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Omphalism is a school of thought (titled after the Philip Henry Gosse work Omphalos) which holds that the entire universe was created with the appearance of age, and thus no date of creation for the Universe can be definitively proven.

Examples of Omphalism:

  • The belief that our memories, experiences, and physical appearances were "implanted" into us at our creation, possibly at a time during what we imagine to be our own lifetimes.
  • That nature shows signs of growth, renewal and damage which were posited into being, rather than occurring "naturally". These include trees (growth rings, fire scares), mountains (upheaval, erosion), and animals (offspring or supposed "evolution").
  • That starlight was "already" moving towards Earth when God created it, thus disallowing accurate gauging of the Universe's age.

Reception among philosophers

Omphalism has been declaimed by many creationists, as it appears to accuse God of deceit. The movement has been mocked by both creationists and evolutionist atheists as "Last Thursdayism", with the claim that the entire Universe, with all the appearances of age and function, could very well have been created at some point in the past (such as "Last Thursday").

Omphalism occupies a strange place in theology, as, while supporting the notion of God as an omnipotent being, who has provided us with all the signs of a growing, changing word to give our lives context and function (in addition to instilling many humans with the love and faith of Christ), it does in fact appear to accuse God of deceit, since these emotions and sentiments can be said to be "programmed" into humans ex nihilo. It can thus be described as heretical.