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rely heavily on the uranium/thorium/lead radiometric dating methods.
Because it is not generally appreciated that the assumptions on which the radiometric estimates are based are a virtually impossible sequence of events, let us refresh our minds on the fundamentals of the method by turning to the hourglass analogy (Fig. This system of measuring time works well providing that: Since radioactive decay constants are believed to be unalterable, the requirement of an absolutely reproducible rate is hopefully met.
Before 1955, ages for the Earth based on uranium/thorium/lead ratios were generally about a billion years younger than the currently popular 4.5 billion years. old Earth is reviewed and deficiencies of the uranium/lead method are discussed.
However, it is even more surprising to learn that the lead isotope ratios chosen by Patterson Most meteorites have lead isotope ratios similar to those of present day common lead.
Since the lead in meteorites can no longer be ascribed to uranium/thorium decay, it may also be taken to represent primordial lead.
Therefore, since the lead isotope ratios for the majority of meteorites are the same as present day common lead ratios and may also be assumed to represent primordial lead, the billion year age chronology disappears.
There is a large body of discordant data but concordant data are scarce.
In 1955 a symposium on radiometric dating was held from which the following was given in the summary: “Radioactive ‘dating’ has been perhaps the most widely publicised of geochemical techniques, but of several known dating methods based on radioactivity, only C-14 dating has developed to the point where it yields consistently reliable ages.