Dating on earth release
To answer this question, I will make some predictions based on RATE’s data and conclusions and then compare them with field observations.
The ratios of uranium and thorium to the corresponding daughter product lead isotopes can be used to date the time of formation of the crystal, based on the known half-lives of the original uranium and thorium isotopes.
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Farley and Reiners and have developed the sophisticated laboratory equipment needed to accurately analyze microscopic crystals for the different isotopes of concern.
presents diffusion rates for helium in the Fenton Hill zircons over a range of temperatures. The diffusion rates are plotted on semilog axes against the reciprocal of the temperature in degrees Kelvin.
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If the crystals were really 1.5 billion years old the helium should have all diffused out into the surrounding mineral formations. and I will not repeat most of those issues here, beyond mentioning that there are some serious questions as to how RATE calculated the ratios of theoretical to actual residual helium contents in the zircons Any valid scientific theory must have predictive power.
Thus, the crystals cannot really be 1.5 billion years old rather they are only a few thousand years old. The RATE research includes some limited analyses of helium contents of some zircon crystals, some diffusion rate measurements and calculations to support their claims about the short time of the diffusion process. The authors of the RATE zircon-helium study claim that their primary thesis, that the earth is only 6000 years old, is vindicated by their calculations of the expected residual helium levels in the Fenton Hill zircon crystals.
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