27 votes
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How old is the Earth?

Yes, the age of the Earth is about 4.5 billion years (4,500 million years). Your linked articles describes well how it was formed and how we know about it. The uncertainty is less than 1% and depends ...
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  • 5,896
11 votes
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Newton's estimate of the age of the Earth

The estimates of Newton and Kepler, and the similar estimates of dozens of their contemporaries, were produced by treating the Bible as a historically accurate document and deriving a chronology from ...
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  • 5,380
10 votes

Are old geophysics textbooks useful?

Mathematics and computer science are exact sciences. If something is discovered and known, it is not wrong. With time, there may be better or new ways of doing something, but the old stuff is still ...
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9 votes
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Why did it take so long to discover the volcanic nature of mid-oceanic ridges?

If it weren't for WW2 and the search for German submarines, the discovery of mid-ocean ridges might have waited until satellite based gravimetric mapping in the 1980s. It was the use of fine ...
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8 votes
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How did Earth's atmospheric layers get their names?

Who gave the names Troposphere and Stratosphere The stratosphere was firstly discovered by Léon-Philippe Teisserenc de Bort and Richard Aßmann (they did not cooperate) around 1900. Teisserenc de Bort ...
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6 votes

Is it physically possible to see mountains from 500 km away?

I think what was observed is a superior mirage. A superior mirage occurs when warm air overlies a very cold layer of air, aka an inversion. You don't often see a superior mirage in lower latitudes, ...
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  • 2,137
6 votes

What is the earliest tropical cyclone in record?

Japanese legend claims that typhoons twice save Japan from attempted invasions by Kublai Khan, once in 1274 and seven years later 1281. These divine winds ("kamikaze") are mixed in Japanese mysticism ...
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6 votes
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How did the terms "acidic" and "basic" come to be associated with $SiO_2$ in igneous rocks?

The idea came from the theory that silicic acid was the chief form of silicon occurring in rocks. Early attempts to classify minerals, placed some mineral specimens in groups based acid-base ...
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  • 5,861
5 votes

What does a floating mercury barometer look like? How does it work and how is buoyancy used?

A good place to start would be with Fortin barometers. They were "commonly used at meteorological stations to measure atmospheric pressure". The advantages of this type of barometer are its ...
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  • 20.3k
4 votes
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Did geologists determine the age of rocks and fossils before the advent of modern scientific dating methods?

The approach adopted by Charles Lyell (and other writers in a similar timeframe), in his book 'Principles of Geology' which was first published in the 1830s was to look at processes in the modern ...
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  • 1,206
4 votes

Why did it take so long to discover the volcanic nature of mid-oceanic ridges?

I think the U.S. Geological Survey has the gist of your answer -- prior to the mid-1900s, there wasn't enough seismological data to draw any conclusions: During the 20th century, improvements in ...
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  • 2,803
3 votes

Are old geophysics textbooks useful?

Every textbook written between about 1930 and say.....now, is pretty useless for your purposes. You'd be better served by watching many of those slick, university produced video lectures. They are ...
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2 votes

Newton's & Kepler's age of the earth calculations - References?

Your question may be better suited to either SE History or SE History of Science and Mathematics. The date of the so called creation of the Earth has nothing to do with Earth Science. For Kepler I ...
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  • 20.3k
2 votes

When did people first realize that hurricanes are a particular type of storm system?

Trade winds from a general easterly direction occur almost all of the time in the Caribbean and tropical Atlantic. A hurricane approaching from any direction except from the south would change the ...
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2 votes

Is the work "The photochemical origin of life" ,by A.Dauvillier, in line of principle still valid today?

Possibly, but they don't apply to today's world I'm reasonably sure, without having read the book but having looked at summaries online, that Dauvillier was arguing that the conditions on Earth when ...
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