Ever since the end of the Middle Ages (which coincides with the beginning of the Protestant Reformation in the early 16th century), some Christians have had problems accepting the teachings of science.The origins of modern scientific thought go back to the Renaissance, when people rediscovered the teachings, art, and thought of the ancient Greeks and, of equal importance, began to see the importance of thinking for themselves, outside the restrictions of external authority structures.He was familiar with the work of Copernicus, and his own studies confirmed the heliocentric (sun-centered) view of the solar system.
Then the paleontologists use the geologists' dates as evidence for the age of the fossils! The relative order of the strata was first determined by the principles of stratification. Beagle, a very strong Bible believer, made it a point to have a copy of Lyell's book for the ship's library.
(The principle of superposition was recognized as early as 1669 by Steno.) Reverend Benjamin Richardson and Reverend Joseph Townsend were a couple of early geologists involved in this work. Obviously, even Lyell was not pushing evolution at the time.
The isotope potassium-40 (k-40) decays into a fixed ratio of calcium and argon (88.8 percent calcium, 11.2 percent argon).
Since argon is a noble gas, it would have escaped the rock-formation process, and therefore any argon in a rock sample should have been formed as a result of k-40 decay.
Free 5-day trial Radiometric dating is used to estimate the age of rocks and other objects based on the fixed decay rate of radioactive isotopes.
Learn about half-life and how it is used in different dating methods, such as uranium-lead dating and radiocarbon dating, in this video lesson. As we age, our hair turns gray, our skin wrinkles and our gait slows.
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The first major figure whose scientific views conflicted with the official position of the church was Nicolaus Copernicus, who published an anonymous work claiming that the sun, not the earth, was the center of the solar system.
(The traditional, earth-centered view was associated with a second-century Egyptian natural philosopher named Ptolemy.) Copernicus died (1543) before his work was widely enough known, or widely enough associated with him, to cause him personal problems.
As shown in the diagram above, the radioactive isotope carbon-14 originates in the Earth's atmosphere, is distributed among the living organisms on the surface, and ceases to replenish itself within an organism after that organism is dead.