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Monday, October 23, 2006

The Big Bang Creation

Today's the day. The day the earth was created. That's right, 6010 years ago today was the first day of the earth's existence. At least according to Bishop Ussher's Annales veteris testamenti (1650), his universal chronology that set the date of creation as 23 October 4004 BC (well, really the night before that date, but close enough, and I'm not sure how much our understanding of "time" obtained before that day).

According to Wikipedia at least (haven't checked it out myself), "Ussher's work is still referenced by Young Earth Creationists (who believe that the Earth is approximately 6,000 years old)." As Wikipedia astutely (no joke) points out, however, in his own day Ussher's calculation was not the sort of willful, anti-intellectual ignorance that most of today's creationists proudly display. Instead, it was a determinedly scholarly piece of historicist analysis, rooting the Bible firmly in historical time and reconciling its chronology with those of non-Christian civilizations.

  • At 10/23/2006 12:27:00 PM, Blogger Simplicius wrote…

    Very cool.

    But was he using the Gregorian calendar rather than our modern Julian one? If so, would the date be about thirteen days from now (ten day difference in 17th century plus an extra day for 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, but NOT one for 21st century)? In other words his October 23rd would be our November 5th?

    I know, I know, we don't really care about this transition any more, which is why we don't celebrate Guy Fawkes Day on November 18th. Just thought I'd get all pedantic for no good reason.


  • At 10/23/2006 12:59:00 PM, Blogger Hieronimo wrote…

    Just thought I'd get all pedantic for no good reason.

    Mission accomplished, sir.


  • At 10/23/2006 01:31:00 PM, Blogger Simplicius wrote…

    I know, ever since I wrote that post back in April on the birthdays of Shakespeare and Nabokov, I can't look at early modern dates in the same way. The result is pointless pedanticisms, which aren't even really right at the end of the day.


 Scribble some marginalia

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