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In the case of the initial conditions, no scientist can ever be sure as to what they were, because no scientist was present here on the earth at its origin.

Thus the amount of daughter isotope that has actually been derived from the parent isotope by radioactive decay is unknown, since some of the daughter isotope might have been present with its respective parent isotope at the time of the earth’s origin.

These assumptions are: So that these assumptions are easily understood, they are best explained in the context of the hourglass analogy (see Figure 1).

This is assumed because it is supposed that these meteorites represent fragments from another planet in the solar system similar to our earth that disintegrated very early in the history of the solar system.Similarly, there is no way that it can be proved that these radioactive systems have been closed through all the supposed millions of years of decay of parent isotopes into daughter isotopes.Again, the main reason for this is because no scientist has been present to observe everywhere these radioactive systems and so report that they have been closed through all their history.Thus, if a rock sample is analysed at or near the earth’s surface for its uranium and lead isotopes, it would be incorrect to assume that all the uranium and lead in the sample were there only because of the amounts placed in the rock at its origin and because of undisturbed radioactive decay from uranium into lead.Some of the uranium might have been leached out of the rock sample, hence making the rock appear older than it really is according to this radioactive ‘clock’.

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