Importance of potassium argon dating

Seeking to unravel the geology of the area, she discovered a layer of volcanic ash or tuff that became known as the Kay Behrensmeyer Site (the KBS Tuff).

If the KBS Tuff were anywhere else, no one would give it a second thought. First, although human fossils and artefacts (tools) cannot usually be dated radiometrically, the KBS Tuff can.

It contains radioactive potassium 40, which decays to argon 40.

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The assumption is that the tuff gives an estimate of the age of the stone tools.

Third, hundreds of and australopithecine fossils have been found above and below the KBS Tuff.

The date of the tuff thus becomes a maximum age for fossils found above it and a minimum for fossils below it. Fitch (Birkbeck College, University of London) and J. Miller (Cambridge University)—recognized authorities in potassium-argon (K-Ar) dating.

He immediately organized an expedition to search for hominid fossils.

The most important fossil discovered there is KNM-ER 1470.

Skull 1470 is modern in appearance, but was originally estimated by Richard Leakey to be about 2.9 million years old.

One early geologist with Richard Leakey at East Rudolf was Kay Behrensmeyer.

Lubenow A popular myth is that radioactive dating methods confirm the geologic time-scale and the concept of human evolution.

The methods appear so impressive that many Christians accept them as evidence that the earth is very old.

The best way to expose this myth is to study the dating of the East African KBS Tuff strata and the famous fossil KNM-ER 1470.

Richard Leakey, son of famed palaeoanthropologists Louis and Mary Leakey, visited the fossil deposits east of Lake Rudolf (now Lake Turkana) in northern Kenya in 1967.

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