Gerald Schroeder and a new variation on the “day-age” theory: Part 2

2 August 2000

Several months ago, Dr Gerald Schroeder was a guest on the Zola Levitt TV program. Because we received a number of inquiries about these programs, we obtained and viewed the videos. This is part 2 of a 2-part review of the TV broadcasts.

Summary of part 1

Dr Schroeder is a physicist from MIT who has resided in Israel for the past twenty years. Although he claims to believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis, including six literal twenty-four hour days, it actually appears that his theory is nothing more than a new variation on the old ‘day-age’ theory. That is because, like the older ‘day-age’ theories, his theory asserts that the world really is the same age as evolutionists claim it is (currently perhaps 14 billion years old), but that we can arbitrarily divide that period into six age-long periods of time which he chooses to call “days”. Like more recent proponents of the ‘day-age’ theory, he believes that God used the big bang, and that it started the “first day”.

Part 1 of this review critiqued Dr Schroeder’s conclusions, pointing out that: his math was arbitrary and wrong; that his understanding of the Hebrew text in Genesis was faulty; and that the Bible specifically argues against the big bang view. Here is part 2 …

While Dr Schroeder may not believe in evolution per se, he bases his version of the ‘day-age’ theory on evolutionary dating methods and on an evolutionary interpretation of the fossil record. If one accepts his theory (which places the fossil record before the advent of man), one must accept that billions of years of death, disease, and struggle preceded the entrance of man, and therefore the entrance of sin. This then takes away death as a penalty for sin, clearly taught by Genesis 2:17 and 3:19, and nullifies the work of Jesus on the cross. (It is CMI’s understanding that Dr Schroeder is of the Jewish faith.)

It is sadly obvious that Dr Schroeder has compromised his understanding of the Bible due to evolutionary “science” with the standard evolutionary big bang theory. However he appears to have serious misunderstandings about even that theory.

Not realizing that the big bang theory has no ‘edge’ to its matter, Schroeder imagines such an edge and appears to believe that clocks near such an edge run slow compared to clocks on Earth. He does not appear to realize that standard big bang theory has all its clocks running at the same rate everywhere. Anyhow, he imagines that clocks at the edge of the universe would register only days, while clocks here would register billions of years. This is the exact opposite of how standard general relativity says clocks in a cosmos with an edge actually would behave, according to Dr Russell Humphreys’ book Starlight and Time. Pages 103–104, 128, and 132 of the book point out this discrepancy in Schroeder’s ideas of several years ago. It is not clear if Dr Schroeder has substantially modified his views since that time.

Even if Dr Schroeder’s scientific view (that clocks far away tick slowly) were correct, they still would run aground on an important biblical question: where does God measure time? Did the days He mentioned in Genesis elapse at the edge of the universe, or did they elapse on Earth? The Bible teaches that the universe runs on Earth time, which involves (approximately) 24-hour, and very regular, rotations of the Earth. The Bible teaches a young Earth, but Schroeder’s theory does not.

Finally, Dr Schroeder’s numbers have not kept up-to-date with the latest scientific fashion. According to his theory, to get 6 days you need a 16 or 17 billion-year-old universe. This no longer fits the prevailing (ever-changing) ‘accepted’ age of the universe, which now is about 13 billion years. If we use his ‘back of the envelope’ method of finding out the equivalent of creation days to observed years, we get 16.4 billion years. But the universe is now said to be about 13 billion years old. Thus we find that we are in day 4.8 instead of 5.5! Creation Week is still going on, man has not been created and God has not rested yet!

The 1,000,000,000,000 figure on the expansion of the universe (see part 1) which Schroeder uses as the basis of all his numbers is founded on nothing. Note all the rounded out zeros! It is an order of magnitude number taken from an arbitrarily chosen stage of expansion in the alleged big bang. Another person could just have well taken a number a thousand times bigger, or a thousand times smaller.

In light of this, Dr Schroeder’s theory appears to be not only an unnecessary compromise with evolutionists, not only confused in its facts, not only a rehash of the discredited ‘day-age’ theory, but also a house built on sand in a scientific sense as well.

CMI thanks Dr Russell Humphreys and Ron Samec for their contributions to this article.

For more information on “gap” and “day-age” theories, and the Genesis account, please go to Q&A: Compromises.

Published: 15 February 2006