At 6pm tonight at the Geological Society of London, scientists will raise their glasses to James Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh … who in 1650 used the chronology of the Bible to calculate the precise date and moment of creation.
Working from the book of Genesis, and risking some speculation on the Hebrew calendar, he calculated that it began at 6pm on Saturday October 22, 4004 BC.
The geologists selected the anniversary for a day-long conference on some of the fakes, frauds and hoaxes that have plagued geological and palaeontological research for centuries. “It’s not that we think Archbishop Ussher’s date was a fraud,” said Ted Nield, the society’s communications officer. “It’s just that it was spectacularly wrong.” —Tim Radford —Universe’s 6,000th birthday (Guardian)