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The Age of the Earth

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Introduction

The Age of the Earth In 1654 it was calculated that the earth had formed on October 23, 4004 BC. James Ussher made this discovery from the Bible. Nowadays the age of the earth is determined to be at least 4.5 billion years old. People all over the world now disagree with Ussher's theory because of religious reasons and most Christians still believe that the Earth was created 4004BC. Almost all of our evidence towards the Earth's age comes from the examination of rocks. People who analyse new discoveries of fossils and meteorites can possibly lead us to knowing the age since we can examine carbon and radiocarbon dating. ...read more.

Middle

However the oldest bits of minerals to be discovered are small crystals of zircon that was found at Jack Hills of Western Australia. The dating of these minerals were approximately 4.404 billion years old. The earth must have been as old as any formation on it and information such as this can easily be considered as proof of the earth's existence meaning that the earth must have been as old as those fragments of rock. Ernest Rutherford was the one to suggest that uranium/lead ratios could be used to calculate the age of rocks. With the comparison of the mass and brightness of the Sun to other stars it has been concluded that the solar system cannot be much older than this. ...read more.

Conclusion

Christians and some of the Jewish faith believe that the world was around 4000-6000 years, based in part of the chronologies in the Bible and also interpretation of data recorded. An interesting experiment done lately was the test on the 'shroud of Turin' which is centuries old and bears an image of man who seemed to have suffered physical trauma from a manner of crucifixion. Believers suggest that the shroud is the cloth that was placed on the body of Jesus when he had his burial. The image of the face related to our prediction of the Holy Face of Jesus. Radiocarbon dating of this shroud told us that it dated from the 13th century to the 14th century. ...read more.

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Response to the question

The student answer the question, but with little backing of chemistry as to their conclusion. The student seems more concerned with the biblical Christian account of the age of the Earth. There is much too much claiming that other people's ...

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Response to the question

The student answer the question, but with little backing of chemistry as to their conclusion. The student seems more concerned with the biblical Christian account of the age of the Earth. There is much too much claiming that other people's beliefs are wrong with very little backing as to why. They also starts to discuss very irrelevant things to do with the age of the Earth such as the age of the shroud of Turin. I think it would be a good idea to of first just thought of a very brief plan of what you are going to write about and then think "Is this relevant to the question at hand?"

Level of analysis

The student misunderstands the uses of carbon dating, fossils and meteorites in relation to the age of the Earth. The age of meteorites bears no relation to the age of the Earth since meteorites are not from Earth. He is along the right lines with fossils as determining the age of the oldest fossils could show a lower limit to the age of the Earth. The student however mistakenly assumes 4.5 billion year old fossils can be dated by radiocarbon dating,which can only date objects up to 62,000 years old accurately.
The student does not mention how radiocarbon dating works which I would recommend as it both adds some evidence to the essay and if he had he would of easily picked up on the mistake he had made in assuming that 4.5 billion year old fossils can be dated by radiocarbon dating, as he would notice the amount of carbon14 left in the sample would be much too low to measure. It would be good practice to always mention at least the basics of how the methods used work as it will help you from making mistakes.

Quality of writing

The student's spelling, grammar and punctuation are not great and he uses little correct terminology. Their essay is quite short with most of it taken up by irrelevant points. It also does not really read like a science essay, it seems less to do with explaining the science and more just to tell Christian's that they are wrong. When writing a science essay about a subject that has people with some controversial opinions - as this clearly does- you should be careful as to not stray to far off topic and make sure to keep it about the science that you are meant to be talking about.


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Reviewed by jackhli 05/02/2012

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