How does radiometric dating fit with the view of a young earth

Dating refers to the archaeological tool to date artefacts and sites, and to properly construct history. All methods can be classified into two basic categories: Based on a discipline of geology called stratigraphy, rock layers are used to decipher the sequence of historical geological events. Relative techniques can determine the sequence of events but not the precise date of an event, making these methods unreliable. These methods are based on calculating the date of artefacts in a more precise way using different attributes of materials. This method includes carbon dating and thermoluminescence. The first method was based on radioactive elements whose property of decay occurs at a constant rate, known as the half-life of the isotope. Today, many different radioactive elements have been used, but the most famous absolute dating method is radiocarbon dating, which uses the isotope 14C. This isotope, which can be found in organic materials and can be used only to date organic materials, has been incorrectly used by many to make dating assumptions for non-organic material such as stone buildings.


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How dating methods work. by Tas Walker. Images from Addressing the students, I used a measuring cylinder to illustrate how scientific dating works. My picture showed a water tap dripping into the cylinder. It was clearly marked so my audience could see that it held exactly ml of water.

The Radiometric Dating Game Radiometric dating methods estimate the age of rocks using calculations based on the decay rates of radioactive elements such as uranium, strontium, and potassium. On the surface, radiometric dating methods appear to give powerful support to the statement that life has existed on the earth for hundreds of millions, even billions, of years. We are told that these methods are accurate to a few percent, and that there are many different methods.

We are told that of all the radiometric dates that are measured, only a few percent are anomalous. This gives us the impression that all but a small percentage of the dates computed by radiometric methods agree with the assumed ages of the rocks in which they are found, and that all of these various methods almost always give ages that agree with each other to within a few percentage points. Since there doesn’t seem to be any systematic error that could cause so many methods to agree with each other so often, it seems that there is no other rational conclusion than to accept these dates as accurate.

However, this causes a problem for those who believe based on the Bible that life has only existed on the earth for a few thousand years, since fossils are found in rocks that are dated to be over million years old by radiometric methods, and some fossils are found in rocks that are dated to be billions of years old. If these dates are correct, this calls the Biblical account of a recent creation of life into question.

After study and discussion of this question, I now believe that the claimed accuracy of radiometric dating methods is a result of a great misunderstanding of the data, and that the various methods hardly ever agree with each other, and often do not agree with the assumed ages of the rocks in which they are found. I believe that there is a great need for this information to be made known, so I am making this article available in the hopes that it will enlighten others who are considering these questions.

Even the creationist accounts that I have read do not adequately treat these issues. At the start, let me clarify that my main concern is not the age of the earth, the moon, or the solar system, but rather the age of life, that is, how long has life existed on earth. Many dating methods seem to give about the same ages on meteorites. Thus radiometric dating methods appear to give evidence that the earth and meteorites are old, if one accepts the fact that decay rates have been constant.

Radiometric Dating Does Work!

Radiometric Dating Does Work! Radiometric dating of rocks and minerals using naturally occurring, long-lived radioactive isotopes is troublesome for young-earth creationists because the techniques have provided overwhelming evidence of the antiquity of the earth and life. Some so-called creation scientists have attempted to show that radiometric dating does not work on theoretical grounds for example, Arndts and Overn ; Gill but such attempts invariably have fatal flaws see Dalrymple ; York and Dalrymple

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Acknowledgements Introduction his document discusses the way radiometric dating and stratigraphic principles are used to establish the conventional geological time scale. It is not about the theory behind radiometric dating methods, it is about their application, and it therefore assumes the reader has some familiarity with the technique already refer to “Other Sources” for more information. As an example of how they are used, radiometric dates from geologically simple, fossiliferous Cretaceous rocks in western North America are compared to the geological time scale.

To get to that point, there is also a historical discussion and description of non-radiometric dating methods. A common form of criticism is to cite geologically complicated situations where the application of radiometric dating is very challenging. These are often characterised as the norm, rather than the exception. I thought it would be useful to present an example where the geology is simple, and unsurprisingly, the method does work well, to show the quality of data that would have to be invalidated before a major revision of the geologic time scale could be accepted by conventional scientists.

How Science Figured Out the Age of Earth

Traditional Aboriginal Painting Methods Contemporary Aboriginal artists use a considerable variety of materials and techniques in painting. Some of these materials are rooted strongly in tradition – such as the use of ochres in the Kimberley and, to a lesser extent, ochres on bark from Arnhem Land. Other artists have adopted modern media and work with acrylic paints on canvas, gouache or ochres on archival paper or other surfaces.

Absolute dating is used to determine a precise age of a rock or fossil through radiometric dating methods. This uses radioactive minerals that occur in rocks and fossils almost like a geological clock.

Roman poet Lucretius, intellectual heir to the Greek atomists, believed its formation must have been relatively recent, given that there were no records going back beyond the Trojan War. The Talmudic rabbis, Martin Luther and others used the biblical account to extrapolate back from known history and came up with rather similar estimates for when the earth came into being. Within decades observation began overtaking such thinking.

In the s Nicolas Steno formulated our modern concepts of deposition of horizontal strata. He inferred that where the layers are not horizontal, they must have been tilted since their deposition and noted that different strata contain different kinds of fossil. This position came to be known as uniformitarianism, but within it we must distinguish between uniformity of natural law which nearly all of us would accept and the increasingly questionable assumptions of uniformity of process, uniformity of rate and uniformity of outcome.

That is the background to the intellectual drama being played out in this series of papers.

Dating Techniques

Charred bones are better preserved and are therefore relatively more reliable. Charcoal is best material specially if derived from short live plants. How to collect samples:

Biostratigraphy: One of the first and most basic scientific dating methods is also one of the easiest to understand. Layers of rock build one atop another — find a fossil or artifact in one layer, and you can reasonably assume it’s older than anything above it.

This belief in long ages for the earth and the existence of life is derived largely from radiometric dating. 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.

Of course, there are many problems with such dating methods, such as parent or daughter substances entering or leaving the rock, as well as daughter product being present at the beginning. Here I want to concentrate on another source of error, namely, processes that take place within magma chambers. To me it has been a real eye opener to see all the processes that are taking place and their potential influence on radiometric dating.

Radiometric dating is largely done on rock that has formed from solidified lava. Lava properly called magma before it erupts fills large underground chambers called magma chambers.

How Do Scientists Date Ancient Things

Reference to a case where the given method did not work This is perhaps the most common objection of all. Creationists point to instances where a given method produced a result that is clearly wrong, and then argue that therefore all such dates may be ignored. Such an argument fails on two counts: First, an instance where a method fails to work does not imply that it does not ever work.

Dating refers to the archaeological tool to date artefacts and sites, and to properly construct history. All methods can be classified into two basic categories: a) Relative dating methods: Based on a discipline of geology called stratigraphy, rock layers are used to decipher the sequence of historical geological events. Relative techniques can determine the sequence of events but not the precise date of an event, .

How accurate are carbon-dating methods? All methods of radioactive dating rely on three assumptions that may not necessarily be true: Rate of Decay It is assumed that the rate of decay has remained constant over time. This assumption is backed by numerous scientific studies and is relatively sound. However, conditions may have been different in the past and could have influenced the rate of decay or formation of radioactive elements.

Evolutionists assume that the rate of cosmic bombardment of the atmosphere has always remained constant and that the rate of decay has remained constant.

Everything Worth Knowing About Scientific Dating Methods

See this page in: Hungarian , Russian , Spanish People who ask about carbon 14C dating usually want to know about the radiometric [1] dating methods that are claimed to give millions and billions of years—carbon dating can only give thousands of years. People wonder how millions of years could be squeezed into the biblical account of history. Clearly, such huge time periods cannot be fitted into the Bible without compromising what the Bible says about the goodness of God and the origin of sin, death and suffering —the reason Jesus came into the world See Six Days?

However the development of more precise dating methods, such as radiocarbon-dating and dendrochronology, has meant that that aspect of pollen analysis has faded away. Stratigraphic Palynology: Palynology is the branch of science dealing with microscopic, decay-resistant remains of certain plants and animals.

Therefore it should come as no surprise that creationists at the Institute for Creation Research ICR have been trying desperately to discredit this method for years. They have their work cut out for them, however, because radiocarbon C dating is one of the most reliable of all the radiometric dating methods. This article will answer several of the most common creationist attacks on carbon dating, using the question-answer format that has proved so useful to lecturers and debaters.

How does carbon dating work? Cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere are constantly converting the isotope nitrogen N into carbon C or radiocarbon. Living organisms are constantly incorporating this C into their bodies along with other carbon isotopes. When the organisms die, they stop incorporating new C , and the old C starts to decay back into N by emitting beta particles. The older an organism’s remains are, the less beta radiation it emits because its C is steadily dwindling at a predictable rate.

So, if we measure the rate of beta decay in an organic sample, we can calculate how old the sample is. C decays with a half-life of 5, years.


The main point of the debate seems to be the following: Over the past decades, several research groups of self-proclaimed creationist scientists have claimed discoveries of dinosaur bones that they have managed to date, using radiocarbon dating methods , at some age which is a lot below the ‘usual’ i. The age that these groups claim to find is usually on the order of thousands or tens of thousands of years old.

The particular example you bring up is one of the most famous such cases. The claims are really quite spectacular, when taken at face value, and therefore should be examined thoroughly.

All radiometric dating methods measure isotopes in some way. Most directly measure the amount of isotopes in rocks, using a mass spectrometer. Others measure the subatomic particles that are emitted as an isotope decays.

These three are generally found together in mixtures, and each one decays into several daughter products such as radium before becoming lead. This is very possible, and even likely. It is only an assumption that integral or adjacent lead could only be an end product. In addition, common lead lead , which has no radioactive parent, could easily be mixed into the sample and would seriously affect the dating of that sample.

When a uranium sample is tested for dating purposes, it is assumed that the entire quantity of lead in it is “daughter-product lead” that is, the end-product of the decayed uranium. The specimen is not carefully and thoroughly checked for possible common lead content, because it is such a time-consuming task. Yet it is that very uranium-lead ratio which is used to date the sample! The same problem applies to thorium samples.

Dating Method & C-14 Stupidity