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Lomonosov's ideas were mostly speculative, but in 1779, the French naturalist the Comte du Buffon tried to obtain a value for the age of Earth using an experiment: He created a small globe that resembled Earth in composition and then measured its rate of cooling.This led him to estimate that Earth was about 75,000 years old.Nicolas Steno (seventeenth century) was one of the first Western naturalists to appreciate the connection between fossil remains and strata.

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However, they assumed that the Sun was glowing only from the heat of its gravitational contraction.Xenophanes interpreted fossil-bearing strata in much the same way during the sixth century ) discovered the existence of shells and fossils in regions that once housed seas and was later transformed into dry land, such as the Indian subcontinent.Based on this evidence, he realized that the Earth is constantly evolving and proposed that the Earth had an age, but that its origin was too distant to measure.He assumed that Earth had been created as a completely molten ball of rock, and determined the amount of time it took for the ball to cool to its present temperature.His calculations did not take into account the Earth's ongoing heat source in the form of radioactive decay, which was unknown at the time.This was a challenge to the traditional view, which saw the history of Earth as static, with changes brought about by intermittent catastrophes.

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