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However, they assumed that the Sun was only glowing from the heat of its gravitational contraction.
The process of solar nuclear fusion was not yet known to science.
The discovery of radioactivity introduced another factor in the calculation.giving a lower limit for the age of the solar system.It is hypothesised that the accretion of Earth began soon after the formation of the calcium-aluminium-rich inclusions and the meteorites.(According to modern biology, the total evolutionary history from the beginning of life to today has taken place since 3.5 to 3.8 billion years ago, the amount of time which passed since the last universal ancestor of all living organisms as shown by geological dating.) In a lecture in 1869, Darwin's great advocate, Thomas H.Huxley, attacked Thomson's calculations, suggesting they appeared precise in themselves but were based on faulty assumptions.
By measuring the concentration of the stable end product of the decay, coupled with knowledge of the half life and initial concentration of the decaying element, the age of the rock can be calculated.