MadSci Network: Earth Sciences

Re: Age Earth was thought to be

Date: Fri Mar 23 13:00:57 2001
Posted By: David Smith, Faculty Geology, Environmental Science
Area of science: Earth Sciences
ID: 984619689.Es

Some of the more famous calculations include:

Archbihop Usher:  Used the Bible to calculate an age of ~6000 years.  He 
went so far as to specify time and date in the year 4004 BCE (before the 
common era - equivalent to BC, but without the direct reference to Christ). 

Hutton: An early uniformitarian saw "no vesitge of a beginning, no prospect 
of an end" - in other words, the earth had always been and would continue 
onward with the same processes.  For a really wonderful account of Hutton's 
views of geologic time, read "Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle" by Steven Jay 

Lord Kelvin: Used cooling rate to establish an age of ~100 million years, 
later revised that down, but he didn't know about heating because of 
radioactive decay.

A very nice history of views on the age of the earth can be found at the 
talk origins FAQ:

Other pages on have information about radioactive dating 
and the history of that technique.  There are also explanation of the 
problems with commonly misused techniques (commonly cited by young-earth 
creationists in spite of abundant and extensive refutations) for dating the 

David Smith
Geology and Environmental Science
La Salle University, Philadelphia, PA

Current Queue | Current Queue for Earth Sciences | Earth Sciences archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Earth Sciences.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-2001. All rights reserved.