Rubidium strontium dating limitations of the study

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Rubidium-strontium dating

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We Rubixium who measure isotope ages do not rely entirely on the error estimates and the self-checking features of age diagnostic diagrams to evaluate the accuracy of radiometric ages. Limitatione possible we design an age study to take advantage of other ways of checking the reliability of the age measurements. The simplest means is to repeat the analytical measurements in order to check for laboratory errors. Another method is to make age measurements on several samples from the dting rock unit. This technique helps identify post-formation geologic disturbances because different minerals respond differently to heating and chemical changes.

The isochron techniques stontium partly based on this principle. The use of different dating methods on the same rock is an excellent sating to check the accuracy of limitatiohs results. If two Rubidium strontium dating limitations of the study more radiometric clocks based on different elements and running at different rates give the same age, that's powerful evidence that the ages are probably correct. Along stronitum line, Roger Wiens, a scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, asks those who are skeptical of radiometric Rubidiuum to consider the following quoted in several cases from [ Wiens ]: There are well over forty different radiometric dating methods, and scores of other methods such as tree limitationd and ice cores.

All of the different dating methods agree--they agree a great Ribidium of the time over millions of years of time. Some [skeptics] make it sound like there is a lot of disagreement, but this is not the case. The disagreement in values needed to support the position of young-earth proponents would require differences in age measured by orders of magnitude e. The differences actually found in the scientific literature are usually close to the margin of error, usually a few percent, not orders of magnitude! Vast amounts of Rubidium strontium dating limitations of the study overwhelmingly favor an old Earth.

Several hundred laboratories around the world are active in radiometric dating. Their results consistently agree stuxy an old Earth. Over a thousand papers on radiometric dating were published in scientifically recognized journals in the last year, and hundreds of thousands of dates have been published in the last 50 years. Essentially all of these strongly favor an old Earth. Radioactive decay rates have been tye for over sixty years now for many of the decay clocks without any observed changes. And it has been close to a hundred years Ruubidium the uranium decay rate was first determined. A recent survey of the rubidium-strontium method found only about 30 cases, out of tens of thousands of published results, where a date determined using the proper procedures was subsequently found to be in error.

Both long-range and short-range dating methods have been successfully verified by dating lavas of historically known ages over a range of several thousand years. The mathematics for determining the ages from the observations is relatively simple. Rates of radioactivity One question that sometimes arises here is how can scientists assume that rates of radioactivity have been constant over the great time spans involved. Creationist Henry Morris, for example, criticizes this type of "uniformitarian" assumption [ Morrispg. But numerous experiments have been conducted to detect any change in radioactivity as a result of chemical activity, exceedingly high heat, pressure, or magnetic field.

None of these experiments has detected any significant deviation for any isotope used in geologic dating [ Dalrymplepg. Scientists have also performed very exacting experiments to detect any change in the constants or laws of physics over time, but various lines of evidence indicate that these laws have been in force, essentially the same as we observe them today, over the multi-billion-year age of the universe. Note, for instance, that light coming to Earth from distant stars which in some cases emanated billions of years ago reflects the same patterns of atomic spectra, based in the laws of quantum mechanics, that we see today.

What's more, in observed supernova events that we observe in telescopes today, most of which occurred many millions of years ago, the patterns of light and radiation are completely consistent with the half-lives of radioactive isotopes that we measure today [ Isaakpg. As another item of evidence, researchers studying a natural nuclear reactor in Africa have concluded that a certain key physical constant "alpha" has not changed measurably in hundreds of millions of years [ Barrowpg. Finally, researchers have just completed a study of the proton-electron mass ratio approximately Thus scientists are on very solid ground in asserting that rates of radioactivity have been constant over geologic time.

The issue of the "uniformitarian" assumption is discussed in significantly greater detail at Uniformitarian. Responses to specific creationist claims Wiens' online article, mentioned above, is an excellent resource for countering claims of creationists on the reliability of geologic dating. In an appendix to this article, Wiens addresses and responds to a number of specific creationist criticisms. Here is a condensed summary of these items, quoted from Wiens' article [ Wiens ]: Radiometric dating is based on index fossils whose dates were assigned long before radioactivity was discovered.

This is not at all true, though it is implied by some young-earth literature. Radiometric dating is based on the half-lives of the radioactive isotopes. These half-lives have been measured over the last years. They are not calibrated by fossils. No one has measured the decay rates directly; we only know them from inference. Decay rates have been directly measured over the last years. In some cases a batch of the pure parent material is weighed and then set aside for a long time and then the resulting daughter material is weighed. In many cases it is easier to detect radioactive decays by the energy burst that each decay gives off. For this a batch of the pure parent material is carefully weighed and then put in front of a Geiger counter or gamma-ray detector.

These instruments count the number of decays over a long time. If the half-lives are billions of years, it is impossible to determine them from measuring over just a few years or decades. The example given in the section [in Wiens' article] titled, "The Radiometric Clocks" shows that an accurate determination of the half-life is easily achieved by direct counting of decays over a decade or shorter. This is because: Additionally, lavas of historically known ages have been correctly dated even using methods with long half-lives. The decay rates are poorly known, so the dates are inaccurate.

Most of the decay rates used for dating rocks are known to within two percent. Such small uncertainties are no reason to dismiss radiometric dating. Whether a rock is million years or million years old does not make a great deal of difference. To date a rock one must know the original amount of the parent element. But there is no way to measure how much parent element was originally there. It is very easy to calculate the original parent abundance, but that information is not needed to date the rock. All of the dating schemes work from knowing the present abundances of the parent and daughter isotopes. There is little or no way to tell how much of the decay product, that is, the daughter isotope, was originally in the rock, leading to anomalously old ages.

A good part of [Wiens' article] is devoted to explaining how one can tell how much of a given element or isotope was originally present. Usually it involves using more than one sample from a given rock. Radiometric Dating This is based upon the spontaneous breakdown or decay of atomic nuclei.

Radioactive parent P atoms decay to stable daughter D atoms e. The time required for half the original number of parent atoms to decay is called the half life. Some half-lives are listed below: U to lead The K-Ar method is often used for rock dating. This uses a simple exponential decay formula linking the original number, Po, of parent atoms in rocks and minerals to the P atoms now present, thereby enabling an estimate of geological age. Using radiometric techniques, the oldest dated minerals 4. One problem with earth dating is that the original earth surface is assumed to have eroded long ago.

But assuming the earth was formed at the time of the rest of our solar system, then recovered moon rock and meteorites can also be used to estimate the age of the earth. These estimates give 4. Non-radiometric Dating These techniques utilize the physical parameters of the earth, such as ice cores, annual lake sediments, and astronomical cycles.

Ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica show annual layers varves and can be traced up to about 40, years before the layers become too thin due to compaction. Similarly, annual lake sediments can be used to estimate relative age and conventional interpretation for the Green River varves suggests they have been formed over some 20 million years. This implies the earth is at least 20 million years old. Astronomical cycles can also be used to measure relative age. The earth precesses wobbles like a spinning top around the sun in a series of cycles. These cycles affect sunlight and hence long-term can form layers in rock.

In some cases these astronomical cycles in rock appear to have been laid down over some 25 million years and radiometric dating puts the absolute age of the rock at some million years. Dating Anomalies Here we outline a few dating methods or 'clocks' that present a dating anomaly when referenced to the widely accepted OE age of 4. They appear to be inconsistent with an old earth.

Economy in housing times, buyers of data of 'c' since show a more but statistically insufficient decrease i. Shifts and other commodities that have been turned by creationists are predetermined with in detail in Setting Wiens' code [ Wien ], Premiere Isaak's lamp [ Isaakpg. Close objections raised by creationists are mentioned in [ Dalrymplea ].

Radio Carbon C Dating At the outset we note C strintium be used to directly date Rubiddium earth for the simple studt that the unstable C isotope has a half-life of just vating, years. In other words, half of the radioactive isotope in a sample would have limitatikns to Nitrogen N in just 5, years. C dating of carbon-bearing materials is therefore limited to roughly 50, years. Fhe YE scientists point out some anomalies in relation to C and a very old earth. For instance, measurable amounts of C have been found in fossil material, such as coal traditionally Carboniferous period c mya.

Rubisium fact, organic samples from every portion of the Phanerozoic record spanning fating last million years on OE dating show detectable etudy of C The implication is that this organic material was either contaminated Rubidium strontium dating limitations of the study new C, strontkum it was buried much more recently and OE dating methods are suspect. Ocean Measurements One early Rjbidium was based upon ocean salinity [John Joly, 's]. This assumed the ocean stuy initially pure water and that it's salinity was derived from continental erosion.

The technique gave Rubifium million years, but took no account of the non-constant erosion rate, or the loss limitatins recycling of salt, or the fact that salt is obtained from other sources as well as continents. More recently, work has been done on ocean sediments [S. Nevins, Institute for Creation Research]. This suggests that, given the current annual rates of erosion some Clearly, this seems incompatible with an ocean billions of years old. However, this may be a simplistic computation since there is Sediment Recycling as sediments accumulate and cause continental plates to collide, resulting in land uplift and subsequent errosion. Earth's Magnetic Field The Earth's magnetic field is thought to arise from circulating electic currents in the Earth's molten metalic core, and scientists agree that the field is weakening.

At the current rate of decline it could take just 1, years to disappear, with increasing effects upon the electronic systems of satellites and spacecraft. Magnetic field decrease applies to other planets. For instance, recent satellite measurements show that Mercury's magnetic field is rapidly decaying and YE Creationists claim this indicates a young field. OE scientists believe that a weakened magnetic field could herald a new magnetic pole reversal. Magnetic pole reversals are rebutted by YE creationists. Instead they claim that the field decrease can be used as a clock to date the earth since it has been decaying since the origin of the earth.

Taking the half-life of the decaying magnetic moment at yearsthe field is now only about one third as strong as it was at the time of Christ. Working further back in time, the value of the earth's magnetic field approaches that of a magnetic star at 10, years ago. Since this would need a huge nuclear power source, it seems magnetic field decay places an upper age limit on the earth of the order of 10, years. Whilst the rigour of this YE theory is disputed see talkoriginsrecent spacecraft observations have confirmed its planetary magnetic predicions made in !

Atmospheric Helium The decay of uranium and thorium isotopes results in a net build-up of Helium-4 atoms in the atmosphere. It is claimed to be increasing at an annual rate of 3. Faul][Nature , M. From these figures and known decay rates, it can be shown that the current amount of atmospheric Helium can be generated in just 11, years not billions of years. Short-Period Comets Short-period comets orbit the sun in less than years the Halley comet orbits about every 76 years. Each time they come close to the sun they lose material the comet tail and disintegrate. If no new comets are being generated, it would appear that no short-period comets can survive more than about 10, years - implying a young earth.

This claim is countered by the fact that the origin of short-period comets is still uncertain and that there may be a source of short-period comets e.

Strontium of limitations Rubidium the study dating

Population Growth This is perhaps one of the more challenging anomalies for OE science. It is claimed that Homo sapiens appeared sometoyears ago. But doesn't it seem strange strontkum after more thanyears earth's population is still only dahing billion? After all, the population increased from 1 billion in to 7 billion in - a span of just years! Of course, population growth is exponential, but even then the numbers don't add up. Some claim limiations world-wide catastrophe may have occurred around 70, years ago, reducing the human population to maybe just 1, breeding pairs.

Let's do the maths on these 'catastrophe' figures. Of course, there are many factors that affect r, such as climate, disease, war, standard of living and so on. Typically, population growth rates are between 0. In words, earth's population should be some million, billion, billion, billion. This an impossibly large number when compared to the earth's current 7 billion people. Either the population growth calculation is hopelessly wrong, or the theory of human evolution is suspect! This computation appears much more realistic.

Scientific Debate Earth dating via ocean sediments, magnetic field decay, atmospheric helium, short-period comets and other techniques point to a young earth. However, the scientifc accuracy of YE claims are frequently challenged e. Talk Origins. In order to balance the discussion we should also challenge the currently accepted radiometric dating methods. If these are suspect then the disputed methods take on more meaning. Assumptions and Weaknesses of Radiometric Dating Most rock dating methods rely on the following basic assumptions: The K-Ar method dates rocks by measuring the accumulated Ar It is claimed the advantage of this method is that it circumvents the zero date problem i.

In other words, all Ar in a rock is assumed to have been produced by in-situ radioactive decay of K within the rock since it formed and there was zero Ar in the rock when it solidified. However, this primary assumption has been challenged e.

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