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Oct 22 2011

‘Twas the night before Creation…

According to Ussher, the world was created the evening before 23 October 4004BC, which means that our planet should now be 6015 years old, as of tonight.

She really let herself go, I’m afraid. I swear, she looks about 4½ billion years old. Motherhood is tough, but I didn’t know it was that bad.

(Also on Sb)

56 comments

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  1. 1
    Matt Penfold

    Well I was planning on getting drunk. Now I have an reason to celebrate as an excuse!

  2. 2
    Dhorvath, OM

    Not even the proto shrew was stirring…

    Nah, just doesn’t flow.

  3. 3
    Deacon Whizzy

    Would that be on the Julian or Gregorian calendar?

  4. 4
    eigenperson

    How does he know, anyway? Was he there?

  5. 5
    Randomfactor

    PZ’s made the same mistake that William Lane Craig does. There WAS no “night before Creation,” in either the Biblical or the Bigbangical traditions.

  6. 6
    Glen Davidson

    She gets better with age, for real.

    Still quite the smoldering wreck she was after 6000 years or so.

    Glen Davidson

  7. 7
    magistramarla

    October 23rd is our wedding anniversary.
    I always knew that we were married on a special day!

  8. 8
    wholething

    6015? The world doesn’t look a day over 6014. If Ussher was right about the year, the world is only 6014 as there was no Year 0. For example, from the summer solstice of 1 BC to the summer solstice of 1 BCE is one year, so adding the BC to the BCE gives you one year too many.

  9. 9
    Matt Penfold

    Would that be on the Julian or Gregorian calendar?

    Mo idea. Good excuse to get drunk in 11 days time then.

  10. 10
    myeck waters

    October 23rd is our wedding anniversary.

    “Did the universe begin for you too?”

  11. 11
    chigau (違う)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ussher_chronology uses the phrase

    Ussher deduced that the first day of creation began at nightfall preceding Sunday, October 23, 4004 BC…

    so it must be True™.

  12. 12
    The Stranger

    Well, my son’s birthday was is the 23rd as well. I guess the Universe began for him on that day 4 years ago.

  13. 13
    Ms. Crazy Pants

    How cool is it that the world was created with just enough time to get ready for Halloween. In under 8 days one cold decorate their cave, get a costume, and procure a bunch of candy. It sounds truly like a divine plan to me.

  14. 14
    Dr. Strabismus (WGP) of Utrecht

    @13 Ms. Crazy Pants:
    Don’t tell W.L.Craig that, or he’ll add it to the Teleological and Cosmological Proofs in his quiver. (costumillogical? candillogical?)

  15. 15
    Monkeys Evolve Into Humans

    Well… If someone already has a birthday card I suppose I’ll sign it.

  16. 16
    Thomas Lawson

    Those are dog years!

  17. 17
    westcoaster

    6015 years ago, God created a 13.7 billion year old universe, complete with dinosaur fossils and light already en-route from distant galaxies. Checkmate atheists!

  18. 18
    Dr. Strabismus (WGP) of Utrecht

    @15 Monkeys…
    Ok. As long as they are not collecting for a present. I’m tapped.

  19. 19
    Andrew T

    The Wiki article on him states one of his titles as “Primate of All Ireland.” Does that make him the alpha Silverback?

  20. 20
    robro

    @ Andrew T No, a monkey’s ass.

  21. 21
    KG

    Would that be on the Julian or Gregorian calendar? – Deacon Whizzy

    It would be the Julian calendar. The Gregorian calendar wasn’t adopted until 1752 in the British Empire, and Ussher published his work in the 1650s, but in any case, modern scholars would still generally use Julian calendar dates for times before the Gregorian calendar existed. 23 October 4004 BC in the Julian calendar is 21 September -4003 in the Gregorian (apparently if you extrapolate the Gregorian into the BC era, you insert a year 0 and then use negative numbers).

  22. 22
    sbh

    Ussher believed the day of creation occurred at the autumnal equinox in the year 4004 BCE (or as I like to think of it, the year 5997 of the Holocene Era), which would be 21 September on the proleptic Gregorian calendar. But he didn’t use the Gregorian calendar, which hadn’t been adopted in England at the time. Instead he used the proleptic Julian calendar, in which the autumnal equinox occurred on 23 October that year.

  23. 23
    Zeno

    23 October 4004 BCE

    About tea time?

  24. 24
    davem

    Ussher deduced that the first day of creation began at nightfall preceding Sunday, October 23, 4004 BC…

    But since dog hadn’t invented light yet, there might be some problems with this hypothesis…

  25. 25
    tmac57

    “She really let herself go, I’m afraid.”
    I don’t know PZ. I think she’s looking pretty good.Just consider,most of us get a bit whiter on top as we age,but Earth is getting less white! Also,we just gave her a brand spankin’ new coat of Co2, that should help keep her dry and warm for the next several centuries.

  26. 26
    tim gueguen

    Anyone else see Ussher and think “What’s the singer going on about?”

  27. 27
    'Tis Himself

    She really let herself go, I’m afraid. I swear, she looks about 4½ billion years old. Motherhood is tough, but I didn’t know it was that bad.

    Don’t anthropomorphize Nature, she hates that.

  28. 28
    myeck waters

    Anyone else see Ussher and think “What’s the singer going on about?”

    I did too, and then immediately pictured Kanye West interrupting the Creation for some reason.

  29. 29
    niftyatheist, perpetually threadrupt

    Anyone else see Ussher and think “What’s the singer going on about?”

    Phew! GLad I wasn’t the only one! HAHA

  30. 30
    Coyotenose

    Honey… you got real ugly.

    Religion that is, not the Earth.

  31. 31
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Ha! It’s my mom’s birthday today, too!

    … I’m sure there’s a joke about my mom in there somewhere.

  32. 32
    Xenithrys

    Now you’ve got me all worried. It’s already the 23rd here. So did God make this time zone first, so that a wave of creation went around the world (so in the first hour the world was shaped like the segment of an orange) or did he create it all at once but it was actually the 24th in New Zealand? If the latter, then our day of rest ought to be Monday, except for 7th day adventists who should rest on Sundays.

  33. 33
    Zaphod

    I think the Earth looks pretty good for being middle aged and having been through so much. Besides, I don’t think I would like living on the Earth as it was when it was really 6000 years old.

    At any rate, Happy Pretend Birthday to Earth!

  34. 34
    Species8472

    “According to Ussher, the world was created the evening before 23 October 4004BC, which means that our planet should now be 6015 years old, as of tonight.”

    6014. There is no year zero.

  35. 35
    Aquaria

    Anyone else see Ussher and think “What’s the singer going on about?”

    I’ve never even heard his music, just heard idiots talking about him here and there, and that’s still who came to mind for me out of the gate.

  36. 36
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    >> I did too, and then immediately pictured Kanye West interrupting the Creation for some reason. <<

    I guess he thinks both George W and god both hate blacks…

  37. 37
    hjpev

    Apparently, Deepak Chopra was born on October 22, 1946. Coincidence?

  38. 38
    Ring Tailed Lemurian

    I think Mother Earth looks pretty good for her age, considering that, since she reached puberty, she’s been giving birth continually. Sure, she’s got a lot of stretch marks, but there’s nothing wrong with that.
    Wonder when she’ll reach menopause?

  39. 39
    Peggy

    When I think of the countless hours he must have put into pouring over bible texts to finally come up with this ridiculous age for the earth–all I can think is what a colossal waste of intelligence and time. He could have been working on something useful. Religion: what a waste.

  40. 40
    DLC

    Aquaria @36 : The other Usher I thought of was Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher
    (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2148/2148-h/2148-h.htm#2H_4_0007)

  41. 41
    SteveV

    Ussher brings to mind Wiltshire’s second best brewery or Edgar Allen Poe.
    The Bish is a distant third.

  42. 42
    NelC

    Motherhood is tough, but I didn’t know it was that bad.

    To be fair, she has had rather a lot of children.

  43. 43
    Pyromancer

    Tomorrow is also Mole Day (10-23) and Weird Al’s birthday.

  44. 44
    Sean Boyd

    PZ, ‘course she’s a mess. Look at all the trouble her kids (us) keep gettin’ into.

  45. 45
    Lauren Ipsum

    I wonder if there was any connection between the date of Harold Camping’s “No, This Time I Really Mean It” rapture prediction and Ussher’s “date of creation”? It’s awfully tidy, isn’t it? The world is supposed to end right before a new year of its existence begins?

    Maybe God is really anal about accounting. Can’t let expenses get carried into the new fiscal year.

  46. 46
    Jafafa Hots

    Today is my birthday.

    This is NOT a coincidence.

  47. 47
    peterh

    “…at nightfall…” For whom? It’s always nightfall somewhere.

  48. 48
    required

    The earth must have been born on a leap century.

  49. 49
    chigau (違う)

    Happy Birthday, Jafafa Hots.
    coincidence or not

  50. 50
    tfkreference

    PZ, this is your best line ever. It sums up the whole creationist argument in a glorious flourish of irony.

    She really let herself go, I’m afraid. I swear, she looks about 4½ billion years old.

  51. 51
    Atheist Aaron

    What the hell, when I moved into this planet they told me it was just shy of six thousand years old. Now I’m finding out it’s 4.5 billion? Oh I had better get my security deposit back.

  52. 52
    Jett Perrobone

    Pyromancer @#44 says:

    Tomorrow is also Mole Day (10-23) and Weird Al’s birthday.

    And my brother’s birthday too!

  53. 53
    scooterskutre

    And Usher begat Justin Beiber, turn off your brane, there is only one dimension.

  54. 54
    claimthehighground

    ‘Twas the night before creation,
    And all over the earth,
    The fundies were praying,
    To praise the world’s birth.

    Just two days before
    They dodged a great fright;
    The rapture was coming,
    If Camping was right.

    But what to their wondering
    Eyes should appear:
    The sun in the morning,
    And so, no more fear.

    They prayed and they chanted.
    They still were alive;
    So now they could ring in
    Old Six-Oh-One-Five.

    Break out the candles,
    And the paper hats, too.
    Let’s all get together
    To join in some woo.

    But we heard them exclaim
    As the day turned to night:
    What if we’re the ones left;
    And Camping was right?

  55. 55
    Hyman Rosen

    Silly. Having just completed celebrating the Jewish High Holy Days, I can tell you definitively that the universe is now aged 5772. It’s a pity we won’t be around to see the Jewish millennial fervor in another 228 years – there’s a fairly strong tradition that the Messiah will arrive in the year 6000 if he has not already come previously.

  56. 56
    Beer Helmets

    What a fantastic write-up, I’m keen on how you create content. We’ve just simply tweeted this for you to share it and find some more publicity in your website!

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