Problems with radioactive dating

Problems with radioactive dating methods

in the rocks the following radioactive decay processes have proven particularly useful in radioactive dating for geologic processes: lead isochrons are also an important radioactive dating process. note that uranium-238 and uranium-235 give rise to two of the natural radioactive series, but rubidium-87 and potassium-40 do not give rise to series. and anyway, each tree covers just a hundred years or so, which means that the log samples are first ordered by carbon dating. c14 has too short a half-life for measuring but other radioactive elements like uranium (half-life about 10 to the power have much longer half-lives. other words, the fatal problem with all radioactive dates is that they are all based on assumptions about the past. showcalculation if you had 100% pure parent element when you began a dating process, then radioactive dating would be extremely reliable since the radioactive half-life of a given isotope is quite independent of any natural forces save direct collision-type interactions with the nucleus. clocks in the rocks indexbeta decay concepts   hyperphysics***** nuclear r nave go back potassium-argon method potassium-argon dating has the advantage that the argon is an inert gas that does not react chemically and would not be expected to be included in the solidification of a rock, so any found inside a rock is very likely the result of radioactive decay of potassium. it is not correct to state or imply from this evidence that the radiocarbon dating technique is thus shown to be generally invalid. the rubidium/strontium dating method deals with both of those difficulties by using the non-radioactive isotope strontium-86 as a comparison standard.-argon and argon-argon dating of crustal rocks and the problem of excess argon. we can calculate the age of a rock from its measured chemical composition, we must assume what radioactive elements were in the rock when it formed. in the following article, some of the most common misunderstandings regarding radiocarbon dating are addressed, and corrective, up-to-date scientific creationist thought is provided where appropriate. field of radiocarbon dating has become a technical one far removed from the naive simplicity which characterized its initial introduction by libby in the late 1940's. people think that radiometric dating has proved the earth is millions of years old.

Problems with radioactive dating

reading this article i could not help but think of the scientists who use this dating method to confirm their already held beliefs are like marksmen archers who shoot an arrow then go paint the bulls eye around it. in 1997 a team of scientists from the berkeley geochronology center and the university of naples decided to see if the40ar/39ar method of radiometric dating could accurately measure the age of this very young (by geological standards) volcanic material. lead 204, which is not produced by radioactive decay provides a measure of what was "original" lead. how could all of this be so if the 40ar/39ar dating technique did not work? it is doubtful that other radiometric dating techniques such as potassium-argon or rubidium-strontium will ever be of much value or interest to the young-earth creationist who desires to develop further our understanding of the past because they are only applicble on a time scale of millions or billions of years. creationists seem to think that a few examples of incorrect radiometric ages invalidate all of the results of radiometric dating, but such a conclusion is illogical. of course can only be used on geologically more recent items (the last few tens of thousands of years), but here’s the thing: we can use carbon dating on items which also have reliable historical dates from human history! the shells of live freshwater clams have been radiocarbon dated in excess of 1600 years old, clearly showing that the radiocarbon dating technique is not valid. your helioseismic dating claim is not evidence but just an interpretation to fit within the long-age view. for example, after extensive testing over many years, it was concluded that uranium-helium dating is highly unreliable because the small helium atom diffuses easily out of minerals over geologic time. it is used to refine and radiocarbon dating up to that amount of time. results of the manson impact/pierre shale dating study (izett and others 1998) are shown in figure 1. articlesdiamonds: a creationist’s best friendthe fatal flaw with radioactive dating methodshow accurate is carbon-14 (and other radiometric) dating? if radiometric dating didn’t work then such beautifully consistent results would not be possible.

Problems with radioactive isotope dating

the topic of radiometric dating always seems to stir up a lively emotional debate. some use the term ‘radio-metric dating’ but i don’t like it because, as the article explains, the method is not measuring age. it also says that the ‘actual’ ages are measured by radiometric dating—an expensive technique performed in modern laboratories. the same applies with all other overlapping isotope dating methods, including fission dating, and of course carbon dating. if geologists were wrong about their assumptions, then using potassium/argon, argon/argon, and lead/uranium dating should all give us different answers (since they decay at different rates). these two measures of time will only be the same if all of the assumptions which go into the conventional radiocarbon dating technique are valid. this process is often used along with potassium-argon dating on the same rocks. tree ring dating is not absolute but based on assumptions too (this article shows that tree ring dating is based on circular reasoning and note too that bristlecone pines regularly yield multiple tree rings per year). other dating techniques, like k-ar (potassium-argon and its more recent variant 40ar/39ar), rb-sr (rubidium-strontium), sm-nd (samarium-neodynium), lu-hf (lutetium-hafnium), and u-pb (uranium-lead and its variant pb-pb), have all stood the test of time. of these, the 14c is unique and used in carbon dating. carbon dating is not like a clock, and nowhere in the laws of physics does it say that it is impossible to measure time without knowing the start time. tektites are easily recognizable and form in no other way, so the discovery of a sedimentary bed (the beloc formation) in haiti that contained tektites and that, from fossil evidence, coincided with the k-t boundary provided an obvious candidate for dating. argument ignores the energy from radioactive decay internal to the planets, and graviatational tidal effects in jupiter’s moons. the radioactive transition which produces the argon is electron capture.

Radiometric Dating: Problems with the Assumptions | Answers in

Radiometric Dating Does Work! | NCSE

. from the university of toronto doing research in accelerator mass spectrometry, a technique now widely used in radiocarbon dating. but they do not even mention the basic problem that you cannot know the radioactive concentrations that existed in the rock in the past. other radiometric dating methods such as potassium-argon or rubidium-strontium are used for such purposes by those who believe that the earth is billions of years old. christian response to radiometric datingradioactive dating methodsgeological conflictthe dating gamehow dating methods workradiometric dating and the age of the earthplumbing and paradigmsresponse to geochronology: understanding the uncertainties, a presentation by dr justin paynemore on radioactive dating problemsdating in conflictradiometric backflipradioactive ‘dating’ failureradioisotope methods and rock agesfurther readingradiometric dating questions and answersrelated mediahow dating methods workradioisotope dating—an evolutionist's best friend? steps of rubidium-strontium isochron method meteorite dating example rb-sr isochron of moon rock clocks in the rocks index   hyperphysics***** nuclear r nave go back rubidium-strontium the rubidium-strontium dating method is often used in geologic studies. clocks in the rocks radioactive dating of meteorites a brief overview of time. at the present time it appears that the conventional radiocarbon dating technique is on relatively firm ground for dates which fall within the past 3,000 years. in the case of st severin, for example, we have 4 different natural clocks (actually 5, for the pb-pb method involves 2 different radioactive uranium isotopes), each running at a different rate and each using elements that respond to chemical and physical conditions in much different ways. illustrates the whole problem with the radioactive dating of geological events. as i have said in past postings, radiometric dating is supported by multiple measures (multiple times of the same and different elements). its exact location in the stratigraphic column at any locality has nothing to do with radiometric dating — it is located by careful study of the fossils and the rocks that contain them, and nothing more., you probably have in mind the so-called sceintific dating methods. the dating is calibrated against how long the carbon 14 takes to decay in a certain known period. “radiocarbon” dating is, as some commenters above have noted, a process restricted to very recent times and are unreliable or impossible to project beyond a given time frame including recent time simply because the isotpes decay into other elements and leave no carbon behind after that time period.

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Myths Regarding Radiocarbon Dating | The Institute for Creation

then a literature search is undertaken to determine what dating has already been attempted for the rock strata under study. problem, known as the "reservoir effect," is not of very great practical importance for radiocarbon dating since most of the artifacts which are useful for radiocarbon dating purposes and are of interest to archaeology derive from terrestrial organisms which ultimately obtain their carbon atoms from air, not the water. any departure from the original relative concentrations of lead-206 and lead-207 relative to lead-204 could then be attributed to radioactive decay. it is these studies, and the many more like them documented in the scientific literature, that the creationists need to address before they can discredit radiometric dating. but i do agree with the creationists in this case because radiometric dating is seemingly unreliable. 79 ce mt vesuvius flow, the dating of which is described above, also contained excess 40ar. one thing to note about k/ar dating is that it will never give an overestimate of the age, so it is a good tool for determining lower bounds. by radiocarbon dating a piece of wood which has been dated by counting the annual growth rings of trees back to when that piece of wood grew, a calibration table can be constructed to convert radiocarbon years to true calendar years. you check this educational page by the us geological society you will see that they spend all their time talking about the technicalities of radioactive decay. radiometric dating is generally restricted to cases where rocks have been melted and reformed (e. of course you’ll probably want to trot out the same tired examples where people misapplied carbon dating (e. clocks in the rocks index   hyperphysics***** nuclear r nave go back moon rock dating the ages of rocks returned to earth from the apollo missions range from 3. is no different from the ‘criticism’ you apply to radiometric dating. continuous series of tree-ring dated wood samples have been obtained for roughly the past 10,000 years which give the approximate correct radiocarbon age, demonstrating the general validity of the conventional radiocarbon dating technique.

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Clocks in the Rocks

the natural radioactive series which involve lead as a daughter element do offer a mechanism to test the assumptions. there even a single dating method that shows the earth is 6000 years old? thus the need for a calibration curve, but every other dating method has the same problem. and that is what geologist do, they make up an assumed geological history for rock depending on the numbers that come from the geochronology lab (see dating secrets). other creationists have focused on instances in which radiometric dating seems to yield incorrect results. this is extremely powerful verification of the validity of both the theory and practice of radiometric dating. however, there are two obvious problems with radioactive dating for geological purposes: 1) uncertainty about the composition of the original sample and 2) possible losses of material during the time span of the decay. few verified examples of incorrect radiometric ages are simply insufficient to prove that radiometric dating is invalid. if the physics behind radiometric dating didn’t work, you wouldn’t be reading these words on a computer screen or smart phone right now. some meteorites, because of their mineralogy, can be dated by more than one radiometric dating technique, which provides scientists with a powerful check of the validity of the results. that means that chemists and physicists can run thousands of experiments, subjecting them to heat, pressure, or any other sort of force, but the reliable human witnesses always find that the radioactive decay happens at a constant rate. those of us who have developed and used dating techniques to solve scientific problems are well aware that the systems are not perfect; we ourselves have provided numerous examples of instances in which the techniques fail. walker responds: hi jaime, the article applies to all methods of dating, not just to carbon dating. i would suggest focusing on the process of isotopic decay dating methods and refresh yourself on them.

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How accurate are Carbon-14 and other radioactive dating methods

actually gets even worse for you: we aren’t “assuming” that radioactive decay is constant. in many cases you can use multiple different radiometric dating techniques, and they provide the same range of answers! 40ar/39ar dating into the historical realm: calibration against pliny the younger. dating of meteoritesmoon rocks modeling the age of the earth radionuclides sorted by half-lives indexreferencesdalrymple   hyperphysics***** nuclear r nave go back uranium-lead dating ages determined by radioactive decay are always subject to assumptions about original concentrations of the isotopes. i prefer the term ‘radioactive dating’ because people have an impression of what that is. two extensive studies done more than 25 years ago involved analyzing the isotopic composition of argon in such flows to determine if the source of the argon was atmospheric, as must be assumed in k-ar dating (dalrymple 1969, 26 flows; krummenacher 1970, 19 flows). discussed carbon dating and tree-ring chronologies towards the end of my comment above dated july 1, 2009. another issue, one of the biggest problem for creationists is that radiocarbon data agrees with tree-ring data (and ‘absolute’method of dating) well back to 10,000 years ago, so nullifying all arguments that radio-carbon dating is fundamentally flawed. we can crush the rock and measure its chemical composition and the radioactive elements it contains. this short paper i have briefly described 4 examples of radiometric dating studies where there is both internal and independent evidence that the results have yielded valid ages for significant geologic events. would he have thought that the radiometric dating method was flawed?’5 in fact, there is a whole range of standard explanations that geologists use to ‘interpret’ radiometric dating results.”) you should be able to see where these assumptions are being made (see dating secrets). scientists have concluded that it is not; it is instead a consequence of the fact that radiometric dating actually works and works quite well.

Radioactivity - Is it a problem with radiometric dating that carbon 14 is

to the impression that we are given, radiometric dating does not prove that the earth is millions of years old. some of the decays which are useful for dating, with their half-lives and decay constants are: parent isotope(radioactive)daughter isotope(stable)half-life(gy)decay constant(10-11yr-1) 40k40ar*1. recall that all such dating exercises are driven by the million-year worldview of the researcher. for example, carbon dating can be applied to manuscripts from ancient egypt, and match up with the known dates of those documents. for an example of how it works see the dating game. the guide describes a number of radiometric methods and states that for ‘suitable specimens the errors involved in radiometric dating usually amount to several percent of the age result.   hyperphysics***** nuclear r nave go back meteorite dating "meteorites, which many consider to be remnants of a disrupted planet that oriaginally formed at about the same time as the earth, have provided uranium-lead and rubidium-strontium ages of about 4. dating tells us that the sun is billions of years old. dating of grand canyon rocks: another devastating failure for long-age geology. scientists who use radiometric dating typically use every means at their disposal to check, recheck, and verify their results, and the more important the results the more they are apt to be checked and rechecked by others. as for me i firmly believe that carbon dating is untrustworthy as their assumptions are laughable. dating of rocks and minerals using naturally occurring, long-lived radioactive isotopes is troublesome for young-earth creationists because the techniques have provided overwhelming evidence of the antiquity of the earth and life. some so-called creation scientists have attempted to show that radiometric dating does not work on theoretical grounds (for example, arndts and overn 1981; gill 1996) but such attempts invariably have fatal flaws (see dalrymple 1984; york and dalrymple 2000). second, the radiometric age measurements, 187 of them, were made on 3 different minerals and on glass by 3 distinctly different dating methods (k-ar and 40ar/39ar are technical variations that use the same parent-daughter decay scheme), each involving different elements with different half-lives.

More Bad News for Radiometric Dating

The Radiometric Dating Game

we learned the assumptions, theories and principles behind the varied radiometric dating methods and the mathematics behind these calculations. radiocarbon dating is not infallible, but dendrochronology is extremely reliable and dates back 8,000yrs in the southwest and in europe it has been used up to 10,000yrs. would expect that radiometric dating, being allegedly so ‘accurate,’ would rescue the situation and provide exact ages for each of these hills. eighteen of the radioactive elements have long enough half-lives to have survived since the beginning of the solar system. is rare for a study involving radiometric dating to contain a single determination of age. doubt, radiometric dating has been carried out and precise ‘dates’ have been obtained. is found, holmes and houtermans developed a system to use the ratios of the lead isotopes to produce pb-pb isochrons for dating minerals. once the plant or animal dies this exchange is cut off and the proportion of the decaying radioactive carbon 14 begins to decrease. as i am sure you are aware radioactive carbon 14 is formed by the action of solar radiation on nitrogen in the atmosphere. in fact, those who use carbon-14 for dating things know that assumption is not true, so they have developed ‘calibration’ curves using other ‘dating’ methods. have you heard about the step in the dating process called ‘interpretation’? #2 radiocarbon dating has established the date of some organic materials (e. the decay rates of some radioactive decay systems have been observed to have varied in the laboratory and some seem to be connected with solar phenomenon. another issue, one of the biggest problem for creationists is that radiocarbon data agrees with tree-ring data (and ‘absolute’method of dating) well back to 10,000 years ago, so nullifying all arguments that radio-carbon dating is fundamentally flawed.

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those who promote the reliability of the method spend a lot of time impressing you with the details of radioactive decay, half-lives, mass-spectroscopes, etc. have explained why there is a coherent story; the final step in the dating methods involves “explain how your results are consistent with all previous work”. carbon dating would be more like a runner running in a straight line. billion years old, by far the oldest ever found on the earth" this dating was done on grains of zircon, a mineral so stable that it can retain its identity through volcanic activity, weathering, and sedimentation."excess argon": the "archilles' heel" of potassium-argon and argon-argon "dating" of volcanic rocks. (lead-208 is the final stable product of the thorium series, so is not used in uranium-lead dating. x 10-10yr-1, but that decay is not used for dating. purpose of this paper is to describe briefly a few typical radiometric dating studies, out of hundreds of possible examples documented in the scientific literature, in which the ages are validated by other available information. previous commenters like steve have already pointed out, both evolutionist and creationist scientists aren’t very effective when it comes to dating things. furthermore, the dating was done in 6 different laboratories and the materials were collected from 5 different locations in the western hemisphere. argument ignores the energy from radioactive decay internal to the planets, and graviatational tidal effects in jupiter’s moons. not only that, they have to show the flaws in those dating studies that provide independent corroborative evidence that radiometric methods work. is no different from the ‘criticism’ you apply to radiometric dating. however, the appendix concludes with this qualification: ‘also, the relative ages [of the radiometric dating results] must always be consistent with the geological evidence.

on his return, he sends his sample to the laboratory for dating, and after a few weeks receives the lab report. argument was used against creationist work that exposed problems with radiometric dating. isochron dating, which specifically eliminates the need to know the original ratio of parent and daughter products in a rock. in order to accomplish their goal of discrediting radiometric dating, however, creationists are faced with the daunting task of showing that a preponderance of radiometric ages are wrong — that the methods are untrustworthy most of the time.” the mere use of this phrase implies the lack of understanding of the processes involved when dealing with various methods of direct dating. but they omit discussion of the basic flaw in the method: you cannot measure the age of a rock using radioactive dating because you were not present to measure the radioactive elements when the rock formed and you did not monitor the way those elements changed over its entire geological history. isotope(radioactive)daughter isotope(stable)half-life(y)decay constant(10-11yr-1) 10be10b1., carbon dating can be tested against historical artifacts, but we don’t have reliably dated artifacts beyond about 2½ to 3½ thousand years ago. as for radiometric dating,you only assume that there exists a constant half life, and that there have been no flux in the atoms of daughter or parent atoms. dating is used on organic objects only, so the fact that your whole example is based on inorganic rocks and radio carbon dating only suggests that you do not know with any detail or understanding the topic that you are discussing. radiocarbon dating only can go back 50,000yrs, there are many other dating methods used. gives the impression that radiometric dating is very precise and very reliable—the impression generally held by the public. as i have said in past postings, radiometric dating is supported by multiple measures (multiple times of the same and different elements). and isochron dating does not eliminate the need to know the original ratio.

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