How could I forget the Earth’s birthday? For a geologist, I’m fairly sure that’s an unforgivable sin.
Of course, October the 23rd only has geochronological significance if you believe the biblical calculations of Archbishop Ussher (or possibly one of his contempories), which led to the infamous 4004 BC date being inscribed on the first page of the King James Bible. If you do, you’d have to fit 6010 candles on the birthday cake: assuming each candle takes up 1 square cm of iced real estate, it would have to be about 90 cm across to fit them all on. That’s a pretty big cake.
However, anyone who has bothered to pay attention to reality in the last couple of hundred years knows that if it was really the Earth’s birthday a few more candles would be required – four and a half billion more, in fact. It makes the cake somewhat larger, too:
And with that, creationism’s severe lack of ambition – both intellectual and culinary – is, finally, properly exposed. Creationists would bake our dear home planet a birthday cake which you could fit on your desk. Geologists would bake one that you could probably see from space. Although I imagine that there’d be a few disagreements over the flavour…