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But in general, this rate is felt by the vast majority of mainstream scientists to be a fundamental constant. al., published a paper suggesting that the decay rate of radioactive elements is related to the Earth's distance from the Sun.
Some, like Robert Gentry, have even argued that Radio-halos from rapidly decaying radioactive isotopes in granite seem to indicate that the granites were formed almost instantly.Later, after radioactivity had been proven to be a significant source of the Earth's internal heat, he did privately admit that he might have been in error.What is especially telling about this whole story is the conclusion of the absolute truth of the conclusion based on premises that are weak, or at least not adequately demonstrated.These two independent and agreeing dating methods for of the age of two primary members of the solar system formed a strong case for the correctness of his answer within the scientific community.This just goes to show that just because independent estimates of age seem to agree with each other doesn't mean that they're correct - despite the fact that this particular argument is the very same one used to support the validity of radiometric dating today.Potassium - Argon and Argon - Argon dating are based on the current understanding that radioactive Potassium-40 decays to the stable form, Argon-40 with a half-life of approximately 1.25 billion years.
There are some circumstances that can affect this rate such as magnetic fluctuations etc...
There is perhaps no beguilement more insidious and dangerous than an elaborate and elegant mathematical process built upon unfortified premises." - Chamberlain 1899b:224Following the discovery of radioactivity by Becquerel (1896), the possibility of using this phenomenon as a means for determining the age of uranium-bearing minerals was demonstrated by Rutherford (1906).
One year later Boltwood (1907) developed the chemical U-Pb method. By combining Von Weizsacker’s argon abundance arguments with Kohlhorster’s observation that potassium emitted gamma-radiation, Bramley (1937) presented strong evidence that potassium underwent dual decay.
Of course, the detected variation is no more than 0.2% of the published rates, but this paper is still quite interesting since such a correlation was never suspected before.
If magnetic fluxuations or other influencing forces are strong enough, radiometric decay rates could be much more significantly effected.
His result was in close agreement with his estimate of the age of the earth.