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Other naturalists used these hypotheses to construct a history of Earth, though their timelines were inexact as they did not know how long it took to lay down stratigraphic layers.In 1830, geologist Charles Lyell, developing ideas found in James Hutton's works, popularized the concept that the features of Earth were in perpetual change, eroding and reforming continuously, and the rate of this change was roughly constant.
In Darwin's theory of evolution, the process of random heritable variation with cumulative selection requires great durations of time.
giving a lower limit for the age of the Solar System.
It is hypothesised that the accretion of Earth began soon after the formation of the calcium-aluminium-rich inclusions and the meteorites.
Because the time this accretion process took is not yet known, and predictions from different accretion models range from a few million up to about 100 million years, the difference between the age of Earth and of the oldest rocks is difficult to determine.
It is also difficult to determine the exact age of the oldest rocks on Earth, exposed at the surface, as they are aggregates of minerals of possibly different ages.