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Recognizing that different layers of rock represent different periods in Earth history, they calculated a much looser estimate: 1 million to 1.6 billion years old.

Was it tens, hundreds or even thousands of years before?

They could use these half-lives to more precisely date Earth’s rock layers, pushing the age of the oldest ones to 3 billion years.

With improved dating techniques, we now find rocks between 3.5 and 4 billion years old on every continent. The surface of Earth is always eroding and renewing itself, and old Earth rocks tend to get recycled.

There he developed the technique of dating rocks using the uranium-lead method and from the age of his oldest rock discovered that the Earth was at least 1.6 billion years old (1,600 million).

But geologists were not as happy with the new results as, perhaps, they should have been.

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