Sunday, April 20, 2014


In paying homage to the father of Shallow Time, the good and great Archbishop Ussher, Neil deGrasse Tyson's Cosmos reminds us that the Millennium ain't over till its over:

Geology's last, best hope of getting Evangelical's to pay attention to the age of the Earth may be to knuckle under and shrink it down to merely Biblical proportions 

I offered the following geological column in celebration of the 6000th anniversary of the world's creation (4004 BC-1996 AD) in Earth, a magazine that, much to the relief of creationists has long since been subducted along with its publisher, leaving the author of this creation thankful that Earth's bank did not go under as well.

                   Usshering In The Millennium 
                          23 October 4004 B.C.
    Hadean Era ends with Lucifer's fall to Earth

    * 4003 B.C.: Earth still largely molten , Adam and Eve cover their shame with asbestos waders
    * 3714 B.C.: The first biotechnologist, Cain, patents cyanobacteria.
    * 3554 B.C.: Komatiitic lava floods earliest crust ; Noah's Ark incinerated.
    * 3264 B.C.: Methuselah begins to notice passage of geological time.
    * 3124 B.C.: Archaean stratiform copper deposits form, kick-starting Bronze Age.
    * 3004 B.C.: Y1K  crisis: Gilgamesh  finds himself unable to count as high as 1000.
    * 2844 B.C.: Tired of reading graphic granite, Imhotep devises hieroglyphs.
    * 2584 B.C.: Earliest sedimentation; discovery of slate leads to stone tablets.
    * 2444 B.C.: Tubal Cain inaugurates banded Iron Age. Sphinx starts to fossilize.
    * 2384 B.C.: Breathable atmosphere develops; first sermon preached.
    * 2004 B.C.: Nimrod the Hunter erects the Geosyncline of Babel.
    * 1914 B.C.: Advent of diapirism; Lot's wife turned into first salt dome.
    * 1794 B.C.: Children of Ham split from Israelites ,insisting that the Burgess Shale fauna are  kosher; chowder invented.
    * 1704 B.C.: Charshumash the Hittite bitten by first vertebrate; lawyers emerge from slime.
    * 1624 B.C.:  Laboratory of the Philistines implodes as Samson attempts first high-pressure geophysics experiment.
    * 1444 B.C.: First environmental catastrophe: Pangea breaks up after Jason sows dragons teeth.
    * 1384 B.C.: China scraps compass research as Asia drifts over south magnetic pole.
   * 1314 B.C.:  On his way home from Troy ,Odysseus makes wrong turn into Tethys Ocean ; Homer writes it up.
    * 1264 B.C.: Moses  perfects hydrofracturing ; Red Sea rift opens

    * 1104 B.C.: Ezekiel see de pterodactyl 'way up in de middle ob de air.
    * 1024 B.C.: Goliath stepped on by irate Barosaurus; David takes credit.
    * 794 B.C.: Jonah swallowed by Carcharas megalodon.  
    * 564 B.C.: Pythagoras publishes Air-Earth-Fire-Water phase diagram.
    * 454 B.C.: Marble deposits form in Greece; Parthenon erected.
    * 338 B.C.: Aristotle declares quartz just another water polymorph , like ice,diamond and pearls.
    * 48 B.C.: All of Gaul is divided into three parts as Corsica collides with the European Plate.
    * The Year Zero: Nothing much happened, there being none.
    * A.D. 31: Miracle of the Loaves and Ichthyosaurs.
    * A.D. 70: Paul, formerly Saul the Tarsier, develops opposable thumb & pens Epistle to the Cephalopods.
    * A.D. 344: Attila the Hun vanquished as Romans breach Gibraltar escarpment, flooding the Mediterranean Desert.
    * A.D. 494: Snakes evolve and are driven out of Ireland.
    * A.D. 974: Leif the Unlucky lost with all hands when his dragon ship is spotted by an amorous Kronosaurus.
    * A.D. 1066: William the Conqueror invades England by riding through northern France.
   * A.D. 1215: Mega Fauna force King John to sign Magna Carta
    * A.D. 1284: Plate armor introduced ; Velociraptor hunted to extinction.
    * A.D. 1306: Dante describes Medieval Warm period in Inferno, his account of a field trip to the core-mantle boundary.
    * A.D. 1324  T.Rex becomes popular Mongol Barbecue  item after Golden Horde discovers gunpowder.
    * A.D. 1444: Flowering plants appear; War of the Roses commences.
    * A.D. 1484: Leonardo da Vinci designs Archaeopteryx.
    * A.D. 1492: Panama's rise from sea thwarts Columbus's discovery of Japan.
A.D. 1522: Sneak asteroid attack by Hernan Cortez smashes Aztec Empire
    * A.D. 1588: Spanish Armada frustrated by continuing absence of English Channel.
    * A.D.1614/1000 A.H.
Y1K panic follows Islamic MIllennium as Arabic numeral copyright expires
    * A.D. 1636: Earliest primates appear; Harvard founded.
    * A.D. 1654: John Milton goes blind shortly after discovery of malt distillation enables him to justify God's ways to man.
    * A.D. 1664: A Primate of Ireland, Archbishop Ussher, successfully deduces last four out of ten digits of the age of the Earth.
    * A.D. 1678: Little Ice Age allows Spanish Inquisition to unexpectedly skate to England to burn Isaac Newton at the stake on suspicion of alchemy
    * A.D. 1754: Gibbons evolve and write The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
    * A.D. 1776: Washington routs British with mammoth cavalry chargeMinimammoth
    * A.D. 1835: Charles Darwin devoured while attempting to measure bill of Galapagos giant finch
    * A.D. 1846: First ape  born to Bishop and Lady Wilburforce.
    * A.D. 1894:  Glacial Maximum : Cecil Rhodes proposes Capetown-to-Cairo bobsled run.
    * A.D. 1914: Younger Dryas sea-level rise unleashes U-boats into the Atlantic; Holy Roman Empire wins World War I
    * A.D. 1948: Churchill proposes using ice to contain Stalin; Cold War begins.
    * A.D. 1954: Glaciers retreat from Fulda Gap; de Gaulle invades Russia.
    * A.D. 1957: Civil Rights Movement challenges Jim Cro-Magnon laws.
    * A.D. 1961: Rachel Carson links DDT to Glyptodonts' decline.
    * A.D. 1969: Last sighting of saber-toothed tiger in Central Park; Elizabeth Taylor divorces Proconsul,marries Senator Warner.
    * A.D. 1971: Andy Warhol paints Campbell Soup cans on walls of Lascaux caverns.
   * A.D. 1983: Australopithecus wins the America's Cup.
    * A.D. 1988: Homo habilis declines nomination as Pat Robertson's running mate.
    * A.D. 1990: Last Neanderthals escape siege of Kremlin, cross Bering land bridge to found Discovery institute.
    * A.D. 1991: Saddam Hussein discovers fire; Holocene tar sands form in Kuwait.
    * A.D. 1992  Onset of Holocene Climatic Optimum ruins Al Gore's Presidential bid.
    * A.D. 1996   Y6K crisis fails to materialize
    *  1997 CE   Citing black smoker emissions, the EPA bans continental drift.
    *  2000 CE   Al Gore fills cological niche opened by mass extinction of Y2K consultants  
    *  2001 CE   Tectonic clash of civilizations leads to formation of Ground Zero Gneiss
    *  2002 CE   Thermophilis wins Nobel Prize for sequencing its own DNA while trapped in amber
 N.B.: As all dates are +/- 2.5 billion years, the author strongly advises against using this chronology for purposes of exegesis, carbon-14 dating or celestial navigation.  This exercise was inspired by a remark made at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union by the late Cesare Emiliani. 
Pirated , unattributed, and altered versions of this piece seen on the Web derive from my Earth magazine Parting Shot column, "Usshering In The Millennium"  Beneficiaries of this  geological time-saver, which offers a Biblically Correct  four billion year shortcut around the standard geological column, are invited to use  PayPal:                                                          Copyright 1996-2014 Russell Seitz