What are the pros and cons of radioactive dating? | Socratic
Our main Q&A (FAQ) Page Radiometric Dating Questions and Answers Key articles How accurate is Carbon (and other radiometric) dating? (From The. Young-Earth creationists -- that is, creationists who believe that Earth is no more than 10, years old -- are fond of attacking radiometric dating methods as. Answer: Radioactive decay can be used to date igneous rocks by assuming making some assumptions, finding the percentages of parent to.
Rapid reversals during the flood year and fluctuations shortly after would have caused the field energy to drop even faster. This helium originally escaped from rocks. This happens quite fast, yet so much helium is still in some rocks that it has not had time to escape—certainly not billions of years.
The supernova remnants SNRs should keep expanding for hundreds of thousands of years, according to physical equations.
Answers to Creationist Attacks on Carbon Dating | NCSE
Yet there are no very old, widely expanded Stage 3 SNRs, and few moderately old Stage 1 ones in our galaxy, the Milky Way, or in its satellite galaxies, the Magellanic Clouds. But even if the moon had started receding from being in contact with the Earth, it would have taken only 1. This gives a maximum age of the moon, not the actual age.
This is far too young for evolutionists who claim the moon is 4. The sea is not nearly salty enough for this to have been happening for billions of years.
Even granting generous assumptions to evolutionists, the sea could not be more than 62 Ma years old—far younger than the billions of years believed by the evolutionists. Again, this indicates a maximum age, not the actual age. Russell Humphreys gives other processes inconsistent with billions of years in the pamphlet Evidence for a Young World.
How accurate are Carbon-14 and other radioactive dating methods?
They realize that all science is tentative because we do not have all the data, especially when dealing with the past. The atheistic evolutionist W.
In reality, all dating methods, including those that point to a young Earth, rely on unprovable assumptions. Creationists ultimately date the Earth historically using the chronology of the Bible. This is because they believe that this is an accurate eyewitness account of world history, which bears the evidence within it that it is the Word of Godand therefore totally reliable and error-free.
What the do the radiometric dates of millions of years mean, if they are not true ages? To answer this question, it is necessary to scrutinize further the experimental results from the various dating techniques, the interpretations made on the basis of the results and the assumptions underlying those interpretations.
The isochron dating technique was thought to be infallible because it supposedly covered the assumptions about starting conditions and closed systems. This problem cannot be overlooked, especially in evaluating the numerical time scale. Similar questions can also arise in applying Sm-Nd [samarium-neodymium] and U-Pb [uranium-lead] isochron methods.
Another currently popular dating method is the uranium-lead concordia technique. This effectively combines the two uranium-lead decay series into one diagram. Numerous models, or stories, have been developed to explain such data. Again, the stories are evaluated according to their own success in agreeing with the existing long ages belief system. Andrew Snelling has suggested that fractionation sorting of elements in the molten state in the Earth's mantle could be a significant factor in explaining the ratios of isotope concentrations which are interpreted as ages.
As long ago asNobel Prize nominee Melvin Cookprofessor of metallurgy at the University of Utah, pointed out evidence that lead isotope ratios, for example, may involve alteration by important factors other than radioactive decay. Thorium has a long half-life decays very slowly and is not easily moved out of the rock, so if the lead came from thorium decay, some thorium should still be there. The concentrations of lead, lead, and lead suggest that the lead came about by neutron capture conversion of lead to lead to lead When the isotope concentrations are adjusted for such conversions, the ages calculated are reduced from some Ma to recent.
Other ore bodies seemed to show similar evidence. Cook recognized that the current understanding of nuclear physics did not seem to allow for such a conversion under normal conditions, but he presents evidence that such did happen, and even suggests how it could happen. Anomalies in deep rock crystals Physicist Dr. Robert Gentry has pointed out that the amount of helium and lead in zircons from deep bores is not consistent with an evolutionary age of 1, Ma for the granite rocks in which they are found.
Furthermore, the amount of helium in zircons from hot rock is also much more consistent with a young Earth helium derives from the decay of radioactive elements.
The lead and helium results suggest that rates of radioactive decay may have been much higher in the recent past. Humphreys has suggested that this may have occurred during creation week and the flood. This would make things look much older than they really are when current rates of decay are applied to dating.
Whatever caused such elevated rates of decay may also have been responsible for the lead isotope conversions claimed by Cook above. Orphan radiohalos Decaying radioactive particles in solid rock cause spherical zones of damage to the surrounding crystal structure.
A speck of radioactive element such as Uranium, for example, will leave a sphere of discoloration of characteristically different radius for each element it produces in its decay chain to lead Gentry has researched radiohalos for many years, and published his results in leading scientific journals.
For example, Po has a half-life of just 3 minutes. Curiously, rings formed by polonium decay are often found embedded in crystals without the parent uranium halos. Now the polonium has to get into the rock before the rock solidifies, but it cannot derive a from a uranium speck in the solid rock, otherwise there would be a uranium halo. Either the polonium was created primordial, not derived from uraniumor there have been radical changes in decay rates in the past. Gentry has addressed all attempts to criticize his work.
Whatever process was responsible for the halos could be a key also to understanding radiometric dating. We don't have all the answers, but we do have the sure testimony of the Word of God to the true history of the world. Footnotes Also known as isotope or radioisotope dating. Today, a stable carbon isotope, 13Cis measured as an indication of the level of discrimination against 14C.
Radiation from atomic testing, like cosmic rays, causes the conversion of 14N to 14C. Tree ring dating dendrochronology has been used in an attempt to extend the calibration of the calibration of carbon dating earlier than historical records allow, but this depends on temporal placement of fragments of wood from long dead trees using carbon dating, assuming straight-line extrapolation backwards.
Government Printing Office, Washington D. Musk ox muscle was dated at 24, years, but hair was dated at 17, years. Corrected dates bring the difference in age approximately within the life span of an ox. With sloth cave dung, standard carbon dates of the lower layers suggested less than 2 pellets per year were produced by the sloths.
Correcting the dates increased the number to a more realistic 1. Institute for Creation Research, Baker Books,pp. Footnote 14 lists many instances. For example, six cases were reported by D. A large excess was reported in D. The isochron technique involves collecting a number of rock samples from different parts of the rock unit being dated. The concentration of a parent radioactive isotope, such as rubidium, is graphed against the concentration of a daughter isotope, such as strontium, for all the samples.
A straight line is drawn through these points, representing the ratio of the parent: If three minerals form at the same time in different regions of a magma chamber, they will have identical ratios of the different strontium nuclides. The total amount of strontium might be different in the different minerals, but the ratios will be the same.
An Essay on Radiometric Dating
Now, suppose that one mineral has a lot of Rb87, another has very little, and the third has an in-between amount. That means that when the minerals crystallize there is a fixed ratio of Rb As time goes on, atoms of Rb87 decay to Sr, resulting in a change in the Rb Sr87 ratio, and also in a change in the ratio of Sr87 to other nuclides of strontium.
The decrease in the Rb Sr87 ratio is exactly matched by the gain of Sr87 in the strontium-nuclide ratio. It has to be -- the two sides of the equation must balance. If we plot the change in the two ratios for these three minerals, the resulting graph comes out as a straight line with an ascending slope. This line is called an isochron. When every one of four or five different minerals from the same igneous formation matches the isochron perfectly, it can safely be said that the isochron is correct beyond a reasonable doubt.
There are numerous other radiometric dating methods: A full cite for this book is given in the bibliography. Possible Sources of Error Now, why is all this relevant to the creation-vs.
Every method of radiometric dating ever used points to an ancient age for the Earth. For creationists to destroy the old-Earth theory, they must destroy the credibility of radiometric dating. They have two ways to do this. They can criticize the science that radiometric dating is based on, or they can claim sloppy technique and experimental error in the laboratory analyses of radioactivity levels and nuclide ratios.
Criticize the Theory Is there any way to criticize the theory of radiometric dating? Well, look back at the axioms of radiometric dating methods.
Are any of those open to question. Or at least, they seem to be. Do we know, for a fact, that half-lives are constant axiom 1? Do we know for a fact that nuclide ratios are constant axiom 2?
- What are the pros and cons of radioactive dating?
- How can radioactive decay be used to date rocks?
Regarding the first question: However, if all we had were theoretical reasons for believing axiom 1, we would be right to be suspicious of it. Do we have observational evidence? On several occasions, astronomers have been able to analyze the radiation produced by supernovas. In a supernova, the vast amount of energy released creates every known nuclide via atomic fusion and fission.
Some of these nuclides are radioactive. We can also detect the characteristic radiation signatures of radioactive decay in those nuclides. We can use that information to calculate the half-lives of those nuclides. Even so, the missing rings are a far more serious problem than any double rings. Other species of trees corroborate the work that Ferguson did with bristlecone pines. Before his work, the tree-ring sequence of the sequoias had been worked out back to BC.
The archaeological ring sequence had been worked out back to 59 BC. The limber pine sequence had been worked out back to 25 BC. The radiocarbon dates and tree-ring dates of these other trees agree with those Ferguson got from the bristlecone pine.
But even if he had had no other trees with which to work except the bristlecone pines, that evidence alone would have allowed him to determine the tree-ring chronology back to BC. See Renfrew for more details. So, creationists who complain about double rings in their attempts to disprove C dating are actually grasping at straws.
If the Flood of Noah occurred around BC, as some creationists claim, then all the bristlecone pines would have to be less than five thousand years old.How to solve radiometric dating problems
This would mean that eighty-two hundred years worth of tree rings had to form in five thousand years, which would mean that one-third of all the bristlecone pine rings would have to be extra rings.
Creationists are forced into accepting such outlandish conclusions as these in order to jam the facts of nature into the time frame upon which their "scientific" creation model is based. Barnes has claimed that the earth's magnetic field is decaying exponentially with a half-life of fourteen hundred years.
Not only does he consider this proof that the earth can be no older than ten thousand years but he also points out that a greater magnetic strength in the past would reduce C dates. Now if the magnetic field several thousand years ago was indeed many times stronger than it is today, there would have been less cosmic radiation entering the atmosphere back then and less C would have been produced.
Therefore, any C dates taken from objects of that time period would be too high.
Answers to Creationist Attacks on Carbon-14 Dating
How do you answer him? Like Cook, Barnes looks at only part of the evidence. What he ignores is the great body of archaeological and geological data showing that the strength of the magnetic field has been fluctuating up and down for thousands of years and that it has reversed polarity many times in the geological past. So, when Barnes extrapolates ten thousand years into the past, he concludes that the magnetic field was nineteen times stronger in BC than it is today, when, actually, it was only half as intense then as now.
This means that radiocarbon ages of objects from that time period will be too young, just as we saw from the bristlecone pine evidence. But how does one know that the magnetic field has fluctuated and reversed polarity? Aren't these just excuses scientists give in order to neutralize Barnes's claims? The evidence for fluctuations and reversals of the magnetic field is quite solid. Bucha, a Czech geophysicist, has used archaeological artifacts made of baked clay to determine the strength of the earth's magnetic field when they were manufactured.
He found that the earth's magnetic field was 1. See Bailey, Renfrew, and Encyclopedia Britannica for details. In other words, it rose in intensity from 0. Even before the bristlecone pine calibration of C dating was worked out by Ferguson, Bucha predicted that this change in the magnetic field would make radiocarbon dates too young.
This idea [that the fluctuating magnetic field affects influx of cosmic rays, which in turn affects C formation rates] has been taken up by the Czech geophysicist, V. Bucha, who has been able to determine, using samples of baked clay from archeological sites, what the intensity of the earth's magnetic field was at the time in question. Even before the tree-ring calibration data were available to them, he and the archeologist, Evzen Neustupny, were able to suggest how much this would affect the radiocarbon dates.
There is a good correlation between the strength of the earth's magnetic field as determined by Bucha and the deviation of the atmospheric radiocarbon concentration from its normal value as indicated by the tree-ring radiocarbon work. As for the question of polarity reversals, plate tectonics can teach us much. It is a fact that new oceanic crust continually forms at the mid-oceanic ridges and spreads away from those ridges in opposite directions. When lava at the ridges hardens, it keeps a trace of the magnetism of the earth's magnetic field.
Therefore, every time the magnetic field reverses itself, bands of paleomagnetism of reversed polarity show up on the ocean floor alternated with bands of normal polarity. These bands are thousands of kilometers long, they vary in width, they lie parallel, and the bands on either side of any given ridge form mirror images of each other.
Thus it can be demonstrated that the magnetic field of the earth has reversed itself dozens of times throughout earth history.
Barnes, writing inought to have known better than to quote the gropings and guesses of authors of the early sixties in an effort to debunk magnetic reversals.