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Many of the world's spiritual movements have no problem with the idea of an old earth. Some few do, even going so far as to declare the evidences for an old earth as a test of faith. I consider this a stretch of the old saying that "god is no respecter of persons" into "god shows no respect for persons". These are quite different ideas.

Like biological evolution, the earth is changing in a slow predictable process, punctuated by catastrophic changes. Yes, punctuated equilibrium applies here to.

Uniformitarianism meets catastrophism.

See the PBS series "The Earth Revealed" for a series of short video lessons on how geologists know what they know.

See an encyclopedia for plate tectonics, geology, or earth history.