The Age of the Earth

G. D. Osborne


lt would be difficult to think of an aspect of the development and history of the earth more fascinating than that of its age. Throughout the later history of man there have always been inquirers who have attempted to wrest from the earth the secret of her age. Many of the ancients wrote on this subject and, naturally enough, their views were intimately bound up with their ideas as to the mode of origin of the planet itself. The age of the earth was often regarded as more or less the same as that of mankind. Religious beliefs and theological dogma had a great influence upon the minds of many regarding the beginnings and subsequent history of the earth, and the pronouncement by Archbishop Ussher to the effect that the creation took place in the year 4004 B.c. exercised great sway for a long time. It was not until towards the close of the eighteenth century that anything approaching scientific thought and method was brought into play upon this and other allied subjects. 

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