As Skepchick’s (sometimes) resident geologist, I just wanted to wish Earth a happy fake birthday!
According to the most famous of the biblical chronologies, the Ussher Chronology, the Earth was created by God on the evening of October 23rd, 4004 BC. So, that means that today is Earth’s birthday!
Of course, it is a fake birthday since the Earth is really 4.5 BILLION years old and was formed over millions of years, not in a single day. But it is sort of fun to have a day to celebrate the Earth and its age, which is an extraordinary BILLIONS OF YEARS, not a mere 6,013…
One of the biggest challenges of being a geologist is thinking on such long, grand, geologic timescales. Geologists often talk about “young” rocks that are a million years old. A rock that is only 6,000 years old is considered very young indeed… geologists would call such a rock a “recent” or “modern” deposit.
Still, as a human I operate on human timescales of decades, years, and days. So, it is nice to have a day to appreciate the Earth, even if it is biblical bullsh*t.
Happy Earth day, everyone!