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Holmes radiometric dating

By the end of the 18'th century it was clear that the Earth had a long and varied history. The major debate was between the catastrophists, e.g., Cuvier, who held that the history of Earth was dominated by major catastrophic revolutions and the uniformitarians, e.g.

Hutton and Lyell, who held that the history of Earth was dominated by slow relatively uniform changes in an Earth with a static over all history.

Pb leakage is the most likely cause of discordant dates, since Pb will be occupying a site in the crystal that has suffered radiation damage as a result of U decay.

We can see how do deal with this if we take a particular case. For example the amount of Rb in mantle rocks is generally low, i.e. The mantle thus has a low If these two independent dates are the same, we say they are concordant.

U leakage would cause discordant points to plot above the cocordia. Lunar rocks also lie on the Geochron, at least suggesting that the moon formed at the same time as meteorites. Pb separated from continents and thus from average crust also plots on the Geochron, and thus suggests that the Earth formed at the same time as the meteorites and moon.

But, again, exptrapolation of the discordia back to the two points where it intersects the Concordia, would give two ages - t* representing the possible metamorphic event and t and solve for t . This argument tells when the elements were formed that make up the Earth, but does not really give us the age of the Earth. Thus, our best estimate of the age of the Earth is 4.55 billion years.

These were long on armchair speculation and short on substantive supporting evidence.

These cosmogonies were part of the new emphasis of science in seeking rational explanations of the features of the world. This period was marked by a great deal of field geology rather than grand cosmogonies.

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For example lavas dated by K-Ar that are historic in age, usually show 1 to 2 my old ages due to trapped Ar.

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