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Lisle Oct 27, Geology , Origins , Physics. We are told that scientists use a technique called radiometric dating to measure the age of rocks. We are also told that this method very reliably and consistently yields ages of millions to billions of years, thereby establishing beyond question that the earth is immensely old - a concept known as deep time. This apparently contradicts the biblical record in which we read that God created in six days, with Adam being made on the sixth day. From the listed genealogies, the creation of the universe happened about years ago.

Since the rate at which various radioactive substances decay has been measured and is well known for many substances, it is tempting to use the amounts of these substances as a proxy for the age of a volcanic rock.

After 1. So, if you happened to find a rock with 1 microgram of potassium and a small amount of argon, would you conclude that the rock is 1.

If so, what assumptions have you made? In the previous hypothetical example, one assumption is that all the argon was produced from the radioactive decay of potassium But is this really known? How do you know for certain that the rock was not made last Thursday, already containing significant amounts of argon and with only 1 microgram of potassium?


In a laboratory, it is possible to make a rock with virtually any composition. Ultimately, we cannot know.

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But there is a seemingly good reason to think that virtually all the argon contained within a rock is indeed the product of radioactive decay. Volcanic rocks are formed when the lava or magma cools and hardens. But argon is a gas. Since lava is a liquid, any argon gas should easily flow upward through it and escape. Thus, when the rock first forms, it should have virtually no argon gas within it. But as potassium decays, the argon content will increase, and presumably remain trapped inside the now-solid rock.

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So, by comparing the argon to potassium ratio in a volcanic rock, we should be able to estimate the time since the rock formed. This is called a model-age method. In this type of method, we have good theoretical reasons to assume at least one of the initial conditions of the rock.

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The initial amount of argon when the rock has first hardened should be close to zero. Yet we know that this assumption is not always true. We know this because we have tested the potassium-argon method on recent rocks whose age is historically known. That is, brand new rocks that formed from recent volcanic eruptions such as Mt. Helens have been age-dated using the potassium-argon method. Their estimated ages were reported as hundreds of thousands of years based on the argon content, even though the true age was less than 10 years.

Since the method has been shown to fail on rocks whose age is known, would it make sense to trust the method on rocks of unknown age? But many secular scientists continue to trust the potassium-argon model-age method on rocks of unknown age. If so, then their true ages are much less than their radiometric age estimates.

The age estimate could be wrong by a factor of hundreds of thousands. But how would you know? We must also note that rocks are not completely solid, but porous. And gas can indeed move through rocks, albeit rather slowly. So the assumption that all the produced argon will remain trapped in the rock is almost certainly wrong. And it is also possible for argon to diffuse into the rock of course, depending on the relative concentration.

So the system is not as closed as secularists would like to think. There are some mathematical methods by which scientists attempt to estimate the initial quantity of elements in a rock, so that they can compensate for elements like argon that might have been present when the rock first formed.

Such techniques are called isochron methods.

Radiometric dating breakthroughs. by Carl Wieland A few years ago, some leading creationist geologists and physicists began a detailed research project into Radioactivity and the Age of The Earth (RATE).This RATE project began as a cooperative venture between the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), the Creation Research Society of USA (CRS) and Creation Ministries International (CMI). 1. All About Creation. Radiometric Dating. Radiometric Dating - A Brief Explanation Radiometric dating is the primary dating scheme employed by scientists to determine the age of the earth. Radiometric dating techniques take advantage of the natural decay of radioisotopes. An isotope is one of two or more atoms which have the same number of. Radiometric Dating and the Age of the Earth. Most people think that radioactive dating has proven the earth is billions of years old. After all, textbooks, media, and museums glibly present ages of millions of years as fact. Yet few people know how radiometric dating works or bother to ask what assumptions drive the conclusions.

They are mathematically clever, and we may explore them in a future article. However, like the model-age method, they are known to give incorrect answers when applied to rocks of known age. And neither the model-age method nor the isochron method are able to assess the assumption that the decay rate is uniform.

As we will see below, this assumption is very dubious. Years ago, a group of creation scientists set out to explore the question of why radiometric dating methods give inflated age estimates. We know they do because of the aforementioned tests on rocks whose origins were observed. But why? Which of the three main assumptions initial conditions are known, rate of decay is known, the system is close is false?

To answer this question, several creation geologists and physicists came together to form the RATE research initiative R adioisotopes and the A ge of T he E arth. This multi-year research project engaged in several different avenues of study, and found some fascinating results. As mentioned above, the isochron method uses some mathematical techniques in an attempt to estimate the initial conditions and assess the closed-ness of the system.

However, neither it nor the model-age method allow for the possibility that radioactive decay might have occurred at a different rate in the past.

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In other words, all radiometric dating methods assume that the half-life of any given radioactive element has always been the same as it is today. If that assumption is false, then all radiometric age estimates will be unreliable. As it turns out, there is compelling evidence that the half-lives of certain slow-decaying radioactive elements were much smaller in the past.

This may be the main reason why radiometric dating often gives vastly inflated age estimates. First, a bit of background information is in order. Most physicists had assumed that radioactive half-lives have always been what they are today. Many experiments have confirmed that most forms of radioactive decay are independent of temperature, pressure, external environment, etc.

In other words, the half-life of carbon is years, and there is nothing you can do to change it. Given the impossibility of altering these half-lives in a laboratory, it made sense for scientists to assume that such half-lives have always been the same throughout earth history.

But we now know that this is wrong. In fact, it is very wrong. More recently, scientists have been able to change the half-lives of some forms of radioactive decay in a laboratory by drastic amounts.

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However, by ionizing the Rhenium removing all its electronsscientists were able to reduce the half-life to only 33 years! In other words, the Rhenium decays over 1 billion times faster under such conditions. Thus, any age estimates based on Rhenium-Osmium decay may be vastly inflated.

The RATE research initiative found compelling evidence that other radioactive elements also had much shorter half-lives in the past.

How accurate is radiocarbon dating?

Several lines of evidence suggest this. But for brevity and clarity, I will mention only one. This involves the decay of uranium into lead Unlike the potassium-argon decay, the uranium-lead decay is not a one-step process. Rather, it is a step process. Uranium decays into thorium, which is also radioactive and decays into polonium, which decays into uranium, and so on, eventually resulting in lead, which is stable.

Radiocarbon holds unique potential for the student of earth history who adheres to a recent creation. It is doubtful that other radiometric dating techniques such as potassium-argon or rubidium-strontium will ever be of much value or interest to the young-earth creationist who desires to develop further our understanding of the past because. Oct 27, From the listed genealogies, the creation of the universe happened about years ago. Has science therefore disproved the Bible? Is radiometric dating a reliable method for estimating the age of something? How does the method attempt to estimate age? Can Science Measure Age? People often have grave misconceptions about radiometric dating. Q. How do you explain the results of radiometric dating which say the earth is billions of years old, and the Bible's account of creation? A. The age of the earth as presented in the Biblical account of creation, and the age of the earth as calculated using radiometric dating are vastly different (thousands of years compared to billions of years).

Eight of these fourteen decays release an alpha-particle: the nucleus of a helium atom which consists of two protons and two neutrons. The helium nucleus quickly attracts a couple of electrons from the environment to become a neutral helium atom. So, for every one atom of uranium that converts into lead, eight helium atoms are produced. Helium gas is therefore a byproduct of uranium decay. And since helium is a gas, it can leak through the rocks and will eventually escape into the atmosphere. The RATE scientists measured the rate at which helium escapes, and it is fairly high.

Therefore, if the rocks were billions of years old, the helium would have had plenty of time to escape, and there would be very little helium in the rocks. However, the RATE team found that rocks have a great deal of helium within them.

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In fact, the amount of helium in the rocks is perfectly consistent with their biblical age of a few thousand years! It is wildly inconsistent with billions of years. Which is more trustworthy: carbon dating or reliable eyewitnesses? In this episode, Dr.

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Jim Johnson investigates What About Radioisotope Clocks? But ICR scientists have carefully examined their claims and found flaws and holes The presence of carbon C in specimens that are supposedly millions of years old is a serious problem for believers in an old earth.

A straightforward reading of the Bible describes a 6,year-old We offered four reasons why radioisotope dating Russell Humphreys reported that helium diffusion from zircons in borehole GT-2 at Fenton Since such isotopes are thought to decay at consistent rates over time, the assumption Three geologists have reported what they called the first "successful" direct dating of dinosaur bone. Will this new radioisotope dating or radiodating technique solve the problems that plagued older A trio of geologists has published what they called the first successful direct dating of dinosaur bone.

They used a new laser technique to measure radioisotopes in the bone, yielding an age of millions Most estimates For a Radioactive Decay Rates Not Stable. They helped underpin belief in vast ages and Radiocarbon in 'Ancient' Fossil Wood. A Tale of Two Hourglasses. In your kitchen you start a three-minute egg timer and a minute hourglass simultaneously and then leave. You return a short while later to find the hourglass fully discharged but not the egg timer!

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Confirmation of Rapid Metamorphism of Rocks. Where thick sequences of sedimentary rock layers have been deposited in large basins, the deepest layers at the bottoms of the sequences may subsequently have become folded by earth movements when subjected Deep inside the Inner Gorge of Grand Canyon, northern Arizona, are the crystalline basement rocks that probably date back even to the Creation Week itself.

They have been slowly built up by matching ring patterns between trees of different ages, both living and dead, from a given locality.

As one might expect, the further back the tree-ring chronology extends, the more difficult it becomes to locate ancient tree specimens with which to extend the chronology.

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To alleviate this problem it seems, from the published literature, to be a common practice to first radiocarbon date a large number of potential tree specimens and then select those with appropriate radiocarbon age for incorporation into the tree-ring chronology. Such a procedure introduces a bias into the construction of the tree-ring chronology for the earliest millennia which could possibly obscure any unexpected radiocarbon behavior.

It is not clear to what extent this circular process has influenced the final tree-ring calibrations of radiocarbon. Efforts by creationist scientists to obtain the raw data from which the oldest tree-ring chronology has been constructed to investigate this possible source of bias have so far not met with success. Until the raw data does become available for general scrutiny, creationists are clearly justified in maintaining a high degree of skepticism.

In any event, the calibration tables which have been produced from tree rings do not support the conventional steady-state model of radiocarbon which Libby introduced. Rather, they lend support to the idea that significant perturbations to radiocarbon have occurred in the past.

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Creationists are interested in the truth. This involves exposing areas of weakness and error in the conventional interpretation of radiocarbon results as well as suggesting better understandings of radiocarbon congruent with a Biblical, catastrophist, Flood model of earth history. At ICR research into alternative interpretations of radiocarbon which are not in conflict with the Biblical record of the past continue to be actively pursued and a special radiocarbon laboratory is being developed for research into the method.

Radiocarbon holds unique potential for the student of earth history who adheres to a recent creation. It is doubtful that other radiometric dating techniques such as potassium-argon or rubidium-strontium will ever be of much value or interest to the young-earth creationist who desires to develop further our understanding of the past because they are only applicble on a time scale of millions or billions of years.

Radiocarbon, however, is applicable on a time scale of thousands of years. A proper understanding of radiocarbon will undoubtedly figure very significantly into the unraveling of such questions as when and possibly why the mammoths became extinct, the duration of the glacial period following the Flood, and the general chronology of events from the Flood to the present.

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Creationists are not so much interested in debunking radiocarbon as we are in developing a proper understanding of it to answer many of our own questions regarding the past. At the present time it appears that the conventional radiocarbon dating technique is on relatively firm ground for dates which fall within the past 3, years. For periods of time prior to this, there are legitimate reasons to question the validity of the conventional results and seek for alternative interpretations.

He received his Ph. Cite this article: Aardsma, G. Myths Regarding Radiocarbon Dating. Skip to main content. MYTH 6.

For many people, radiometric dating might be the one scientific technique that most blatantly seems to challenge the Bible's record of recent creation. For this reason, ICR research has long focused on the science behind these dating techniques.

Creationists are only interested in debunking radiocarbon. More Impact. For more than three decades potassium-argon K-Ar and argon-argon Ar-Ar dating of rocks has been crucial in underpinning the billions of years for The Latest.

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