Book dating game
Lewis clearly shows that the quest for the age of the earth is not objective science but a subjective, arbitrary and erratic pursuit. Some reviewers must have urged her to use a different title, but what could be more fitting than My dictionary defines ‘game’ as ‘a contest for amusement in the form of a trial of chance, skill or endurance according to a set of rules’.She vividly paints the characters of the players in the ‘dating game’, and tracks the progress of the score for a hundred years.Heat generated by the radioactive decay of elements within the earth was quickly invoked to explain cooling of the earth over long ages.
So the dating game was set for a fascinating turn when Holmes began his career.
The dynamics changed dramatically when (Antoine-) Henri Becquerel (1852–1908) discovered radioactivity in 1896.
Painfully and doubtfully he [Darwin] wrote to Wallace in 1871, “I have not as yet been able to digest the fundamental notion of the shortened age of the sun and earth.”’ Christians often regard Kelvin as a great creationist apologist because of his opposition to evolution.
They credit him with keeping Darwin at bay for 40 years.
Clearly, he was simply defending his belief in long-ages as a matter of faith, without any observational basis whatever. 20 Ma was nowhere near enough time for evolution to occur. Loren Eiseley writes: ‘It can be observed from Darwin’s letters that this development in physics gravely troubled him.
The evolutionary biologists such as Charles Darwin and T. Darwin was particularly dissatisfied, describing Kelvin as his ‘sorest trouble’ (p. He refers to Lord Kelvin as an “odious spectre”, and in a letter [of 1869] …To the uninitiated, a history like hers is one of the best ways to understand a subject.In a game, the score is determined, not by impersonal scientific measurement, but by the strength, skill and creativity of the players.Empirical evidence still favours the view that the earth is much younger than presently believed.Most importantly, radioactivity allowed age calculations to be applied to individual rocks and minerals, and this is where Holmes became famous. Apart from the ‘flaw’, Lewis reveals that in those early days they did not know there were two different uranium decay chains or different isotopes of uranium and lead.For forty years Lord Kelvin had completely demolished all opposition.