‘Many claim that Genesis was based upon borrowed pagan ideas. In reality, the Genesis account of recent creation is in direct opposition to pagan long-age superstitions.’
One of the most popular beliefs today is that the universe is billions of years old. This belief is encouraged by claims that such ages are reliable scientific conclusions. Not so well publicised are the many assumptions, guesses and wishful thinking that contribute to such conclusions. These are hidden beneath the frequent, loud claim that any other view is ‘non-scientific’ and not to be taken seriously.
This popular view supposes that belief in an old world only came about because of recent scientific developments, and that belief in a youthful universe belongs to the superstitious past. We are told that Genesis is wrong, due to the limited understanding of the time of its writer.
It comes as a surprise to many, then, that the old universe belief is itself very old; it certainly predates Christ. Ancient people had no problem imagining great spans of time, but Christians from earliest times opposed these ideas.
‘Ancient universe’ beliefs are found in many old cultures. In India, for instance, one system had a cycle of time which was 4,320,000 years long. 1,000 cycles were a day in the life of Brahma.1 Another 1,000 cycles were a night. 100 such days (864,000,000,000 years) constituted the life of Brahma.
A similar cyclical system was popular in Ancient Greece and Rome. It consisted of ‘Great Years’, believed to be about 36,000 years each, stretching back into the distant past.
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