Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Ussher, James

Archbishop of Armagh, Ireland, and scriptural chronologist who counted the number of generations named in the Old Testament of the Judeo-Christian Bible, arriving at a total of about 220 generations having occurred from Adam and Eve to his generation in AD 1646. By estimating the length of each generation, Ussher was able to calculate that the creation cited in the Old Testament had occurred in exactly 4004 BC. Others made similar attempts at calculating the age of the earth (e.g. Lord Kelvin), but Ussher’s estimate (published 1650) was the most widely accepted in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

See Lightfoot.

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