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Letters

Letter: Picking out anomalies for facts

To the Editor:

It is just not true that the system Mr. Lemke suggests is used for aging rocks. Additionally, it is very unfair of him to pick the one anomaly from hundreds of thousands of findings and declare it the actual fact. (Sort of like how the Republicans are cherry picking what they will accept in global warming.)

But there is a problem with figuring the age of diamonds. To state the accepted scientific method: Radiocarbon dating doesn’t work well on objects much older than 20,000 years because such objects have so little C-14 left that their beta radiation is swamped out by the background radiation of cosmic rays and potassium-40 decay.

The diamonds found in the Crater of Diamonds State Park (Arkansas) were brought to the surface by volcanic explosion that formed this pipe more than 100 million years ago. Most natural diamonds have ages between 1 billion and 3.5 billion years. Most were formed at depths of 150 to 250 kilometers (93 to 155 miles) in the Earth’s mantle, although a few have come from as deep as 800 kilometers (500 miles).

Steve Ramsdell

Shorewood

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