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Of course, the detected variation is no more than 0.2% of the published rates, but this paper is still quite interesting since such a correlation was never suspected before.

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He believed this even though he did admit that some heat might be generated by the tidal forces or by chemical action.

However, on the whole, he thought that these sources were not adequate to account for anything more than a small faction of the heat lost by the Earth.

Both the physical geologists and paleontologists could point to evidence that much more time was needed to produce what they saw in the stratigraphic and fossil records.

As one answer to his critics, Kelvin produced a completely independent estimate -- this time for the age of the Sun.

Interweaving the relative time scale with the atomic time scale poses certain problems because only certain types of rocks, chiefly the igneous variety, can be dated directly by radiometric methods; but these rocks do not ordinarily contain fossils.

Some, like Robert Gentry, have even argued that Radio-halos from rapidly decaying radioactive isotopes in granite seem to indicate that the granites were formed almost instantly.Chamberlain (1899) pointed out that Kelvin's calculations were only as good as the assumptions on which they were based."The fascinating impressiveness of rigorous mathematical analyses, with its atmosphere of precision and elegance, should not blind us to the defects of the premises that condition the whole process.His result was in close agreement with his estimate of the age of the earth.The solar estimate was based on the idea that the energy supply for the solar radioactive flux is gravitational contraction.There is perhaps no beguilement more insidious and dangerous than an elaborate and elegant mathematical process built upon unfortified premises." - Chamberlain 1899b:224Following the discovery of radioactivity by Becquerel (1896), the possibility of using this phenomenon as a means for determining the age of uranium-bearing minerals was demonstrated by Rutherford (1906).

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