Feb 18, 2014

Pat Robertson believes the dinosaur bones

Pat Robertson is many things: a religious leader; a media mogul; a former presidential candidate. He's also, apparently, a bit of a dinosaur fossil geek: 

That might be overstating things slightly. He knows a little about geology, though, and the age of dinosaur fossils, and comes out strongly in support of that science. This is in response to the big debate at the Answers in Genesis' Creation Museum this month.

There are those, like Ham, who say that one can only truly be a Bible-believing Christian if one rejects evolution and affirms that the earth is only about 6,000 years old. Pat Robertson scoffs at that. And he dismisses Young Earth Creationism. He also specifically dismisses Ken Ham and Bishop James Usher, who calculated the date of creation using the genealogies of the Bible.

Robertson doesn't prevaricate, either:

"To say that it all came about in 6,000 years is just nonsense. And I think the time we come off of that stuff ... You can't just totally deny the geological formations that are out there. The rock formations and all the things that go on over the world. Especially the bones."

This is not a new position for Robertson. Dinosaur bones and rock formations are quite compelling evidence for him, and he wants Bible-believing evangelicals to separate the Bible from bad geology. He holds that evolution does not challenge Christian theism or doctrines of providence.

Robertson further argues that creationism is hurting those who believe the gospel.

The last time Robertson spoke against Creationism, he said he expected flack for his position from other evangelicals, but that the cost of creationism was too high to pay.

"If you fight science," Robertson says, "your going to lose your children."

Robertson's influence seems minimal among evangelicals, at the moment. He has an established platform and sometimes, for that reason, gets interpreted as a powerful leader of conservative American evangelicals. He's hardly that. It's unlikely that any of those really entrenched on this point, committed truly to the idea that evolution and evangelical belief are incompatible, will be persuaded to reconsider. 

Nevertheless, this isn't nothing.

He is within evangelical discourse. The fact that Robertson says this, and has said this more than once, is an indicator that the internal debate on the age of the earth includes this position.