Radiometric dating is a technique used to date materials based on a knowledge of the decay rates of naturally occurring isotopes , and the current abundances. It is our principal source of information about the age of the Earth and a significant source of information about rates of evolutionary change. All ordinary matter is made up of combinations of chemical elements , each with its own atomic number , indicating the number of protons in the atomic nucleus. Additionally, elements may exist in different isotopes , with each isotope of an element differing only in the number of neutrons in the nucleus. A particular isotope of a particular element is called a nuclide.
Radiometric Age Dating
CD C dates of living snails
Radiometric dating is a much misunderstood phenomenon. Evolutionists often misunderstand the method, assuming it gives a definite age for tested samples. Creationists also often misunderstand it, claiming that the process is inaccurate. Perhaps a good place to start this article would be to affirm that radiometric dating is not inaccurate. It is certainly incorrect, and it is certainly based on wrong assumptions, but it is not inaccurate.
How old are Yellowstone's large geysers? We don't exactly know!
The dating of rocks by the radioactive decay of certain minerals is undoubtedly the main argument today for the dogma of an old earth. But the Bible clearly teaches a recent creation of both the heavens and the earth, so Christians have often tried to reinterpret this doctrine to accommodate the long ages required by radioactive dating. For those Christians who believe that Genesis like the other historical books of the Bible should be understood as literal history, it has therefore been necessary to show the fallacies in the so-called "scientific proofs" of an old earth. Before the discovery of radioactivity, this usually meant arguing against the evidences from crustal cooling, sedimentation rates, or salt influx in the oceans. The development of radiometric dating during the early decades of the 20th century, however, soon displaced all these arguments, since the latter method seemed to allow much more time for evolution.
Geologists use radiometric dating to estimate how long ago rocks formed, and to infer the ages of fossils contained within those rocks. Radioactive elements decay The universe is full of naturally occurring radioactive elements. Radioactive atoms are inherently unstable; over time, radioactive "parent atoms" decay into stable "daughter atoms. When molten rock cools, forming what are called igneous rocks, radioactive atoms are trapped inside. Afterwards, they decay at a predictable rate.