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Note that young-Earthers cannot accuse us of selective use of data -- the above table includes a significant fraction of all meteorites on which isotope dating has been attempted. 286) , less than 100 meteorites have been subjected to isotope dating, and of those about 70 yield ages with low analytical error.

Further, the oldest age determinations of individual meteorites generally give concordant ages by multiple radiometric means, or multiple tests across different samples.

While these values do not compute an age for the Earth, they do establish a lower limit (the Earth must be at least as old as any formation on it).

This lower limit is at least concordant with the independently derived figure of 4.55 billion years for the Earth's actual age.

(I believe this argument was originally put forth by Mormon young-Earther Melvin Cook, in a letter to the editor which was published in .) But helium can and does escape from the atmosphere, at rates calculated to be nearly identical to rates of production.

If the source of the solar system was also uniformly distributed with respect to uranium isotope ratios, then the data points will always fall on a single line.And from the slope of the line we can compute the amount of time which has passed since the pool of matter became separated into individual objects.See the Isochron Dating FAQ or Faure (1986, chapter 18) for technical detail.Helium is not light enough to escape the Earth's gravity (unlike hydrogen), and it will therefore accumulate over time.The current level of helium in the atmosphere would accumulate in less than two hundred thousand years, therefore the Earth is young.

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