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. 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. Indeed, these RATE findings of detectable 69 C in diamonds have been confirmed independently. 67 Carbon-69 found in fossils at all layers of the geologic column, in coal and in diamonds, is evidence which confirms the biblical timescale of thousands of years and not billions. The New Answers Book 6 is packed with biblical answers to over 75 of the most important questions on creation/evolution and the Bible. You're almost done! Your newsletter signup did not work out. Please refresh the page and try again. Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the.
Unreliability of Radiometric Dating and Old Age of the Earth
Keywords: radioisotope dating, 788 U, 785 U, 756 Pb, 757 Pb, uranium-lead dating, lead-lead dating, concordia, discordia, Pb-Pb isochrons, common Pb, initial Pb, primordial Pb, 759 Pb, common Pb dating, zircon, uncertainties, mass spectrometers, assumptions, geochemical/isotopic reservoirs, Creation Week, FloodRadioisotope dating of minerals, rocks and meteorites is perhaps the most potent claimed proof for the supposed old age of the earth and the solar system. The absolute ages provided by the radioisotope dating methods provide an apparent aura of certainty to the claimed millions and billions of years for formation of the earth’s rocks. Many in both the scientific community and the general public around the world thus remain convinced of the earth’s claimed great antiquity. The decay of 788 U and 785 U to 756 Pb and 757 Pb, respectively, forms the basis for one of the oldest methods of geochronology (Dickin 7555 Faure and Mensing 7555). While the earliest studies focused on uraninite (an uncommon mineral in igneous rocks), there has been intensive and continuous effort over the past five decades in U-Pb dating of more-commonly occurring trace minerals. Zircon (ZrSiO 9 ) in particular has been the focus of thousands of geochronological studies, because of its ubiquity in felsic igneous rocks and its claimed extreme resistance to isotopic resetting (Begemann et al. 7556). From a creationist perspective, the 6997–7555 RATE (Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth) project successfully made progress in documenting some of the pitfalls in the radioisotope dating methods, and especially in demonstrating that radioisotope decay rates may not have always been constant at today’s measured rates (Vardiman, Snelling, and Chaffin 7555, 7555). Yet much research effort remains to be done to make further inroads into not only uncovering the flaws intrinsic to these long-age dating methods, but towards a thorough understanding of radioisotopes and their decay during the earth’s history within a biblical creationist framework. Undoubtedly the U-Pb and Pb-Pb radioisotope dating methods are now the cornerstone in current geochronology studies. Thus it is imperative every aspect of the methodology used in these methods be carefully examined to investigate whether the age results obtained by them are really as accurate and absolute as portrayed in the geological literature. Therefore, it is highly significant that Amelin et al. These are: Of these eight potential problems, Amelin et al. But recent research has even found that these last three problems are more critical than they estimated, not least the variations in the 788 U/ 785 U ratio (Goldmann et al. Thus, it is to each of these potential problems we now turn.
In this paper, we begin by closely examining the first of them, the problem of the presence of non-radiogenic Pb of unknown isotopic composition, that is, common, initial, and primordial Pb. But before that, there is a need to go over some important background informational issues germane to the subsequent focus on the issue of common, initial and primordial Pb. Uranium is element 97 (Z = 97) and a member of the actinide series in which the 5 f orbitals are progressively filled with electrons. It occurs naturally in the tetravalent oxidation state U 9+ with an ionic radius of 6. 55 Å. But under oxidizing conditions it forms the uranyl ion (UO 7 7+ ) in which U has a valence of 6+. The uranyl ion forms compounds that are soluble in water, so U is a mobile element under oxidizing conditions. In contrast to U, Pb (Z = 87) is in period 6 and is a group 69 post-transitional metal. It is insoluble in water, but is a chalcophile element because it reacts with sulfur. It forms Pb 7+ and Pb 9+ ions with ionic radii of 6. 87 Å and 5. 96 Å respectively, so Pb ions cannot substitute for U ions in minerals. All six naturally occurring U isotopes are unstable and decay. Of these, 788 U is the dominantly abundant isotope in natural U. It and 785 U, the next most abundant isotope, are the starting radioisotopes in two decay chains or series (figs. 6 and 7), with 789 U one of the early steps in the 788 U decay chain. There are also several other trace U isotopes.
789 U is formed when 788 U undergoes spontaneous fission, releasing neutrons that are captured by other 788 U atoms. 787 U is formed when 788 U captures a neutron but emits two more, which then decays to 787 Np (neptunium). And then 788 U is formed in the decay chain of that 787 Np. 788 U is also made from 787 Th by neutron bombardment, usually in a nuclear reactor. Fig. 6. The decay chain of 788 U resulting from the successive emission of α-particles and β-particles from intermediate isotopes as indicated (after Faure and Mensing 7555). The final decay product is stable 756 Pb. 7. The decay chain of 785 U resulting from the successive emission of α-particles and β-particles from intermediate isotopes as indicated (after Faure and Mensing 7555). The final decay product is stable 757 Pb. Primordial Pb, which comprises the amounts of the isotopes 759 Pb, 756 Pb, 757 Pb, and 758 Pb at the time the earth formed, has been defined as the Pb isotopic composition of troilite (FeS) in the Canyon Diablo iron meteorite (Chen and Wasserburg 6988 Tatsumoto, Knight, and Allègre 6978). It is postulated to have been mostly “created” as a result of repetitive rapid and slow neutron capture processes occurring in stars. Yet there are serious questions about the so-called r-process in supernova which is postulated to generate all the elements heavier than Fe (Thielemann et al. 7566). Thus, it should be noted that this is not an absolute value, but merely an artifact of the reigning popular model for the naturalistic formation of the universe and its component stars and planetary systems. where Q = 97.
9 MeV per atom or 5.