Difference between revisions of "Age of the Earth"

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(Increasing ages)
(Increasing ages: Using circular logic -- assuming that decay rates somehow remained constant despite necessarily changing physical characteristics as time approached the origin --)
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By about 1930, J. H. Jeans was arguing for an age of the Earth of around 2,000 million years.<ref>Universal History of the World, p.76.</ref>
 
By about 1930, J. H. Jeans was arguing for an age of the Earth of around 2,000 million years.<ref>Universal History of the World, p.76.</ref>
  
The currently-proposed age is 4.5 billion years, based in part on rocks dated by [[Potassium-argon dating|Potassium-argon (K:Ar) dating]] and other radiometric methods.<ref>Peck, 2000, p.376.</ref>
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Using circular logic -- assuming that decay rates somehow remained constant despite necessarily changing physical characteristics as time approached the origin -- some insist that the Earth is 4.5 billion years based on an implausible assumption of constancy in [[Potassium-argon dating|Potassium-argon (K:Ar) decay rates]] and other radiometric methods.<ref>Peck, 2000, p.376.</ref>
  
 
== Bibliography ==
 
== Bibliography ==

Revision as of 23:01, 22 May 2011

The Age of the Earth has been a matter of interest to humans for millennia, and today still causes debate, particularly between young-Earth creationists who hold to a date of 6,000 years or so, and uniformitarians who hold to a date of about 4,500 million years.

Increasing ages

Landscape.jpg

Early Jews and even some "heathens" believed the total age of the Earth to be around 6,000 years.[1]

Similarly, people such as St. Barnabas and St. Irenæus held the Earth to be 6,000 years old.[2]

In 1830, Dr. Hales published a list of 120 historical authorities from various cultures who had decided on a date of creation. These ranged from 6984 B.C. to 3616 B.C.[3]

Included in Hales' list is James Ussher, who calculated the famous date of 4004 B.C. for creation. Young-Earth creationists still consider this date to be close to the actual date.

In 1778 George-Louis Lecrerc, Count of Buffon, proposed that the Earth was about 74,832 years old.[4] James Hutton, whilst not proposing a date, dismissed the Biblical account and claimed in 1785 that there was not evidence of a beginning at all.[4] Charles Lyell supported Hutton's idea in 1830, in Principles of Geology.[4]

In 1854 Hermann von Helmholtz estimated an age of between 20 and 40 million years.[4] Around the same time Lord Kelvin put his mind to deriving an age, and came up with a range between 20 million years and 400 million years. He later refined that down to between 20 million and 40 million years.[4] More recent discoveries of radioactivity and mantle convection explain why the assumptions Helmholtz and Kelvin made resulted in dates that are much lower than current uniformitarian estimates.

The 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica discussed dates up to 500 million years.[5]

By about 1930, J. H. Jeans was arguing for an age of the Earth of around 2,000 million years.[6]

Using circular logic -- assuming that decay rates somehow remained constant despite necessarily changing physical characteristics as time approached the origin -- some insist that the Earth is 4.5 billion years based on an implausible assumption of constancy in Potassium-argon (K:Ar) decay rates and other radiometric methods.[7]

Bibliography

External Links

Notes

  1. Burnet, p. 258.
  2. Burnet, p. 259.
  3. Batten 2002 quotes from "Young’s Analytical Concordance of the Holy Bible", 1879 8th Edition, 1939, which relates this, and reproduces the selection of the dates from Young.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 INGV
  5. Encyclopædia Britannica, pp 650-651.
  6. Universal History of the World, p.76.
  7. Peck, 2000, p.376.