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Why the vast difference of opinion about the age of the Universe?

I was surprised my self when I learned that light comes from stars that are millions or billions of light years apart. It seems to be obvious that our universe is pretty old. I suppose.

One explanation is that the word yom in hebrew means era instead of days. Still the Jewish calendar counts from creation. That suggest that you know (or presume to know) the year the world is born.


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A simple explanation is that the when G-d created the world 5772 years ago, He did not create it as a "brand-new" world, but rather created the world in a state as if it had been existing for many years previously.

This is quite evident from the fact that the sin of the Tree of Knowledge occurred on the same day Adam was created. He was obviously "born" being capable of talking and eating, and not as a one-day old newborn baby. (According to the Midrash he was created as if he was 20 years old - Bereshit Rabbah 14:7). The Torah says (Genesis 1:12) that the trees were created already bearing fruit. The world was thus created in a ready state, and the stars many millions of light years away were likewise created together with their light reaching earth.

  • It's called last thursdaysm.
    – user4951
    Sep 7, 2012 at 6:45
  • @JimThio Actually I think it's called Last Wednesdayism.
    – Double AA
    Sep 7, 2012 at 8:57
  • Yap that's the link :)
    – user4951
    Sep 7, 2012 at 9:07
  • @DoubleAA Actually according to the link you posted it is called Last Thursdayism
    – Michoel
    Sep 9, 2012 at 7:15
  • I find it fascinating that opponents call this idea "Last Thursdayism", mocking the fact that the world could have been created 5 minutes ago. That is exactly the point - it could have. The only way we know it wasn't is because the Torah tells us otherwise. I'd go further to say that the only way we know that we even exist is because the Torah says so.
    – Michoel
    Sep 9, 2012 at 7:18

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