Do geologists use radiometric dating

Even less should we let that knowledge influence our judgment of the players, acting as they did in their own time, constrained by the concepts and data then available.One outstanding feature of this drama is the role played by those who themselves were not, or not exclusively, geologists.He inferred that where the layers are not horizontal, they must have been tilted since their deposition and noted that different strata contain different kinds of fossil.Robert Hooke, not long after, suggested that the fossil record would form the basis for a chronology that would “far antedate ...Florian Cajori, author of the 1908 article “The Age of the Sun and the Earth,” was a historian of science and, especially, of mathematics, and Ray Lankester, whom he quotes, was a zoologist. The first act consists in a direct attack, led by Lord Kelvin, on the extreme uniformitarianism of those such as Charles Lyell, who regarded the earth as indefinitely old and who, with great foresight (or great naivety, depending on your point of view: see the third installment of the 1900 “The Age of the Earth” article by W. Sollas), assumed that physical processes would eventually be discovered to power the great engine of erosion and uplift.

Critical to this resolution were improved methods of dating, which incorporated advances in mass spectrometry, sampling and laser heating.It is a drama consisting of a prologue and three acts, complex characters, and no clear heroes or villains.We, of course, know the final outcome, but we should not let that influence our appreciation of the story as it unfolds.The second referred to such topics as the detailed shape of the earth (bulging slightly at the equator) and the dynamics of the earth-moon system.The third referred to the heat of the sun, particularly the rate at which such heat is being lost, compared with the total amount of energy initially available.

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