The Age of the Earthby G. Dalrymple
This is a definitive, masterly history and synthesis of all that has been said (by theologians and scientists) and is known (to science) about the question, How old is the Earth? It explains in a simple and straightforward way the evidence and logic that have led scientists to conclude that the Earth and the other parts of the Solar System are not several… See more details below
This is a definitive, masterly history and synthesis of all that has been said (by theologians and scientists) and is known (to science) about the question, How old is the Earth? It explains in a simple and straightforward way the evidence and logic that have led scientists to conclude that the Earth and the other parts of the Solar System are not several thousand years old, as some today would have it, but four and one-half billion years old.
It is a fascinating story, but not so simple as single measurement. Our universe is a large, old, and complicated place. Earth and other bodies have endured a long and sometimes violent history, the events of which have frequently obscured the record that we seek to decipher. Although in detail the journey into Earth's past requires considerable scientific skill, knowledge, and imagination, the story is not so complicated that it cannot be explained to someone who wants to know and understand the basic evidence. This book, then, has been written for people with some modest background in science, but at a level that will allow the material to be useful and accessible to those without a deep knowledge of geology or physics or mathematics.
"...Dalrymple authoritatively unfolds the evidence for an Earth that is billions of years old."Science & Theology News
"The magnificent book fills a need to present the overwhelming and totally convincing evidence that the Earth, the Moon, meteorites, and the solar system are old. . . . Dalrymple is one of the major scientists in the field, writing from firsthand knowledge and experience. His book is both authoritative and delightfully written. . . . This is an enormously important book written by an expert for the general scientific public. It is must reading for all interested in the antiquity of nature."
The Quarterly Review of Biology
"Dalrymple expertly weaves the many disparate and delicate lines of argument into a robust whole. His achievement is remarkable, a marvel surpassed only by the mute testimony of the rocks themselves."
- Stanford University Press
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Dalrymple makes the complex data of geochronology accessible to the layperson. Creationists do not want you to read this book, preferring to regurgitate their pathetically few examples of incidents where radiometric dating has been done wrong, thus yeilding a wrong result. But Dalrymple shows that accuracy is the norm, rather than the exception, when it comes to dating rock samples with radiometric isotopes. Highly recommended.
This is an excellent resource and summary of evidence for the age of the earth. Brent Dalrymple makes the point that he's not wedded to any particular age of the earth - if the evidence said it was a few thousand years old he'd happily present that evidence. For the most part the book is suitable for the layperson with an interest in science - there may be a chapter or two on the physics of the measurements that may be a bit of a struggle but even without those chapters it's a valuable book. Dalrymple provides pieces of the chronology jigsaw that neatly fit together to indicate that the earth is very old - missing isotopes, meteorite dating, the dating of the oldest rocks on earth. By the end of the book the weight of evidence presented is so great that an old earth proposition is incontrovertible. This book is an excellent riposte to the half-truths, deceptions and downright lies by the young earth brigade.
Dalrymple does an excellent job of presenting isotopic dating as factual. In particular, he would have us believe that dating results converge on 4.5 billion years. In doing so, he conveniently ignores large numbers of contradictory dates, and numerous other serious problems with isotopic dating. Dalrymple's work will prove convincing only to those who have not read the relevant geologic literature for themselves and/or who are already predisposed to believing that the earth is very old.