Radiometric dating uncertainty
Since 1955 the estimate for the age of the Earth has been based on the assumption that certain meteorite lead isotope ratios are equivalent to the primordial lead isotope ratios on Earth.
In 1972 this assumption was shown to be highly questionable.
Strata Thickness- In the late 1800s, a British geologist estimated that 75 million years has lapsed since the beginning of the Cambrian.
This estimate was based upon the maximum known thickness of strata (from Cambrian to present) divided by the average rate of sedimentation in modern environments. Joly used the salinity of ocean water to determine the age of the earth.
This will be covered in the chapters, Primitive Environment (chapter 9), and DNA (chapter 10).
Third, evolution of living organisms into more advanced life forms by natural selection or mutations.
Chronological Analysis of the Scriptures- Literal interpretation of the scriptures led some people to conclude that the Earth was created approximately 6,000 years old.
In fact, Archbishop Usher of Ireland calculated that the Earth was created at 9 AM on It was believed that prior to the Great Flood, Earths surface was flat and its climate was mild.
One may try to dispute whether the Earth formed simultaneously with these meteorites (we have strong reason to believe it did), since the oldest minerals that we can date directly are only ~4.3 billion years old.
This was dealt with in the chapter by that name (chapter 1).
Second, generation of living organisms from non-living matter, or origin of life.
"In a billion years [from now], it seems, intelligent life might be as different from humans as humans are from insects . To change from a human being to a cloud may seem a big order, but it's the kind of change you'd expect over billions of years." Freeman Dyson, Statement made in 1986, quoted in Asimov's Book of Science and Nature Quotations, p. [American mathematician.]"Slowness has really nothing to do with the question.
An event is not any more intrinsically intelligible or unintelligible because of the pace at which it moves.
The quantitative approach is admirable, but Buffon's assumptions are flawed. Silicate minerals have lower heat conductivity than steels and are better insulators leading to slower cooling rates.