Books  General Natural History  Biography, Exploration & Travel 

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

Biography / Memoir
  • Skilfully interweaves scientific explanation with the biography of the greatest geologist of the twentieth century
  • Shows how radioactivity was used to solve the greatest time question of all
  • Explains, in nontechnical language, the discovery and development of radioactivity and the history of the atom

Series: Canto Classics

By: Cherry Lewis

272 pages, 25 b/w illustrations, 4 tables

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Mar 2012 | #196984 | ISBN-13: 9781107659599
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £12.99 $18/€15 approx

About this book

In The Dating Game, Cherry Lewis skilfully blends the history of gauging the age of the earth with a biography of Arthur Holmes, a British geologist who was a pioneer of geochronology. When it was deeply unfashionable to do so in the early twentieth century, he spent many years trying to prove the great antiquity of the earth, stating that it was 'perhaps a little indelicate to ask of our Mother Earth her age, but Science acknowledges no shame'. Both fascinating and touching, The Dating Game appeals to a broad readership of both geologists and science enthusiasts.

"[...] 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


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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