It is frequently argued that God created the universe and all it entails with the appearance of age. Does this notion correspond to the reality of Scripture and science?
First, we should note that the Bible doesn’t answer the age question. Some creationists suggest that God created Adam with the appearance of age. In reality, we simply do not know. Was Adam created with calluses on his feet? Did he have a belly button? Was he fashioned replete with childhood memories? One would think not, but the Bible simply doesn’t say.
Furthermore, the notion that God created his handiwork with the appearance of age is logically unfalsifiable. In other words, you can neither prove it nor disprove it. For example, how could you prove false the notion that you were created five seconds ago and that your recollection of the previous paragraph is just an implanted memory?
Finally, consider an observable astronomical event such as Supernova 1987A—an event with an identifiable “before” and “after.” Prior to 1987, this supernova was a star in a distant galaxy 168,000 light-years away. On February 23, 1987, however, the star exploded and became a supernova. In other words, 168,000 years ago the star exploded, and in 1987 the light of that event finally reached earth—unless, of course, God created the universe six thousand years ago. Then the supernova might well be likened to a documentary film of an event that never really happened.
In sum, the notion that the universe is not authentically old but merely appears to be old creates more conundrums than it solves. Indeed, what good teacher would ask students to put faith in a textbook intentionally filled with lies?