A new generation of Christian scholars and scientists, armed with earned doctorates and a literal view of the Genesis Creation narrative, is hoping to breathe new life into the theory that the Earth is thousands, not billions, of years old.

In a departure from the Darwin bashing that has characterized the biblical creationist movement in the past, a young group of scientists and others are advancing new analysis in support of their views. "It's time to put up or shut up," says Jeff Myers, a professor who helped coordinate a recent young-Earth conference at Dayton, Tennessee's Bryan College. He says, "If all we can do is nip at the heels of Darwinism, we're not doing much good."

CONTRADICTIONS SEEN: Even die-hard young-Earth creationists admit they are at a disadvantage because of the widespread acceptance of evolutionary theory and how scientific data have been interpreted according to Darwinism.

Still, Kurt Wise, Bryan's director of origins research, says he argues for researching physical evidence from the perspective that Genesis 1 describes God creating the universe in six, 24-hour days.

As a paleontologist, Wise, who was a protege of renowned Harvard evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould, brings solid academic credentials to the debate. So do such figures as University of South Carolina astronomer Danny Faulkner, the Institute for Creation Research's Steve Austin, who earned a doctorate at Penn State University, and John Baumgardner and D. Russell Humphreys, affiliated with national laboratories in New Mexico.

Wise sees a contradiction between the Darwinian view that countless species became extinct before humans existed and the Genesis account of death and disease as a consequence of Adam and Eve's sin.

"The Earth is young because ...

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