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Chapter 2

Chapter 2 Notes

5 pages33 viewsSummer 2011

Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANTA01H3
Professor
R Song
Chapter
2

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Thiepana Uthayakumar
Chapter 2: Eden Questioned Historical Perspectives
-Europeans used the Bible as the ultimate source of knowledge, and also for specific
questions concerning early history
-according to the Bible, the earth was less than 6,000 years old
-Archbishop James Ussher determined that the world was created in the year 4004 B.C
through reference to biblical detail, astronomical cycles and historical records
-his calculation was accepted
-this date was printed in the margins of many English-language Bibles beginning in 1701
-Ussher was wrong howeverhis result derived from simple math and historical analysis
-some Europeans and Americans, believing in God, began to seek enlightenment about the
world around them using the Bible and from nature itself
-many of these thinkers and believers (God-fearing) believed that they were practicing a
different way of worshipping and venerating God by the study and glorification of his works
-in 1691, the natural scientist and theologian Reverend John Ray expressed the view of
many scientists in the title of his book; the proper role of science
-the conduct of scientific inquiry was to reveal The Wisdom of God Manifested in the Works
of the Creation
Uniformitarianism: The Contribution from Geology
-many natural scientists accepted Usshers claim of a recent divine creation
-but when they looked directly at nature, they saw evidence for extensive physical change in
the earth itself
-the earths appearance was viewed as the result of a serious of natural catastrophes
-Noahs flood was seen as the most catastrophic
-many natural scientists believed that catastrophes (floods, earthquakes) accounted for the
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Thiepana Uthayakumar
diverse layers of rock and other evidence of substantial change
-catastrophists: an adherent of the idea that the world was changed over time by a series
of catastrophic events
-global catastrophes of the size and impact necessary to support the catastrophic view had
never been observed or recorded
-instead, geologists observed mostly slow-acting, steady processes of change
-some interpreted that these slow-acting processes had produced the present appearance of
the earth
-Burnet suggested that the condition of the earth could best be explained, and its age
determined by reference to ordinary, slow-acting, non-catastrophic natural processes
-natural processes such as ice, wind, and water
-he concluded that the world was young
-he argued that if the earth has been ancient, erosion would already have worn away the
tallest mountains
-he was unaware that mountain buildings were still taking place
-but he was on the right track by looking at natural phenomena even if his conclusion of a
young earth was incorrect
-Robert Hooke was fascinated by fossils
-he correctly interpreted them as the remains of animals and plants that no longer exist
-he said that the earth was always changing, but these changes were only partly of Noahs
flood
-they were also caused by long-term phenomenaordinary occurrences such as erosion that
went on all the time in nature
-the geological and biological records the results of slow, ordinary, long-term phenomena
and catastrophic events
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