How Old Is The Earth? Is It Only 6,000 years?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Is the earth really only 6,000 years, or is it much older, and how can we know for sure?

Conventional Thinking

Most scientists believe that the earth is old…very, very old. Most believe that the earth is about 4.54 billion years old, give or take 50 million or so, but that is all sheer conjecture for the most part, because first of all, there were no eye witnesses. Secondly, the rate of radioactive decay has not remained stable over the earth’s history, so attempts to date the earth by using rocks is highly unreliable. At first, scientists based the earth’s age on the changing sea levels and the salinity of the ocean, but as time has passed, these methods were also proven to be unreliable. The rise and fall of the ocean levels is not constant. It has always been changing. Also, plate tectonics prevent us from dating or testing the earth’s first or oldest rocks because the earth’s surface has been constantly recycled as it’s melted down and new crust is formed. For this reason, we will never find the earth’s original rocks. They’ve already been melted and recycled if indeed the earth is billions of years old.

Did the Universe Come into existence by chance

How old is the universe and the earth? Can we know?

Carbon Dating

Carbon dating is often used to date rocks, but the problem with that is that there can be contamination from nearby rocks, or the rocks could have undergone cataclysmic events, or the rocks could have been infiltrated with large amounts of carbon (from dead animals), so carbon dating is only as accurate as knowing the history of the rock, and that’s impossible to know for certain. Actually, carbon dating is not designed for non-organic material (like rocks) but is used to determine the age of organic material. Dating techniques for carbon dating is based upon the fact that carbon-14, a radioactive isotope, is an element unlike other forms of carbon, most of which are far more stable. Carbon-14 is supposed to decay at a steady and consistent rate. As in all of nature, organisms manage to capture a certain amount of carbon-14 from the atmosphere, and by measuring the ratio of the radio isotope to non-radioactive carbon, the amount of carbon-14 decay can be worked out and the age of the organism established. This allows scientists to determine the age of the specimen, but again, this dating system is far from perfect. In the earth’s history, carbon levels have not remained stable, just as sea levels have not remained the stable, and both the sea level and carbon levels have fluctuated widely in earth’s history. And what they don’t tell you is that carbon-years and calendar-years are not the same, as you might expect. Carbon years are less than actual calendar years, so when you hear something that’s carbon-dated by years, it’s not the same as we know it from our calendar years. One example is a piece of wood that was tested and found to have a 0.296 disintegration rate, but another sample from the same piece of wood had a decay rate of 0.109, meaning the second sample should have been thousands and thousands of years older than the first, but both samples were actually from the same tree!

“The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the water” (Gen 1:2)..

In the Beginning

In the very first verse in the Bible, it says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1), but something interesting follows in verse 2 where it says, “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the water” (Gen 1:2). The Hebrew word “tohuw” from which we get, “form” means “vanity, confusion,” or “empty place,” so the question is, would God create something to be in a state of confusion? Next, the word “void” is the Hebrew word “bohuw” and means “emptiness,” and there was only darkness on the face of the waters. Some scholars have speculated that, originally, Satan, or Lucifer at the time, was given reign over the earth…before mankind was created, but then Satan wanted more and he tried to take over the throne of God, seeking to become God, and was banned from heaven. Satan’s rule may have ruined the planet, and why God may have been recreating it, as the earth was without form and void, or in a state of chaos. In the end, we really don’t know, but we also don’t know the real age of the earth. We cannot use dating methods related to genealogies because many of these are incomplete, and there may have been a considerably longer time period between the creation of the universe and the creation of man. The late Dr. J. Vernon McGee said that there were no human eye witnesses to see the creation, so we can only speculate as to the true age of the earth. And really, the age of the earth doesn’t matter. It doesn’t prove or disprove the Bible. Whether we discover it’s only 6,000 years old or not, the point is God created it. How long ago, we cannot say with any accuracy or authority.


We really don’t know how old the earth is, and just because it may be older than 6,000 years ago doesn’t mean the Bible isn’t true. Many hold to a gap theory where long periods of time could have occurred between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. Also, the way the earth was created, we can only go back so far in time to test the original surface. I believe we can rest assured that it was God that created the heavens and the earth, and as far as we’re concerned, it was “In the beginning,” but when the beginning was, we cannot say precisely. God created it and that’s enough for me. I trust the Word. Besides, the Bible is not a text book about the heavens but a book about how to get there.

Here is some related reading for you: What Can We Learn About the Earth from the Bible?

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible : English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Share this post:  |  |  |  | Twitter

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Lindsay June 9, 2018 at 8:58 pm

This is all very new to me; I am completely ignorant in perhaps what is the most curious and powerful subject of all. I just wasn’t raised with parents who felt that learning the Bible or attending church more than once a year for Christmas Mass, was detrimentally important for me and my sister’s well-rounded growth. At the same time, there’s always been this part of me – an inner knowing – since I was 5 years old that at that time, God had “checked in” with me, asking if I was dedicated to the life He was asking me to live. I have never forgotten it, and my confidence in what I experienced had never faultered. At that young age, and even as I recall it now, I immediately understood and whole-heartedly accepted “that way of life” – it was exactly the same feeling as being in conversation with someone and even though they may not have said more than a couple words, and without any conscious thought, you become aware of their understanding or the feeling they’re trying to convey to you. Intuition…? Collective Consciousness…?
Basically, God didn’t have to ask… I knew somehow that my soul was already in complete agreement – even though, truth be told, especially at that age, I assure you I didn’t have any relationship with God because He was that important to me. I don’t know how I even would’ve known who God ‘was.’ On that day, I just knew something was being asked of me and I knew it was important. I took my “job” so seriously that it became the very fibers of my being; I didn’t consciously think about it again until my early 20’s but on that day, I just understood that I had to live my life ‘good enough for God.’
That was how I received it and how I understood it for so long. Many years later I think I may have disclosed that memory and my understanding of it, to my sister… If I recall correctly, it would’ve been around the time I was 22-24. After sharing that with her, I unconsciously and involuntarily stated outloud: “The world’s going to know my name.” It was so strange.
I constantly battle all the time in my head with blaming whatever Higher Power there is for the truly NEVER ENDING [censored] I feel like I always have to put up with. Had I not lived my life, I would NEVER believe a aingle person who described all the hardships I’ve endured – especially at only the age of 32. From 4 rapes all by guys I knew and had trusted at some point, to having a birth defect called Chiari Malformation, to my family deciding at my young age that I was unlovable and completely incapable of telling the truth. At 5 actually, I was accused by my father of being overly dramatic and lying about the headaches I said I was having, simply because I wanted attention. My birth defect wasn’t diagnosed until it had started affecting my ability to function properly… it was my senior year in high school. As of today, Ive had 3 brain surgeries. It was only supposed to be one, but years later we discovered the neurosurgeon that performed the first one had removed 5 times the amount of my skull aa she should have. There are many instances in my life that I cant help but to feel like whatever is happening is completely deliberate…. like BAD LUCK and suffering is all my life will ever be, but not because I haven’t tried to escape thw curse. Through an addiction I barely survived, losing 4 ex boyfriends as they’ve all passed away, losing the bestest friend I ever had – also to Death, way before his time, to even losing my mom to suicide a few years ago. She knew she was all I had…. It’s just been so painful…. I don’t understand why I can’t move past being broke and homeless…. I just feel like irregardless of my efforts, I end up in the same places almost like clock work. I apologize for how lengthy this got…. I don’t even know who I’m writing this to. I just know I refuse to accept a life of suffering to survive, yet I remain unsuccessful in my efforts to change the direction of my life. I yearn for a relationship with divinity, Source.

I always felt like “changing the world” was supposed to be my path… Not exactly the world, but the country. I used to believe that for all the hardships I endured, there was a ‘lesson’ I was supposed to learn – lessons that would amount to all the ways I would eventually go about helping our nation. I’m just so tired of feeling like I have to do this completely alone… but no matter how many times I ask for Guidance, I always end up disappointing myself when I feel like my cries for help must not be important enough, since nothing ever seems to change.


Jack Wellman June 9, 2018 at 9:51 pm

Hello Lindsay. I pray that you seek God and find a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. This will all make sense only after you have repented and trusted in Christ. I see so much pain and suffering in this life, but suffering is worse after death if they die without Christ, so please, I plead with you, to trust in the Savior today. He may not take all your pain away, but it will make more sense and you will know someday the “WHy” of all this when you see Jesus.


Ken August 18, 2019 at 8:49 pm

More than 97% Scientists hold that our planet is billions of years old, and people have been around for more than 100,000 years. They also state that the Adam and Eve of the bible is fiction. I embrace scientists evidence today verses my ignorance of once believing a preacher. The preacher was WRONG!


Jack Wellman August 18, 2019 at 9:23 pm

Hello Ken. 97% of the world used to think the earth was flat, so science can be and has been wrong, and will be in the future. Scientists believed that “blood letting” would cure many diseases or illnesses, but clearly, the doctors, and science, were about as wrong as you could be…even though 97% believed it! Many people who profess that the earth is only about six to seven thousand years old use the biblical genealogies to measure the earth’s age but the problem with this is that not every single genealogy is listed in the Bible and you cannot use the birth and death dates of the patriarchs in the Bible to come up with a date of the creation. Some have said that it was on a Sunday morning with the ending coming the following Saturday where God rested. The issue I have with this is that there is no way to determine what date or hour that the earth was created. To use the lines of men who died at certain ages and back date to the beginning of the creation is not scientific and no one can be dogmatic knowing the exact age of the earth based upon this. There is no time given between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. No human was there. There are no human eyewitnesses to the creation because they themselves were not created and mankind was not created by God until after the created universe as we know it was complete.

We must conclude that we cannot make a comprehensive, conclusive statement as to just how old the earth is. Could it be only six to seven thousand years old? Could it be millions or billions of years old? I just don’t know. I believe the earth is probably a lot older than we think but the age of the earth or the universe is something that Christians can disagree on and not be heretical in. No one loses their salvation if they think the earth is only six thousand years old or it is 2.9 billion years old.

The word science means “knowledge” and not dogmatic facts, like say, 2 + 2 = 4. Scientists have many theories, but many of these theories have been wrong and will be wrong. Science is always changing and learning and correcting, so I am not putting my stock in a group of scientists and what they believe. Putting one’s eternity at stake is too important. Eternity is a long time to be wrong! Time is nothing to God. Read Genesis and you will see an already mature earth with fruit bearing trees, so God could have created it as He did Adam and Eve…as being mature, or already appearing old. “The preacher is wrong?” It’s not about the preacher sir, but about is the Bible wrong, and no it’s not…unlike science can be and has been wrong.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: