I probably shouldn't be admitting this on a blog with mostly Christian-oriented content, but for the sake of authenticity, here goes: I have been a fan of the Austin Powers movies ever since they came out. I know, I know. They're pretty bad, but at least I've gotten progressively less fond of them as I've matured through middle and high school into the upstanding college student that I am today. For those of you walking the path of purity, this post will basically tell you the best parts so that you won't have to watch.
Anyway, my favorite character in the trilogy is Dr. Evil, the bald-headed mastermind with a pale, scarred face and very little common sense. In each of the movies, Dr. Evil goes into some kind of exile to escape capture. In the first movie, he was cryogenically frozen. In one, he utilizes a time machine. In another, he's forced to float around in space. Each time he returns to earth to mount another assault against the forces of good in the world, he's been gone so long that he's disoriented about how the world works.
He particularly has problems dealing with the way the value of currency changes over time. Typically, he makes a call to an organization parodying the U.N. tells them he will destroy something (namely, the world) if they do not meet his demands, which usually come in the form of U.S. dollars. Because he fails to take inflation into account, he'll ask for a sum so low that it's laughable to the officials he's threatening. For instance, after being unfrozen in the 1990s, he asked for a mere $1 million because he was thinking in terms of '60s money.
And he has a very distinctive way of presenting his demands. After he demands the money, he raises his pinkie finger and places it next to his puckered lips while sinister music plays in the background. Then someone on his staff will inform him that his request is too low, and he'll repeat the process, changing $1 million to...
"$100 biilllion dollarss." (The sinister music repeats and the pinkie returns to the puckered lips.)
As I sat in my Geology class the other day, my teacher kept talking about how old the earth was. Although he was speaking a completely different language, I was able to decipher some of things he was saying, like:
"This shield (large slab of continental crust) is 2.5 billion years old." And:
"The oldest matter we have consists of zircons that are about 4 billion years old."
I'm not a math major, but I think a billion equals like, a thousand millions or something. And four of those put together? That's like 4,000 millions of years that these rocks have supposedly been around (or at least their zircons, whatever the heck those are).
As I listened to the teacher talk about the age of the earth in such astronomical magnitudes, I began to chuckle to myself. I couldn't stop imagining Dr. Evil standing up in the class in place of my instructor, talking about how the zircons are...
"Four biillionn years old."
It's not that I'm against science or think that humans are so significant that the earth can't possibly be that old if we weren't around to see it age. It's just that the numbers used to describe the ages of things begin to get ridiculous after awhile. According to scientists (anthropologists included here) modern-type humans began appearing 30,000-40,000 years ago. (That's an estimate based on what I learned in a class a few years ago.) If this is the case, our existence is less than a blink of an eye in geologic time.
Now, of course I believe the biblical account to be accurate, but it's hard to reconcile with what the university tries to feed you. Call me ignorant, but it seems arrogant to think that we, as a race of creatures that has been walking the earth for a span of time proportionate to a the width of a hair compared to the Grand Canyon, can know anything about the state of anything from four billion years ago.
When I think about the science of things archaic, more questions arise than answers. Whether they believe in the Big Bang Theory or choose to avoid the question altogether, scientists have still failed to answer where the original matter came from. Last time I checked, something coming from nothing had still not been experimentally proven.
Thank God that we can have simple faith, and although we don't understand it all, we can be "sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" (Hebrews 11:1). Until God gives me the capacity to understand it all, I'm going to continue boasting in my certainty: the death and resurrection of Christ.