Elements used for radioactive dating

Thus radiometric dating methods appear to give evidence that the earth and meteorites are old, if one accepts the fact that decay rates have been constant.

elements used for radioactive dating-4

Back to top Radioactive elements decay gradually into other elements.

The original element is called the parent, and the result of the decay process is called the daughter element.

Assuming we start out with pure parent, as time passes, more and more daughter will be produced. A ratio of infinity (that is, all daughter and no parent) means an age of essentially infinity.

By measuring the ratio of daughter to parent, we can measure how old the sample is. Each radioactive element has a half-life, which tells how long it takes for half of the element to decay.

How radiometric dating works in general Why methods in general are inaccurate Why K-Ar dating is inaccurate The branching ratio problem How Errors Can Account for the Observed Dates Why older dates would be found lower in the geologic column especially for K-Ar dating Do different methods agree with each other on the geologic column?

Possible other sources of correlation Anomalies of radiometric dating Why a low anomaly percentage is meaningless The biostrategraphic limits issue Preponderance of K-Ar dating Excuses for anomalies Need for a double-blind test Possible changes in the decay rate Isochrons Atlantic sea floor dating Dating Meteorites Conclusion Gentry's radiohaloes in coalified wood Carbon 14 dating Tree ring chronologies Coral dating Varves Growth of coral reefs Evidence for catastrophe in the geologic column Rates of erosion Reliability of creationist sources Radiometric dating methods estimate the age of rocks using calculations based on the decay rates of radioactive elements such as uranium, strontium, and potassium.In order to use these methods, we have to start out with a system in which no daughter element is present, or else know how much daugher element was present initially so that it can be subtracted out.We also need to know that no parent or daughter has entered or left the system in the meantime.We are told that of all the radiometric dates that are measured, only a few percent are anomalous.This gives us the impression that all but a small percentage of the dates computed by radiometric methods agree with the assumed ages of the rocks in which they are found, and that all of these various methods almost always give ages that agree with each other to within a few percentage points.Since Cambrian and later rocks are largely sedimentary and igneous (volcanic) rocks are found in Cambrian and later strata, if these rocks are really 550 million years old, then life must also be at least 550 million years old.

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