God Science is a DVD where, according to its jacket, “great minds explore Christianity in an age of science”. It presents interviews with scientists, philosophers and historians on the issue of science and the Bible, creation, evolution and the age of the earth.
Many of its 16 interviews are with internationally-known academics such as Prof John Lennox from the University of Oxford, Prof Simon Conway-Morris of Burgess Shale fame and Prof Michael Ruse, philosopher of biology at Florida State University.
The interviews are presented by John Dickson, senior minister at St Andrew’s Church, Roseville (Sydney Anglican Dioceses), Greg Clarke, CEO of the Bible Society Australia and Simon Smart, head of research and communications at the Centre for Public Christianity, Australia.
With this impressive pedigree it is not surprising that, since its release in 2010, it has been well received in academic evangelical circles.
The age of the earth is fundamental to the issue of science and the Bible, so it makes sense that this was addressed early in the DVD. In the second interview, presenter John Dickson asked David Cohen, “How old is the earth?”
Cohen, who is Head of the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of New South Wales replied, “The earth is about 6 billion years old and in Australia we’ve got some of the oldest rocks, just over 4 billion years.”
I replayed that section several times to make sure that I heard it correctly. Yes, he definitely said “6 billion”. Perhaps Cohen had a slip of the tongue and intended to say 4.6 billion years, which is the ‘age’ that secular scientists have been saying now for over 50 years. I was just as surprised when Cowen later quoted the same number again, speaking of “an earth that is 6 billion rather than 6,000 years old”. Presumably he used six for alliteration with 6,000, because I can’t believe that he didn’t know that the accepted secular age is 4.6 billion. But nowhere on that interview was the standard secular age given….
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