There are two opposing sides with different arguments, YOung Earth Creationists and Old Earth Creationists. Could you please provide a summary of what is the most common scientific evidence that is used on both sides?

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    what's the difference between a "young earth creationist" and a "regular christian?" You seem to set them at odds, yet I (and I'm guessing many here) consider myself a "regular Christian" yet am also a Young Earth Creationist. Commented Apr 19, 2012 at 2:28
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    Actually, I don't. If you're talking about Young vs. Old Earth Creationists, please say so instead of using ambiguous labels like "regular Christians" Commented Apr 19, 2012 at 2:53
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    There are entire websites on all sides of this issue that discuss the evidence and the interpretations of the evidence that support any possible claim, from YEC to OEC to completely Naturalistic no God required origins of everything. It takes hundreds of pages to discuss thoroughly, and even with that, you could add in several hundred lines from simple comments on the evidences in this site, and chats that have spawned from this site alone. While I like the question, I think this is simply overly broad for this site. Commented Apr 19, 2012 at 3:02
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    Neither YEC nor OEC is fully consistent with the modern scientific view (i.e. physical evidence), though theistic evolution can be (by construction). Given that neither YEC or OEC is supported scientifically, distinguishing between the two on the basis of physical evidence is like asking: which is the largest fruit on the planet, a strawberry or a plum? You might instead wish to ask what the Biblical evidence is. That is a less expansive topic, and if you suppose God created the earth you may be willing to ignore some physical evidence if the position is well-supported theologically.
    – Rex Kerr
    Commented Apr 19, 2012 at 4:37
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1 Answer 1


I'm very hesitant to answer anything on this as no matter what position I take, it will incite endless debate and comments. However, I believe there is a simple answer that all sides can hold as acceptable truth.

The fact is that we all have the same evidence. Whether Atheist, Christian, Buddhist, Wiccan, YEC, OEC, the evidence never changes.

The difference lies in how we interpret the evidence.

To list off a few:

Note, the OEC view is lumped with the Naturalist view, simply because they are similar. OEC incorporates the idea of old-earth, and even the possibility of evolution after creation. I'm not attempting to make any statement beyond that.

  • Evidence: The existence of fossils of animals that are no longer alive. (Dinosaurs)

    • YEC view - Dinosaurs were real animals created by God. They're mentioned in the Bible, and depicted in art all over the world (as dragons). They were likely more prevalent before the flood, when conditions on the earth were drastically different (admittedly a supposition based on loose interpretation of scripture)
    • OEC and naturalistic View - What we're taught in the textbooks. They lived millions of years ago, dies out long ago.
  • Evidence - Similar structures in a wide variety of animals. For example, whales have bone structure in their flippers remarkably similar to hands on humand and primates.

    • YEC view - We believe similar design is evidence for a common Designer.
    • OEC/Naturlaist view - Common features indicate a common origin, from which these current features evolved.

The list goes on forever. The expanding universe, evidence for the Big Bang, geologic structures, dating methods, all have the same physical evidence. The tests we can perform have the same results regardless of who is performing them. Again, the difference is in the interpretation, not evidence.

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    Wow! Thank you very much for the detailed answer, it was exactly what I was looking for.
    – William
    Commented Apr 19, 2012 at 12:52
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    +1, well stated! Though there is a sizable fraction (probably even a majority) of people who accept OEC that agree with YEC on some interpretations and disagree with scientific consensus (e.g. a common position among old earth creationists who I have known is that the order of events in Genesis is literally true). For the purposes of your two examples, I agree: OEC and Naturalist views are in accord.
    – Rex Kerr
    Commented Apr 19, 2012 at 14:07
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    I am a pretty hard core OEC, I debated this one time with a NEC and in the end was told that perhaps God planted all those fossils in the bottom layer of the Grand Canyon to create a "history". Kind of throws the whole evidence argument out the window lol.
    – Hammer
    Commented Apr 19, 2012 at 14:16
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    Minor note: "common features" in the naturalistic theme can also show convergence rather than common origin Commented Apr 19, 2012 at 15:13
  • Well put. I think this was a very fair and balanced presentation.
    – Jas 3.1
    Commented Apr 19, 2012 at 18:33

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