Possible other sources of correlation Anomalies of radiometric dating Why a low anomaly percentage is meaningless The biostrategraphic limits issue Preponderance of K-Ar dating Excuses for anomalies Need for a double-blind test Possible changes in the decay rate Isochrons Atlantic sea floor dating Dating Meteorites Conclusion Gentry's radiohaloes in coalified wood Carbon 14 dating Tree ring chronologies Coral dating Varves Growth of coral reefs Evidence for catastrophe in the geologic column Rates of erosion Reliability of creationist sources Radiometric dating methods estimate the age of rocks using calculations based on the decay rates of radioactive elements such as uranium, strontium, and potassium.
On the surface, radiometric dating methods appear to give powerful support to the statement that life has existed on the earth for hundreds of millions, even billions, of years.
One argument in favor of the absolute dating methods presented in the preceding articles is that they should work in principle.
If they don't, then it's not just a question of geologists being wrong about geology, but of physicists being wrong about physics and chemists being wrong about chemistry; if the geologists are wrong, entire laws of nature will have to be rewritten.
It is hard to think that this is a coincidence; it is also hard to think of any mechanism that could produce this agreement other than that the rocks are as old as radiometric methods tell us.
We began our discussion of absolute dating by saying that sedimentation rates could not be relied on for absolute dating.
This means that if we didn't have any other way of doing absolute dating, we would as a first approximation take the age of basalt on a spreading sea floor to be the distance from the rift divided by the rate of spreading.
Now if we estimate the age of the sea floor like that, then we get a good agreement with the dates produced by radiometric methods.
We will deal with carbon dating first and then with the other dating methods.Carbon has unique properties that are essential for life on Earth.Familiar to us as the black substance in charred wood, as diamonds, and the graphite in “lead” pencils, carbon comes in several forms, or isotopes.One rare form has atoms that are 14 times as heavy as hydrogen atoms: carbon-14, or C ratio gets smaller.So, we have a “clock” which starts ticking the moment something dies.