Notable observations included: ran from about 1780-1850.
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.
There were various attempts to estimate the Earth's age, working back from sedimentation rates and other geophysical phenomena.
He would have answered that the Earth was ancient, that there had not been a Noachian flood, and that the species of life had not been fixed over the history of Earth.
In short, Genesis was an allegory and not literal history.
Many authors choose to present the history of a complex subject by breaking it up into major threads and following the history of each thread separately.
I have chosen instead to provide a chronology of significant works and their authors with a view to providing a sense of how perspectives on Geology changed over time.
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.
During the early part of this period there was a considerable amount of activity by runs from AD 1850 to the present.
The selections and comments here are not a complete exposition of the works of the authors mentioned; rather they were chosen to illustrate and exemplify changing perspectives over time.
In Europe the issue of the age of the Earth was not a serious one prior to the rise of science; the history of the Earth was assumed to be accounted for in Genesis.
The second is that the rates of the physical processes in question are variable and knowledge of them was incomplete.
In the late 1800's physicists, armed with a more advanced physics than that available to Descartes, made new estimates of the age of the Earth and the Sun.
In this period a number of comprehensive cosmogonies were proposed.