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Scientists attempted to predict the age based on changing sea levels, the time it took for Earth or the sun to cool to present temperatures, and the salinity of the ocean.

As science progressed, these methods were proven to be unreliable; for instance, the rise and fall of the ocean was shown to be an ever-changing process rather than a gradually declining one.

While most of our nice rocks formed quite a bit after the planet came to be since they are the cooled down soup that forms our dear crust.

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By examining the existing elements, scientists can calculate the initial quantity, and thus how long it took for the elements to decay, allowing them to determine the age of the rock.

The oldest rocks on Earth found to date are the Acasta Gneisses in northwestern Canada near the Great Slave Lake, which are 4.03 billion years old.

By studying other bodies in the solar system, scientists are able to find out more about the early history of the planet.

The nearest body to Earth, the moon, does not suffer from the resurfacing problems that cover Earth's landscape.

By dating the rocks in the ever-changing crust, as well as neighbors such as the moon and visiting meteorites, scientists have calculated that Earth is 4.54 billion years old, with an error range of 50 million years.

Several attempts to scientifically date the planet have occurred over the past 400 years.

These tiny zirconium silicate crystals have ages that reach 4.3 billion years, making them the oldest materials found on Earth so far. The rocks and zircons set a lower limit on the age of Earth of 4.3 billion years, because the planet itself must be older than anything that lies on its surface.

In an effort to further refine the age of Earth, scientists began to look outward.

Short answer: because the meteorites formed together with the Earth and the rest of the Solar System.

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