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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 physical models were open to question and, in retrospect, were naive. It became quite clear that many areas of the Earth had alternated between being land and being covered by seas, that there had been extensive slow sedimentation, that the mountains had not been created in situ as is but rather had a long history of slow deformation, and that long periods of erosion had shaped the Earth everywhere.By the early 1800's it was generally accepted that the Earth had a long history. The uniformatarians (Hutton 1788, Lyell 1830) pictured the Earth as being indefinitely old.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.
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.In this period a number of comprehensive cosmogonies were proposed.These were long on armchair speculation and short on substantive supporting evidence.The story of this great change in the conception of the history of Earth is not a simple one.The chronicle of this great change can be broken into five periods; ran from AD 1600-1700.