Assumptions of radiometric dating

With the exception of Carbon-14, radiometric dating is used to date either igneous or metamorphic rocks that contain radioactive elements such as uranium. Now when the uranium or thorium disintegrates, the alpha particles which are emitted are slowed down by the crystals in which the grains of the uranium- or thorium-bearing minerals are embedded.

One of the most popular of these is known as radiometric dating. can be In other words, something in the past caused a significant amount of helium to build up inside these zircons (such as from a rapid decay episode of uranium), yet, in spite of the fact that helium has been observed to leak out readily from these zircons, it has not done so: simply because it hasn't had enough time to do so -- suggesting that the zircons themselves are only a few thousand years old."There is evidence to show ...

Another problem that calls into question the credibility of radiometric dating is heat contamination.

For example, In 1973, in Alberta, Canada (near the town of Grand Prairie) a high voltage line fell which caused nearby tree roots to fossilize almost instantly.

The second assumption is much more speculative since there is no way to verify whether or not some (or most) of the daughter element was already present when the rock solidified. However, in some cases, a few scientists are telling us that they have solved this problem.

For example, with the uranium/lead method scientists have attempted to estimate what the original ratio (of uranium-238 to lead-206) was when the Earth formed.

82 comments

  1. Nov 16, 2010. I've been exchanging emails recently with a seemingly more reasonable young earth creationist. I am more knowledgeable about evolutionary biology and while I should know radiometric dating and how it works like the back of my hand, after reading books on Paleontology and taking Physical Geology.

  2. What is radiometric dating? Simply stated, radiometric dating is a way of determining the age of a sample of material using the decay rates of radio-active nuclides to provide a 'clock.' It relies on three basic rules, plus a couple of critical assumptions. The rules are the same in all cases; the assumptions are different for each.

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