A Natural History of Time by Pascal Richet

By Pascal Richet

For many of background, humans relied on mythology or faith to supply a solution to the urgent query of the earth's age, even if nature abounds with clues. In "A ordinary historical past of Time", geophysicist Pascal Richet tells the attention-grabbing tale of the way scientists and philosophers tested these clues and from them outfitted a chronological scale that has made it attainable to reconstruct the historical past of nature itself. the search for time is a narrative of ingenuity and backbone, and prefer a geologist, Pascal Richet rigorously peels again the strata of that background, giving us an opportunity to surprise at every one layer and really get pleasure from how a long way our wisdom - and our planet - have come.

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Thus, during this period of a few millennia, the divine nature of the revelation as delivered in the Scriptures provided for absolute faith. –232), one of the first Christian scholars, recognized that if the origin of the world could be determined, then the correctness of the Old Testament prophecies, which was constantly being confirmed, ought equally well to permit the prediction of the end of time. In his Chronicles, of which only fragments survive, Julius examined the biblical and pagan chronologies within the perspective of millenarianism, basing his reasoning not on the period of one millennium, as given by the Apocalypse for the time separating the Crucifixion from the Last Judgment, but upon a total duration of 6,000 years, deduced from a reading of the book of Daniel.

235) reported that the sixth-century BC philosopher Xenophanes of Colophon had observed shark teeth, fish remains, and shells in the soil of Sicily at the end of the sixth century. Xenophanes, who had professed that “nothing comes from nothing” and that “nothing can change,” nevertheless boldly concluded that the sea had previously covered not only Sicily, but also all of the continents. A hundred years later, Herodotus was not surprised to discover shells in the mountains, long before the capital importance of this observation had been recognized.

This idea was condemned, just as the idea of cyclical time linked to successive creations was. Few were as penetrating in attempting to put an end to such disorder as Saint Augustine (354–430), the most eminent of the church fathers. Born to a pagan father, who was a Roman civil servant in Numidia (currently Algeria), and a fervent Christian mother, Saint Monica, Augustine led a life of erring ways for a long time. He passed his youth in Carthage, where “the effervescence of shameful amorous liaisons spluttered like boiling oil,” after which time he entered upon the assiduous practice of Manichaeanism.

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