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O ne of the main objections to radiometric dating on the part of young earth creationists is that radiometric ages do not agree with each other or that contamination renders ages meaningless. In fact, the claim is partially true. Early mass spectrometers were not as sensitive as machines today and the methods for separating, cleaning and analysis were less sophisticated. Although ye-creationists like Snelling talk about contamination of isotopic systems as if it were a foreign concept to modern geology, most geochronologists routinely check for possible contamination using a variety of methods. Creationists have seized upon these discoveries and held them forth as evidence that radiometric dating is inaccurate. But is this the case? If radiometric decay rates are not constant and rocks behave as open systems, it would be the exception, rather than the rule, for ages to agree with one another.

Pictures Of Radiometric Dating – Dating methods and the age of the Earth

Roger C. Wiens has a PhD in Physics, with a minor in Geology. His PhD thesis was on isotope ratios in meteorites, including surface exposure dating. First edition ; revised version Radiometric dating–the process of determining the age of rocks from the decay of their radioactive elements–has been in widespread use for over half a century.

There are over forty such techniques, each using a different radioactive element or a different way of measuring them.

Conventional scientists claim that dating methods are robust and reliable, but young-earth advocates insist that all are based on untestable.

When some Christians first consider the possibility that Earth might have a much longer history than a few thousand years, they face a daunting challenge. Conventional scientists claim that dating methods are robust and reliable, but young-earth advocates insist that all are based on untestable assumptions and circular reasoning. Without the tools or expertise to independently evaluate the competing claims, many Christians default to the young-earth view, assuming there must be scientific justification for the young-earth claims.

For those of us who actually use these dating techniques, it is equally challenging to find ways to communicate the reliability of these methods in an understandable way. Fortunately, the availability of new experimental data is starting to make this task easier. We offer an example here of how independent dating methods can be combined to test assumptions and verify conclusions.

Much more detail on this can be found in our recently published article in Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith. The thin darker lines grow during winter or dry seasons, and the thicker, lighter rings during the summer or rainy seasons.

A Pocket Guide to A Young Earth

Cosmic-ray exposure dating. This dating method does on measuring certain nova produced by cosmic ray assumptions on exposed rock surfaces. Because cosmic rays constantly bombard meteorites flying through space, this crash has long been used to date the ‘ flight time’ of meteorites–that is the crash from when they were chipped off a larger body like an asteroid to the time they land on Earth.

The cosmic rays produce small amounts of naturally-rare isotopes such as neon and helium-3, which can be measured in the laboratory. The cosmic-crash exposure ages of meteorites are usually around 10 million years, but can be up to a billion years for some iron meteorites. In the last fifteen years, people have also used cosmic ray crash ages to genesis rock surfaces on the Earth.

Mesozoic bone consistently yields a falsely young radiocarbon “date” of a few thousand Taking advantage of the popularity of dinosaurs, young-Earth However, corrective calibration techniques and other procedures can.

Aristotle thought the earth had existed eternally. 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. It is a drama consisting of a prologue and three acts, complex characters, and no clear heroes or villains. We, of course, know the final outcome, but we should not let that influence our appreciation of the story as it unfolds. Even less should we let that knowledge influence our judgment of the players, acting as they did in their own time, constrained by the concepts and data then available.

One outstanding feature of this drama is the role played by those who themselves were not, or not exclusively, geologists.


Radioactive dating is a method of dating rocks and minerals using radioactive isotopes. This method is useful for igneous and metamorphic rocks, which cannot be dated by the stratigraphic correlation method used for sedimentary rocks. Over naturally-occurring isotopes are known. Some do not change with time and form stable isotopes i. The unstable or more commonly known radioactive isotopes break down by radioactive decay into other isotopes.

Radioactive decay is a natural process and comes from the atomic nucleus becoming unstable and releasing bits and pieces.

For centuries scholars sought to determine Earth’s age, but the answer had Critical to this resolution were improved methods of dating, which.

Your browser does not support JavaScript. Please note, our website requires JavaScript to be supported. Please contact us or click here to learn more about how to enable JavaScript on your browser. RTB affirms that the scientific community has reconstructed the chronological history of Earth and the universe with remarkable precision and accuracy.

Obviously scientists have determined some dates more accurately than others, but the consistency of different dating techniques applied to the same event gives confidence in the overall chronology. The only group of people who seem to dispute the dates in any significant fashion are Christians who argue for a 6, to 10,year-old Earth. The links below address some of these concerns. A few days ago, I explained why the recovery of cuttlefish fossils containing the organic material chitin fails to support the young-earth model.

His argument is not unreasonable, but the chemical nature of chitin coupled with the burial and fossilization environment provide ample support for the million-year date. Your child lies on the couch acting unusually calm.

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Jul 7. Posted by Paul Braterman. Can we trust radiocarbon dating?

It was only in the early part of the 20th century, when isotopic dating methods were first applied, that it became Sample must contain wood, bone, or carbonate minerals; can be applied to young sediments J. Earth Sciences, V. 13, p.

The topic of radiometric dating and other dating methods has received some of the most vicious attacks by young earth creation science theorists. However, none of the criticisms of young earth creationists have any scientific merit. Radiometric dating remains a reliable scientific method. To broaden your learning experience, we provide links to resources on other old earth websites, noted below by this graphic – Article Submission Policy. Roger Wiens.

Are Dating Techniques Accurate? Isochron Dating , by Chris Stassen. Geochronology – Radiometric Dating Reappraised. Ar39 – Ar40 Dating – How serious are errors in Ar Dating and how good are their monitoring standards. Shotgun Attack – Woodmorappe’s efforts to attack Ar-Ar dating. Age of Rocks. Carbon Dating – Young earth creationists misunderstanding of carbon dating. Radiohalos — Can young-earth scientists prove a young earth using radiometric methods?

How accurate are Carbon-14 and other radioactive dating methods?

Radiometric dating , radioactive dating or radioisotope dating is a technique which is used to date materials such as rocks or carbon , in which trace radioactive impurities were selectively incorporated when they were formed. The method compares the abundance of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope within the material to the abundance of its decay products, which form at a known constant rate of decay.

Together with stratigraphic principles , radiometric dating methods are used in geochronology to establish the geologic time scale.

Third, many dating methods that don’t involve radioisotopes—such as helium diffusion, erosion Both Argon and Helium Diffusion Rates Indicate a Young Earth.

Creationist’s Blind Dates. The standard scientific estimate is that the universe is about 15 billion years old, the earth about 4. It is important to recognize from the start that there are independent procedures for obtaining each of these estimates, and that the procedures yield ranges of values that overlap. In the case of the universe, estimates can be obtained from astronomical methods or considerations of nuclear reactions.

Astrophysicists can measure the rate at which galaxies are receding and use these measurements to compute the time needed for the universe to expand to its present size. A second, independent, astronomical method is to use standard techniques to measure some parameters of stars mass, luminosity, compositor, and surface temperature , from which a well-confirmed theory of the life histories of stars enables physicists to compute their.

Finally, considerations of radioactive decay make it possible to calculate the time at which certain heavy elements were formed. These techniques are somewhat similar to the radiometric methods of dating rocks, which I shad consider in a little more detail. For an excellent overview of the various ways of assigning an age to the universe, and an exposition of the radioactive decay method, see Schramm

Radiometric Dating

You’ve got two decay products, lead and helium, and they’re giving two different ages for the zircon. For this reason, ICR research has long focused on the science behind these dating techniques. These observations give us confidence that radiometric dating is not trustworthy. Research has even identified precisely where radioisotope dating went wrong.

See the articles below for more information on the pitfalls of these dating methods.

Young Earth Creationism Radiometric Dating. St. If one believes the universe is young, then one has to account for the fact that many dating methods agree on.

A quick flash to a chart during the debate purportedly showing so, and far too much to read in a second, and then on to somethig else. Gish Gallop springs to my mischevious mind. So did Ham have a point that a piece of year old timber was found in a rock purportedly 45, years old? My sympathies lie completely with the currently accepted scientific methods of dating rocks, the Earth, the universe … but, and it is a discussion, is there room for doubt?

Without the reference to the alleged finding, it is impossible to be specific. Report abuse. Rocks are usually millions of years old… unless we are talking about lava rocks…. Ken Ham seems to be referring to a geologist named Andrew A. Snelling, who also happens to be a young earth creationist. He posted an article on the Institute for Creation Sciences on this topic. Radiometric dating revealed the wood was only about 45 years old.

His argument is of course that this does not make sense. In essence, he is arguing that radiometric dating is bullshit and hence we should accept that young earth creationism is true. If this was truly of such significance as he claims I think it would gather a lot more interest.

Scientific Evidence for an Old Earth

The use of carbon, also known as radiocarbon, to date organic materials has been an important method in both archaeology and geology. The technique was pioneered over fifty years ago by the physical chemist Willard Libby, who won the Nobel Prize for his work on 14 C. Since then, the technique has been widely used and continually improved. This paper will focus on how the radiocarbon dating method works, how it is used by scientists, and how creationists have interpreted the results.

Carbon is a radioactive isotope formed in the upper atmosphere. It is constantly being produced by a system in which cosmic rays from the sun hit atoms, releasing neutrons.

But, much to the consternation of scientists, young-Earth creationism, of radiometric dating to consider that “all of the different dating methods.

David H. Bailey does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. In one respect, science and religion have been largely reconciled since the 19th century, when geologists such as Charles Lyell recognised the evidence for a very old Earth.

Within a few decades, most mainstream religious denominations accepted this view as well. But, much to the consternation of scientists, young-Earth creationism , which holds Earth is only about 6, years old, continues to be promoted in some quarters, and remains very popular with the public, especially in the United States. By contrast, and more representative of OECD countries, only about half as many Canadians espouse such beliefs. Such notions, of course, differ vastly to the findings of modern science, which pegs the age of the earth at 4.

While there are numerous experimental methods used to determine geologic ages, the most frequently employed technique is radiometric dating , based on measurements of various radioactive isotopes in rocks. The phenomenon of radioactivity is rooted in the fundamental laws of physics and follows simple mathematical formulae, taught to all calculus students.

Dating schemes based on rates of radioactivity have been refined and scrutinised over several decades, and the latest high-tech equipment permits reliable results to be obtained even with microscopic rock samples. Radiometric dating is self-checking, because the data after certain preliminary calculations are made are fitted to a straight line called an isochron by means of standard linear regression methods of statistics. The slope of the line determines the age of the rock, and the closeness of fit is a measure of the statistical reliability of this conclusion.

The graphic below gives the general idea, and more technical detail can be found here.

How dating methods work