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Canadian Solves Time Puzzle of the Universe

Exclusive to Canadian Vindicator e-zine

Who, what, where, when, and why?

Rohleder. Paul Rohleder. Canadian. That's who.

The precise age of the Universe. That's what.

In Ireland. That's where he works as a geologist.

August, 2002. That's when he was sure of the discovery.

Human fascination with time. That's why he researched the subject.

To begin at the beginning, people and civilizations through the millennia have grappled with many questions about the Universe in which they find themselves. One of those questions has stumped cosmologists, scientists, physicists, numismatics, and thinkers throughout time immemorial. What age is the Universe?

To give just one example, the Mayans of Mexico calculated the age at 10.23 Ga or billion years.

Since the deployment of the Hubble telescope in space in our own time, scientists have placed its age at around 15 billion years.

Now a Canadian born geologist and researcher has come up with a much more precise dating.

The Universe, he claims, is 15.96 Ga or billion years old.

Paul Rohleder, a Canadian born geologist and graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, has been studying the question of geological time for many years. Now he has come up with a series of equations that lead to a finding of 15.96 billion years.

It may well be asked why he has chosen to place the result of his study first in this e-zine, The Canadian Vindicator, rather than in a scientific journal. The answer is simple. His principal concern is to get the information into the public domain as speedily as possible.

As an environmentalist he has taken a keen interest in the rehabilitation of the lower Erne River basin and the preservation of its wild salmon stock, issues which have been of continuing interest to the Irish section of this and its predecessor web site since 1996.

He also provided much of the material for the "Rocks from the Basement of Time" (his own words) article which appeared in a previous issue of The Canadian Vindicator.

No doubt his dating of the Universe will be the subject of much debate, and should the equations on which he bases it come closer to the mark than anything produced hitherto, they may spark much heat as such debates are wont to do.

Meantime, as a Canadian based e-zine, is privileged to be the first to place the Rohleder equations on the World Wide Web.

"Anyone who possesses a modest scientific calculator with a (Praetorian) Pi notation or key can work through these equations and obtain the all-important answer," says Mr. Rohleder. The ability to obtain duplication of his results will be proof of the correctness of his findings. That is why their full sequence is outlined in this article.

All other media are free to quote, with appropriate acknowledgment.

The Age of the Universe

(By P.M. Rohleder)

Goethe, devoted to stones
who guessed - he never could prove it -
Newton led Science astray.

--Wystan Auden, May 1973

How Old (or Young) Is the Universe

It is generally accepted from observation that the expansion and evolution of the Universe suggest it has a finite or definite age, considered to be the time since the so-called "big bang". Ages ranging from 10 to 20 billion years have been put forward as an age for the Universe, although presently a figure 13-14 billion years old seems to be holding sway. Is this figure sighted by an instrument, the Hubble Space Telescope, completely accurate and is there possibly an alternative way of calculating an age for the Universe e.g. from the geological time scale? This article examines exactly that possibility.

Cosmologists versus Geologists

Cosmologists or astronomers may write about the Universe and the big bang, a "spot in time", only it is really the geologist or earth scientist who experiences the earth-universe compressed into a moment. What do the geologists know that the cosmologists may find hard to grasp?

The Paradox of Time

To explain the Paradox of Time take the age of magma and e.g. Recent volcanic activity on the island of Hawaii forming a rock like a piece of basalt. It may be generally perceived that it is only 1 Ma (million years old), or less, depending on the age of the volcanic activity. But the Age of the Earth is believed by most to be 4.6 Ga (billion years old). That piece of basalt has been evolving as both a solid and liquid melt for the same period of time. Its much more true age is really 4.6 Ga (billion years old).

Only that is not the whole story. Let us say for the sake of argument that the Universe is 15 billion years old, then at least the gaseous phase of that basalt was evolving in the Universe some 10.4 Ga (billion years) before the earth proper came into orbit. This, of course, means an even truer age for the piece of basalt, more like the age of the Universe itself.

Series of Equations

Below is given a Series of Equations with some terms, e.g. End of Jurassic, which may be unfamiliar to the general reader. Hence a glossary of these terms has been provided at the end of the article.

This Series of Equations illustrates how an extrapolation of the apparent "younger" aged End of Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods together with the common denominator for geological and universal time, i.e. Praetorian Pi, is logical to determine an age for the Universe.

It should be noted that all numeric ages for the End of Geological Periods and other terms used in the Series of Equations are taken from the reference: A Geological Time Scale by Harland, W.B. et al. (eds.) (1982).

Praetorian Pi

Praetorian Pi, or simply Pi, is one of the stars of the world of mathematics and is used to denote the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.
The ratio itself is 3.1415...+ and is taken from the Greek word, periphery.

Carl Sagan in his 1985 novel Contact wrote this about the transcendental number (a symbol of infinity): "How can you hide a message inside pi? It's built into the fabric of the Universe."

A DIY (Do-it-yourself) Guide to calculating an age for the Universe

Duplication of results is an important part of the scientific endeavour. What is somewhat remarkable here is that the average person equipped with a modest scientific calculator, with a (Praetorian) Pi notation or key, can work their way through these Series of Equations. They can obtain for themselves, the all-important answer that suggests a (possible) age for the Universe of 15.96 Ga or Gyr (billion years). (Science can sometimes almost be fun).

The Rohleder Series of Equations


Ma = million of years
Ga = billion of years
Praetorian Pi = transcendental number and a symbol of infinity

End of Permian = 248 Ma
End of Permian
Praetorian Pi
= 78.94 Ma
End of Permian
+ End of Cretaceous = ?
78.94 Ma + 65 Ma = 143.94 Ma
143.94 Ma = End of Jurassic
End of Jurassic = 144 Ma
End of Jurassic
= 45.84 Ma
End of Jurassic
Praetorian Pi
+ End of Cretaceous = ?
45.84 Ma + 65 Ma = 110.84 Ma
End of Jurassic
Praetorian Pi
x End of Permian = ?
45.84 Ma x 248 Ma = 11.37 Ga
End of Jurassic
Praetorian Pi
= 45.84 Ma
End of Jurassic
+ End of Cretaceous = ?
45.84 Ma + 65 Ma = 110.84 Ma
Square Root of Praetorian Pi = 1.7724…..
End of Jurassic x Square Root of Praetorian Pi = ?
144 Ma x 1.7724….. = 255.23 Ma
(End of Jurassic x Square Root of Praetorian Pi) + End of Cretaceous = ?
144 Ma x 1.7724….. + 65 Ma = 320.23 Ma
320.23 Ma = End of Lower Carboniferous
End of Ordovician = 438 Ma
End of Ordovician - End of Permian
Praetorian Pi
= ?
438 Ma - 78.94 Ma = 359.06 Ma
359.06 Ma = End of Devonian (+ 1 Ma)
End of Jurassic x (End of Jurassic
Praetorian Pi
+ End of Cretaceous) = ?
144 Ma x (144 Ma 3.1415…. + 65 Ma) = ?
144 Ma x 45.84 Ma + 65 Ma = ?

144 Ma x 110.84 Ma = 15.96 Ga
15.96 Ga = (Possible) Age of Universe

Ga = billion of years
Generally accepted (Possible) Age of Earth = 4.6 Ga
(Possible) Age of Universe = 15.96 Ga
(Possible) Age of Universe - (Possible) Age of Earth = ?
15.96 Ga - 4.6 Ga = 11.36 Ga (+.01 Ga)
(Please see Equation above for 11.37 Ga)
(Another Possible) Age of Earth = 15.96 Ga - 11.37 Ga = ?
(Probable) Age of Earth = 4.59 Ga

Macro Cosmos equals Micro Cosmos

Therefore that implies: (Probable Age of Earth implies Probable Age of Universe)

15.96 Ga      
Praetorian Pi
= 15.96 Ga
= 5,080.38 Ma
5,080 Ma = (Possible) Age of Solar System

5080 Ma               

(End of Jurassic)
Praetorian Pi

+ End of Cretaceous = ?

5080 Ma               

(144 Ma)

+ 65 Ma = ?
5080 Ma
110.84 Ma
= 45.84 Ma
45.84 Ma = End of Jurassic
Praetorian Pi
118 Ma = "Base" of Cretaceous Normal?
118 Ma         
Praetorian Pi
= ?
118 Ma
= 37.56 Ma
Base of Cretaceous Normal
Praetorian Pi
+ End of Jurassic
Praetorian Pi
= ?
37.56 Ma + 45.84 Ma = 83.40 Ma
83.40 Ma = End of Cretaceous Normal



"End of Cretaceous"

Ma = million of years.

End of Cretaceous = 65 Ma

The Cretaceous Period ended 65 Ma (million years ago) and is noted for the mass extinction of the dinosaurs (except for the birds) and half of all invertebrate marine organisms. The cause of the End of Cretaceous extinction is currently thought to be a meteorite impact. While this was a major extinction, the most devastating mass extinction occurred at the End of the Permian = 248 Ma (million years ago).

The Cretaceous Period (144 -- 65 Ma) is named after Creta, the Latin for chalk, and was first recognized from the chalk rock in the southeast of England, e.g. the White Cliffs of Dover.

"End of Jurassic"

End of Jurassic = 144 Ma

The Jurassic Period ended 144 Ma (million years ago) and marks the turning point in the evolution of life as the earth's fauna showed a new diversity (e.g. Archaeopteryx, thought to be the earliest dinosaur-like bird fossil). While many organisms representative of the Jurassic fauna became extinct and new forms evolved, it is around this end-time that the flowering plants appeared, their impact being enormous for life on Earth. Interestingly, there was a minor extinction near the End of the Jurassic and the majority of the huge sauropod dinosaurs became extinct, together with many genera of ammonoids and marine reptiles. The cause of this is still unknown.

The Jurassic Period (206 -- 144 Ma) is named after rocks zoned by an "explosion" in diversity of ammonite fossils located in the Jura Mountains bordering Switzerland and France.

"End of Permian"

End of Permian = 248 Ma

The Permian Period ended 248 Ma (million years ago) and is known for the largest mass extinction event in the Earth's history. It is estimated that 85% of marine species (mostly invertebrates) including all the trilobites, and 70% of species on land. went extinct, as well as most land plants. The exact cause of this huge mass extinction has not been determined, although many theories have been put forward from changes in sea-level to a meteorite (asteroid) impact.

The Permian Period (286 -- 248 Ma) is named after rocks from the province of Perm in Russia. The reconstructed geography of the Permian is thought to have had the earth's continents practically all together in a single land mass known as "Pangea."

"Cretaceous Normal"

End of Cretaceous Normal = 83 Ma

"Base" of Cretaceous Normal? = 118 Ma

Ocean floor that formed from 119 Ma to 83 Ma is known as the "Cretaceous quiet zone" because of the absence of globally traceable magnetic anomalies over oceanic crust of this age. Irving & Pullaiah (1976) use the expression 'Cretaceous Normal quiet interval' and the symbol 'K-N' to describe the interval of normal polarity bias that occurred during the Cretaceous Period.

Reference: Harland, W.B. et al.(eds) (1982). A Geological Time Scale, Cambridge University Press, 131 pp.

Cretaceous Normal is simply an "unusual" period of 36 Ma, when the polarity of the Earth's magnetic field remained (the same or) in the normal state. The last equation ties it in.

Pi. A transcendental number and a symbol of infinity

Praetorian Pi = transcendental number and a symbol of infinity

A very brief note on this transcendental number is necessary. The best source of information on Pi is David Blatner's (1997) book, The Joy of Pi. A brief summary of the 130 page book is given on the web at

Note: A more recent figure based on Hubble Telescope observations gave an age of between 13 to 14 billion years. Mr. Rohleder's equations have raised this to 15.96 Ga billion years. Why the one and a half or 1.5 billion year discrepancy? Has a human mind scored over an inanimate technical instrument?

Mr. Rohleder may be contacted at:

Slieveardagh Teoranta
The Mall
Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal


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