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Such a large variety of igneous rocks exists that it is logical to assume an equally large variety of magmas must also exist.
However, geologists have found that various eruptive stages of the same volcano often extrude lavas exhibiting somewhat different mineral compositions, particularly if an extensive period of time separated the eruptions.
Most scientists today believe that life has existed on the earth for billions of years.
This belief in long ages for the earth and the existence of life is derived largely from radiometric dating.
Oftentimes the rate of cooling occurs rapidly enough to prohibit the complete transformation of calcium-rich feldspar into sodium-rich feldspar.
In these instances, the feldspar crystals will have calcium-rich interiors surrounded by zones that are progressively richer in sodium.
These long time periods are computed by measuring the ratio of daughter to parent substance in a rock and inferring an age based on this ratio.
This age is computed under the assumption that the parent substance (say, uranium) gradually decays to the daughter substance (say, lead), so the higher the ratio of lead to uranium, the older the rock must be.
Although these minerals crystallize in the order shown, this sequence is not a true reaction series.
The following quote from The Earth: An Introduction to Physical Geology by Tarbuck & Lutgens, pp.
55-57, (1987), gives us an idea of the tremendous complexity of the processes that occur when magma solidifies.
Geologists assert that older dates are found deeper down in the geologic column, which they take as evidence that radiometric dating is giving true ages, since it is apparent that rocks that are deeper must be older.
But even if it is true that older radiometric dates are found lower down in the geologic column, which is open to question, this can potentially be explained by processes occurring in magma chambers which cause the lava erupting earlier to appear older than the lava erupting later.