On Wednesday, Nov 14, I attended the fifth meeting of the Creation Consultation at the 64th annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Milwaukee, WI. This year’s creation meeting was entitled, “Scripture, Geology & the Age of the Earth.” Dr. Richard Averbeck, Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, moderated a debate between Drs. Gregg Davidson, an old-earth geologist, and Andrew Snelling, a young-earth geologist. Gregg, a Ph.D. in geology, is Professor in the Department of Geology & Geological Engineering at the University of Mississippi, author of When Faith and Science Collide. Andrew, also a Ph.D. in geology, is the Director of Research at Answers in Genesis, editor of Answers Research Journal, and author of the two-volume Earth’s Catastrophic Past. This debate was made up of four forty-minute sessions. The title of Gregg’s first session was “A Biblical Worldview and an Ancient Earth,” and Andrew’s second session was titled “A Biblical and Geological Defense of a Young Earth and the Global Flood.” The third session was a discussion between the two and the fourth involved both taking questions from the audience.
This was a very intriguing meeting where each participant focused on evidence and interpretation. Since the number in attendance was well over a hundred for all four meetings, I do not think I am alone in my assessment of the interesting nature of this debate. A line of evidence that Gregg presented piqued my interest. On the Hawaiian Islands there is a coral reef development along with connected submarine volcanoes. These look like they arose over vast periods of time, in contrast to the short periods of time that a young-earth creationist model would demand. Andrew reasonably presented seven evidences for a global flood, with a focus on the Grand Canyon. I suspect that the debate ended in a tie. However, when it came to the integration with Scripture, Andrew had a more effective presentation. Since the nature of this debate was out of my area of expertise, you should check out the take by a paleontologist from Liberty University: “Marcus Ross at ETS.”