Hi Mary, actually, it was a bishop named, I believe, John Usher who did a
chronology of the Bible. He determined, how we do not know, that the earth
was created on a day, I forget which, in October of 4004 B.C.E. He decided
that the Genesis chronology indicated that the great flood happened 1456
years after creation. Thusly, those who accept the Biblical account as
literally true believe the earth is about 6000 years old.
Such a belief is interesting as even the Jews, from whom the Old Testament, or Tanach, comes, believe it to be an analogy, a story to illustrate a point, not to be taken as literal, word for word, truth.
You are correct in my view, and I would invite comments. When we can see cosmic objects as far as 13 billion light years off, which means the light from them began that long ago, how can we then explain a 6000 year old universe. For that matter, how, in the face of significant chemical evidence, can we say that fossils are only 6k years old when some test out as a billion.
As with you, I do not challenge Mike nor any other Christians, but these questions do offer intrigueing fodder for thought and discussion. I have had lengthy discussions with both cosmologists, biologists and geologists who believe in a literal six day creation. I have not found their arguements terribly enlightening. I am not sure that there are any paleontologists who believe in this, it would be a very difficult juxtoposition of belief systems. [smile]