The 100-year Old Tree, by Dr. Joshua Swamidass
Let us imagine that God creates a fully grown tree today, and places it in a forest. A week later, a scientist and a theologian encounter this tree. The theologian believes that God is trustworthy and has clearly communicated to him that this tree was created just a week ago. The scientist bores a hole in the tree, and counts its rings. There are 100 rings, so he concludes that the tree is 100 years old. Who is right? In some senses, both the scientist and the theologian are right. God created a one week old tree (the true age) that looks 100 years old (the scientific age). Moreover, it would be absurd for the theologian to deny the 100 rings that the scientist uncovered, or to dispute the scientific age of the tree. Likewise, the scientist cannot really presume to disprove God.
For your response this week, address at least two of the following:
- Why would God not leave clear, indisputable evidence that the tree is just a week old?
- Why might God choose not to leave evidence that this 100-year old tree is on week old?
- Alternatively, why might God choose to leave evidence that the week-old tree is 100 years old?