Creationist view on absolute dating dating muslim woman causes stir
The rise of science produced a major change in attitude.
In the pre-scientific world view the issue of the age of the Earth was a theological question.
The account in Genesis is replete with miracles that do not stand up under rational analysis.
This did not matter; the theological perspective did not require physical rationalization.
Ussher accepted the Biblical account at face value, relying on the Biblical genealogies and on extant historical records.
He implicitly assumed that the world was created much as it is now.
The catastrophists (Cuvier 1812, de Beaumont 1852, Buckland 1836) accepted that the Earth was old; they disagreed with the kind of change and the rate of change that had occurred over that long history.
If you asked the same question of an educated European in AD 1900 you would have received a quite different answer.There were various attempts to estimate the Earth's age, working back from sedimentation rates and other geophysical phenomena.The attempts produced estimates from about 100 million years up to several billion years. The first is that the geological history was still being reconstructed.These cosmogonies were part of the new emphasis of science in seeking rational explanations of the features of the world. This period was marked by a great deal of field geology rather than grand cosmogonies.It became clear that there had been significant changes in the Earth's topography over time and that these changes could neither be accounted for by natural processes operating during the brief nor by the postulated Noachian flood.