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Abstract

The geological theories of an earth millions of years old were developed in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This paper describes that development and focuses on a group of writers, known as the “Scriptural geologists,” who opposed these geological theories. These scientists and non-scientists wrote short pamphlets and massive books raising Biblical, geological and philosophical arguments against the idea of an old earth. They also refuted the reinterpretations of Genesis that arose in an attempt to harmonize the Bible with old-earth geological theory (such as the gap, day-age and local Noachian flood theories). Four of the geologically most competent Scriptural geologists are introduced to the reader before giving a summary of some of their shared Biblical and geological objections to the idea of an old earth. The paper concludes with an analysis of the real nature of the 19th century Genesis-geology debate and how it relates to the ageof- the-earth debate in the church today.

Keywords

Scripture, geology, worldview, history, philosophy, deism, atheism, naturalism, Scriptural geologist, oldearth, young-earth, nineteenth century, day-age theory, gap theory, local flood, tranquil flood, global flood, catastrophism, uniformitarianism

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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