Earlham College

See some updates to this article. We now consider in more detail one of the problems with potassium-argon dating, namely, the branching ratio problem. Here is some relevant information that was e-mailed to me. There are some very serious objections to using the potassium-argon decay family as a radiometric clock. The geochronologist considers the Ca40 of little practical use in radiometric dating since common calcium is such an abundant element and the radiogenic Ca40 has the same atomic mass as common calcium. Here the actual observed branching ratio is not used, but rather a small ratio is arbitrarily chosen in an effort to match dates obtained method with U-Th-Pb dates. The branching ratio that is often used is 0. Thus we have another source of error for K-Ar dating. Back to top Thus there are a number of sources of error. We now consider whether they can explain the observed dates.

Age of the Earth: strengths and weaknesses of dating methods

The small apparent non-zero values are less than measurement error. In other words, the readings are consistent with zero C14 content. In fact, the experiments cited by the creationists appear to be attempts to establish the measurement error of there equipment. Older carbon dating techniques directly detected decays of C14 atoms. If the material is too old, the small amount of C14 present may not decay in the measurement interval.

Newer, more accurate techniques use mass spectroscopy.

Any so called ‘age determination’ by a physical process is, once stripped down, only an educated guess, and is most likely entirely unrelated to the actual age.

February 23, John Valley, University of Wisconsin Ever heard this life advice? When solving a big problem seems impossible, break it into smaller steps. Well, scientists just took one of geology’s biggest controversies and shrunk it down to atomic size. By zapping single atoms of lead in a tiny zircon crystal from Australia, researchers have confirmed the crystal is the oldest rock fragment ever found on Earth — 4.

The findings were published today Feb. Timeline showing major events in Earth history. Trace elements in the oldest zircons from Australia’s Jack Hills range suggest they came from water-rich, granite-like rocks such as granodiorite or tonalite, other studies have reported. That means Earth cooled quickly enough for surface water and continental-type rocks just million years after the moon impact, the massive collision that formed the Earth-moon system.

The ancient Australian crystals date back to just million years after Earth formed, and have survived tumbling trips down rivers, burial deep in the crust, heating, squeezing and a tectonic ride back to the surface.

Age of the Earth

We are told that there are methods by which we can determine accurately the age of this incredible earth. Does radiometric dating provide the desperately needed ‘proof’ that evolutionists have long been searching for? Is it accurate enough? In the next few thoughts, I seek to enlighten you to the reality of the fallacy of radiometric dating, and answer these probing questions.

In order to correctly understand the issue, you must come to an understanding of the process or mechanics behind the idea of radiometric dating.

A biblical geological model.

The whole reason they were able to determine that Oklo had a naturally occuring fission reactor was that the rocks contained isotopes that were not consistent with the standard decay of uranium isotopes. Yes, that would be the next step. So, I would need to know what those products would be and what isotopes have been found in zircon.

There are a few problems though. As I said, if this is something that has happened, then the hydrogen was likely boiled off by the reaction. So, I’d be speculating about something for which there is no direct evidence.

Confirmed: Oldest Fragment of Early Earth is Billion Years Old

It might surprise you to learn that the Bible has a lot to say about how you handle money. There are over 1, verses that discuss money and personal finances. About half of all the parables Jesus told had something to do with money. And it is estimated that about one out of every six verses in the New Testament deals with money. If God has so much to say about this subject, it must be very important.

For the results of these tests to be useful in the reconstruction of palaeoenvironments , there has to be a way to determine the relationship between depth and age of the ice.

More generally we can say: By the time the capsule volume has been reduced by half, then half of all the work that is done on the capsule has been completed assuming constant ablation pressure. Another way to look at it is that as the capsule implodes, its surface area shrinks. Since the pressure which is the force per unit area is constant, the total force, and the ability to do work, on the capsule shrinks also with decreasing radius.

We should observe that the ablation process soaks up a lot of energy. A simplistic computation of the work done in imploding a 10 liter secondary in the “W “, assuming constant ablation pressure, shows that 6. This is more energy than we assumed that the primary actually produced 5 kt , and also ignores the limits of rocket efficiency. Clearly as implosion proceeds the available energy in the channel decreases, as does the ablation pressure.

Thus the compression process only needs to be efficient in the outer layers of fuel. Even if excessive heating and poor compression occur at significantly smaller radii, overall fuel compression will still be efficient. The compression for Mike 5. The calculated compression for Mike is well short of the limit imposed by the Fermi pressure, with a lower initial shock pressure than the one I assumed the density could be increased by a factor of two or more.

Uranium (U) Isotope Decay Calculator

The isochron method Many radioactive dating methods are based on minute additions of daughter products to a rock or mineral in which a considerable amount of daughter-type isotopes already exists. These isotopes did not come from radioactive decay in the system but rather formed during the original creation of the elements. In this case, it is a big advantage to present the data in a form in which the abundance of both the parent and daughter isotopes are given with respect to the abundance of the initial background daughter.

The incremental additions of the daughter type can then be viewed in proportion to the abundance of parent atoms. In mathematical terms this is achieved as follows. This term, shown in Figure 1, is called the initial ratio.

Jean Clottes The complete image includes a third cave bear following close behind.

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.

BBC

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Potassium-Argon and Argon-Argon Methods Both these methods suffer from the same problems, because they are both based on the radioactive decay of potassium K to argon Ar , a gas which does not bond with other elements.

How Old Is the Moon? A new analysis of lunar rocks brought to Earth by Apollo astronauts suggests that the moon formed 4. Some previous studies have come up with similar estimates, while others have argued for a younger moon that coalesced million to million years after the solar system was born. The new finding, which was published today Jan.

The moon’s birth Astronomers think the moon was born after a Mars-size body or a series of such big objects slammed into the early Earth. Some of the material blasted into space coalesced to form Earth’s nearest neighbor, the thinking goes. But it’s been hard to pin down exactly when this impact, or these impacts, occurred, Barboni said.

That’s because the rocks collected by Apollo astronauts and studied by scientists tend to be breccias — jumbles of different rock types mashed together by meteorite strikes which are very common on the lunar surface, because the moon has almost no atmosphere to burn up falling space rocks. Rather than study entire rocks and hope they date all the way back to the moon’s birth, the team dated the formation of the object’s mantle and overlying crust.

This “differentiation” occurred shortly after the giant impact s , when a global liquid-magma ocean initially present on the moon cooled and solidified.

Uranium-lead dating