Carbon dating quotes
This estimate was actually reduced over his lifetime to between 20 Ma and 40 Ma and eventually to less than 10 Ma. Perry, in particular, a noted physicists and former assistant to Kelvin, showed that cooling calculations using different but equally likely assumptions and data resulted in ages for the Earth of as much as 29 Ga.
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.
These first â€œgeochronology studiesâ€ yielded the first â€œabsolute agesâ€ from geologic material, which seemed to indicate that parts of the Earth’s crust were hundreds of millions of years old. During this same period of time Thomson (1905), Campbell and Wood (1906) demonstrated that potassium was radioactive and emitted beta-particles.
The first isotopes of potassium (Ar in older K-bearing rocks.
Later, after radioactivity had been proven to be a significant source of the Earth’s internal heat, he did privately admit that he might have been in error.
“The fascinating impressiveness of rigorous mathematical analyses, with its atmosphere of precision and elegance, should not blind us to the defects of the premises that condition the whole process.
There is perhaps no beguilement more insidious and dangerous than an elaborate and elegant mathematical process built upon unfortified premises.” – Chamberlain 1899b:224 Following 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).
What is especially telling about this whole story is the conclusion of the absolute truth of the conclusion based on premises that are weak, or at least not adequately demonstrated.
Chamberlain (1899) pointed out that Kelvin’s calculations were only as good as the assumptions on which they were based.