Did the churches actually oppose geology and Deep Time in the early nineteenth century? Probably most who reckon they are educated would answer Yes. But they are wrong , thanks to the likes of the geologist Rev William Buckland of Oxford
Now if you take Genesis literally you will believe this picture
but few after 500BC did so!
So find out more here.
Geology and Genesis Unearthed
The challenge of Geology to Genesis is often perceived to be one of the issues of the “Victorian Crisis of Faith”. Geologists had, since Charles Lyell published his Principles of Geology in 1831, been demonstrating that the earth was somewhat older than Archbishop Ussher’s Six Thousand years. Thus Richard Dawkins wrote, “in 1862 the eminent physicist Lord Kelvin greatly worried Darwin by ‘proving’ that the sun and therefore the earth, could not possibly be more than 24 million years. Although this estimate was considerably better than the 4004 B.C. date for the creation then favoured by churchmen…” (1) The historian Josef Altholz in 1976 argued that “The great majority of religous spokesmen condemned the doctrine of evolution, without regard to its scientific merits, on the ground of its repugnance to the text of the Bible and its tendency to degrade man to the level of beasts…..Both sides (i.e. clergy and scientists) seemed to identify the substance of Christianity with the text of Genesis.” (2) Both assume that most clergy in mid century were biblical literalists.