Religious Chronologics

Although "religon" and "science" are typically considered opposing and unrelated pursuits of knowledge by modern scientists, the distinctions between the two were less clear in 18th century Europe. The more flexible boundaries among different branches of knowledge led to interesting intersections that manifested in several ways. The earliest chronologies and absolute (albeit wholly inaccurate) ages of the Earth were derived by religious scholars. Few savants considered an age of a few millennia as accurate for the true longevity of the Earth, but these estimates provided a marker against which to examine natural evidence. More consequentially, a religious or theological context stimulated debates about whether the Earth represented a deistic eternal state of dynamic equilibrium, that is, ahistorical, or was finite, directional, and contingent; that is, historical.

Works Included