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Charles Lyell (Uniformitarianist) versus James Ussher (Creationist)


Charles Lyell (1797-1875), a trained lawyer turned geologist and probably a deist, began publishing his three volume 'Principles of Geology', beginning in 1830. Building on James Hutton's uniformitarian ideas, Lyell insisted that the geological features of the earth, can and indeed must be explained by slow gradual processes of erosion, sedimentation, earthquakes and volcanism operating at essentially the same rate and power today. This "principle of uniformitarianism" as he called it, with its creed, "the present is the key to the past", soon became widely accepted as the foundational principle of the modern discipline called "historical geology".

Lyell and his uniformitarianism theory started the fossil/strata theory. It was devised when very little was known about strata (rock layers) and fossils. But geology and paleontology have been saddled with it ever since. Here are dates when various geological time scales were first developed : Paleozoic Era (570-225 million years ago)(developed 1838), Mesozoic Era (225-70 million years ago)(developed 1841), Cenozoic Era (70 million years to present)(Developed 1841).

The funniest and most ridiculous part of this is that radio-dating of rocks, which did not exist when the 19th century theories were devised, is forced to fit those 19th century strata dates!

Lyell's uniformitarianism theory was already predicted by Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continues as they were from the beginning of the creation" (2 Peter 3:3-4 )(KJV).

James Ussher (1581-1656), a professor of theology at Trinity college, Dublin, Ireland and archbishop of Armagh, in 1650 published 'Annals of the Ancient and New Testaments', in which he concluded through his study of Scripture alone that the biblical chronology suggested a specific creation date of 4004 B.C.

How did James Ussher arrive at the date of 4004 B.C. for Creation? The Scriptures themselves do not give a date for the beginning of Creation, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). Ussher used the Bible and took the chronologies in Genesis 5 and Genesis 11, together with other Biblical passages. His complete work of 1600 pages was a complete history of the world covering every major event from the beginning of time (Genesis 1:1) to 70 A.D. He did these calculations, very intelligently and studiously. He reviewed the history of the world, confident that the Scriptures are without error and able to give insights into history that cannot come from any other source.

Like James Ussher, we that are saved and received the Lord Jesus Christ by faith as Saviour must, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15)(KJV).

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