Radioactive decay dating techniques

06-Feb-2018 11:18

Measuring the uranium-to-lead ratios in the oldest rocks on Earth gave scientists an estimated age of the planet of 4.6 billion years.Segment from A Science Odyssey: "Origins."Geologists have calculated the age of Earth at 4.6 billion years.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.Some evidence is also presented to show that radiometric results that are in agreement with the accepted geological time scale are selectively published in preference to those results that are not in agreement.

For teaching and sharing purposes, readers are advised to supplement these historic articles with more up-to-date ones suggested in the Related Articles and Further Reading below.

How radiometric dating works in general Why methods in general are inaccurate Why K-Ar dating is inaccurate The branching ratio problem How Errors Can Account for the Observed Dates Why older dates would be found lower in the geologic column especially for K-Ar dating Do different methods agree with each other on the geologic column?

Possible other sources of correlation Anomalies of radiometric dating Why a low anomaly percentage is meaningless The biostrategraphic limits issue Preponderance of K-Ar dating Excuses for anomalies Need for a double-blind test Possible changes in the decay rate Isochrons Atlantic sea floor dating Dating Meteorites Conclusion Gentry's radiohaloes in coalified wood Carbon 14 dating Tree ring chronologies Coral dating Varves Growth of coral reefs Evidence for catastrophe in the geologic column Rates of erosion Reliability of creationist sources Radiometric dating methods estimate the age of rocks using calculations based on the decay rates of radioactive elements such as uranium, strontium, and potassium.

For a man who does not believe in a miracle, a slow miracle would be just as incredible as a swift one."*G. Chesterton (1925)."The theory of evolution gives no answer to the important problem of the origin of life and presents only fallacious solutions to the problem of the nature of evolutive transformations . We are condemned to believe in evolution, but we will always search for a suggestion concerning the methods of transformations . Perhaps we are now in a worse position than in 1859 because we have searched for one century and we have the impression that the various hypotheses [of how evolution could have occurred] are now exhausted.

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Presently, nature appears to be more steady, more firm and more refractory [resistant] to changes than we thoughtbefore we had made a clear distinction between hereditary variability [within species] and acquired characteristics [DNA characteristics fixing each species]. Salet, Hasard et Certitude: Le Transformisme devant la Biologie Actuelle (1973), p. Several methods for dating ancient materials have been developed.

Geologist Ralph Harvey and historian Mott Greene explain the principles of radiometric dating and its application in determining the age of Earth.