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The Chronologers' Quest: The Search for the Age of the Earth

by Patrick Wyse Jackson
Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2006. 291 pages.

In The Chronologers' Quest, Patrick Wyse Jackson recounts the fascinating story of attempts to ascertain the age of the earth, starting with prescientific mythology and sacred chronology, continuing through the rise of scientific geology in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, and culminating with the advent of radioisotope dating methods, which show that the earth is about 4.5 billion years old. The reviewer for Sky and Telescope comments, "Jackson lays out the information clearly and chronologically, making it an excellent resource for researchers"; a useful annotated bibliography is included. Jackson is a lecturer in geology and curator of the Geological Museum in Trinity College, Dublin.