Attempts to calculate the age of the Earth from physical considerations yielded estimates that ranged from 75,000 years (Buffon, 1774) to several billion years (de Maillet, Buffon).
By the end of the 18'th century it was clear that the Earth had a long and varied history. The major debate was between the catastrophists, e.g., Cuvier, who held that the history of Earth was dominated by major catastrophic revolutions and the uniformitarians, e.g.
Hutton and Lyell, who held that the history of Earth was dominated by slow relatively uniform changes in an Earth with a static over all history.
When viewed from a biblical perspective, the evidence is consistent with what one would expect from a worldwide Flood.
This research reminds us of the caution we should accord to every fossil reconstruction.
In the pre-scientific world view the issue of the age of the Earth was a theological question.