History of radiometric dating

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.

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.

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.

His result was in close agreement with his estimate of the age of the earth.

Most sedimentary rocks such as sandstone, limestone, and shale (which do contain fossils) are related to the radiometric time scale by bracketing them within time zones that are determined by dating appropriately selected igneous rocks in lava flows, or weathered from lava flows.

But in general, this rate is felt by the vast majority of mainstream scientists to be a fundamental constant. al., published a paper suggesting that the decay rate of radioactive elements is related to the Earth's distance from the Sun.

In other words, the decay rates show annual changes that closely reflect the Earth's distance from the Sun (see illustration).

Of course, the detected variation is no more than 0.2% of the published rates, but this paper is still quite interesting since such a correlation was never suspected before.

If magnetic fluxuations or other influencing forces are strong enough, radiometric decay rates could be much more significantly effected.

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Without this knowledge, he argued that, "As for the future, we may say, with equal certainty, that inhabitants of the Earth cannot continue to enjoy the light and heat essential to their life, for many million years longer, unless sources now unknown to us are prepared in the great storehouse of creation."The same is true of the basis of Kelvin's estimate of the age of the Earth.

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