How Old is the Universe?
(Above: A composite color image of the Horsehead Nebula and its immediate surroundings)
It is rather amusing to read scientific journals expounding on the age of the universe which, at best, are teeming with what-ifs and shot-in-the-dark assumptions. Of course, even Biblical scholars are at odds with respect to the timeline of Creation contained within the Scriptures.
The fundamental problem here is that we approach this question as simple-minded humans who prefer not to accept anything we can not prove in some definitive way. Researchers generally accept that time is a great equalizer, and that anything can happen given enough time. Therefore, if a process can not be adequately explained or proven it suddenly becomes palatable in the framework of, say, 5 billion years. Such a faithless approach has resulted in exorbitant timestamps of our universe, which have only conjectural support at best. Truthfully, I don't know the exact answer to the question posed above, but it is unwise to place limits on God's abilities with our own error-laden and grossly inadequate theories. Indeed, it is foolish to reject the possibility that Creation is much younger than we think simply because our relatively miniscule pool of scientific knowledge is aimed at disproving God's existence in the first place. In a strictly random, God-less environment an entire universe and its inhabitants can not be created in six days, and this is precisely the sort of near-sighted perspective underlying a vast majority of current research into the origin of the universe. Our lack of imagination and our refusal to give God His due credit result in the fabrication of numerous, almost desperate, theories and hypotheses. Over time, these theories and hypotheses constitute the basis of our "understanding". Such a haphazard and speculative approach is often viewed in a much more favorable light than simply conceding that a Higher Power might be responsible for everything we see. However, instead of filling the gaps in our comprehension with a faith in God's abilities we would rather put faith in our own.
Nothing that our minds can conceive will ever be capable of explaining God. He simply can not be contained by formulae, hypotheses and theories created by humans.
"My thoughts are completely different from yours," says the LORD. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine." (Isaiah 55:8)