Old Earth and Death

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I've often heard young-earth creationists complain to old-earthers that their view doesn't fit with the biblical chronology of sin and death. After all, death came as a result of sin in Genesis. Yet the old-earth view that our best science teaches says that animals were around and dying before there were any humans. Rusty Lopez and New Covenant addresses these concerns in an even-handed way that seems to me to be faithful to the scripture.

Romans 5 talks about human death as a result of human sin. It talks about the death that comes from sin entering the world through, of all things, sin. It doesn't necessarily mean that death for anything other than humans came that way. Death spread to all humans because all sinned. The topic is sin and justification. Then he turns to Romans 8, where Paul says that all creation was subjected to futility by God. It doesn't say this was an effect of sin after sin occurred. It just says that God did this and that the hope of the gospel is looking forward to a time when that is over. Given God's foreknowledge of sin and sovereign plan to restore all things at the end, the futility implied by the laws of physics could very well have been in place even before human sin.

So it seems the theological objection from animal death before human sin does little to outweigh the clear scientific reasons to believe the earth is much older than young-earthers want to admit.

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