Could radiometric dating be wrong

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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.Further, the processes of erosion and crustal recycling have apparently destroyed all of the earliest surface.

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However, the test for these assumptions is the plot of the data itself.

The actual underlying assumption is that, if those requirements have not been met, there is no reason for the data points to fall on a line.

The resulting plot has data points for each of five meteorites that contain varying levels of uranium, a single data point for all meteorites that do not, and one (solid circle) data point for modern terrestrial sediments.

Over time, the amounts of Pb-206 and Pb-207 will change in some samples, as these isotopes are decay end-products of uranium decay (U-238 decays to Pb-206, and U-235 decays to Pb-207).

This causes the data points to separate from each other.

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