In addressing the question of where the idea of long ages come from—or how did the idea of millions of years of earth history originate—we must recognize first, the concept has existed since ancient pagan philosophers,1)see “Evolution is Paganism,” http://truthwatchers.com/evolution-is-paganism/ and secondly, that the idea advanced becoming predominate as an attack to disrupt the biblical mindset of western society. The major arguments that were presented as scientific reasons to accept the idea of long ages (primarily uniformitarianism) is now rejected by evolutionists themselves, though they still uphold the conclusions built upon the flawed reasoning that brought them there. “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)

Comte de Buffon (1707-1788) wrote Epochs of Nature (1778). The concept of his theory had changed at least three times through his career of writing so it is difficult to reconcile his conflicting statements. His theory, in general, was that the earth was a molten state that cooled from rain and eventually hardened. He estimated the earth to be 78,000 years old based on experiments he figured the cooling rate of iron. Earnst Mayr wrote, “Truly, Buffon was the father of all thought in natural history in the second half of the 18th century.” “He was not an evolutionary biologist, yet he was the father of evolutionism.” “He brought the idea of evolution into the realm of science.”2)Ernst Mayr, The Growth of Biological Thought. Cambridge: Harvard. (1981), p 330 Henry Fairfeild Osborn wrote, “[Buffon] may be called the naturalist founder of the modern applied form of Evolution theory.” “He sowed the seed of suggestion in some passages, which, it is true, were mostly speculative, and these seeds germinated in the minds of the later German Natural Philosophers, and among Buffon’s contemporary naturalists, while ripening and bearing fruit in his successor, Lamarck, and others, both in France and England.”3) Henry Fairfeild Osborn, From the Greek to Darwin: An Outline of the Development of the Evolution Idea, Forgotten Books, 2012, originally published by Macmillan and Co. New York, 1894, p. 130-131 And “Buffon expresses the uniformitarian idea which Lamarck carried to such an extreme (which was opposed to his general cataclysmal teaching, that Nature is in a continual states of transition)…”4) Henry Fairfeild Osborn, From the Greek to Darwin: An Outline of the Development of the Evolution Idea, Forgotten Books, 2012, originally published by Macmillan and Co. New York, 1894, p. 137So we can see the error of uniformitarian thinking was even in those day opposed from the biblical view of catastrophism which is upheld by contemporary creationists and acknowledged as accurate by modern evolutionists.

Pierre Laplace (1749-1827) wrote Exposition of the Universe (1796). In it he theorized the universe was a gas cloud that condensed and contracted – known today as the Nebular Hypothesis. Evidence show that this theory was previously proposed by the spiritist Emanuel Swedenborg in 1734. 5)see “Evolution is Paganism,” http://truthwatchers.com/evolution-is-paganism/

Jean Lamarck (1744-1829) wrote Philosophy of Zoology (1809). Lamarckian evolution taught that the environment gives change to animals causing biological evolution by inheriting acquired characteristics. Lamarckianism has been a blip of embarrassment in evolutionary thinkers of today ever since August Weismann (1834-1914) refuted this by cutting off the tails of mice for 19 successive generations. Henry Fairfeild Osborn stated, “Development, or increasing perfection of structure in course of Evolution, was the central thought of Aristotle’s natural philosophy, but the term itself, as applied to the gradual increase in organs and single structures in the evolutionary sense, was first clearly used by Lamarck.”6) Henry Fairfeild Osborn, From the Greek to Darwin: An Outline of the Development of the Evolution Idea, Forgotten Books, 2012, originally published by Macmillan and Co. New York, 1894, p. 26 Osborn later write, “an important step in the history of the Evolution theory; that is, the relation of Erasmus Darwin to Lamarck.” “They not only used the same illustrations, but almost the same language; and by putting together various passages from Darwin’s writings, we can reconstruct, almost verbatim, the four principles of Lamarck.”7) Henry Fairfeild Osborn, From the Greek to Darwin: An Outline of the Development of the Evolution Idea, Forgotten Books, 2012, originally published by Macmillan and Co. New York, 1894, p. 152 Osborn questions, “How shall we explain this coincidence or apparent plagiarism?”8) Henry Fairfeild Osborn, From the Greek to Darwin: An Outline of the Development of the Evolution Idea, Forgotten Books, 2012, originally published by Macmillan and Co. New York, 1894, p. 153 Osborn is “in favour of Lamarck’s originality is his own.”9) Henry Fairfeild Osborn, From the Greek to Darwin: An Outline of the Development of the Evolution Idea, Forgotten Books, 2012, originally published by Macmillan and Co. New York, 1894, p. 154 “Erasmus Darwin and Lamarck independently evolved their views…”10) Henry Fairfeild Osborn, From the Greek to Darwin: An Outline of the Development of the Evolution Idea, Forgotten Books, 2012, originally published by Macmillan and Co. New York, 1894, p. 155 Why does he defend this opinion? He notes in Lamarcks’ writings, “Here and elsewhere Lamarck acknowledges his indebtedness to the Greeks, especially Aristotle.” “The Philosophie Zoologique shows that three truths had now come to him from his labours in Botany and Zoology, and presumably from his wider reading of Buffon’s earlier writings, of Linnaeus, and of the Greeks, to whom he makes allusion.”11) Henry Fairfeild Osborn, From the Greek to Darwin: An Outline of the Development of the Evolution Idea, Forgotten Books, 2012, originally published by Macmillan and Co. New York, 1894, p. 160-161 So if it appears Lamarck plagiarized Erasmus Darwin, it is because they both dipped into the streams of ancient pagan philosophers and independently developed the same thoughts.

Abraham Werner (1749-1817) is considered the “father of German geology.” He was a mineralogy professor teaching the earth was once a universal ocean. Land emerged as sediment rock layers were deposited by slow water receding over one million years. Again, we see the uniformitarian view of earth’s history.

James Hutton (1726-1797) wrote his famous work Theory of the Earth 1785-1795). “Hutton proposed that the earth had been molded not by sudden violent events, but by slow and gradual processes—the same processes that can be observed in the world today. This theory became known as ‘uniformitarianism.’”12)Caryl Matrisciana & Roger Oakland, The Evolution Conspiracy, Harvest House (Eugene Oregon: 1991), p. 59 A doctor, agriculturist, and geologist, he is referred as the “father of modern geology.” He theorized that erosion of the land ran off into the ocean where it was solidified to raise new continents as an endless cycle. He believed the earth was a living “superorganism” and should be studied as physiology, a precursor to the Gaia Hypothesis.

George Cuvier (1769-1832) proposed his views in Essays on the Theory of the Earth (1812). He rejected evolutionary ideas and was the major opponent of Lamarck and evolution in general, proposing that over untold ages, catastrophic floods caused extinction, rock layers and fossils, and then God created new species to replace those that disappeared. Christians received Cuvier’s theory that Noah’s flood was the last of such in earth’s history. Though he emphasized a biblical perspective of catastrophism (especially Noah’s flood) as opposed to uniformitarian ideas arising to prominence in his days, he was the major voice leading to the compromise within Christianity to accept the views of long ages. It is worth noting Ken Ham’s words, “The supposed evidence for millions of years was considered to be the fossil record, said by secularists to have been laid down gradually over millions of years. But if there had been a world wide Flood, this would have destroyed this record and re-deposited it, thus destroying the supposed evidence for millions of years.”13)Ken Ham & Greg Hall with Britt Beemer, Already Compromised, Master Book, 2011, p. 127 It is important to note here that there is no validity to the straw-man argument presented as if the young earth creationism, flood geology view of science is of a recent development being originated by a Seventh-Day Adventist, George McCready Price (19870-1963). Such an oft repeated argument is a genetic fallacy from evolutionists14)for example Ronald L. Numbers, The Creationists: The Evolution of Scientific Creationism (New York: Knopf, 1992) and is even propagated by compromised Christian “scholars.”15)for example Mark A. Noll, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, William B. Eerdmans Publisihing Co. (Grand Rapids: MI, 1994) Anyone who is honest and slightly familiar with the history of scientific thought can confirm that young earth creationism and flood geology was the normal view and Cuvier was taking a compromised position in his day.

William Smith (1796-1839) is known as the “father of English Stratigraphy.” William “strata” Smith was a drainage engineer, surveyor, and geologist. Being involved with railroad cuts and tunnels, he noticed common fossils distributed in certain strata of rock and developed the theory of index fossils which is used today to date rock which fossils are found in.

Charles Lyell (1797-1875) wrote Principles of Geology – 3 volumes (1830-1833). Lyell was a lawyer, politician, and amateur geologist, yet it was his work that transformed the science of geology more than any other man. He popularized James Hutton’s theory of uniformitarianism that the earth was shaped by the same process still in operation today. He was one of the first to present the earth as over 300 million years old. His book became the basis for the modern theory of sedimentary strata, what impacted Charles Darwin on the Beagle Voyage. His exposition of the uniformitarian theory was presented more for the purpose to express his political views than for confirming scientific observations. “It was as much for political reasons as scientific reasons that the new theory of uniformitarianism grew up to challenge the biblical theory of Creation. If the Bible told the truth, there was no way of peacefully challenging the monarchy in Britain, for sovereignty was supposed to descend from God to the King; but if the Bible could be shown to be inaccurate, particularly in respect to the key event of the Deluge, then the whole philosophical foundation on which the monarchy based its power would be shattered. That at any rate was the reasoning of a group of Whig lawyers and MP’s, one of whom was Charles Lyell, who published his principles of Geology.”16)Francis Hitchings, the World Atlas of Mysteries (Great Britain: W.S. Cowell Limited, 1978), p. 9 Lyell saw himself as “the spiritual saviour of geology, freeing the science from the old dispensation of Moses.“17)Roy S. Porter, “Charles Lyell and the Principles of the history of geology.” Brit. J. Hist., 9:91-103 (1976). p. 91 Lyell wrote in a letter to George Scrope, “I am sure you may get into Q. R. what will free the science from Moses, for if treated seriously, the party are quite prepared for it.”18)Charles Lyell, June 14, letter to George Poulett Scrope He also stated, “I have always been strongly impressed with the weight of an observation of an excellent writer and skillful geologist who said that ‘for the sake of revelation as well as of science – of truth in every form – the physical part of Geology inquiry ought to be concluded as if the Scriptures were not in existence.’”19)Charles Lyell, cited in M.J. S. Rudwick, “Charles Lyell Speaks in the Lecture Theater,” Brit. J. Hist. Sci., IX:2:32 (July 1976). P. 150

These ideas crept into the minds of Christians over a period of time, even influencing the methods of interpreting the Scriptures to accommodate these philosophies. For example, historical figures as Christian leaders that compromised their biblical views to accommodate this ideology can become an exhaustive list which we will limit below to just a few.

William Buckland (1785-1856)—Geologist, Anglican clergyman converted from catastrophism to Lyell’s uniformitarianism

Adam Sedgwich (1785-1873)—Geologist, Anglican clergyman converted from catastrophism to Lyell’s uniformitarianism

Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847)—Presbyterian and naturalist, Gap theory

George Stanley Faber (1773-1854)—Anglican clergyman, Day-age theory

Hugh Miller (1802-1856)—Geologist, Presbyterian layman favored Gap theory converted to Day-age

John Fleming (1785-1857)—Presbyterian, zoologist, tranquil flood theory influenced by Lyell

John Pye Smith (1774-1851)—Congregationalist, local creation, local flood

Let us uphold the admonition of the apostle Paul to his young disciple Timothy, “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: which some professing have erred concerning the faith.” (1 Timothy 6:20-21)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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