Radiogenic isotope dating

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The story of this great change in the conception of the history of Earth is not a simple one.The chronicle of this great change can be broken into five periods; ran from AD 1600-1700.Ussher accepted the Biblical account at face value, relying on the Biblical genealogies and on extant historical records.He implicitly assumed that the world was created much as it is now.The rise of science produced a major change in attitude.

Attempts to calculate the age of the Earth from physical considerations yielded estimates that ranged from 75,000 years (Buffon, 1774) to several billion years (de Maillet, Buffon).

In this period a number of comprehensive cosmogonies were proposed.

These were long on armchair speculation and short on substantive supporting evidence.

The great debate was won by the uniformitarians, so much so that the degree of gradualism was overstated and the importance of catastrophes was unduly minimized.

The modern period has been marked by an enormous expansion of the detailed knowledge of the geological history of the Earth and the processes that have acted during that history.

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