Radiometric dating of the oldest rocks on earth
This paper describes in relatively simple terms how a number of the dating techniques work, how accurately the half-lives of the radioactive elements and the rock dates themselves are known, and how dates are checked with one another.In the process the paper refutes a number of misconceptions prevalent among Christians today.Many people have been led to be skeptical of dating without knowing much about it. In spite of this, differences still occur within the church.For example, most people don't realize that carbon dating is only rarely used on rocks. A disagreement over the age of the Earth is relatively minor in the whole scope of Christianity; it is more important to agree on the Rock of Ages than on the age of rocks.Radiometric dating--the process of determining the age of rocks from the decay of their radioactive elements--has been in widespread use for over half a century.There are over forty such techniques, each using a different radioactive element or a different way of measuring them.Many Christians have been led to distrust radiometric dating and are completely unaware of the great number of laboratory measurements that have shown these methods to be consistent.
The goal is to promote greater understanding on this issue, particularly for the Christian community.
The passage of time can be charted by the reduction in the number of parent atoms, and the increase in the number of daughter atoms.
Radiometric dating can be compared to an hourglass.
It has become increasingly clear that these radiometric dating techniques agree with each other and as a whole, present a coherent picture in which the Earth was created a very long time ago.
Further evidence comes from the complete agreement between radiometric dates and other dating methods such as counting tree rings or glacier ice core layers.