Up until 1972 these could be explained as being contaminated with radiogenic lead from uranium and thorium decay.
In 1972, however, Gale showed unequivocally that there is by no means sufficient uranium and thorium to account for what could previously have been called radiogenic lead.
Lead-206 and lead-207 are also believed to be present in primordial lead since there is insufficient uranium to account for all the lead.
Just how much lead-206 and 207 were present at the beginning, nobody knows. As a uranium ore ages, the ratio of lead-206 to lead-204 increases as does the ratio of lead-206 to lead-207.
That difficulty aside, they were selected because they contain very little uranium and thorium and are therefore unlikely to contain significant radiogenic lead.
However, it is even more surprising to learn that the lead isotope ratios chosen by Patterson Most meteorites have lead isotope ratios similar to those of present day common lead.
Therefore, all one has to do in general terms is to find a radioactive mineral which has been a closed system since the time of mineralization, and for which the amount of the daughter product at the beginning is known, the so-called primordial amount, and the absolute age may be calculated from the present amount of parent and daughter isotopes in the mineral.
“It therefore follows that the whole of the classical interpretation of the meteorite lead isotope data is in doubt, and that the radiometric estimates of the age of the Earth are placed in jeopardy.” In plain language, the radiometric estimates for the age of the earth are lacking real foundations.
Some evidence is also presented to show that radiometric results that are in agreement with the accepted geological time scale are selectively published in preference to those results that are not in agreement.
The geological time scale and an age for the Earth of 4.5 b.y.
It might be argued that although radiometric dating has a few problems, the large body of concordant data using different isotopes shows that the dates are of the right order.
In fact, there is no large body of concordant data.