Absolute dating principles

07-Jun-2020 09:39 by 2 Comments

Absolute dating principles

Yet the same uranium decay also produced abundant helium, but only 6,000 years worth of that helium was found to have leaked out of the tiny crystals. Not Billions (Master Books, Green Forest, Arkansas, 2005), pages 65–78.

New evidence, however, has recently been discovered that can only be explained by the radioactive decay rates not having been constant in the past.9 For example, the radioactive decay of uranium in tiny crystals in a New Mexico granite ( yields a uranium-lead “age” of 1.5 billion years.

We find places on the North Rim where volcanoes erupted after the Canyon was formed, sending lavas cascading over the walls and down into the Canyon.

Obviously, these eruptions took place very recently, after the Canyon’s layers were deposited ().

To date a radioactive rock, geologists first measure the “sand grains” in the top glass bowl (the parent radioisotope, such as uranium-238 or potassium-40).

They also measure the sand grains in the bottom bowl (the daughter isotope, such as lead-206 or argon-40, respectively).

So geologists have assumed these radioactive decay rates have been constant for billions of years.

However, this is an enormous extrapolation of seven orders of magnitude back through immense spans of unobserved time without any concrete proof that such an extrapolation is credible.8 Physicists have carefully measured the radioactive decay rates of parent radioisotopes in laboratories over the last 100 or so years and have found them to be essentially constant (within the measurement error margins).Furthermore, they have not been able to significantly change these decay rates by heat, pressure, or electrical and magnetic fields.Based on these observations and the known rate of radioactive decay, they estimate the time it has taken for the daughter isotope to accumulate in the rock.However, unlike the hourglass whose accuracy can be tested by turning it upside down and comparing it to trustworthy clocks, the reliability of the radioactive “clock” is subject to three unprovable assumptions.No geologist was present when the rocks were formed to see their contents, and no geologist was present to measure how fast the radioactive “clock” has been running through the millions of years that supposedly passed after the rock was formed.

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