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LiveScience: “Diamonds Nearly as Old as Earth

The Jack Hills region of Western Australia is home to diamonds “nearly as old as the Earth itself and considered the oldest terrestrial diamonds ever discovered,” according to a new study, reports LiveScience.

Geophysicist Dr. John Baumgardner detected 14C in diamonds—yet 14C is far too “short-lived” to have survived for the eons diamonds are supposed to have experienced.

The diamonds, found trapped inside zircon crystals, were subjected to chemical analyses by Institute of Mineralogy scientist and study leader Martina Menneken, who reported the diamonds’ age at more than four billion years old—almost a billion years older than previous diamond-age reports. This “suggests the diamonds were present in material that crystallized within 300 million years of the formation of Earth,” according to the team, and led them to conclude that the “Earth had a relatively thick continental crust by 4.25 billion years ago.”

Old-earth, diamond-dating techniques are not known for accuracy, however. The article also reports on the dating of diamonds in Zaire to six billion years old, a date thrown out as invalid merely because it was too large for the widely accepted age of the earth.

Also interesting would be if these recent diamonds had been subjected to Carbon-14 dating. As part of the RATE (Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth) project, geophysicist Dr. John Baumgardner detected 14C in diamonds—yet 14C is far too “short-lived” to have survived for the eons diamonds are supposed to have experienced.

Certainly, it seems that while the case for an old earth is weak all-around, diamond-dating is one field where it is at its weakest!



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