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In this period a number of comprehensive cosmogonies were proposed.

There was no single estimate of the Earth's age in the mid 1800's and no good way to arrive at one.

The great debate was won by the uniformitarians, so much so that the degree of gradualism was overstated and the importance of catastrophes was unduly minimized.

The modern period has been marked by an enormous expansion of the detailed knowledge of the geological history of the Earth and the processes that have acted during that history.

If, in the year AD 1600, you had asked an educated European how old the planet Earth was and to recount its history he would have said that it was about 6000 years old and that its ancient history was given by the biblical account in Genesis.

If you asked the same question of an educated European in AD 1900 you would have received a quite different answer.