Majority of the papers on isotopic dating of minerals and rocks have been devoted to some new geochronological data important for geology or to developments of apparatus and improvements of laboratory techniques and procedures. However, there are some basic problems concerning credibility of the data published (including the “error brackets”), and their geological meaning, which rarely are touched on. The issues to be raised may be grouped into two categories: (1) distortion in the course of preparatory operations and final measurements, and (2) some doubts concerning geological interpretation of the data and the models used. First of all it should be realized that what we really analyse in a spectrometer is not an existing rock or mineral but a powder produced by many steps of consecutive procedures, each of them capable of irreversibly distorting the original composition.
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