Happy Birthday Earth!


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Earth Created Oct, 22nd 4004 B.C.E.

I found this and thought it was laughable, but then read the rest of the post and had to agree with Stephen Jay Gould, it was a laudable effort for the time.

Wired said:
4004 B.C.: It’s the beginning of time, according to 17th century Irish bishop and theologian James Ussher — and not just any old moment on that fateful date, but “on the beginning of the night.”
Ussher’s calculations, published in the Annals of the Old Testament, Deduced From the First Origins of the World, strike most modern sensibilities as absurd. Except for a few Young Earth Creationists, believers and nonbelievers alike agree that if a supernatural entity created the universe, it happened about 13.75 billion years ago.
But Ussher was far from the first person to wildly miscalculate the universe’s age. Indeed, dating the universe was quite the scholarly fad. Among others to try their hand were Johannes Kepler and Isaac Newton, both of whom arrived at estimates younger than Ussher’s.
All labored without a number of modern tools — not only for measuring radioactive decay or rates of the universal expansion, but an intellectual framework for conceiving of time on scales beyond the biblical.
That wouldn’t exist for another century, when a Scottish farmer and geological enthusiast named James Hutton, looking at riverbank stone formations, saw a record of sedimentary deposition that couldn’t be contained in 6,000 years. Or many times that. That was a radical idea, and it took another century to be widely accepted, even in the scientific community.
Bearing that in mind, Ussher didn’t do such a terrible job. If anything, his estimate, derived in part by counting the number of generations in the Bible, was relatively reasonable. He also had the rigor to corroborate such events as the deaths of Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar with nonbiblical sources. Those dates have stood the test of time.
Even though Ussher’s name is usually spoken with derision, a few scholars still defend his efforts — including the late Stephen Jay Gould, one of the 20th century’s great paleontologists, science historians and atheists.
“I shall be defending Ussher’s chronology as an honorable effort for its time,” wrote Gould, “and arguing that our usual ridicule only records a lamentable small-mindedness based on mistaken use of present criteria to judge a distant and different past.”
Source: Various


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