Author Topic: How Science Figured Out the Age of Earth  (Read 121 times)

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How Science Figured Out the Age of Earth
« on: January 21, 2019, 11:53:41 AM »
How Science Figured Out the Age of Earth

For centuries scholars sought to determine Earth’s age, but the answer had to wait for careful geologic observation, isotopic analyses of the elements and an understanding of radioactive decay

    By Paul S. Braterman on October 20, 2013


Editor’s note: The following is the introduction to a special e-publication called Determining the Age of the Earth (click the link to see a table of contents). Published earlier this year, the collection draws articles from the archives of Scientific American. In the collection, this introduction appears with the title, “Stumbling Toward an Understanding of Geologic Timescales.”

Aristotle thought the earth had existed eternally. Roman poet Lucretius, intellectual heir to the Greek atomists, believed its formation must have been relatively recent, given that there were no records going back beyond the Trojan War. The Talmudic rabbis, Martin Luther and others used the biblical account to extrapolate back from known history and came up with rather similar estimates for when the earth came into being. The most famous came in 1654, when Archbishop James Ussher of Ireland offered the date of 4004 B.C.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-science-figured-out-the-age-of-the-earth/
“A society does not ever die ‘from natural causes’, but always dies from suicide or murder – and nearly always from the former….”
    ― Arnold Joseph Toynbee’s A Study of History.


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