Age of the Earth

Radioactive decay[ change change source ] All ordinary matter is made up of combinations of chemical elements , each with its own atomic number , indicating the number of protons in the atomic nucleus. Elements exist in different isotopes , with each isotope of an element differing in the number of neutrons in the nucleus. A particular isotope of a particular element is called a nuclide. Some nuclides are naturally unstable. That is, at some point in time, an atom of such a nuclide will spontaneously change into a different nuclide by radioactive decay. The decay may happen by emission of particles usually electrons beta decay , positrons or alpha particles or by spontaneous nuclear fission , and electron capture. The age is calculated from the slope of the isochron line and the original composition from the intercept of the isochron with the y-axis. The mathematical expression that relates radioactive decay to geologic time is:

How accurate are Carbon-14 and other radioactive dating methods?

Maybe we will have space to address the remainder next month. Fri, 31 Aug Danny While I find your page on evolution humorous and well written, I have to ask where on earth you got the view of evolution that you did. Helen’s may be true, I haven’t heard of such a thing, and it seems suspcious that the only source on this is an institute of creationism why not have neutral geology or geophysics labs who have no stake in the evolution argument made this claim.

The age of the earth can be measured by numerous different techniques, most of which provide just a minimum age. The absolute age of the earth has been most accurately measured through radioactive decay of its rocks.

Zircons found from grains in Western Australia are considered slightly older – 4. Geologists depend on radiometric age dating to give dates to different strata and the rocks and bones and artifacts found in those layers. Most will say that the dating methods have been confirmed over and over again, but there are questions about whether the dating methods used are reliable and whether they give scientists true dates – or whether they give dates that fit those secular geologists’ preconceived ideas.

During its history, the earth has suffered constant change. Erosion, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, catastrophes change the surface of the earth, melting rocks, grinding them up and spitting them back out in different forms than they had when they started. Those who trust in radiometric dating methods point to G. Brent Dalrymple’s book The Age of the Earth, in which he lists the ages of various chondrite samples age-dated through several methods.

Samarium-neodymium Sm-Nd dating of chondrites gives a date of 4. Dalrymple lists other sets of samples and shows that the samples consistently date between 4. This looks like convincing evidence that the earth is truly about 4. Dalrymple’s results appear to be fairly consistent in giving the earth an age of well over 4 billion years.

As we noted last week, however, the use of these dating methods depends on a number of assumptions.

Radiometric dating

They are observed in upper-mantle peridotites and oceanic basalts, in mantle xenoliths, and are also the most common mineral inclusion in diamonds. Thus, sulfides control the behaviour of the chalcophile elements during magmatic processes. Periodic table showing chalcophile elements highlighted in yellow. In addition to their economic importance, residual sulfides exert a strong control on the budget of chalcophile elements during partial melting and crustal differentiation and, hence, have a profound effect on the trace-element concentrations found in erupted magmas.


Several Christian ministries promote the idea that the earth is less than 10, years old, which they say comes from the Bible. In reality, the Bible makes no claim as to the age of the earth, although it does establish a minimum age. This page examines some of the history of the controversy—what the Bible actually says and does not say—and the scientific evidence surrounding the age of the earth. Age of the earth according to the Bible The following is a summary of the biblical evidence presented on this website regarding the age of the earth.

For more detailed explanations of each topic, please click on the associated link. History of the age of the earth As indicated earlier, the Bible does not fix the age of the earth, contrary to the claims of Answers in Genesis. Archbishop Ussher took the genealogies of Genesis, assuming they were complete, and calculated all the years to arrive at a date for the creation of the earth on Sunday, October 23, B. There are a number of other assumptions implicit in the calculation. The first, and foremost, assumption is that the genealogies of Genesis are complete, from father to son throughout the entire course of human existence.

The second assumption is that the Genesis creation “days” were exactly hours in length. It turns out that both assumptions are false.

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This false notion is often promoted when radioactive dates are listed with utterly unrealistic error bars. In this report , for example, we are told that using one radioactive dating technique, a lunar rock sample is 4, million years old, plus or minus 23 million years old. Of course, that error estimate is complete nonsense.

It refers to one specific source of error — the uncertainty in the measurement of the amounts of various atoms used in the analysis. Most likely, that is the least important source of error. If those rocks really have been sitting around on the moon for billions of years, I suspect that the the wide range of physical and chemical processes which occurred over that time period had a much more profound effect on the uncertainty of the age determination.

martindale’s calculators on-line center archaeology, anthropology, paleoichnology – palaeoichnology – neoichnology, paleobiology – palaeobiology, paleobotany – palaeobotany, paleoclimatology – palaeoclimatology.

In this chapter, DeYoung summarizes the work of Steven Austin concerning discordant radiometric dates. And he is correct But rather than seeing this as a good process, DeYoung describes this as “bias” against dates that do not agree. He is correct, but this bias is required in this case. DeYoung makes an interesting statement in the first paragraph. Some items do not show up in geologic reports, such as “how and why were particular rock samples chosen for analysis and reporting?

Leonid Neymark

Geologists obtain estimates for the passage of time from two distinctly different sources. So-called ‘absolute’ radiometric dates are derived from the decay rates of various radioactive isotopes in igneous volcanic or molten rocks. Although the underlying theoretical basis for ‘absolute’ or radiometric dating appears to be sound, there are some troubling issues arising from its application that are yet to be resolved.

Definition: The term “ore” is defined in the current study to describe a concentration of non-metallic, e.g., feldspar, or metallic minerals, e.g. spodumene, in pegmatitic rocks irrespective of its structure and position in the deposit which was or is currently mined for a profit.

The isochron method Many radioactive dating methods are based on minute additions of daughter products to a rock or mineral in which a considerable amount of daughter-type isotopes already exists. These isotopes did not come from radioactive decay in the system but rather formed during the original creation of the elements. In this case, it is a big advantage to present the data in a form in which the abundance of both the parent and daughter isotopes are given with respect to the abundance of the initial background daughter.

The incremental additions of the daughter type can then be viewed in proportion to the abundance of parent atoms. In mathematical terms this is achieved as follows. This term, shown in Figure 1, is called the initial ratio. The slope is proportional to the geologic age of the system.

Age Dating The Earth

Because of the low concentrations of Lu and Hf and the very long half-life of Lu 35, million years , the accurate use of the Lu-Hf method has been limited until recent technological advances Dalrymple, , p. The Lu-Hf method is now being effectively used to date certain rocks, especially meteorites Dalrymple, , p. As with any radiometric method, the ancient dates from the Lu-Hf method utterly refute the claims of young-Earth creationism. Therefore, it’s not surprising that Lu-Hf dating is yet another target for the wrath of young-Earth creationists.

Nevertheless, the only response that Woodmorappe , p.

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Outlook Other Abstract U-Pb radioisotope dating is now the absolute dating method of first choice among geochronologists, especially using the mineral zircon. A variety of analytical instruments have also now been developed using different micro-sampling techniques coupled with mass spectrometers, thus enabling wide usage of U-Pb radioisotope dating. However, problems remain in the interpretation of the measured Pb isotopic ratios to transform them into ages.

Among them is the presence of non-radiogenic Pb of unknown composition, often referred to as common or initial Pb. There is also primordial Pb that the earth acquired when it formed, its isotopic composition determined as that of troilite in the Canyon Diablo iron meteorite. Subsequently new crustal rocks formed via partial melts from the mantle.

So the Pb isotope ratios measured in these rocks today must be interpreted before their U-Pb ages can be calculated. Various methods have been devised to determine this initial or common Pb, but all involve making unprovable assumptions. Zircon does incorporate initial Pb when it crystallizes.

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See this page in: Hungarian , Russian , Spanish People who ask about carbon 14C dating usually want to know about the radiometric [1] dating methods that are claimed to give millions and billions of years—carbon dating can only give thousands of years. People wonder how millions of years could be squeezed into the biblical account of history.

Geochronology. Ages of geological formations or secondary events (i.e. alteration or metamorphism) can be determined through using K-Ar, (Ar-Ar), U-Pb, Rb-Sr or the Sm-Nd dating methods.

These are K-Ar data obtained on glauconite, a potassium-bearing clay mineral that forms in some marine sediment. Woodmorappe fails to mention, however, that these data were obtained as part of a controlled experiment to test, on samples of known age, the applicability of the K-Ar method to glauconite and to illite, another clay mineral. He also neglects to mention that most of the 89 K-Ar ages reported in their study agree very well with the expected ages.

Evernden and others 43 found that these clay minerals are extremely susceptible to argon loss when heated even slightly, such as occurs when sedimentary rocks are deeply buried. As a result, glauconite is used for dating only with extreme caution. The ages from the Coast Range batholith in Alaska Table 2 are referenced by Woodmorappe to a report by Lanphere and others Whereas Lanphere and his colleagues referred to these two K-Ar ages of and million years, the ages are actually from another report and were obtained from samples collected at two localities in Canada, not Alaska.

Danny Defends Argon Dating

Grt A Total amount of Hf in analyses 2. Whether your application is business, how-to, education, medicine, school, church, sales, marketing, online training or just for fun, PowerShow. And, best of all, most of its cool features are free and easy to use. You can use PowerShow.

Examines the last two decades’ advances in analyzing and understanding the formation of natural diamonds, and their relation to the earth’s formation.

Sm-Nd radiometric dating Samarium has five naturally occurring isotopes and neodymium has seven. The two elements are joined in a parent-daughter relationship by the alpha-decay of Sm to Nd with a half life of 1. An isochron is calculated normally. Sm and Nd geochemistry The concentration of Sm and Nd in silicate minerals increase with the order in which they crystallise from a magma according to Bowen’s reaction series. Samarium is accommodated more easily into mafic minerals, so a mafic rock which crystallises mafic minerals will concentrate neodymium in the melt phase faster relative to samarium.

Thus, as a rock undergoes fractional crystallization from a mafic to a more felsic composition, the abundance of Sm and Nd changes, as does the ratio between Sm and Nd. The importance of this process is apparent in modeling the age of continental crust formation. Chondritic meteorites are thought to represent the earliest unsorted material that formed in the solar system before planets formed.

This is called the epsilon notation whereby one epsilon unit represents a one part per 10, deviation from the CHUR composition.

Potassium-argon (K-Ar) dating