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02-Apr-2020 05:03

The physical models were open to question and, in retrospect, were naive. It became quite clear that many areas of the Earth had alternated between being land and being covered by seas, that there had been extensive slow sedimentation, that the mountains had not been created in situ as is but rather had a long history of slow deformation, and that long periods of erosion had shaped the Earth everywhere.

By the early 1800's it was generally accepted that the Earth had a long history. The uniformatarians (Hutton 1788, Lyell 1830) pictured the Earth as being indefinitely old.

The account in Genesis is replete with miracles that do not stand up under rational analysis.

This did not matter; the theological perspective did not require physical rationalization.

It was not ruled out, per se, but it was not necessary. In the new science, however, rational explanation was desirable. In 1640 Ussher produced his famous calculation that the Earth was created in 4004 BC.

There was no single estimate of the Earth's age in the mid 1800's and no good way to arrive at one.

The rise of science produced a major change in attitude.

In the pre-scientific world view the issue of the age of the Earth was a theological question.

Many authors choose to present the history of a complex subject by breaking it up into major threads and following the history of each thread separately.

I have chosen instead to provide a chronology of significant works and their authors with a view to providing a sense of how perspectives on Geology changed over time.Hutton and Lyell, who held that the history of Earth was dominated by slow relatively uniform changes in an Earth with a static over all history.During the early part of this period there was a considerable amount of activity by runs from AD 1850 to the present.In the 1700's belief in a 6000 year old Earth crumbled.