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Found - the oldest known piece of Planet Earth

PostPosted: 26 Feb 2014
by Pink Panther
Gem found on Australian sheep ranch is the oldest known piece of Earth, scientists find

Scientists using two different age-determining techniques have shown that a tiny zircon crystal found on a sheep ranch in Western Australia is the oldest known piece of our planet, dating to 4.4 billion years ago. Writing in the journal Nature Geoscience on Sunday, the researchers said the discovery indicates that Earth's crust formed relatively soon after the planet formed and that the little gem was a remnant of it.

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John Valley, a University of Wisconsin geoscience professor who led the research, said the findings suggest that the early Earth was not as harsh a place as many scientists have thought.

To determine the age of the zircon fragment, the scientists first used a widely accepted dating technique based on determining the radioactive decay of uranium to lead in a mineral sample.

But because some scientists hypothesised that this technique might give a false date due to possible movement of lead atoms within the crystal over time, the researchers turned to a second sophisticated method to verify the finding.

Re: Found - the oldest known piece of Planet Earth

PostPosted: 27 Feb 2014
by ex-l
There another interesting story just coming up about ... Whale graveyard shows mass stranding of species millions of years ago.

What does the Brahma Kumaris World University say to this? Presumably they'll claim it is evidence of a "mini-Destruction" 2,500 years ago?

BKism only works if you close your mind, become willingly blind to what is going on in the world around us and are, preferably, completely uneducated ... or de-educate yourself. The leaders of the cult should be pulled up and made to provide their alternatives answer to all these.

Even the born again Christians have a better answer, they say stuff like, "God put the dinosaur bones there to test our faith!", so it looks like he's been scattering zircons from outer space too. They don't explain how either.

What is bizarre about this for me personally, is that the BK who gave me the course was a managing director of the British Gemological Institute. How can you manage that psychological accommodation between BK faith and science (if not reality) in such a trade?
A mass graveyard of fossilised whales unearthed in Chile was created by four separate strandings over a period of 10,000 years, scientists believe.

The skeletons of dozens of baleen whales were found in ancient sandstones beside the Pan-American Highway in the Atacama region of north Chile, where they are thought to have lain undetected for between 6m and 9m years.

Cerro Ballena was famed locally for its hidden ancient skeletons – but the latest discovery was made by chance during construction work on the busy Pan-American Highway that runs alongside the area, which is now seen as one of the richest fossil sites in the world.

Many of the fossils were found in perfect condition.


Re: Found - the oldest known piece of Planet Earth

PostPosted: 27 Feb 2014
by Pink Panther
A gemologist is not a geologist. They know how to value gems, they are not necessarily fully-versed in the science of what creates them.

(BTW, It appears I am thereby partly responsible for your encultification ex-l, for it was I who partly ”convinced” said gemologist to join the institution to which this forum is dedicated. If it helps, I apologise).

The idea of a mini-Destruction at the end of Silver Age might be plausible if such finds were in igneous rocks, i.e. volcanically erupted and quickly "settled”.

Where there is sedimentation, layers upon layers, with visible seasons and years, that is implausible. Here we seem to have many layers of sandstone (you can just make out the layers in the background of one photo) and 4 different episodes.

As for ”God placing the fossil record to test our faith” here’s two links - first one is news,

Teaching children that dinosaurs did not exist: how public schools fail their brief.

This one is amusing - from a favourite practical joker of mine.