking at what their meaning could be, instead of looking at the passage as a whole. Also the main proponents of OEC such as Hugh Ross, for an example, have come from first from a secular background and tried to reconcile what they already believed with the bible. Look at his bio; he states clearly that he went looking for a religion that fit what he understood to be true about science. Instead of coming to Christ and trying to find out what is truth, they do the opposite; they say, "This is true, now how can we make christianity agree with it?"

1 Romans 5:12 states that death entered the world because of the sin of Adam. Now some YEC's taken that to an extreme and say that the 2nd law of thermodynamics entered the world at that time, and that's a big stumbling block for OEC's like Hugh Ross. I don't make that claim and don't think the bible makes the claim that entropy = death. In fact in there is allot of chaos in genesis before man shows up. But while some will claim there is no biblical support for the idea that death means anything other than human death, I think it's very clear if you look throughout the bible you see the ideal that man's sin is the cause for animal suffering.

  1. God killed animals right after Adam sinned to cover his nakedness.
  2. God didn't tell Adam he could eat animals before he sinned.
  3. God instituted animal sacrifices because 'without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins'.

2 It's true the Hebrew word YOHM can mean anything from 12 hours to an indeterminate period, but so can our own English word day, but it's rare to mean something other than 24 hours. While there are other Hebrew words that only mean long periods of time that could have been used instead. God says he is not the author of confusion, so why would he say there was evening and morning, day 1(which OEC's claim should mean "the was the dawn of an age, and a close of an age, age 1") when he could have just said this was the first age.

3 as stated in many arguments against a global flood, if it rained for 40 days enough to cover the current topography of earth it would rain so hard that the friction from the water would burn the atmosphere and also the rain would so much force as to brake the ark itself. But instead of saying the rain caused the flood it says he broke open the fountains of the deep, AND it rained.

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    @Software Monkey, What is your source for that? That sounds good, but according to strongs (which often has a really long list of possible meanings for a word) those aren't options for ereb(dusk, evening) and boqer(dawn, morning, break of day). And why would it repeat there was disorder and then there was order, after each epoch? It would be contradicting itself.
    – 2tim424
    Sep 1, 2011 at 5:21
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    @Flimzy because if the flood is global it explains away allot of the evidence for Old Earth Creationism. I'm really trying to stay within your tightly written bounds of biblical rather than physical evidence though, but the two compliment each other and much of the biblical basis like this isn't clear without the physical evidence attached to it. If you had broadened your question to include physical evidence it would likely be closed(as many have already), but since you can't it limits me as to what I can say without being 'off topic'. Convient eh?
    – 2tim424
    Sep 1, 2011 at 8:32
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    "While there is allot of good physical evidence" - that is misleading; there are some proposed evidences, largely discredited and refuted by the professionals in those fields. Sep 1, 2011 at 12:00
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    @George and if by "here", you mean "on this site" - either it is on-topic, or the claim should not be included in the answer. Otherwise anyone can claim "good evidence" for anything, without anything more. For example (and only an example): "There is good evidence that the world is a teacup on God's table" and then saying "nobody is allowed to ask for qualification, or challenge the claim"... "but one scholar said so!" - and (however many disagree), but a: no scholar is cited, and b: the fact that many more disagree is unsaid Sep 1, 2011 at 14:38
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    In short, IMO, one of: a: back it up, b: state it is opinion or contended, or c: remove/rephrase it Sep 1, 2011 at 14:47

Young Earth Creationism is the belief that the Earth is between 6000 and 12000 years old (depending on the tradition.) The Biblical basis for it is taking the periods starting with Genesis 1 and adding them up. The variation in years depends on counting methods, the largest variation being that of considering Genesis 'days' to be 1000 years each.

  • Can you provide some context for interpretation of genesis days being 1000 years long? I'd never heard of it before and I find it interesting.
    – drxzcl
    Sep 1, 2011 at 8:31
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    @Ranieri: See this answer.
    – Flimzy
    Sep 1, 2011 at 12:24

Young Earth Creationism is the view that the universe and all that is in it (including earth) was created by God in a 6 day period, not by unaided natural processes over billions of years. As a result, the earth is thousands of years old, not millions or billions.

The biblical basis is a straightforward reading of the creation account in Genesis 1.


An article on the Biblical basis for young earth creationism.

1. Matter in the universe is bounded. 
2. The universe has expanded. 
3. The Earth is near the centre of the universe. 
4. The universe is young as measured by clocks on Earth. 
5. The original matter God created was ordinary liquid water. 
6. God transformed the water into various elements by compaction.

Another article: (It's not just about the Biblical basis but these are the main headings for the Biblical basis.)

1. The Bible Places Man at the Beginning
2. The Scriptures Affirm a Brief History of Man
3. A Compromise with Evolutionary Chronology

Yet another webpage that links to several articles about the Biblical basis for young earth creationism.

1. The Age of Humanity
2. Creation According to the Bible
3. Evidence from the Grand Canyon
4. The findings of human and dinosaur footprints together
5. Evidence from the flood
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    External links on the internet have this annoying habit of eroding; summarising the key points in the answer would be preferable. Aug 31, 2011 at 22:30
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    I was asking more for a Biblical basis rather than scientific evidence. Not that mentioning scientific evidence is bad in passing, but I'd like to know more about the Biblical basis for this view point.
    – Flimzy
    Aug 31, 2011 at 23:03
  • @Flimzy Sorry, I will change that!
    – daviesgeek
    Aug 31, 2011 at 23:04
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    Those don't seem like Biblical bases, but rather, scientific bases. Also, you've failed to define the term!
    – user304
    Aug 31, 2011 at 23:22

Young Earth Creationism (YEC) is the view that the world was created by God in a 6 day period only a few thousand years ago. Surprisingly, it requires a non-literal reading of the Bible.

The biblical account in Genesis 1:1-2:4a is straight-forward enough in telling us that creation took just six days, but what it does not tell us is how long ago those six days were. For this we need to harmonise the first creation account (Genesis 1:1-2:4a) with the second account (Genesis 2:4b-25). The second account tells us of the creation of Adam, and then a biblical genealogy, from Adam onwards, tells us that Adam was created around six thousand years ago.

However, a careful reading of Genesis tells us that the two stories are independent of each other and, when read in the Hebrew language, do not even appear to have been written by the same author. Leon R. Kass says in The Beginning of Wisdom, page 56, that once we recognise the independence of the two creation stories, we must scrupulously avoid reading into the second story any facts or notions taken from the first, and vice versa. Young Earth Creationism suffers from the restriction that without the assumed link between the first story and the second, it is only possible to say when the life on earth was created, but not when the earth itself was created.

  • your answer is wrong on both counts. "Surprisingly, it requires a non-literal reading of the Bible." Categorically incorrect. The fact is that the people who hold this view are Literal Biblical Creationists. You said - "The biblical account in Genesis telling us that creation took just six days, but what it does not tell us is how long ago those six days were." Again, categorically false. The creation account says explicitly that the days were composed of evening and morning. Something that is 6,000 - 12,000 years old is not Young - it's ancient.
    – Tennman7
    Jan 11, 2021 at 17:15

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