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    Geologists dating

    he question of the ages of the Earth and its rock formations and features has fascinated philosophers, theologians, and scientists for centuries, primarily because the answers put our lives in temporal perspective.

    Until the 18th century, this question was principally in the hands of theologians, who based their calculations on biblical chronology.

    Dr Hickman was playing with Google Earth at the time when he spotted the small, circular structure, and asked Earth and Paleoclimate scientist Andrew Glikson from the Australian National University to investigate whether it was in fact a crater formed from a meteorite impact."We spent four days in the crater and [found] it was certainly a very well preserved meteorite impact structure," Dr Glikson said.

    Category: Earth Science Published: July 10, 2013 Geologists do not use carbon-based radiometric dating to determine the age of rocks.

    James Hutton, a physician-farmer and one of the founders of the science of geology, wrote in 1788, “The result, therefore, of our present inquiry is, that we find no vestige of a beginning, — no prospect of an end.” Although this may now sound like an overstatement, it nicely expresses the tremendous intellectual leap required when geologic time was finally and forever severed from the artificial limits imposed by the length of the human lifetime.

    By the mid- to late 1800s, geologists, physicists, and chemists were searching for ways to quantify the age of the Earth.

    However, to read any clock accurately we must know where the clock was set at the beginning.

    Bishop James Ussher, a 17th-century Irish cleric, for example, calculated that creation occurred in 4004 B. There were many other such estimates, but they invariably resulted in an Earth only a few thousand years old.

    By the late 18th century, some naturalists had begun to look closely at the ancient rocks of the Earth.

    "The GSWA approached us asking if there was some way we could assist them with doing some research in the crater and basically we were able to do that by undertaking the logistical aspect of the actual drilling."Mr Darvall says his team is just as eager for the results.

    "One of the things that geologists and scientists are interested in is more pure research style information, as well as what they do in their day job which is focusing on iron prospectivity," he said."So this is an example of where they can have at least some involvement in areas that remind them of some of the real specifics they studied when they were back at uni."In the now well-known tale, the Hickman Crater was first identified by GSWA geologist Arthur Hickman back in 2007.

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