4.4 Billion Year Old Piece of Earth's Crust, Oldest Yet, Found

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

4.4 Billion Year Old Piece of Earth's Crust, Oldest Yet, Found

Scientists have analyzed a zircon crystal taken from Australia's Jack Hills region and determined it is approximately 4.4 billion years old, making it the oldest known piece of Earth's crust.

At 4.375 billion years old, give or take six million years, a zircon crystal from Australia's Jack Hills has been found to be the oldest piece of Earth's crust discovered yet. The scientists that dated the ancient crystal have also used a technique that they hope will put an end to the long-running debate over the accuracy of dating these minerals.

"We've proved that the chemical record inside these zircons is trustworthy," said John Valley, lead study author and a geochemist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The findings were published yesterday in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Studying these ancient zircons is important to understanding early Earth, because inclusions within them tell us about the conditions of their environment during their formation. Earth is 4.54 billion years old, and zircons from Australia's Jack Hills region range from 3 billion to 4.4 billion years in age. However, the age of these ancient crystals has always been suspect due to the radiation damage that can occur during natural processes. Valley and his co-authors used a recently developed technique called atom-probe tomography to prove that the radiation damage to their analyzed zircon crystal does not render their dating inaccurate.

"We've demonstrated this zircon is a closed geochemical system, and we've never been able to do that before," Valley said. "There's no question that many zircons do suffer radiation damage, but I think relative to these zircons, this should settle it once and for all," Valley told Live Science's Our Amazing Planet.

Source: Fox News
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Permalink

Awesome :D Now in order to truly celebrate this, I think we should place the crstal in a booby-trapped satellite and send it into outer space (along with a copy of the internet) or we could strap it on a rocket and launch it at the sun.

I love the fact that Fox News is the source of this story. The absurdly obnoxious Jesus Freaks reporting that something is older than 6000 years.

It's not like this is going to convince anybody who doesn't want to hear it because of their preconceived notions, so the scientist quoted there seems rather too optimistic to me. Very pretty picture, though!

Wait, Fox News reported that something is more than 6000 years old? Color me surprised and shiver me timbers. And now I need to go read up on how atom-probe tomography works, so 'scuse me.

Have the scientists tried putting that crystal on the end of an arrow and trying to put out torches with it? It looks like a water arrow from Thief.

Adam Jensen:
I love the fact that Fox News is the source of this story. The absurdly obnoxious Jesus Freaks reporting that something is older than 6000 years.

And yet somehow I don't think any of their viewers will believe it. It's not in the bible after all!

Adam Jensen:
I love the fact that Fox News is the source of this story. The absurdly obnoxious Jesus Freaks reporting that something is older than 6000 years.

Aww I was just about to post that! But totally, it's irony in a nutshell, ladies and gents! I'm unsurprised about the person leading the study being from UW Madison, however. That's where most of the smarter people in this fucking state wind up.

The Earth's got some damn pretty baby teeth, doesn't it?

Nobody tell Ken Ham. He may cry in a corner with a bible to collect his tears as a tithe to the 6000 year old Earth.

Adam Jensen:
I love the fact that Fox News is the source of this story. The absurdly obnoxious Jesus Freaks reporting that something is older than 6000 years.

It might not be. Maybe we should also 'report the controversy'. This is a concerted campaign by fox news to undermine literal interpretations of the bible and is an attack on Christianity, Christmas, Santa-christ and the Easter bunny.

Dear Escpaist,
you are actually aware you are quoting FOX NEWS, right?

How much lower can you get?

4.4 billion years old

That's some pretty crusty crust.

...
...
...
I'll see myself out.

Skeleon:
It's not like this is going to convince anybody who doesn't want to hear it because of their preconceived notions, so the scientist quoted there seems rather too optimistic to me. Very pretty picture, though!

I don't think Valley's comments are meant for Young Earthers, but for his colleagues who question the accuracy of the dates. They would have no doubt that the earth itself is around 4.5-4.3 billion years old, but they are skeptical that the age of the zircons are correct.

Most of the geologists I know never really talk about Young Earthers while discussing their work. I'd imagine they've decided that it's a waste of time to edify or even address the arguments of people who can't be bothered to learn what the theories they're dismissing actually are. They're probably right; I've changed Young Earther's minds about the age of the earth before, but I had to basically do the job that their biology, geology, and physics professors failed to do. It's just not a worthwhile use of time. Really what we need to do is have teachers that actually do their jobs. If one in four Americans aren't aware the earth orbits the sun, as a recent survey showed, then our teachers are not doing their jobs.

McMullen:

Skeleon:
It's not like this is going to convince anybody who doesn't want to hear it because of their preconceived notions, so the scientist quoted there seems rather too optimistic to me. Very pretty picture, though!

I don't think Valley's comments are meant for Young Earthers, but for his colleagues who question the accuracy of the dates. They would have no doubt that the earth itself is around 4.5-4.3 billion years old, but they are skeptical that the age of the zircons are correct.

Most of the geologists I know never really talk about Young Earthers while discussing their work. I'd imagine they've decided that it's a waste of time to edify or even address the arguments of people who can't be bothered to learn what the theories they're dismissing actually are. They're probably right; I've changed Young Earther's minds about the age of the earth before, but I had to basically do the job that their biology, geology, and physics professors failed to do. It's just not a worthwhile use of time. Really what we need to do is have teachers that actually do their jobs. If one in four Americans aren't aware the earth orbits the sun, as a recent survey showed, then our teachers are not doing their jobs.

You are correct. They're not saying, "this is proof that Earth is more than 6000 years old." They're saying, "this is proof that this is the oldest zircon we've found yet." My background is in geology, and I've analyzed zircons myself, and I can safely say that it doesn't occur to any (most) geologist/geochemist to have to prove anything to Young Earthers in their studies.

Bah, that piece of rock's only worth five rupees.

McMullen:

Skeleon:
It's not like this is going to convince anybody who doesn't want to hear it because of their preconceived notions, so the scientist quoted there seems rather too optimistic to me. Very pretty picture, though!

I don't think Valley's comments are meant for Young Earthers, but for his colleagues who question the accuracy of the dates. They would have no doubt that the earth itself is around 4.5-4.3 billion years old, but they are skeptical that the age of the zircons are correct.

Most of the geologists I know never really talk about Young Earthers while discussing their work. I'd imagine they've decided that it's a waste of time to edify or even address the arguments of people who can't be bothered to learn what the theories they're dismissing actually are. They're probably right; I've changed Young Earther's minds about the age of the earth before, but I had to basically do the job that their biology, geology, and physics professors failed to do. It's just not a worthwhile use of time. Really what we need to do is have teachers that actually do their jobs. If one in four Americans aren't aware the earth orbits the sun, as a recent survey showed, then our teachers are not doing their jobs.

Your education system is such a mess, with teachers actively throwing religious and/or personal beliefs into what they teach, even going so far as to outright refuse to teach something because it opposes them, I'm not surprised that a moderate number of students couldn't out-think a bowl of soup.

The Hadean was a time of molten rock and poisonous vapor, HELL ON EAAAAAARTH!!!

Amethyst Wind:
The Earth's got some damn pretty baby teeth, doesn't it?

... and that's just adorable /)^3^(\

McMullen:
They're probably right; I've changed Young Earther's minds about the age of the earth before, but I had to basically do the job that their biology, geology, and physics professors failed to do. It's just not a worthwhile use of time.

Dude, there may not be a more worthwhile use of time... as 'after school special-ly' as that sounds.

PunkRex:
The Hadean was a time of molten rock and poisonous vapor, HELL ON EAAAAAARTH!!!

Let's face it. The earth's toddler-phase was Metal as fuck.

OT: Lovely to see to be honest. And hey, what's a million years or two here and there when you're counting in billions?
I know if I was 4.4 billion years old, I'd be pretty happy if people mistook me for 4.399 billion years old. Then again I'm closing on 30 and still get carded.

I can't wait for the young Earth creationists try to explain this one away with their pseudo science.

Zipa:
I can't wait for the young Earth creationists try to explain this one away with their pseudo science.

It's simple, use the same method they always do. "This dating technique, like all dating techniques, are inaccurate. The evidence I have for this is that it contradicts what I already believe, what the Bible says, and this series of quote-mined and out-dated sources. I am a totally trustworthy source who has a PhD from Liberty University. The end."

Adam Jensen:
I love the fact that Fox News is the source of this story. The absurdly obnoxious Jesus Freaks reporting that something is older than 6000 years.

Fox News was eager to report on this.

Clearly it was a trap created by the lord jesus christ to confuse the nonbelievers and lead them astray. Just like dinosaur fossils.

The amount of arrogance in this thread is nauseating.

1. Fox News is a legitmate news source and they are generally pretty accurate with actual news. It's their commentators that everyone refers to with the "super right wing propaganda" thing and every news station has those. So stop with "I can't believe it's Fox News!" bullshit.

2. Most of you cannot even begin to describe the science behind dating of this type so stop acting like you're so much better than the "Young Earthers." Unless you can adequately explain the ACTUAL SCIENCE then you are no better than the "Young Earthers" and all you are doing is regurgitating information from vague sources because it fits your world view. There is indeed actual scientific evidence that goes into this subject, but unless you know what you're talking about, shut the fuck up.

Skeleon:
It's not like this is going to convince anybody who doesn't want to hear it because of their preconceived notions, so the scientist quoted there seems rather too optimistic to me. Very pretty picture, though!

Exactly, arguing against creationism is like playing chess with a dog. You may be really good at chess and clearly be winning but . . its a dog and it is going to run around in circles, knock the board over and pee on it. Pointless.

Jacco:
The amount of arrogance in this thread is nauseating.

1. Fox News is a legitmate news source and they are generally pretty accurate with actual news. It's their commentators that everyone refers to with the "super right wing propaganda" thing and every news station has those. So stop with "I can't believe it's Fox News!" bullshit.

2. Most of you cannot even begin to describe the science behind dating of this type so stop acting like you're so much better than the "Young Earthers." Unless you can adequately explain the ACTUAL SCIENCE then you are no better than the "Young Earthers" and all you are doing is regurgitating information from vague sources because it fits your world view. There is indeed actual scientific evidence that goes into this subject, but unless you know what you're talking about, shut the fuck up.

Fox hasn't been a reputable news source for a decade or more. Half of their stuff is primarily for shock-value and the other borders on apocrypha.

I'm sorry, but did you just call pretty much the entire scientific community "vague sources"?

Please tell me you're for real, because this is comedy gold. Maybe even platinum.

Nobody tell Ken Ham. I don't want to have to listen to him and his "historical science" bullshit in relation to this.

Captcha: Global warming. It learns

Reed Spacer:

Fox hasn't been a reputable news source for a decade or more. Half of their stuff is primarily for shock-value and the other borders on apocrypha.

I'm sorry, but did you just call pretty much the entire scientific community "vague sources"?

Please tell me you're for real, because this is comedy gold. Maybe even platinum.

Do you watch Fox News on a daily basis? Subscribe to their breaking news alerts? No? Then how could you possibly know they aren't accurate? Whenever something happens that is newsworthy,Fox and CNN buzz my phone at nearly the same time and the articles contain the exact same information.

As well "pretty much the entire scientific community" IS vague. All you are doing when you cite "pretty much the entire scientific community" is repeating what you've heard a bunch of other people say. That works fine most of the time but if you are going to call someone stupid for denying something, you better damn well have read a peer reviewed paper on the topic.

Question: Any evidence of Great Old Ones in that thing. And if not, why not?

Adam Jensen:
I love the fact that Fox News is the source of this story. The absurdly obnoxious Jesus Freaks reporting that something is older than 6000 years.

Lovely, good to see the Escapist community hasn't stopped hating Christians since I've been away. Honestly, where do so many people get the idea that creationists don't believe in science?

CriticalMiss:

And yet somehow I don't think any of their viewers will believe it. It's not in the bible after all!

an annoyed writer:
Aww I was just about to post that! But totally, it's irony in a nutshell, ladies and gents! I'm unsurprised about the person leading the study being from UW Madison, however. That's where most of the smarter people in this fucking state wind up.

I've been here a long time, I understand the general attitude towards religious people, but this is getting ridiculous. Not every Christian (or even the majority) is some kind of living stereotype that disputes science at every opportunity. For two people who are constantly preaching about acceptance, you can be pretty fucking intolerant.

Its fine to call people "Jesus freaks" for what they believe in, but if I tried to shoehorn the word 'freak' into any term that applies to you, I would be bludgeoned to death with political correctness Bible.

I have literally never heard an employee of Fox advocate young earth notions on air or in print. I'm not sure why people are surprised on them reporting on this. I mean, Fox News is bad, but I think y'all may be overestimating how bad it is.

Jacco:
The amount of arrogance in this thread is nauseating.

(Snipitty) but unless you know what you're talking about, shut the fuck up.

You are certainly fired up about this and I am not sure why.

You see the scientific community is just that, a community. There is no one man or woman that knows every thing. A geologist is probably not going to know the intricacies of mitochondrial DNA, that biologist probably wont know everything there is about gravitational lensing, that Astrophysicist probably wont know how to engineer a dielectric layer of SiO2 180 Angstroms thick.

The only reason we have progressed as far as we have is because of people specializing in different fields.

Telling me that I cannot trust the science of another field because I do not fully understand it or that I cannot share the discovery of another field because I don't have a PHD is just as bad as trying to convince me the earth is flat.

And yes I suppose we get a little arrogant when it comes to the new earthers, if you fail to see why, I duno man. I cant help you.
And its not Christians in general, its just these guano crazy loons.

*coughs and discreetly points to the link*

http://www.slate.com/blogs/business_insider/2014/01/30/does_watching_fox_news_make_you_less_informed.html

(Granted it could just be the correlation of the kind of person that watches fox but still amusing.)

Nice Captcha... Tonight on CNBC

Serinanth:

Jacco:
The amount of arrogance in this thread is nauseating.

(Snipitty) but unless you know what you're talking about, shut the fuck up.

You are certainly fired up about this and I am not sure why.

Probably because this:

2012 Wont Happen:
I have literally never heard an employee of Fox advocate young earth notions on air or in print. I'm not sure why people are surprised on them reporting on this. I mean, Fox News is bad, but I think y'all may be overestimating how bad it is.

Over a dozen people just derailed an interesting scientific thread to whine about Fox News.

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't watch Fox News. Ick. But I don't post multi paragraph comments complaining about them either. Why? Because I don't watch them.

Many of the people posting in this thread appear to be spitting on a massive Fox-News shaped strawman in a fashion that indicates that they've never actually watched Fox News.

And, like Jacco and 2012 Wont Happen, I have to agree that it's annoying. Can people please shut up about the imagined Fox News reporters/viewers and talk about pretty rocks from instead? Or, more relevantly, pretty rocks from the time period when the planet was fucking molten? I have no idea how rocks like this could even exist, so their existence is pretty fucking amazing.

If someone would like to explain to me how these rocks formed (instead of bitching about Fox News), I would truly appreciate it.

Zipa:
I can't wait for the young Earth creationists try to explain this one away with their pseudo science.

Their usual arguments include: "your science is wrong" or "god send this to test our faith". Specifically the latter is pretty much impossible to disprove as they think their belief trumps logic.

Jacco:
1. Fox News is a legitmate news source

hahaha. ha. ha. ha.
no wait.
hahaha more.

No their not. Their the level of Guardian in UK - gutter press.

Hixy:

Exactly, arguing against creationism is like playing chess with a dog. You may be really good at chess and clearly be winning but . . its a dog and it is going to run around in circles, knock the board over and pee on it. Pointless.

im astonished how far you managed to bastardize that quote.
heres the original:
image

Mossberg Shotty:

Lovely, good to see the Escapist community hasn't stopped hating Christians since I've been away. Honestly, where do so many people get the idea that creationists don't believe in science?

its not about christians. Fox "News" is the gutter press with right wing extremist spices. Yes a lot of people there happens to be christians, but that does not mean we hate christians rather that we hate idiots.

For two people who are constantly preaching about acceptance, you can be pretty fucking intolerant.

Except that noone was preaching about acceptance. unless you mean their other posts outside of this topic, which i cannot comment on.

Its fine to call people "Jesus freaks" for what they believe in, but if I tried to shoehorn the word 'freak' into any term that applies to you, I would be bludgeoned to death with political correctness Bible.

Yeah, i think your in the wrong thread, noone called them Jesus Freaks here.

Hey now, science isn't in the bible, let's not get carried away.

Strazdas:

Zipa:
I can't wait for the young Earth creationists try to explain this one away with their pseudo science.

Their usual arguments include: "your science is wrong" or "god send this to test our faith". Specifically the latter is pretty much impossible to disprove as they think their belief trumps logic.

im astonished how far you managed to bastardize that quote.
heres the original:
image

Actually, the original quote is the creationist one, an elitist linux/windows user adopted it for their agenda, not the other way around.

mrdude2010:

Actually, the original quote is the creationist one, an elitist linux/windows user adopted it for their agenda, not the other way around.

i can find no reference to arguing with creationists quote that is like this.

also, you are aware that you just praised the guy fotr adopting it to arguing against mac, right?

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here