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The higher the uranium-to-lead ratio of a rock, the more the Pb-206/Pb-204 and Pb-207/Pb-204 values will change with time.If the source of the solar system was also uniformly distributed with respect to uranium isotope ratios, then the data points will always fall on a single line.
The resulting plot has data points for each of five meteorites that contain varying levels of uranium, a single data point for all meteorites that do not, and one (solid circle) data point for modern terrestrial sediments.
The most direct means for calculating the Earth's age is a Pb/Pb isochron age, derived from samples of the Earth and meteorites.
This involves measurement of three isotopes of lead (Pb-206, Pb-207, and either Pb-208 or Pb-204).
(I believe this argument was originally put forth by Mormon young-Earther Melvin Cook, in a letter to the editor which was published in .) But helium can and does escape from the atmosphere, at rates calculated to be nearly identical to rates of production.
In order to obtain a young age from their calculations, young-Earthers handwave away mechanisms by which helium can escape.