How old is Earth?

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embizze's profile pic

embizze | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The current scientific answer is that the Earth is 4.54 billion (`4.5"x"10^9 ` )  years old with a margin of error of .05 billion years. This dating relies on radiometric dating of meteorites, comet debris, lunar samples, and the oldest Earth rocks available.

The Earth has typically been thought to be younger, in some cases much younger. Young Earth creationists believe the Earth to be between 6000 and 10,000 years old based on a literal reading of the chronology of the Bible.

Scientific theories in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries had older dates for the creation of the Earth. These considered how long it would take a molten Earth to cool or how long it would take the sun to burn through its material. The scientists then did not have accurate models for the size and composition of the Earth. Most importantly they did not know about radiation (which is what is keeping the interior of the Earth warm) or fusion which is the energy source for the sun.

Geologists knew the Earth was old due to the long time it would take to create some of the features they studied including mountains of limestone and surface features created by erosion like the grand canyon. The theory of evolution also pointed to an older Earth.

With the discovery of radiation scientists could begin accurately dating the layers found in rock formations and the fossils preserved in them. Advances in astronomy also furnished additional evidence to the age of the solar system and the galaxy.

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stephenhawking13's profile pic

stephenhawking13 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

The current scientific answer is that the Earth is 4.54 billion ( )  years old with a margin of error of .05 billion years. This dating relies on radiometric dating of meteorites, comet debris, lunar samples, and the oldest Earth rocks available.

The Earth has typically been thought to be younger, in some cases much younger. Young Earth creationists believe the Earth to be between 6000 and 10,000 years old based on a literal reading of the chronology of the Bible.

Scientific theories in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries had older dates for the creation of the Earth. These considered how long it would take a molten Earth to cool or how long it would take the sun to burn through its material. The scientists then did not have accurate models for the size and composition of the Earth. Most importantly they did not know about radiation (which is what is keeping the interior of the Earth warm) or fusion which is the energy source for the sun.

Geologists knew the Earth was old due to the long time it would take to create some of the features they studied including mountains of limestone and surface features created by erosion like the grand canyon. The theory of evolution also pointed to an older Earth.

With the discovery of radiation scientists could begin accurately dating the layers found in rock formations and the fossils preserved in them. Advances in astronomy also furnished additional evidence to the age of the solar system and the galaxy.

piyumie's profile pic

Piyumi | Student, Grade 12 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

Earth is 4.54 billion years old and the life started 3.5 billion years back!

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