Age of the Earth: strengths and weaknesses of dating methods

General considerations Distinctions between relative-age and absolute-age measurements Local relationships on a single outcrop or archaeological site can often be interpreted to deduce the sequence in which the materials were assembled. This then can be used to deduce the sequence of events and processes that took place or the history of that brief period of time as recorded in the rocks or soil. For example, the presence of recycled bricks at an archaeological site indicates the sequence in which the structures were built. Similarly, in geology, if distinctive granitic pebbles can be found in the sediment beside a similar granitic body, it can be inferred that the granite, after cooling, had been uplifted and eroded and therefore was not injected into the adjacent rock sequence. Although with clever detective work many complex time sequences or relative ages can be deduced, the ability to show that objects at two separated sites were formed at the same time requires additional information. A coin, vessel, or other common artifact could link two archaeological sites, but the possibility of recycling would have to be considered. It should be emphasized that linking sites together is essential if the nature of an ancient society is to be understood, as the information at a single location may be relatively insignificant by itself. Similarly, in geologic studies, vast quantities of information from widely spaced outcrops have to be integrated. Some method of correlating rock units must be found.

sedimentary rock

Dating techniques Photo by: Bastos Dating techniques are procedures used by scientists to determine the age of an object or a series of events. The two main types of dating methods are relative and absolute. Relative dating methods are used to determine only if one sample is older or younger than another. Absolute dating methods are used to determine an actual date in years for the age of an object.

The Bible, Rocks and Time: Geological Evidence for the Age of the Earth [Davis A. Young, Ralph F. Stearley] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Is the Earth relatively young or very old? We’ve all heard the controversy. The consensus regarding the age of the Earth.

Carbon , Radiometric Dating and Index Fossils Carbon dating is used to determine the age of biological artifacts up to 50, years old. This technique is widely used on recent artifacts, but educators and students alike should note that this technique will not work on older fossils like those of the dinosaurs alleged to be millions of years old. This technique is not restricted to bones; it can also be used on cloth, wood and plant fibers. Carbon dating has been used successfully on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Minoan ruins and tombs of the pharaohs among other things.

Carbon is a radioactive isotope of carbon. The half-life of carbon is approximately 5, years. The short half-life of carbon means it cannot be used to date fossils that are allegedly extremely old, e. The question should be whether or not carbon can be used to date any artifacts at all? The answer is not simple. There are a few categories of artifacts that can be dated using carbon ; however, they cannot be more 50, years old.

Carbon cannot be used to date biological artifacts of organisms that did not get their carbon dioxide from the air. This rules out carbon dating for most aquatic organisms, because they often obtain at least some of their carbon from dissolved carbonate rock.

How Old is the Earth: Radiometric Dating

However, these excessively long ages are easily explained within the biblical worldview, and 14C actually presents a serious problem for believers in an old earth. Nearly anyone can verify this for themselves using basic multiplication and division. Any carbon atom has six protons within its nucleus, but the different isotopes have different numbers of neutrons.

Relative dating is the science of determining the relative order of past events (i.e., the age of an object in comparison to another), without necessarily determining their absolute age, (i.e. estimated age).In geology, rock or superficial deposits, fossils and lithologies can be used to correlate one stratigraphic column with another. Prior to the discovery of radiometric dating in the early.

I thought I had something seriously wrong with me but now I know I’m not alone I eat small pebbles. I crunch on them and grind with my teeth until they become very fine small pieces, almost dust-like. I love the crunchiness and the taste. I have never ever told anybody. My bf has a suspicion but I’m too afraid to tell him because I seriously can’t stop I have slight anemia which includes low iron levels Oct 22, 0 Reply Yes, I also eat dirt

Relative dating

These are K-Ar data obtained on glauconite, a potassium-bearing clay mineral that forms in some marine sediment. Woodmorappe fails to mention, however, that these data were obtained as part of a controlled experiment to test, on samples of known age, the applicability of the K-Ar method to glauconite and to illite, another clay mineral. He also neglects to mention that most of the 89 K-Ar ages reported in their study agree very well with the expected ages.

Radiometric dating is also used to date archaeological materials, including ancient artifacts. Different methods of radiometric dating vary in the timescale over which they are accurate and the materials to which they can be applied.

Clearly visible in the canyon walls are the light-colored granites, such as the Zoroaster Granite, which are stark against the darker, folded strata of the Vishnu Schist and the other metamorphic rock units of the Granite Gorge Metamorphic Suite1 see lowest purple and green shading in diagram. These are former sedimentary and volcanic strata that have been transformed by heat and pressure, possibly during the intense upheavals when the dry land was formed on Day 3 of Creation Week.

These were originally basalt lava flows several meters to tens of meters thick. In some outcrops pillow structures have been preserved, testimony to the basalt lavas having originally erupted and flowed under water onto the Creation Week ocean floor. Metamorphic rocks are not always easy to date using radio-isotopes. Results obtained usually signify the “date” of the metamorphism, but they may also yield the “age” of the original volcanic or sedimentary rock.

The “age” or “date” is calculated from the amount of the daughter isotope produced by radioactive decay of the parent isotope. In Grand Canyon, the “date” of metamorphism of the basalt lavas to form these Brahma amphibolites has been determined as Ma million years ago , based on U-Pb dating of minerals in the overlying Vishnu Schist and underlying Rama Schist that formed during the metamorphism.

Dating

Sedimentary rocks are produced by the weathering of preexisting rocks and the subsequent transportation and deposition of the weathering products. These processes produce soil , unconsolidated rock detritus , and components dissolved in groundwater and runoff. Erosion is the process by which weathering products are transported away from the weathering site, either as solid material or as dissolved components, eventually to be deposited as sediment.

Nov 14,  · isotope dating. Radiometric dating or radioactive dating is a technique used to date materials such as rocks or carbon, in which trace isotope dating radioactive impurities were selectively incorporated when they were cy 3 methods of dating rocks of dating methods radiocarbon dating.

There are lots of ways to guesstimate ages, and geologists knew the earth was old a long time ago and I might add that they were mostly Christian creationist geologists. But they didn’t know how old. Radiometric dating actually allows the measurement of absolute ages, and so it is deadly to the argument that the earth cannot be more than 10, years old. Radiometric methods measure the time elapsed since the particular radiometric clock was reset.

Radiocarbon dating, which is probably best known in the general public, works only on things that were once alive and are now dead. It measures the time elapsed since death, but is limited in scale to no more than about 50, years ago.

Unreliability of Radiometric Dating and Old Age of the Earth

Yet the question remains as to whether such measured isotope ratios might nevertheless provide valid indicators of relative time. For most scientists the standard geological timescale, with its millions and billions of years, and radioisotope dating are almost synonymous. From Vardiman et al. That is, the Wyoming rock has a greater age relative to the New Mexico rock.

The logic for the conclusion that standard radioisotope ages imply correct relative ages is based simply on the spatial invariance of the laws of physics governing nuclear transmutation. Radioisotope dating methods seek to measure as accurately as possible the cumulative amount of nuclear transmutation that has occurred in a sample since some crisis point in its history.

My purpose here is not to review and discuss all of the dating methods in use. Instead, I describe briefly only the three principal methods. These are the K-Ar, Rb-Sr, and U-Pb methods.

Radioactive decay[ edit ] Example of a radioactive decay chain from lead Pb to lead Pb. The final decay product, lead Pb , is stable and can no longer undergo spontaneous radioactive decay. 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 in the number of neutrons in the nucleus.

A particular isotope of a particular element is called a nuclide. Some nuclides are inherently unstable. That is, at some point in time, an atom of such a nuclide will undergo radioactive decay and spontaneously transform into a different nuclide. This transformation may be accomplished in a number of different ways, including alpha decay emission of alpha particles and beta decay electron emission, positron emission, or electron capture. Another possibility is spontaneous fission into two or more nuclides.

While the moment in time at which a particular nucleus decays is unpredictable, a collection of atoms of a radioactive nuclide decays exponentially at a rate described by a parameter known as the half-life , usually given in units of years when discussing dating techniques. After one half-life has elapsed, one half of the atoms of the nuclide in question will have decayed into a “daughter” nuclide or decay product.

In many cases, the daughter nuclide itself is radioactive, resulting in a decay chain , eventually ending with the formation of a stable nonradioactive daughter nuclide; each step in such a chain is characterized by a distinct half-life.

Everything Worth Knowing About Scientific Dating Methods

How accurate are carbon-dating methods? All methods of radioactive dating rely on three assumptions that may not necessarily be true: Rate of Decay It is assumed that the rate of decay has remained constant over time. This assumption is backed by numerous scientific studies and is relatively sound.

A fist-size sample of the Acasta Gneisses, rocks in northwest Canada that are the oldest known rocks on Earth.

Acknowledgements Introduction his document discusses the way radiometric dating and stratigraphic principles are used to establish the conventional geological time scale. It is not about the theory behind radiometric dating methods, it is about their application, and it therefore assumes the reader has some familiarity with the technique already refer to “Other Sources” for more information.

As an example of how they are used, radiometric dates from geologically simple, fossiliferous Cretaceous rocks in western North America are compared to the geological time scale. To get to that point, there is also a historical discussion and description of non-radiometric dating methods. A common form of criticism is to cite geologically complicated situations where the application of radiometric dating is very challenging.

These are often characterised as the norm, rather than the exception. I thought it would be useful to present an example where the geology is simple, and unsurprisingly, the method does work well, to show the quality of data that would have to be invalidated before a major revision of the geologic time scale could be accepted by conventional scientists. Geochronologists do not claim that radiometric dating is foolproof no scientific method is , but it does work reliably for most samples.

It is these highly consistent and reliable samples, rather than the tricky ones, that have to be falsified for “young Earth” theories to have any scientific plausibility, not to mention the need to falsify huge amounts of evidence from other techniques. This document is partly based on a prior posting composed in reply to Ted Holden. My thanks to both him and other critics for motivating me.

Background Stratigraphic Principles and Relative Time Much of the Earth’s geology consists of successional layers of different rock types, piled one on top of another. The most common rocks observed in this form are sedimentary rocks derived from what were formerly sediments , and extrusive igneous rocks e.

Radiometric Dating and the Geological Time Scale

William Stukeley in notes, “Pendulous rocks are now called henges in Yorkshire I doubt not, Stonehenge in Saxon signifies the hanging stones. Like Stonehenge’s trilithons , medieval gallows consisted of two uprights with a lintel joining them, rather than the inverted L-shape more familiar today. The “henge” portion has given its name to a class of monuments known as henges.

A Radiometric Dating Resource List Tim Thompson has collected a large set of links to web pages that discuss radiometric dating techniques and the age of the earth controversy.

See Article History Dating, in geology , determining a chronology or calendar of events in the history of Earth , using to a large degree the evidence of organic evolution in the sedimentary rocks accumulated through geologic time in marine and continental environments. To date past events, processes, formations, and fossil organisms, geologists employ a variety of techniques.

These include some that establish a relative chronology in which occurrences can be placed in the correct sequence relative to one another or to some known succession of events. Radiometric dating and certain other approaches are used to provide absolute chronologies in terms of years before the present. The two approaches are often complementary, as when a sequence of occurrences in one context can be correlated with an absolute chronlogy elsewhere.

Ankyman General considerations Distinctions between relative-age and absolute-age measurements Local relationships on a single outcrop or archaeological site can often be interpreted to deduce the sequence in which the materials were assembled.

Radiometric dating

Mineralogy As a discipline, mineralogy has had close historical ties with geology. Minerals as basic constituents of rocks and ore deposits are obviously an integral aspect of geology. The problems and techniques of mineralogy, however, are distinct in many respects from those of the rest of geology, with the result that mineralogy has grown to be a large, complex discipline in itself. Nepheline greasy light gray , sodalite blue , cancrinite yellow , feldspar white , and ferromagnesian minerals black in an alkalic syenite from Litchfield, Maine, U.

The textbooks focus on relative dating, based on the layering of the rocks, and radiometric dating. Relative ages are assigned to rocks based on the idea that rock layers lower in the strata were deposited before rock layers that are higher.

June 23rd, Author: Consequently the civilizations of the world naturally and simultaneously started developing near the rivers which initially started flowing due to the melting of glaciers near the Equator e. South India, Sri Lanka and Africa. When populations multiplied, these river waters became insufficient.

Therefore some people started travelling from south to north. Such northward migration continued for several centuries and finally when these people from south India reached the banks of Himalayan Rivers, they got climatic conditions conducive to long term development of civilization on the banks of these rivers providing security of water, food and shelter for a very long time.

relative age of rocks