Rethinking Earth History

Part of Hall of Planet Earth.

Rethinking History
Until the end of the 18th century, scientists believed that the Earth was no more than a few thousand years old.

They claimed that catastrophes- sudden, violent forces-were the prime sculptors of the planet. Fossils were thought to be the remains of animals that had perished in the biblical Flood, during which sedimentary rocks had also formed. But as the science of geology matured, it became evident that much longer periods of time were necessary to explain many of the Earth’s observable features.