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There is perhaps no beguilement more insidious and dangerous than an elaborate and elegant mathematical process built upon unfortified premises." - Chamberlain 1899b:224Following the discovery of radioactivity by Becquerel (1896), the possibility of using this phenomenon as a means for determining the age of uranium-bearing minerals was demonstrated by Rutherford (1906).One year later Boltwood (1907) developed the chemical U-Pb method. By combining Von Weizsacker’s argon abundance arguments with Kohlhorster’s observation that potassium emitted gamma-radiation, Bramley (1937) presented strong evidence that potassium underwent dual decay.Other factors and basic assumptions must also be considered.Of course, Kelvin formed his estimates of the age of the Sun without the knowledge of fusion as the true energy source of the Sun.Both the physical geologists and paleontologists could point to evidence that much more time was needed to produce what they saw in the stratigraphic and fossil records.As one answer to his critics, Kelvin produced a completely independent estimate -- this time for the age of the Sun.
It was based on the idea that no significant source of novel heat energy was affecting the Earth.Of course, later scientists, like John Perry and T. After this came to light, Kelvin admitted that he might just as well have set his original upper limit on the age of the Earth at 4,000 Ma instead of 400 Ma.Of course, this was a close as Kelvin ever came to publicly recanting his position.was published, the earth was "scientifically" determined to be 100 million years old. In 1947, science firmly established that the earth was 3.4 billion years old.Finally in 1976, it was discovered that the earth is "really" 4.6 billion years old… The answer of 25 million years deduced by Kelvin was not received favorably by geologists.