Earth age dating methods

Since 1955 the estimate for the age of the Earth has been based on the assumption that certain meteorite lead isotope ratios are equivalent to the primordial lead isotope ratios on Earth.

In 1972 this assumption was shown to be highly questionable.

Here is an easy-to understand analogy for your students: relative age dating is like saying that your grandfather is older than you.

Absolute age dating is like saying you are 15 years old and your grandfather is 77 years old.

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.

Astronomers and geologists have determined that the universe and Earth are billions of years old.In a way this field, called geochronology, is some of the purest detective work earth scientists do.There are two basic approaches: relative age dating, and absolute age dating.This conclusion is not based on just one measurement or one calculation, but on many types of evidence.Here we will describe just two types of evidence for an old Earth and two types of evidence for an old universe; more types can be found under further reading.

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