What is radiometric dating method
The physical models were open to question and, in retrospect, were naive. It became quite clear that many areas of the Earth had alternated between being land and being covered by seas, that there had been extensive slow sedimentation, that the mountains had not been created in situ as is but rather had a long history of slow deformation, and that long periods of erosion had shaped the Earth everywhere.
By the early 1800's it was generally accepted that the Earth had a long history. The uniformatarians (Hutton 1788, Lyell 1830) pictured the Earth as being indefinitely old.
Descartes, however, attempted to discern a physical history of the Earth.
His account was plausible by the immature standards of the Science of his times; however it quite definitely did not match the Biblical account of a completed creation in six days.
In the 1700's belief in a 6000 year old Earth crumbled.
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).
The selections and comments here are not a complete exposition of the works of the authors mentioned; rather they were chosen to illustrate and exemplify changing perspectives over time.
In Europe the issue of the age of the Earth was not a serious one prior to the rise of science; the history of the Earth was assumed to be accounted for in Genesis.
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.
There were various attempts to estimate the Earth's age, working back from sedimentation rates and other geophysical phenomena.
The attempts produced estimates from about 100 million years up to several billion years. The first is that the geological history was still being reconstructed.
Notable observations included: ran from about 1780-1850.
By the end of the 18'th century it was clear that the Earth had a long and varied history. The major debate was between the catastrophists, e.g., Cuvier, who held that the history of Earth was dominated by major catastrophic revolutions and the uniformitarians, e.g.
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The story of this great change in the conception of the history of Earth is not a simple one.