Happy Birthday, Universe!

By Marty Leipzig

[The date of the creation of the universe] was October 23, in 4004 BCE, at 8:00 PM that Anglican Bishop James Ussher calculated that God created the Universe. The following is a treatise by Dr. Marty Leipzig on the subject, which I (cross) post out of respect for this day.

If, for no other reason than a rainy Sunday afternoon, I recall someone about asking about Archbishop Ussher's date of creation. For no particular reason, I dug out of my library the "Annals of the World" (1658), by none other than the venerated Archbishop himself. If I may....

James Ussher (1581-1656), Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, was highly regarded in his day as a churchman and as a scholar. Of his many works, his treatise on chronology has proved to be the most durable. Based on an intricate correlation of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean histories and the Holy Writ, it was incorporated into an authorized version of the Bible published in 1701, and thus came to be regraded with almost as much unquestioning reverence as the Bible itself. Having established the first day of creation as Sunday 23 October (what? you missed the party?), 4004 BC, by the arguments set forth in the quoted passage to follow, Ussher calculated the dates of various other biblical events, concluding, for example, that Adam and Eve were driven from paradise on Monday 10 November 4004 BC and that the ark grounded on Mt.Ararat on 5 May 1491 BC, "on a Wednesday."

Go Back to Shy David's Evolutionary Sciences Page.