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There were various attempts to estimate the Earth's age, working back from sedimentation rates and other geophysical phenomena.

In the late 1800's physicists, armed with a more advanced physics than that available to Descartes, made new estimates of the age of the Earth and the Sun.If, in the year AD 1600, you had asked an educated European how old the planet Earth was and to recount its history he would have said that it was about 6000 years old and that its ancient history was given by the biblical account in Genesis.If you asked the same question of an educated European in AD 1900 you would have received a quite different answer.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.

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