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Lewis, Cherry

The dating game. One man´s search for the age of the Earth

How old is the Earth? At the end of the 19th century, geologists, biologists, physicists and astronomers were all looking for a clock that would provide an answer to this, the greatest time question of all.This title tells the story of one man´s vision of developing a geological timescale that would finally lead to an accurate date for the age of the Earth. Despite scientific opposition, financial hardship and personal tragedy, Arthur Holmes, greatest geologist of the 20th century, fought for 50 years to convince the establishment of an Earth of great antiquity: a fight which eventually transformed the moribund art of geology into a dynamic science.The author brings Holmes back to life and weaves his adventures, loves and losses, around the early history and science of dating the Earth, and the discovery of radioactivity - the clock that tells geological time. Contents: Prelude to the game; a brief history of time; Darwin´s sorest trouble; mysterious rays; doomsday postponed; holidays in Mozambique; this vegetable prison; a brimful of promise; liquid gold in Yenangyaung; Durham days; the Ardnamurchan affair; rewards and retributions; why does the sun shine?; the age of uranium; the age of the Earth; loose ends.

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