While sitting in the Santa Fe Ski Basin cafeteria between runs, I shared a table with a fellow skier during lunch. He naturally inquired about my purpose in these most awesome naturally beautiful mountains settings. I related my experience to him, as a candidate for a Master of Arts in the Eastern Classics. He was intrigued, I could tell.
He asked me about my course of study, wherein I informed him that I was studying ten thousand years of history of Eastern thought. I saw a dark cloud cross his face (or was it the sky?), when he heard the number ten thousand. Having studied and discussed the history, philosophy, religious history of most major ethnic groups, in every forum thinkable, (i.e. in class, on the streets, in bars, and in churches…et. al), one begins to develop a sixth sense, a tingle, if you will, when you realize you are in the company of someone who BELIEVES the Earth is only 6000 years old.
He was gray haired and not at all new here. Yet, with genuine incredulity, he asked me, “How do THEY determine a historical age of ten thousand years of existence?”
I explained to him, logically, that the same math relied upon to determine the “Biblical” timeline of civilization, can be applied using texts that can, for the sake of discussion, be considered contextually equivalent, historically and culturally speaking. That is to say, that if we were to utilize the same formula of [Begats X Average Life span X Genealogical data—in reality using lineage and genealogy with cursory variables inserted for good measure, that are arbitrary, at best), to the religious and historical texts of Asia, such as the Vedic “Bible”—The MahaBharata, or use similar dating to the Sima Qian of China, you would find that their histories trump our Judeo-Christian history, by thousands of years.
Anwho, I know this is going to sound crazy, but there are others, whole continents, that people existed on and have historical genealogies that extend beyond—get this—6000 years. Yes! I know, that blew some minds.
So, did they exist BEFORE God? Oddly enough, the answer is yes, and kind of No. That is another essay.
However, this means, either, the Earth is OLDER than 6000, OR Creationists are calling at least one-third of the world’s population, liars (China + India = 2 Billion—all who share longer histories than Jews, Christians, and Muslims combined), OR Creationism is bullshit. I have thought long about this, and I am convinced I have narrowed down, all the possible errors in this argument. I am happy to discuss it, as soon as this slapdash oversight has been properly dispensed with, through logic, of course.
My dear lunch companion, sat silently stunned. It had never occurred to him. Ever. He said not one more word to me, and I ate my fries, in peace.
I would like to add, though, that this is just one flaw of this ideology, of many. The misappropriation of math, the exploitation of numbers and convolution of “data”, are the merely the most obvious problems with Creationism.
It irks me to see the misguided attempt to use numbers to justify an absurd concept to further political agendas fueled by willful ignorance of empirical observation and full utility of the God given gift of Reason.