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Estimates of the age of the Earth --
when it was created by God or
coalesced out of stellar matter

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Various estimates of the age of the Earth and the rest of the universe:

bulletInfinity: Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, believed that the Earth has always existed. 1
bulletUnder 23 billion years: Chinese scientists once believed that the earth is repeatedly created, exists and is destroyed over a 23 billion year cycle. So, the current age of the Earth is some fraction of 23 billion years. 1
bullet1.9 billion years: Hindu scriptures suggest a cyclical universe in which a "big bang" is eventually followed by a "big crunch" some 4.32 billion years later. In this system, we are 1.97 billion years from our universe's big bang and have some 2.35 billion years to go before our Kalpa (eternal day) ends in a big crunch. 2
bullet4.5 billion years:
bulletMost estimates of the Earth's age, based on actual measurements and calculations, are clustered around 4.5 billion years. Scientists further believe that the earth's crust solidified about 3.9 billion years ago. Part of the universe itself are much older, dating back to the big bang, some 15 billion years ago. Such estimates are accepted by essentially all geologists, biologists and other earth and life scientists.
bullet"Old-Earth creationists" are typically Christians who harmonize the multi-billion year age of the earth computed by scientists, with the seven-day account specified in one of the Bible's creation stories. Most do this by noting that the Hebrew word "yom" (day) can represent a 12 hour interval, a 24 hour interval, or a long age. They interpret "yom" near the start of Genesis to mean a very long time interval of many hundreds of millions of years. Most accept the 4.5 billion year estimate of the Earth's age which is currently advocated by most scientists. Others believe that there was a long period of many billions of years between the first 24 hour day of creation and the second.
bulletOver 3 billion years: Author Herman Cummings estimates the age of the earth at over 3 billion years. He believes that "there is no biblical data written that we can use to determine Earth's age." 3 He bases this age on the findings of geologists. He computes that the rest of the universe was created some three days earlier. 4
bullet20 to 400 million years: William Thompson of Glasgow, Scotland, published this estimate in 1862. He assumed that the earth had cooled from a molten state to its present temperature. This was, of course, long before scientists knew of the existence of radioactivity. His calculations were in serious error as a result. 1
bullet90 million: In 1889, John Joly of the University of Dublin estimated this value, based on the time taken for the concentration of salt in the ocean to have built up to its present time. 1
bullet75,000 years: Mikhail Lomonosov, the founder of Russian science, in the mid-18th century, computed the age of the Earth at about 75,000 years. He based this on the rate of cooling of a small globe that resembled the earth in its composition. 1 His estimate was massively in error, for the same reason as was Thompson's.
bulletUp to 58000 BCE: Dr. Hugh Ross and Kathy Ross of Reasons to Believe are  old-earth creationists. They estimate that Adam and Eve were created from six to sixty thousand years ago. They also estimate the date of creation of the universe on the order of ten billion years ago. 5
bullet11013 BCE: Harold Camping of Family Radio computed that God created  humanity during this year. The remaining five days of creation would have probably occurred during the same year. This number conflicts by over 2,000 years with the estimates of almost all young-earth creation scientists; they believe the world is less than 10,000 years old. He also believes that the great flood happened on 4990-4989 BCE, and that the Exodus happened on 1447 BCE. His other main prediction, that the end of the world would happen in 1994 CE, did not materialize. 6,7
bullet8000 BCE: As noted above, most creation scientists believe that the earth is less than 10,000 years old. This would put the earliest possible date of creation at about 8000 BCE.
bullet6984 BCE: Estimated by Alfonso X in Spain during the 1200s. 8
bullet6984 BCE: A second estimate by Alfonso X. 8
bullet6204 BCE: An estimate from India according to Gentil, a 18th century French astronomer. 8
bullet6174 BCE: A second estimate from India, based on Arab records. 8
bullet6158 BCE: A Babylonian date, according to John Silvain, an 18th century French astronomer. 8
bullet6157 BCE: A Chinese date reported by Bailly. 8
bullet6138 BCE: A date computed by diogenes Laertius, a 3rd century CE Greek philosopher. 8
bullet6081 BCE: An Egyptian date reported by Bailly. 8
bullet6000 BCE: Early church commentators (Clement of Alexander, Origen, Eusebius, Lactantius, Theophilus, etc.) believed that since Adam was created on the 6th day after creation, that Jesus would come into the world in its 6,000th year. 9
bullet5586 BCE: This date appeared in the Septuagint (LXX), a Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) produced in Egypt in the 3rd century BCE. 8
bullet5555 BCE: A data produced by Josephus, a Jew from the 1st century CE. 8
bullet5508 BCE: The year of creation adopted in the 7th century CE in "Constantinople and used by the Eastern Orthodox church until the 18th century CE." 10
bullet5507 BCE: A Persian date reported by Bailly. 8
bullet5500 BCE: An Abyssinian date from the Chronicle of Axum. Reported by Bruce in the 1700s. 8
bullet5493 BCE: This is the date used by the Ethiopian Church. 11
bullet5490 BCE: The date of the year of creation used by the Syrian Christians. 10
bullet5481 BCE: A second date estimated by Josephus in the 1st century CE. 8
bullet5369 BCE: An Indian date reported by Megasthenes, a Greek historian (circa 340 to 282 BCE). 8
bullet5311 BCE: Dr. William Hales (1778 - 1821), author of "New System of Chronology" based his estimates on Egyptian records. He said that the flood of Noah occurred in 3155 BCE. 12
bullet5200 BCE: This approximate date was used by the Anglo-Saxons and the early Britons. 13
bullet5199 BCE: This date was mentioned in the Roman Martyrology, which  was published by the authority of Pope Gregory XIII in 1580. It was later confirmed in 1640 CE under Pope Urban VIII
bullet4713-JAN-1 BCE: A French classical scholar, Joseph Scaliger (1540-1609), estimated this date in his book De emendatione temporum [on the correction of chronology] He based it on the convergence of the 28 year Solar Cycle, the 19 year Metonic Cycle and the 15 year Roman Indiction cycle -- three ancient methods of measuring time. 14
bullet4456 BCE: Still another estimate is based upon both the Biblical account and modern archaeology. 20 This uses the date of 2800 BCE for a massive flood which covered the plain between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. All of the towns in the area were buried under thick layers of mud. If we assume that this is the Noachian flood which is recorded in the Bible as occurring when Noah was 600 years old, then the earlier date can be calculated. 15
bullet4305 BCE: Dean Coombs estimates on his "Bible Numbers: The Pattern of Prophecy" web site that the date of creation must be on or after the autumn of 4305 BCE. 16
bullet4245 BCE: This is an additional creation date listed by Dean Coombs. 17
bullet4175 BCE: Bert Thompson estimates the date of creation at approximately 4175 BCE. He worked backwards from 853 to 852 BCE, the date of the death of Ahab, obtained by "Combining information from the Assyrian Eponym Lists and the Black Obelisk...." He computes the date of the great flood at about 2519 BCE.  18
bullet4122 BCE: The Baha'i Faith dates Adam and the Garden of Eden to 4122 BCE.
bullet4115 BCE: This is an additional creation date listed by Dean Coombs. 17
bullet4090 BCE: This is an additional creation date listed by Dean Coombs. 17
bullet4046 BCE: The Reformation Online web site is dedicated to attacking the Roman Catholic church. They calculate 4046 BCE as the year of creation, based on the ages of the patriarchs at their death. 15
bullet4030 BCE: This is an additional creation date listed by Dean Coombs. 17
bullet4026 BCE: The Jehovah's Witnesses estimates that Adam was created at this time 16
bullet4004 BCE: Dr. John Lightfoot a 17th century Anglican clergyman estimated :creation at 4004-OCT-23 BCE, at 9 AM. Bishop James Ussher in the 17th century estimated 4004 BCE a decade later than Lightfoot, and got all the credit.
bullet4002 BCE: Augustin Calmet (1672-1757) corrected some of the errors in Ussher. He computed 2344 BCE as the year of the flood of Noah. 4
bullet3993 BCE: Estimated by the astronomer Kepler, (1571 - 1630). 8
bullet3984 BCE: Estimated by Petavius, a Frenchman, (1583 - 1652). 8
bullet3963 BCE: Melanchthon computed this date at the time of the Reformation.
bullet3961 BCE: Estimated by the theologian Martin Luther in the 16th century. 8
bullet3960 BCE: This is an additional creation date listed by Dean Coombs. 17
bullet3952 BCE: Venerable Bede (circa 672 to 735), an English monk. 19
bullet3950 BCE: Julius Caesar Scalinger (1484 - 1558), a humanist scholar from Verona, Italy. 19
bullet3900 BCE: Dean Coombs estimates that the date of creation must be on or before this date. 20
bullet3761 BCE: Ancient Jewish scholars placed creation at this date; this became the basis of the Jewish Calendar.
bullet3641-FEB-10: This is the date of creation used by the Mayans.
bullet3616 BCE: Estimated by the Jewish Rabbi Lipman (1579 - 1654). 8

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Related essay on this web site:

bulletWhat the Bible says about creation

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References:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Age of the Earth," Wikipedia, at: http://en.wikipedia.org/
  2. "Spiritualism, modern science and ancient history," at: http://www.geocities.com/
  3. Personal Email from Herman Cummings; cited by permission, 2002-NOV-16.
  4. Herman Cummings, "First chapter of 'Moses didn't write about creation,' " at: http://hometown.aol.com/ 
  5. Dr. Hugh Ross & Kathy Ross, "The real issue: The creation date controversy," Reasons to Believe, at: http://www.origins.org/  (No longer online)
  6. Harold Camping, "1994?," Vantage Press, Page 295. Cited in "Harold Camping," Bible And Science, at: http://bibleandscience.com/
  7. Harold Camping, "The biblical calendar of history," Family Stations, Ind., at: http://www.familyradio.com/
  8. "Young’s Analytical Concordance of the Holy Bible, 8th Edition," "Creation" entry, (1939). Cited in Don Batten, "Which is the recent aberration? Old-Earth or Young-Earth Belief?," Creation, Vol. 24, #1, Pages 24 to 27. See: http://www.answersingenesis.org
  9. R.L. Wysong, "The Creation-Evolution Controversy," (1976), Inquiry Press, Page 144. Quoted in Ref. 3,
  10. K.C Davis, "Don't Know Much About the Bible," Eagle Brook, New York, NY, (1998) Page 93.
  11. The Rev. D.G. Eadie, "The Ethiopian Orthodox Church," at: http://www.redlandsfortnightly.com/ [No longer online]
  12. A.D. White, "A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom," Prometheus Books, Buffalo NY, (reprinted 1993), Volume I, Pages 249 to 265.
  13. "Ancient Chronologies and the Age of the Earth," at: http://www.ldolphin.org/
  14. "Does Genesis tell us how old the world is?," Plain Truth Ministries, at: http://www.ptm.org/
  15. Charles Pellegrino, "Return to Sodom and Gomorrah", Avon, New York, NY (1994)
  16. Anon, "The Bible's Viewpoint: How Significant is the Year 2000?," Awake magazine, 1998-MAY-8, Page 20.
  17. Dean Coombs, "Bible Chronology, Numeric patterns at the creation," at: http://www.netrover.com/~numbers/
  18. "It's a Jungle Over There," The Reformation Online, at: http://www.reformation.org/
  19. "Ussher-Lightfoot Calendar," Wikipedia, at: http://en.wikipedia.org/
  20. Dean Coombs, "Bible Chronology, Part 'C'," at: http://www.netrover.com/

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Latest update: 2005-AUG-28
Author: B.A. Robinson

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