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In North America, prior to the Second World War, discussions on the age of the Earth were a minuscule part of the geological literature, as demonstrated by the small number of papers indexed to the subject in bibliographies. Indeed, during the first quarter of the twentieth century, there were few general papers on this topic circulating among those geologists who dealt with sedimentary rocks and fossils; nevertheless, evidence is provided that many geologists were aware of the ‘debate’ going on in Britain.

As the methodology for determining the length of geological time dramatically changed during the four decades represented...

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