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Dating methods Prepared by Ed van Ouwerkerk campus staff at Iowa State University campus Christian Worldview Development Series on Creation-Evolution-Science.

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Presentation on theme: "Dating methods Prepared by Ed van Ouwerkerk campus staff at Iowa State University campus Christian Worldview Development Series on Creation-Evolution-Science."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dating methods Prepared by Ed van Ouwerkerk campus staff at Iowa State University campus Christian Worldview Development Series on Creation-Evolution-Science and the Bible

2 The Bible says that the creation of the earth was completed in six days: Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array (Genesis 2:1) When we sum 76 generations (according to Luke) from Adam to Jesus and add 2012 years since the birth of Jesus, the earth is approx. 6,000 years old (not billions), if we believe that - Genesis 1 is history and no poetry and that - between Genesis 1, verses 2 and 3 is no time span.

3 We will discuss two articles, written by Mike Riddle:Mike Riddle Does radiometric dating prove the earth is old? 1 1 The New Answers Book by Ken Ham, Volume 1, Chapter 9. Doesnt carbon-14 dating disprove the Bible? 2 2 The New Answers Book by Ken Ham, Volume 1, Chapter 7.

4 There are certain kinds of atoms (radioisotopes) in nature that are unstable and spontaneously change (decay) in other kinds of atoms. Potassium decays to argon. Uranium and Potassium are called the parent element and Lead and Argon are called the daughter element. Uranium-238 Thorium-234 Protactinium-234 Uranium-234 Thorium-230 Radium-226 Radon-222 Polonium-218 Lead-214 Bismuth-214 Polonium-214 Lead-210 Bismuth-210 Polonium-210 Lead-206 (stable) Uranium radioactively decays through a series of steps until it becomes the stable element lead. Uranium to lead decay sequence. The number represents the number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus of the atom.

5 Radioisotope dating is used to date igneous rocks. That are rocks which form when hot, molten material cools and solidifies; rocks like granite and basalt. granite basalt

6 Sedimentary rocks (like sandstone, shale, and limestone), that hold most of the worlds fossils, cannot be dated with radioisotope dating techniques, because they are comprised of particles from preexisting rocks, which were transported by water and redeposited somewhere else. sandstone shale limestone

7 Assumptions During the molten state it is assumed that the intense heat will force any gaseous daughter elements like argon escape. Once the rock cools it is assumed that no more atoms can escape and any daughter element found in a rock will be the result of radioactive decay. The radioisotope dating clock starts when a rock cools. The dating process then requires measuring how much daughter element is in a rock sample and knowing the decay rate (expressed in half-life), to be assumed to have been constant for millions of years.

8 ParentDaughterHalf-life Polonium-218Lead-2143 minutes Thorium-234Protactinium days Carbon-14Nitrogen-145,730 years Potassium-40Argon billion years Uranium-238Lead billion years Rubidium-87Strontium billion years The following half-life times have been measured in labs during the last few decades (present observable decay rates): Initial conditions at time of formation can never be observed.

9 Lets now watch a 9-minute video by Mike Riddle about radiometric dating and its assumptions.video Lets watch a 1 minute video about a radiometric dating technique.video Therefore three critical assumptions must be made that affect the results of radioisotope dating: 1. Initial conditions, unknown environmental conditions 2. The amount of parent and daughter elements in a sample that has not been altered by processes other than radioactive decay. 3. The decay rate (in half-life) of the parent isotope has been constant since the rock was formed

10 RATE Group, by Creation Research Institute In 1997 an eight-year research project was started to investigate the age of the earth. The group was called the RATE Group = Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth. The team of scientists included: Larry Vardiman, PhD Atmospheric Science Russell Humphreys, PhD Physics Eugene Chaffin, PhD PhysicsLarry VardimanRussell HumphreysEugene Chaffin Donald DeYoung, PhD Physics John Baumgartner, PhD Geophysics,Donald DeYoungJohn Baumgartner Steven Austin, PhD Geology Andrew Snelling, PhD Geology Stephen Boyd, PhD Hebraic and Cognate StudiesSteven AustinAndrew SnellingStephen Boyd The objective of the research 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.

11 There is another form of dating called isochron dating, which involves analyzing four or more samples from the same rock unit. This method attempts to eliminate one of the assumptions (starting conditions). However, it includes another assumption which can introduce errors. Tests carried out by the RATE group Rocks from volcanoes with known ages were sent to a lab for radioisotope dating. Here are the results: Rock locationRock formation in Rocks dated to be Mount St. Helens, USA – 2.8 million years old Mount Ngauruhoe, NZ – 3.5 million years old

12 More recent research by the RATE group (2005) indicates that the very slow decay of Uranium-238 to Lead-206 of today, in the past must have been accelerated to helium escape from zircon crystals in granite. The RATE group suggests that this accelerated decay took place early during the Creation Week and again during the Flood. Based on the measured helium retention, a statistical analysis gives an estimated age for zircons of 6,000 ± 2,000 years, which is 250,000 times shorter than the conventional age of 1,5 billion years, and which is closely according to the biblical creation account.

13 It must be concluded that because nuclear decay has been shown to have occurred at grossly accelerated rates when molten rocks were forming, crystallizing and cooling, the radiometric methods cannot possibly date these rocks accurately based on false assumption of constant decay through earth history at todays slow rates. Thus the radiometric dating methods are highly unreliable and dont prove the earth is old. By wisdom the LORD laid the earths foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place Proverbs 3:19

14 Carbon-14 dating for fossils This method can be used for determining the age of once-living things (organic materials: plants, animals), up to 50,000 years. There is also the radioactive unstable carbon isotope Carbon-14 (having 8 instead of 6 neutrons). Carbon-14 is constantly decaying, but is also constantly added to the atmosphere by cosmic radiation from outer space. These cosmic rays collide with atoms in the atmosphere and can cause them to come apart. Neutrons that come from these fragmented atoms collide with 14 N atoms and convert them into 14 C atoms. In nature we find Carbon-12, a stable atom holding 6 protons and 6 neutrons in its nucleus.

15 Once 14 C is produced, it combines with oxygen in the atmosphere to form CO 2, which is incorporated into plants/food. So we all eat food that contains 12 C and 14 C, in the same ratio as the air we breath. When living organisms die, the intake of 14 C stops and the decay of 14 C starts. By measuring the ratio of 14 C to 12 C with an Accelerator Mass Spectrometer we can determine the age of the dead organism. In order to interpret the results correctly we need to know: 1. How fast is the 14 C decay, and has it always been so? (The half-life of 14 C is today 5,730 years) 2. What was the starting amount of 14 C in the creature when it died. (today there is one 14 C atom in one trillion 12 C atoms in the atmosphere)

16 Willard LibbyWillard Libby, evolutionist and the founder of the carbon-14 dating method in 1949, assumed the ratio 14 C to 12 C to be constant over time. If that is true, production of 14 C (by cosmic rays) and removal of 14 C (by decay) must be the same and in equilibrium. However, Libby stated that the earth (that is billions of years old) started without 14 C in its atmosphere and it would take 30,000 years to reach 14 C production and removal equilibrium. He also stated that equilibrium still hasnt been reached today. Doesnt he say then that the earth must be younger than 30,000 years? He actually says that the 14 C/ 12 C ratio is not constant. The Specific Production Rate (SPR) of 14 C is known to be 18.8 atoms per gram of total carbon per minute. The Specific Decay Rate (SDR) is known to be only / disintegrations per gram per minute. The difference between these two numbers shows that the buildup in the biosphere hasn't had time to catch up with production in the stratosphere. In other words, the earth's atmosphere must be less than some fifty thousand years old! (ref)ref

17 One of the reasons that the production of 14 C in our stratosphere isnt constant is the decay of the magnetic field of the earth. Also it is assumed that the amount of vegetation to decay into the biosphere has been about 500 times higher prior to the Genesis flood than after the flood. That subject will be discussed in other part of this series. Read about the effects of the fading magnetic field and the effects of the Genesis flood in this article by Larry Humphreys.this articleLarry Humphreys

18 Conclusion All radiometric dating methods are based on, mostly evolutionary, assumptions about events that happened in the past. In the reported ages given in textbooks and journals, these evolutionary assumptions have not been questioned, while results inconsistent with long ages have been censored. When assumptions are evaluated and shown to be faulty, the thereafter adjusted results mostly support the biblical account of a global flood and a young earth.


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