An artist"s conception of a rocky, Earth-like planet developing in a star mechanism 424 light-years away. A belt that rocky product feeds the planet"s development in this at an early stage stage. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ C. Lisse (Johns Hopkins University applied Physics Laboratory))
U.S. Residence Rep. Paul Broun, a Georgia Republican, doesn"t think in evolution, the huge Bang theory, or the teachings of embryology. In fact, in a Sept. 27 speak at Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell, Ga., the member that the home Committee on Science, room and Technology, who is also a clinical doctor, called those areas of science "lies right from the pit the hell."

But Broun also progressed his own theory that life ~ above Earth.

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"You see, there space a the majority of scientific data the I"ve found out together a scientist that actually show that this is yes, really a young Earth," he said. "I don"t believe that the Earth"s but around 9,000 years old. I think it was developed in 6 days together we know them. That"s what the scriptures says." <7 theories on the beginning of Life>

Broun"s creationist philosophy stands in opposition to what scientific study reveals around the period of the planet. In fact, earth formed 4.54 exchange rate years ago — and humanity is fairly lucky no to be see the planet on the 9,000th birthday. Planet was formed by the colliding and coming with each other of massive space objects dubbed planetesimals, claimed Richard Carlson, a geochemist in ~ the Carnegie college who has studied several of Earth"s oldest rocks. The pressure of the impacts would have melted rock, leaving earth molten for hundreds of thousands that years, Carlson called

"Nine thousandyears after ~ the critical giant impact — there likely were several huge impacts during the growth of the earth — the surface of Earth, to a substantial depth, most likely was molten rock," the said.

Creationist beliefs

Broun is far from the just believer in a literal, or Biblical, creation. According to a Gallup poll carried out in June, 46 percent that Americans think God developed humans in their present type within the last 10,000 years, a creationist belief. Just 15 percent claimed they believed in advancement without God"s hand, when 32 percent stated they thought in evolution guided by God.

That inspection did not ask adults just how old they thought Earth come be, but estimates based on literal interpretation of the holy bible normally selection from 6,000 to 8,000 years. (It"s no clear why Broun to trust in a 9,000-year-old Earth.)

The most well-known 6,000-year-old figure comes from James Ussher, a 16th-century irish clergyman. Ussher, whose place as Archbishop that Armagh made him head of the church in Ireland, published two works in the 1650s using genealogies native the bible to date the creation of the human being to Oct. 23, 4004 B.C.

Other estimates differ based upon the use of different scriptures translations and also whether biblical scholars take it the Bible"s six-day creation duration literally or assume the "days" to be longer periods the time.

What the scientific research says

Scientists, on the various other hand, have actually reached a surprisingly specific answer regarding the period when Earth and the remainder of the solar system began to solidify: between 4.567 and also 4.568 billion years — the tantamount of discovering a person"s date of birth within two days, Carlson said.

This age variety is calculated using isotopes, or variants of chemical elements. For the objectives of dating the solar system, researchers use lead and uranium isotopes. They measure the ratios of different varieties of isotope from Earth and from meteorites. Because these objects all developed from the exact same pool of cosmic dust and also gas during the bear of the solar system, the measurements enable researchers to determine just how long back the objects separated from that common pool.

As it transforms out, this numbers mesh rather nicely with the periods of the earliest rocks well-known on Earth, which would certainly have formed after the earth stabilized and also cooled. The best estimate for the age of the earliest rocks top top Earth, found near Hudson just in Quebec, is 4.4 billion years, according to Carlson. (The date is somewhat controversial, with some researchers believing 3.8 billion years is a closer date for those rocks.) Meanwhile, the earliest mineral grains discovered on Earth, zircons from western Australia, date back 4.36 exchange rate years.

The cooling and also solidifying of the planet most likely happened easily on a geologic time scale, top top the order of numerous thousands to a million years, Carlson said. But Adam and Eve wouldn"t have found Earth hospitable because that a really long time. Also at 2.5 billion year of age, the planet had a flip-flopping setting that regularly looked prefer something you"d check out on one of Saturn"s moons today.

The very first evidence because that life on planet may it is in Australian stromatolites, fossilized bacterial mats that date earlier 3.5 exchange rate years. An ext certain fossils peg life"s come to 2.7 billion year ago. Contemporary humans, through contrast, didn"t display up till 200,000 years ago.

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Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science. She consists the civilization of human and also animal behavior, as well as paleontology and also other science topics. Stephanie has actually a Bachelor of arts in psychology from the university of southern Carolina and also a graduate certificate in science interaction from the college of California, Santa Cruz. She has ducked under a glacier in Switzerland and poked warm lava with a rod in Hawaii. Stephanie hails from east Tennessee, the worldwide center because that salamander diversity. Monitor Stephanie ~ above Google+.