Based upon radiometric dating the age of the earth is

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a great majority of the time” that Earth is billions of years old.

The scientific disagreements highlighted by sceptics are “usually close to the margin of error … ” Until recently, only large scientific laboratories could afford mass spectrometers, the principal tool used to measure dates of rock samples.

But recently the prices of these devices have dropped to levels that even amateur meteorite hunters and others can afford.

The Conversation UK receives funding from these organisations View the full list In one respect, science and religion have been largely reconciled since the 19th century, when geologists such as Charles Lyell recognised the evidence for a very old Earth.

Within a few decades, most mainstream religious denominations accepted this view as well.

But, much to the consternation of scientists, young-Earth creationism, which holds Earth is only about 6,000 years old, continues to be promoted in some quarters, and remains very popular with the public, especially in the United States.

He argues the few instances in which radiometric dating has produced anomalous results “may be due to laboratory errors (mistakes happen), unrecognised geologic factors (nature sometimes fools us), or misapplication of the techniques (no-one’s perfect)”.

Dalrymple also notes scientists do not rely solely on the self-checking nature of radiometric dating to confirm their results.

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