Other factors and basic assumptions must also be considered.Of course, Kelvin formed his estimates of the age of the Sun without the knowledge of fusion as the true energy source of the Sun.His result was in close agreement with his estimate of the age of the earth.The solar estimate was based on the idea that the energy supply for the solar radioactive flux is gravitational contraction.These two independent and agreeing dating methods for of the age of two primary members of the solar system formed a strong case for the correctness of his answer within the scientific community.This just goes to show that just because independent estimates of age seem to agree with each other doesn't mean that they're correct - despite the fact that this particular argument is the very same one used to support the validity of radiometric dating today.Of course, later scientists, like John Perry and T. After this came to light, Kelvin admitted that he might just as well have set his original upper limit on the age of the Earth at 4,000 Ma instead of 400 Ma.Of course, this was a close as Kelvin ever came to publicly recanting his position.
This estimate was actually reduced over his lifetime to between 20 Ma and 40 Ma and eventually to less than 10 Ma. Perry, in particular, a noted physicists and former assistant to Kelvin, showed that cooling calculations using different but equally likely assumptions and data resulted in ages for the Earth of as much as 29 Ga.
Of course, the detected variation is no more than 0.2% of the published rates, but this paper is still quite interesting since such a correlation was never suspected before.
If magnetic fluxuations or other influencing forces are strong enough, radiometric decay rates could be much more significantly effected.
Chamberlain (1899) pointed out that Kelvin's calculations were only as good as the assumptions on which they were based.
"The fascinating impressiveness of rigorous mathematical analyses, with its atmosphere of precision and elegance, should not blind us to the defects of the premises that condition the whole process.