Fairy tales for adults (long)

Richard Lightman richard at nezumi.plus.com
Thu Feb 13 08:14:52 PST 2003


* Ian Molton <spyro at f2s.com> [2003-02-13 15:10]:
> On Thu, 13 Feb 2003 14:33:45 +0000 (UTC)
> steveb at creek-and-cowley.com (Steve Bougerolle) wrote:
> 
> > On Thu, 2003-02-13 at 22:04, Ian Molton wrote:
> > > Carbon dating may not be massively accurate, but is based on a VERY
> > > sound, and readily observable scientific principle - that of
> > > radioactive decay.
> > 
> > Nope, gotcha there.
> 
> Not really. Radioactive decay has been observed to be stable to an
> astonishingly high accuracy (witness atomic clocks).
> 
Atomic clocks are not based on radioactive decay.
A better example for the invariance of neuclear reactions of long
time scales is that there are natural neuclear reactors that change
the ratio of U235 and U238 isotopes.

BTW, for dating over longer timescales than carbon, you can use
potassium, and other more long lived isotopes.

Richard
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