Chapter 2- eden questioned: h istor ical perspect ives. Europeans invoked the bible as the ultimate source of knowledge, even concerning. Based on an interpretation of the bible, it was commonly believed, in the past that specific questions of earth history. the earth was less than 6000 years old. was by archbishop james ussher (1581-1656). Best-known attempt to determine the precise age of the earth based on the bible. Determined that the world was created in the year 4004 b. c; more precisely upon the entrance of the night preceding the 23rd day of october . Some europeans & americans of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries began to seek enlightenment about the world around them from a source other than the bible though still believing in god that is from nature itself. Called themselves natural scientists or natural philosophers and began exploration of various natural sources of info about the earth and the heavens.