It’s getting so a guy hates to admit he believes in creation.
Not because the position is untenable. On the contrary, it’s very easy to ten.
It's because when I identify myself, people assign to me all sorts of baggage that the fundamentalists believe…..but that Jehovah’s Witnesses sensibly reject. The seven literal days of creation, for example. The Bible does not insist on literal days. Days can be unspecific, just as a geezer will speak of events back “in his day.”
That’s why I was happy with the September 2006 Awake! special issue, special because the entire was devoted to the one subject.
Jehovah’s Witnesses do believe in creation, the magazine points out on its first page. But they are not creationists. That term belongs to the fundamentalists and it implies ideas which we do not hold.
Literal rendering of the 7 days, for instance, when science has produced solid evidence that millions, even billions, of years may be involved. Creationists also bring with them a slew of doctrines, such as hellfire (which, they insist, will be your lot if you don't come around to their viewpoint), that are not taught in the Bible. And they are usually to be found twisting arms of judges, politicians, and educators…trying to get them to adopt measures to force others to believe as they do.
Our only unbendable condition is that humans appeared about 6000 years ago. Other life forms may be considerably older - earth itself, gazillions, or whatever scientists say. We have no issue with that. The figurative use of "days" allows for it.
The 6K years stems from the Bible's internal chronology, which starts with Adam. Who begat whom, and who lived how long, and a few instances of so many years from this event to that one. It is complicated enough that many have made errors in calculation. Isaac Newton calculated 2060 to be the last year! Someday I will research how he figured that. Does anyone know? Post a comment if you do.
The Genesis account puts creation of the animals before Adam, thus before the chronology just referred to. Animal creation takes place within the context of the creative "days," time periods of indeterminate length. That is why Jehovah's Witnesses have no issue with any claims about how old animal fossils are. They may be correct, they may be incorrect....but it doesn't conflict either way with the Bible's record.
As for creation of the earth itself, that occurs even before the creative days. Gen 1:1 states "in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." After that statement, not before, the account tells of the creative days. So when it comes to age of the earth and universe, we have no conflict. Let em say millions, billions, trillions, gazillions. Maybe. It's outside of our realm.