How is it possible that the Bible which says Adam was made 6,000 years, can differ so much from scientists which put humans for more than 100,000 years?

I'm going to bury the headline a little here, because I need to ask you to walk with me for a minute.

It is sometimes taken at face value that the Old Testament of Judeo-Christian tradition was written or inspired by God. Armed with such a belief, it becomes automatic to dismiss anything that may counter a literal interpretation of the bible.

However, I think we have to ask where this belief comes from. Can we point to any direct and incontrovertible empirical evidence that the bible was written by God? In most cases I think we can say it comes from faith not in God, but in a parent, community, or a religious figure who instilled it in us at an early age. I think to really understand and own our own beliefs, we must question where these ideas came from. Otherwise, we can't really say we have faith in anything but the infallible ability of our human guardians to understand the unknowable and tell the truth. As you read the rest of my answer, I ask that you question this particular belief for just a moment.

So let's first discuss the feasibility that the events described in the bible were accurate.

Alphabets and our ability to write poetry and prose only appeared around 3000 years ago.

The oldest writing of any significance were the Babylonian Laws, or the Code of Hamurai, inscribed in cuneiform on the side of a pillar from Mesopotamia some 3700 years ago. There is a brief sample of Sanskrit poetry from 3500 years ago, but this is very isolated and limited. There were also other early scripts, such as Egyptian hieroglyphs dating to about 4600 years ago and Greek Linear B to 3500 years before present. These weren't alphabets, though, and they weren't useful for doing much more than writing out lists of temple offerings or inscribing monuments.

The first example of a true alphabet was the very first ‘work' of western culture, Homer's Illiad, written in ancient Greek and dated to 762 B.C.E. The first known manuscript of any kind, anywhere dates to 1040 B.C.E.

What kind of eye-witness records do we have from 6000 years ago?

Looking specifically at the languages of the bible, the Paleo-Hebrew script, an early form of Hebrew (the mother language of the Bible), dates to 3000 years before present, 1000 B.C.E.

The first, limited use of an ancient form of Aramaic script dates to the same time, but it did not become relevant until 2700 years ago. Aramaic only really found use in the bible when Darius conquered Mesopotamia in 539 B.C.E. We already saw that the written form of ancient Greek didn't exist until 762 B.C.E. Some old Latin inscriptions date back 2600 years, but it wasn't really established until 2100 years ago, around the time of Christ, and generally the Latin translation of the Bible didn't come until 350 C.E. (A.D., if you prefer). Arabic can generally be considered more recent, appearing well into the post-New Testament period (we use Arabic numerals, but they were incorporated into European languages relatively recently). Arabic biblical translations can be traced to about 1200 years ago when Arabic supplanted Aramaic in the regions formerly conquered by Darius I.

What we also know is that early writings were often attempts to preserve oral traditions, typically in the form of poetry. Homer's Illiad, for example, was the culmination of more than 400 years of oral tradition dating to the time of the Trojan War. Some say the Western alphabet was invented specifically to rally Greeks around their memory of the Greek glory days of this war.

Let's consider the Torah, the five books of Moses which include the story of Adam and Eve in the book of Genesis. From what I have read there is is a well established Oral Torah in the Jewish religion. In fact, writing the Oral Torah was forbidden for a time. Jewish tradition is that God gave Moses the Oral Torah in 1312 B.C.E., and then Moses set about writing the written Torah of the Bible, which was separate from the oral laws.

We can see from the long, boring discussion of languages above, it is unlikely the Torah was written down at this time since we have little evidence for sophisticated writing systems, or examples of prose, or of poetry. we can certainly conclude the writing of the Torah was probably proceeded by an oral tradition passed from generation to generation to generation. Biblical scholars think it was written over centuries by multiple authors, probably between 600 or 400 B.C.E during a period of Babylonian rule. Again from the research above, that seems more reasonable.

I should note here that in that era there were no such thing as historians as we understand them, not until Thucydides wrote his History of the Peloponnesian War around 400 B.C.E. Writers of ancient times weren't interested in providing detailed records of past events. When they wrote about histories, it was to use them as allegories for the politics of their times which they couldn't talk about explicitly, or it was to glorify past struggles or victories of their people as a source of pride or inspiration. This can be seen in Homer's Illiad or Plato's description of Atlantis. There appear to be parallels between the stories written in the Bible of Exodus and the contemporary Babylonian captivity that the people faced during the time the Torah was probably written.

Here's where I'm going. The story of Adam and Eve couldn't have been written down until at least 3000 years after it ostensibly happened. It was handed down verbally through the generations and, since we have no evidence that Moses ever existed or talked to God, has unknown and likely ancient origins.

Can we rely on a story that was probably passed down dozens or hundreds of times, from a people who only understood nature in a severely restricted immediate and practical way? Or should we trust scientists who publish rigorous contemporary records of things like radiological dating, DNA studies, mitochondrial regression analysis, fossil analysis, ice-core samples, digs at paleolithic campsites and graveyards, etc.?

Something else which is instructive to me is that I view the Bible as a historical chronology of the Hebrew people as written by the ancient Hebrews, nothing more. It doesn't state Adam and Eve existed 6000 years ago, but provides a long, tedious chronology of their descendants. A mere 370 years ago, the Irish Archbishop James Ussher used some educated assumptions to fix a reference point, and then traced back through this chronology to come up with an origin date of 4004 B.C.E. (Dusk on October 22nd, specifically).

Again, these were cultural stories specifically told as the origins of the Hebrew people. As I talked about above, these kind of things are usually based on some sort of communal historical memory, but have been embellished over many tellings with tales of great feats and struggles, political commentary, and lessons of morality. Again, these are the stories that parents tell their children.

I know of no culture that doesn't have fantastical origin stories. Most don't make a lot of sense. The Hebrew origin story has details that are more culturally significant to us, but they are no less fantastic.

Thank you for taking the time to walk with me.


How is it possible that the Bible which says Adam was made 6,000 years, can differ so much from scientists which put humans for more than 100,000 years?

It depends how you "measure" possibility.

The way I see it, recorded human history began approximately five thousand years ago, roughly the time at which the Bible places Creation and Adam. Since recorded history does not go back further, perhaps the biblical writers did not know that the world was older.

In recent centuries, however, people noticed that the layers of rock and fossils embedded in rock tell a very different story from the biblical account. This started a different approach to the study. Accepting that the earth could be millions of years old rather than merely thousands changed the timeline.

Subsequent research and discovery has led scientists to conclude that humans date back more than 100,000 years. The above is how the discrepancy between the Bible and scientific discovery is possible. The one is based on extant recorded history, the other on history embedded in rocks of the earth itself.


The question is wrong - the Bible doesn't say that.

The ~6k years belief is one that has popped up from time to time in history, but it's never been an article of faith for the simple reason that the truths it speaks of aren't dependent on it being a sort of news reporter's account of things. It had pretty much vanished before modern times until the philosophy of materialism swept the world. With that philosophy so strong, people unaware of what kind of literature the account really was (which for the most part is forgivable for the simple reason that until recently scholars didn't even know what kind it was) forced it to fit with materialism and thus demanded that it have to be "scientific" or at least scientifically accurate.

So at this point in history it's a false teaching arising from forcing scripture to follow a philosophy that is totally different from its own.


Christ said that the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall never be forgiven, "either in this age, or in the age to come".

So the terms "this age" and "the age to come". tells you and actually it is written in the bible that God is a god of all ages and he deals with matters and people of a particular age just as we have diffrent accounts

there are even other lots of verses one example is

Luke 20:34-36

Another example is the Lord's remark about marriage. "The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are counted worthy to attain to that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage".

and so This age Starting from Adam is something around 6000 years but there were ages before that and the bible very very clearly speaks of the ages to come so also the last enemy that would be destroyed is Death it is written hence definately people when they grow in numbers in that age will for sure go and inhibit other planets

So you have to first read the bible in totality have deep understanding about it and then things are absolutely logical and crystal clear


Q: How is it possible that the Bible which says Adam was made 6,000 years, can differ so much from scientists which put humans for more than 100,000 years?

A: Biblical stories were written before humanity had anything approaching an idea about DNA, or any understanding of geology or even the fact that organisms evolve over time.

So rather than go looking for the real answers, people invented answers and demanded that reality fit those answers, even if they had to kill a few thousand people every now and again for having different answers.

Science examines the evidence and changes when better evidence is found. Religions refuse to change until they have to, then invent ways of claiming that their holy texts actually predated the new discoveries of science.

So to answer your question, biblical tales are scientifically illiterate fiction, supported by no evidence at all.


The Bible does NOT say that Adam was made 6,000 years ago. That is a Protestant Fundamentalist view from people who think that everything is in the Bible, and if it isn't then it didn't happen.

That is not what the Bible is for at all. MOST interpretations of the Creation account (first couple chapters of Genesis) maintain that the entire thing is allegorical. Creation account is meant to teach us that God created everything and everybody from nothing, and that man screwed it up, sin and evil entered the world, and things have not been right since.

Just as an example, the creation is 6 "days" is OBVIOUSLY metaphoric as the earth and sun were not created until day four, I believe, so it would have been impossible for those days to refer to the earth turning around on its axis once.

More probably, it is referring to six eras. And the order of creation actually fits in pretty well with what modern science is teaching us about Creation.


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