Ward's Book of Days.

Pages of interesting anniversaries.

What happened on this day in history.

OCTOBER 23rd  

On this day in history in 4004 B.C. the world began.

This is Creation Day, that is according to bishop James Usher (1581—1656). Usher scrutinised the time scale in the Old Testament and by careful and assiduous study, calculated that the world was nearly 6,000 year old, having been created on 23rd October 4004 B.C. at nine o’clock in the morning.  

Usher’s theory became a matter of established wisdom until in the nineteenth century, when Charles Darwin postulated the principle of the survival of the fittest known as the Theory of Evolution. Darwin and others stated that as the world could be proved to be over 6,000 years old, then the Bible must be wrong. Theologians countered saying that as the Bible was the word of God, it must be correct and that therefore the scientists had got it wrong. When questioned on skeletal remains of dinosaurs and other creatures, recently unearthed, the theologians retorted that these must have been placed there by the Devil to test man’s belief.  

The dispute between the two parties reached its apogee in the twentieth century in the famous Scopes case where a teacher in Tennessee was put on trial for defying the State’s ban on teaching the Evolutionary theory.  The cynical defence lawyer scoffed at Usher’s theory using comments such as ‘his Bible must be more accurate than mine’ and  ‘nine o’clock in the morning. Was this Eastern Standard Time or Western Time?’ 

In the twenty-first century, Usher’s ideas have collapsed and Darwin’s theory predominates. The fittest theory is the one that survives.

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