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Omphalos hypothesis

The Omphalos hypothesis was named after the title of an 1857 book by Philip Henry Gosse in which he argued that in order for the world to be "functional", God must have created the Earth with mountains, canyons, trees with growth rings, Adam and Eve with hair, fingernails, and navels (omphalos is Greek for "navel"), and that therefore no evidence we can see of the presumed age of the world can be taken as reliable. The idea has seen some revival in the twentieth century by modern creationists who have extended the argument to light which appears to originate in far-off stars and galaxies.

The Omphalos hypothesis contains a powerful philosophic problem, one that troubles even those who have applied it in recent times. Since the hypothesis is based on the idea that apparent age is an illusion, it is perfectly resonable to suggest that world was created ten minutes ago. Any memories you have of times before this were created in-situ, in exactly the same fashion that the fossils were. This idea is sometimes called "Last-tuesdayism" by its opponents, as in "the world might as well have been created last tuesday."



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