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July 13, 2006

Great Moments in Religion: 1

Universe created on October 23, 4004 BCE. This is from A Geological Miscellany by G. Y. Craig and E. J. Jones:

James Ussher (1581-1656), Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland, and Vice-Chancellor of Trinity College in Dublin was highly regarded in his day as a churchman and as a scholar. Of his many works, his treatise on chronology has proved the most durable. Based on an intricate correlation of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean histories and Holy writ, it was incorporated into an authorized version of the Bible printed in 1701, and thus came to be regarded with almost as much unquestioning reverence as the Bible itself. Having established the first day of creation as Sunday 23 October 4004 BC..., Ussher calculated the dates of other biblical events, concluding, for example, that Adam and Eve were driven from Paradise on Monday 10 November 4004 BC [making their stay almost as short as some of my recent vacations], and that the ark touched down on Mt Ararat on 5 May 2348 BC `on a Wednesday'.

I should add that Ussher's chronology was widely accepted in England in 1859, when Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species was published.

Posted by Mitchell Stephens at July 13, 2006 11:50 PM


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