Dating the age of the earth

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Why Dating Methods Can Date Nothing

It's also possible for other matter to be incorporated into lava as it rises, without being thoroughly melted, and this matter may inherit all of its old correlated radiometric dates. Dalrymple goes to great lengths to explain this away, but I think this figure is very telling, and find his explanations unconvincing. Certain types of rocks, especially those that form from magma igneous , contain radioactive isotopes of different elements. And such flows often have a large internal scatter of dates, but these dates are not considered as anomalies because of the unrestricted biostratigraphic limit. However, it does not seem likely that sedimentary rocks would be this hot very often, except near lava or magma flows. You can use the hourglass to tell time if you know several things: So this argon that is being produced will leave some rocks and enter others. It seems reasonable that gas would collect at the top of these chambers, causing artificially high K-Ar radiometric ages there. Kelvin calculated the age of the Earth by using thermal gradients , and he arrived at an estimate of about million years. I believe that life was recently created. Then the partial pressure of argon 40 in the magma will never decrease below p; excess argon 40 will remain dissolved in the lava or magma as it cools. So it must be possible for that excess argon to get in, even though the crystal is supposed to exclude it. If we are not aware of the assumptions that are being used, we can easily be deceived. It is, therefore, more correct to talk about formational intervals rather than discrete ages for the Solar System and the Earth. Let us consider the question of how much different dating methods agree on the geologic column, and how many measurements are anomalous, since these points are often mentioned as evidences of the reliability of radiometric dating. It is possible that such isochrons are not often done.

Dating the age of the earth

What about rocks that are thought not to have their clock reset, or to have undergone later heating episodes? The repeating layers should be referred to as rhythmites and simply represent successive deposits over time. This does not include dates from minerals that are thought to yield bad dates, or from igneous bodies with wide biostrategraphic ranges, where many dates are acceptable. How can we trust this method to tell us the age of rocks when the data do not match with observations? There is a lot of flexibility in the design of such examples, as I indicate, and it is reasonable to assume that some of these examples would be natural. We can assume that the Precambrian rocks already existed when life began, and so the ages of the Precambrian rocks are not necessarily related to the question of how long life has existed on earth. On the basis of being unacceptably old, many geologists of the time rejected these early twentieth century determinations of rock age from the ratio of daughter to radioactive parent large. But anyway, I think it is important really to know what patterns appear in the data to try to understand if there is a correlation and what could be causing it. Cross-examination The Mobility of Argon Dr. The plants and animals buried in the recent Flood could account for a large change in the ratios and demonstrate the false assumption of carbon equilibrium. Tools for Digging Deeper. If the dating methods are all objective and reliable, then they should give similar dates. What assumptions are involved in radiometric dating? However, there are several assumptions that must be made in this process. The same goes for extrusive flows on the surface, since argon would be filtering up through the earth and through the lava as it cooled. Here is another quote from Woodmorappe about isochrons, since some people think that mixing scenarios or other age-altering scenarios are unlikely: This indicates that some excess argon is present. Present evidence indicates, however, that these intervals were rather short million years in comparison with the length of time that has elapsed since the Solar System formed some 4 to 5 billion years ago. The constancy of radioactive decay rates was regarded as an independent and questionable assumption because it was not known—and could not be known until the development of modern quantum mechanics—that these rates were fixed by the fundamental constants of physics. Finally, the fact that the great majority of dates are from one method means that the general but not universal agreement of K-Ar dating with itself is sufficient to explain the small percentange of anomalies if it is small. Rubidium decays to strontium. Why K-Ar dating is inaccurate Since K-Ar potassium-argon dating is one of the most prevalent techniques, some special commentary about it is in order. This was done by observing the relative age sequence of rock units in a given area and determining, from stratigraphic relations, which rock units are younger, which are older, and what assemblages of fossils are contained in each unit. The percentage of published dates that are considered as anomalous has little bearing on the question. And even if the date is one or two geologic periods earlier, it may well be close enough to be accepted as non-spurious.

Dating the age of the earth

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5 thoughts on “Dating the age of the earth

  1. It seems reasonable that gas would collect at the top of these chambers, causing artificially high K-Ar radiometric ages there.

  2. The flatness means that the lava is a contiguous mass, and can still be reached from the hot magma by a continuous path of hot rock.

  3. He inferred that where the layers are not horizontal, they must have been tilted since their deposition and noted that different strata contain different kinds of fossil. Since Cambrian and later rocks are largely sedimentary and igneous volcanic rocks are found in Cambrian and later strata, if these rocks are really million years old, then life must also be at least million years old.

  4. So there would have been a lot more excess argon in the past, leading to older ages. Using various radiometric dating methods to measure the ages of rock samples consistently produced ages that varied greatly.

  5. Thus these ages, though they generally have a considerable scatter, are not considered as anomalies.

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