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Fraser
2010-Dec-14, 07:10 PM
Today, we take it for granted that the Sun produces energy via nuclear fusion. However, this realization only came about in the early 1900′s and wasn’t confirmed until several decades later (see the Solar Neutrino Problem). Prior to that, several other methods of energy production had been proposed. These ranged from burning coal to a [...]

More... (http://www.universetoday.com/81707/darwin-vs-the-sun/)

George
2010-Dec-14, 08:47 PM
Today, we take it for granted that the Sun produces energy via nuclear fusion. However, this realization only came about in the early 1900′s and wasn’t confirmed until several decades later (see the Solar Neutrino Problem). Prior to that, several other methods of energy production had been proposed. These ranged from burning coal to a [...]

More... (http://www.universetoday.com/81707/darwin-vs-the-sun/)

Those were exciting times.

I suspect the more dramatic age issue was the geological age since Lord Kelvin's calculations only allowed up to about 100 million years for the Earth. [Whatever age the Earth was recognized to be would make the Sun at least as old, regardless of energy production guesses for the Sun. ]

Kelvin's clout with science was harmful to Darwin's evolutionary age estimates and he called Lord Kelvin an "odious spectre". :) Fortunately, Lyell's work arguing for an ancient Earth was relatively respected, which supported Darwin.

Interestingly, when radioactivity was discovered at the end of the 19th century it helped Darwin in both the geological age as well as the astronomical age for the Sun since both needed a new energy source and radioactivity was a powerful one. And, as things would have it, both assumptions were wrong. [The Earth is as hot as it is due more to internal convection, apparently, than due to radiactive decay. This allows the Earth to be billions of years old.]