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Phil Drietz letter: Questions on the age of Earth

Summary: Letter writer questions methods used to date rocks on Earth.

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Minnesota's Department of Education uses the National Academy of Sciences' "A Framework for K-12 Science Education" to develop their standards. How do they prove the age of Earth is over 4 billion years? ESS1.C. says: “Radioactive decay lifetimes and isotopic content in rocks provide a way of dating rock formations and thereby fixing the scale of geological time.” (Page 178)

In 2019, I inquired with the Minnesota Geological Survey as to how they know the rocks are 3.6 million years old, which they reference on a bronze plaque located in Ramsey Park in Redwood Falls.

They sent me two geochronology documents, which held lots of fine detail regarding the usage of high-precision equipment (i.e. Sensitive High Resolution Ion Micro Probe) with various techniques for determining age via interpretation of isotope ratios in zircon crystals within the granite rock sample.

Then I asked how they know:

1. The rock formation has remained a closed system during its entire history.


2. The initial concentration of parent or daughter isotope.

3. Decay rates have not varied throughout billions of years.

4. All parent and daughter isotopes are uniformly distributed in the rock formation.

I received an answer saying that geochronology tends to be built on multiple assumptions.

But multiple assumptions cannot be upheld by the scientific method, and should not be presented as "fact" and cast in bronze for general public indoctrination.

Geochronology was used to analyze lava rock from Mount Ngauruhoe in New Zealand known to be 60 years old; the various isotope methods came up with dates ranging from 270,000 to 3.9 billion years.

If Earth were billions of years old, then its magnetic field should be gone by now, and we would be unprotected from harmful radiation. If we extrapolate the field decay rate backwards, Earth would have been torn apart by intense magnetism only 10,000 years ago. Some of the planets have a similar situation.

Heliocentricity vs. geocentricity? To date, no experiment has shown Earth to be in motion.


Phil Drietz

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