Mon 8 Oct, 2012 10:55 am
An October Anniversary For Our Universe- And A 9000-Year-Old Earth
October 7, 2012
by Barbara J. King - NPR
A big anniversary is coming in a little over two weeks, marking the creation of the world— at least as according to James Ussher.
Ussher, a 17th-century Irish bishop and scholar, used the Bible to pinpoint the first day of the world's creation as October 23, 4004 BC. His method is explained here.
If Ussher were alive today, then, he'd be readying to celebrate the world's 6016th birthday. [CORRECTION, 8:30am Monday, October 8: Commenters here at 13.7 kindly pointed out that the accurate number is 6015, because BC 1 was directly followed by AD 1 with no intervening "zero year". Thank you!]
Of course, science tells us that Ussher's calculation was significantly off. The universe is 13.7 billion years old, and our own Earth is 4.5 billion years old.
But not everyone in 2012 has gotten the scientific message. This weekend many media outlets, including NPR, reported a modern perspective pretty close to that of Ussher's. Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia revealed his belief recently that the Earth is only 9000 years old.
Broun sits on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, a fact that makes his anti-science stance a matter of national importance. And an outrage, too.
Ah, but if he was 17th century Irish, he was probably still using the Julian calendar year, without the Gregorian corrections which the UK didn't adopt until a century later, which means by now his calculations are probably at least 12 maybe even 13 days off, and all those Young Earth Creationists are celebrating the earth's birthday almost two weeks wrong. HEATHEN IDOLATORS THE LOT OF THEM, THEY'LLALL BURN IN HELL FOR THAT.
Broun's a primo example of why church and state should be separate.
I was an agnostic when I was 25 and became an atheist since age 30 when I gave up and getting nervous about "state". I may restore my hope if Obama wins his second presidency.