Geological Time Spiral

Geological Time Spiral

Despite having failed nearly every science coarse I’ve ever taken, I’m still a huge science fanboy. So when I saw this illustration of geological time spiraling up to the present I wanted to post it on here. The illustration comes from Wikimedia Commons who had this to say about it,

The Earth is very old—4.5 billion years or more according to scientific estimates. Most of the evidence for an ancient Earth is contained in the rocks that form the Earth’s crust. The rock layers themselves—like pages in a long and complicated history—record the events of the past, and buried within them are the remains of life—the plants and animals that evolved from organic structures that existed 3 billion years ago.

Also contained in rocks once molten are radioactive elements whose isotopes provide Earth with an atomic clock. Within these rocks, “parent” isotopes decay at a predictable rate to form “daughter” isotopes. By determining the relative amounts of parent and daughter isotopes, the age of these rocks can be calculated. Thus, the scientific evidence from rock layers, from fossils, and from the ages of rocks as measured by atomic clocks attests to a very old Earth.

See USGS Fact Sheet 2007-3015 at for ages of geologic time periods. Ages in the spiral have been rounded from the age estimates in the Fact Sheet. B.Y., billion years; M.Y., million years.

Downloads of the image are available at the Wikimedia Commons web site.

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  1. Oh, come on, guys. The Bible says the Earth is only 6000 years or so old. And that’s the word of God.

  2. Trog

    10/09/2010 at 10:20 pm

    6000? Hell, my Robot Jesus says it was made a week last Tuesday and we’re just programmed to think otherwise with memory building brain-wave crystals lodged under each nipple. 6000, sheesh, what a bunch of bunk.

  3. My God could beat up your God.

    It’s like God vs. MechaGod.


  4. Trog

    10/11/2010 at 6:30 pm

    No way could MechaGod defeat Robot Jesus. Robot Jesus knows Galactic Kung-Fu and has a missile deflecting energy shield. Renounce the sins of idolatry and forsake all gods but Robot Jesus and ye shall be saved on the divine back-up drive of eternity!

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