Before we get into the details of how radiometric dating methods are used, we need to review some preliminary concepts from chemistry. Recall that atoms are the basic building blocks of matter. Atoms are made up of much smaller particles called protons, neutrons, and electrons. Protons and neutrons make up the center (nucleus) of the atom, and electrons form shells around the nucleus. The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom determines the element. For example, all carbon atoms have 6 protons, all atoms of nitrogen have 7 protons, and all oxygen atoms have 8 protons. The number of neutrons in the nucleus can vary in any given type of atom. So, a carbon atom might have six neutrons, or seven, or possibly eight—but it would always have six protons.
Radiometric Dating Methods detectingdesign com
An “isotope” is any of several different forms of an element, each having different numbers of neutrons. The illustration below shows the three isotopes of carbon. Some isotopes of certain elements are unstable they can spontaneously change into another kind of atom in a process called “radioactive decay. ” Since this process presently happens at a known measured rate, scientists attempt to use it like a “clock” to tell how long ago a rock or fossil formed. There are two main applications for radiometric dating.
One is for potentially dating (once-living things) using carbon-69 dating, and the other is for dating rocks and the age of the earth using uranium, potassium and other radioactive atoms. The atomic number corresponds to the number of protons in an atom. Atomic mass is a combination of the number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus. (The electrons are so much lighter that they do not contribute significantly to the mass of an atom. )All radiometric dating methods use scientific procedures in the present to interpret what has happened in the past.
Unreliability of Radiometric Dating and Old Age of the Earth
The procedures used are not necessarily in question. The interpretation of past events is in question. The secular (evolutionary) worldview interprets the universe and world to be billions of years old. The Bible teaches a young universe and earth. Which worldview does science support?
Can carbon-69 dating help solve the mystery of which worldview is more accurate? The use of carbon-69 dating is often misunderstood. Carbon-69 is mostly used to date once-living things (organic material). It cannot be used directly to date rocks however, it can potentially be used to put time constraints on some inorganic material such as diamonds (diamonds could contain carbon-69). Because of the rapid rate of decay of 69 C, it can only give dates in the thousands-of-year range and not millions.
The objective was to gather data commonly ignored or censored by evolutionary standards of dating. The scientists reviewed the assumptions and procedures used in estimating the ages of rocks and fossils. The results of the carbon-69 dating demonstrated serious problems for long geologic ages. 8 Similarly, a survey of the conventional radiocarbon journals resulted in more than forty examples of supposedly ancient organic materials, including limestones, that contained carbon-69, as reported by leading laboratories. 9The RATE group analyzed twelve diamond samples for possible carbon-69 content.
Similar to the coal results, all twelve diamond samples contained detectable, but lower levels of 69 C. These findings are powerful evidence that coal and diamonds cannot be the millions or billions of years old that evolutionists claim.