Sci/Tech Fossil Older Than Oxygen on Earth Found in Australia

Varine

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One billion years is an unfathomable number. 3.5 billion is beyond unfathomable. It is absurd to me to think that we can accurately date carbon decay rates during times when the earth itself was still forming.
Eh, it's not that hard. Not much happened during most of it.
 

Dan

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Eh, it's not that hard. Not much happened during most of it.
Because you were there? o_O;; Science evolves. Our best guess now could be reworked tomorrow. What we now think about 3.5 BILLION (with a B) years ago, might be a very different view in the future.

There just seem to be too many obstacles in the way of doing that. For all we know, at some point the half life of carbon changes... Since we haven't been studying it for multiples of 5730 years, it is possible that after a good chunk of time passes, there are diminished returns or exponential decay. When someone mentions Billions of years in accuracy, it seems that there is a large margin for error.

Anyways, that is why I say that I am skeptical about carbon dating things back to Billions of years ago.
 

iPeez

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No offense to anyone but how gives a damn about what happend 3,5 BILLION years ago... I rather look forward and wonder "What will happen tomorrow?", "Will the US still have all of it's states in some.. 30 years?" and "How the hell is the world going to survive another 100 years, after what we did to it in the past 100?". I mean who gives a shit about some bacteria from before what ever not? Why is it important? What can we use this information / bacteria for?
 

phyrex1an

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Because I am skeptical about the accuracy of carbon dating
Carbon dating is not used (rather, can't be used) for dating stuff older than a hundred thousand years. I can't say what method was used here, but it's probably not measured using material from the actual fossil but from checking the age of the geological strata it was found in.
 

Varine

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Because you were there? o_O;; Science evolves. Our best guess now could be reworked tomorrow. What we now think about 3.5 BILLION (with a B) years ago, might be a very different view in the future.

There just seem to be too many obstacles in the way of doing that. For all we know, at some point the half life of carbon changes... Since we haven't been studying it for multiples of 5730 years, it is possible that after a good chunk of time passes, there are diminished returns or exponential decay. When someone mentions Billions of years in accuracy, it seems that there is a large margin for error.

Anyways, that is why I say that I am skeptical about carbon dating things back to Billions of years ago.
Well they probably used potassium, not carbon. Why would the rate of decay change?
 

Dan

The New Helper.Net gives me great Anxiety... o.O;;
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Well they probably used potassium, not carbon. Why would the rate of decay change?
Because the formula that we have for the decay rate might be incorrect. Our model might work for a few thousand years and be almost identical to what actually occurred; but the actual formula might get more or less steep as the years go on.

Also, if the earth went through periods of warming and cooling, that could also change the data significantly. There is no concrete way to know how accurate we are. It's a huge puzzle that we are putting together; but really since everything is relative, one area of study could make a mistake that is used for reference into another area.

Potassium dating and geological data are also working on similar assumptions and guesswork. It's impressive science for sure, but it's still working with a lot of unknowns. I'm sure it's all fairly accurate to an extent, but I'm extremely skeptical that we can accurately date anything to 3.5 BILLION years into our past.

In any case, take with as a grain of salt.
 

Varine

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Have you EVER taken a chemistry class?
 

KaerfNomekop

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@Dan Even if the method of dating is incorrect, wouldn't it be incorrect for both measurements - the age of the fossil and the age of the earliest oxygen? Which means that the Earth may not be 3.5 billion years old, but there still was life before oxygen. And we can try to tap into that.
 

Varine

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Have you ever put thought into what somebody else said.
I agree with Dan.
Yeah, but he didn't. Chemicals don't just change the rate of decay because it's been around for a long time. Which seems to be what is argument is based on. And there's certainly no evidence to back up what he's talking about, beyond what you do or don't think. I don't feel like doing math right now because I just got off work, but most of these things have been shown to be pretty fucking accurate, and unless someone can come up with a method of showing it to be inaccurate then that's what I'm going with.
 

Accname

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Yeah, but he didn't. Chemicals don't just change the rate of decay because it's been around for a long time. Which seems to be what is argument is based on. And there's certainly no evidence to back up what he's talking about, beyond what you do or don't think. I don't feel like doing math right now because I just got off work, but most of these things have been shown to be pretty fucking accurate, and unless someone can come up with a method of showing it to be inaccurate then that's what I'm going with.
1). What you said was an argument against the dating method, because:
there's certainly no evidence to back up what he's talking about
2).
these things have been shown to be pretty fucking accurate
How so? Have you traveled back in time to prove it?
3).
unless someone can come up with a method of showing it to be inaccurate
So you said he doesnt have any proof for his theory but yours doesnt need any proof unless he has proof that it is wrong? Makes no sense. You sir are now officially a firecat.
 

Varine

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I am way too high to deal with this right now. Go look up how whatever form of dating they used to works, there's your 'proof' (which isn't even what I fucking asked for, by the way) that shows it to be an accurate use to estimate the time that some such thing as this would have been in existence. Again, NOTHING to fucking do with proof of anything, I am just asking for a viable way that the dating system is inaccurate. Guessing that elements might change their rate of decay over time is not sufficient.
 

Accname

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I am way too high to deal with this right now. Go look up how whatever form of dating they used to works, there's your 'proof' (which isn't even what I fucking asked for, by the way) that shows it to be an accurate use to estimate the time that some such thing as this would have been in existence. Again, NOTHING to fucking do with proof of anything, I am just asking for a viable way that the dating system is inaccurate. Guessing that elements might change their rate of decay over time is not sufficient.
I dont even understand what exactly you are trying to tell me.
 

tom_mai78101

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This is probably the best solution. It's been a long few days, I've gotten like 16 hours of sleep over the last four.
You took my sleep hours. Dang it, now I have 4 hours left to sleep. Zzz.
 

Varine

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You took my sleep hours. Dang it, now I have 4 hours left to sleep. Zzz.
What? Is that some weird Thai idiom or am I not sober enough? I have a four day weekend and money, don't judge.
 

tom_mai78101

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What? Is that some weird Thai idiom or am I not sober enough? I have a four day weekend and money, don't judge.
I won't judge anyone, for I only do comparison. I compared your 14 hours of sleep to my 4 hours of sleep, which I lost. Therefore, I envy you by saying "you took my sleep."
 

Varine

And as the moon rises, we shall prepare for war
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I won't judge anyone, for I only do comparison. I compared your 14 hours of sleep to my 4 hours of sleep, which I lost. Therefore, I envy you by saying "you took my sleep."
... you made it so much worse.
 
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