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The Dating Game: One Man's Search for the Age of Earth

Out of Print

By: Cherry Lewis

253 pages, B/w photos, figs, tabs

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Mar 2002 | #127858 | ISBN: 0521893127
Out of Print Details
Hardback | Sep 2000 | #106903 | ISBN: 0521790514
Out of Print Details

About this book

Tells the story of one man's vision of developing a geological timescale that would finally lead to an accurate date for the age of the Earth. Arthur Holmes, perhaps the greatest geologist of the 19th/early 20th century, fought for 50 years to convince a sceptical scientific establishment of the Earth's antiquity and thereby helped turn geology into a dynamic science.
`The Dating Game provides a good account of how we measured the age of the earth. As popular science, it has much to recommend it....I would recommend it...to anyone who has the slightest interest in how our planet came to be the way it is'. John Gribbin, The Sunday Times

'! a gripping tale to tell ! I would recommend it ! to anyone who has the slightest interest in how our planet came to be the way it is.' John Gribbin, The Sunday Times '! an engaging book ! a good read for geologists ancient and modern who want to understand better the transformation of their discipline. It paints a picture of the life and surprisingly varied career ! of a great scientist, strangely unsung both within his science and elsewhere.' Sue Bowler, Geoscientist 'This is a delightful book which manages very skilfully to combine an account of the history of measurements of the age of the earth with a biography of one of the pioneers in this field - Arthur Holmes. It is a fascinating story of one of modern science's great achievements and I have never read a clearer account of radio-active decay and how it has been used to date rocks.' Aubrey Manning, Presenter of the BBC series 'Earth Story' '! a welcome portrait of a gifted British scientist whose abilities were often stymied by lack of funds and resources.' Douglas Palmer, Nature '! a delightful and informative biography ! we owe Lewis tremendous thanks.' Henry Frankel, EOS '! a fascinating story ! Cherry Lewis' description of the twists and turns by which the oldest known rocks in the world came to have their now accepted great age made for a fascinating read, as did the winding tale of one man's part in this.' Robert S. White, Geological Magazine '! makes lively reading and is recommended as an absorbing historical biography.' Paul R. Renne, Physics Today '! this reads almost like a Who's Who of geology and the budding science of nuclear physics ! a worthwhile read for anyone interested in fuller pictures of the people behind scientific advance.' Anne Burgess, OUGS Journal 'Cherry Lewis' description of the twists and turns by which the oldest known rocks in the world came to have their now accepted great age made for a fascinating read, as did the winding tale of one man's part in this.' Robert S. White, Science and Christian Belief 'In this excellent book, Cherry Lewis has given a concise account of the development of geochronology and an insight into the life of a remarkable man. ! There are few scientists, especially geologists, who are able to fire the public imagination with stories drawn from their own specification. Cherry Lewis is one of the few.' Rodney Walshaw


Contents

1. Prelude to the game; 2. A brief history of time; 3. Darwin's sorest trouble; 4. Mysterious rays; 5. Doomsday postponed; 6. Holidays in Mozambique; 7. This vegetable prison; 8. A brimful of promise; 9. Liquid gold in Yenangyaung; 10. Durham days; 11. The Ardnamurchan affair; 12. Rewards and retributions; 13. Why does the sun shine?; 14. The age of uranium; 15. The age of the earth; 16. Loose ends; Thanks and acknowledgements; Selected bibliography.

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Biography

Cherry Lewis has had a life-long passion for rocks and fossils. After Drama College and running her own business for several years, she finally decided to indulge her passion and studied geology as a mature student at Bristol University. Her degree was succeeded by a PhD on Tibetan granites and post-doctoral research at University College London, which led to a career in the oil industry. Whilst writing her thesis she discovered the work of Arthur Holmes and became captivated by the man who pioneered the way towards determining the true age of the Earth.

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