Question of the Week: I have noticed you claim a much different date for the age of the earth and the date for when God created Adam and Eve. If God created Adam and Eve 130,000–40,000 years ago, what took place in the billions of years on Earth before that? Is your claim that God created Earth billions of years ago, then allowed a large time gap, and then created humans billions of years later?
My Answer: God had multiple purposes in creating the universe, Earth, and humans. One of those purposes was to grant humans free will so that an exchange of love would be possible between him and humans. God also wanted to eradicate the possibility of evil and suffering while enhancing the free-will capability of those humans who desire a personal relationship with him so that they could experience exponentially greater love. This quest to eradicate evil and suffering in an efficient and rapid manner required that the universe be endowed with certain laws of physics and space-time dimensions. One consequence of these physical laws and dimensions is that 4.56 billion years, minimum, is needed to prepare Earth, physically, chemically, and biologically, for the existence of humans and to make possible the global high-technology civilization that is necessary for the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ to be propagated rapidly to all the world’s people groups (Matthew 28:18-20). I describe the reasons why in my books Why the Universe Is the Way It Is and Improbable Planet. So, yes, Earth is 4.5662 billion years old, life has been producing the biodeposits needed for global human civilization for 3.8 billion years, and according to Genesis 2, God created Adam and Eve sometime during the last ice age, 13,000–130,000 years ago, when the Garden of Eden site would have been above sea level. To read more about what the Bible and the scientific record say about the timing of the creation of different forms of life on Earth, see Navigating Genesis.