I have to say I have trouble understanding arguments like these that totally misrepresent scientific theories.
Sure, if you want to really simplify things, elements forged by stars eventually formed themselves into planets and other matter, which would include dinosaurs. These things happened over billions of years, however, not overnight. And a singularity isn’t the same as nothing. But is such misrepresentation lying for Jesus (or whatever deity you prefer), or is it a lack of comprehension? I’ve sometimes seen arguments about how evolution is worthless because it doesn’t explain the origin of life, or claiming that the origin of stars and planets is somehow part of biological evolution. If you go by Genesis 1, there IS a single explanation for all of these things, and they apparently all happened within six days.
Even if you believe the days aren’t literal twenty-four-hour cycles, you’re still left with one force creating both matter and life, and this creation being basically instantaneous.
Is it impossible to conceive of periods of billions of years? If so, I’m not disagreeing, but the fact that it’s hard to fathom doesn’t make it untrue. I’ve seen arguments for Creationism that essentially amount to scientific explanations being too hard to understand. But isn’t God supposed to be incomprehensible to mere humans? So you can accept one thing you can’t fully understand, but not another, even when one seems to have evidence supporting it? Of course, some of these people are the same ones who are sure an ineffable, omniscient being doesn’t approve of gay marriage; but that’s certainly not always the case. For that matter, why conflate acceptance of scientific origin theories with atheism? There are plenty of religious people who still think evolution is real. For that matter, it’s theoretically possible to be an atheist who still accepts ex nihilo origins, although I can’t say I know of any.
I’ve noticed a tendency from people defending religion to make assumptions without any real basis, and to somehow assume these will win over non-believers. I doubt too many people who don’t believe in God are afraid they’re going to Hell, because Hell is pretty much part and parcel with gods. That’s true of eternal life in general, which I sometimes think is a way to cope with life being crappy. Things are bad NOW, but there will come a time when they’re good again, and you’ll be around to witness it! I get why this is a comforting idea, but it just doesn’t seem likely to me. That’s one reason I take issue with the “this too shall pass” philosophy, even though I agree with it on a more general level. For humanity as a whole, yes, things often go in cycles, and bad stuff doesn’t last forever. Love doesn’t trump hate, but hate doesn’t ALWAYS win either. But on an individual level, it ISN’T going to pass for a lot of people. They’ll have died needlessly. Personally, I guess I’d say that I’m not afraid of BEING dead, as I don’t think I’ll be conscious. I am, however, kind of afraid of DYING, because I feel there’s so much I’ll be missing out on, and I want to know how things turn out. Doesn’t it kind of seem backwards that there tends to be a fair amount of overlap between those who believe in eternal life and in an Earth that’s only 6000 years old?
It’s when you realize billions of years have passed and billions more will in the future that our lifespans seem ridiculously short. In the Young-Earth Creationist model, some humans have actually lived one-sixtieth of the time the world has been around. It sort of makes eternal life seem like not such a big deal. And while I don’t believe in gods at all, I’ve never really bought the argument that, if there is a god, he has to be good. That leads to really convoluted arguments for why the world isn’t always that good if its creator and protector is. One that seems fairly popular is that God is good, but humanity screwed up, so he’s letting us all stew in the mess we’ve made until we decide to shape up. That does raise the question as to why God made humans so stupid, though. And no, free will doesn’t explain it, because there are plenty of decisions to make without “let’s commit genocide” being an option. To be fair, it’s not just theists who make assumptions when trying to prove a point. I just think they would have seen the objections to these assumptions often enough to stop making them.