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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Anno Mundi?

Sunset, Saturday, 22 October 4004 BC (Julian Calendar).  Irish Archbishop James Ussher (1581-1656) pegs this date as the time of Creation.  Before Ussher's publication of his most notable work, The Annals of the World,   Cambridge scholar John Lightfoot speculated that the world was created on a Sunday, 12 September 3298, and that Adam was created on a Friday, 17 September 3298 at 9am.


A lot of writers, including the scriptwriters for the play Inherit the Wind (Larson 1998, 242), have mistakenly attributed the exact hour (9am)  of creation to Ussher when in fact he did not mention it in The Annals (see some of these published errors here).  This confusion of facts had been blamed on Andrew D. White who made the error in his book, A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom.



There have been over a hundred suggested Creation dates, five of which are mentioned by Martin Gorst (2001, 15,16):

♦ 6904 - Alfonso of Castile


♦ 5199 BC - Bede


♦ 4000 BC - Martin Luther


♦ 3992 BC - Johannes Kepler


♦ 3761- Western Jewish scholars


- Sources/Recommended booksLarson, Edward J. 1998. Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Monkey Trial and America's Continuing Debate over Science and Religion. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; Gorst, Martin. 2001. Measuring Eternity: The Search for the Beginning of Time. New York: Broadway Books; Giberson, Karl W. & Donald A. Yerxa. 2002. Species of Origin: America's Search for a Creation Story. Lanhan, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

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