Age of the Earth: strengths and weaknesses of dating methods

Reference to a case where the given method did not work This is perhaps the most common objection of all. Creationists point to instances where a given method produced a result that is clearly wrong, and then argue that therefore all such dates may be ignored. Such an argument fails on two counts: First, an instance where a method fails to work does not imply that it does not ever work. The question is not whether there are “undatable” objects, but rather whether or not all objects cannot be dated by a given method. The fact that one wristwatch has failed to keep time properly cannot be used as a justification for discarding all watches. How many creationists would see the same time on five different clocks and then feel free to ignore it? Yet, when five radiometric dating methods agree on the age of one of the Earth’s oldest rock formations Dalrymple , p. The claim that the methods produce bad results essentially at random does not explain why these “bad results” are so consistently in line with mainstream science. Claims that the assumptions of a method may be violated Certain requirements are involved with all radiometric dating methods.

Creation vs. Evolution

Resources Introduction The methods used by archaeologists to gather data can be applied to any time period, including the very recent past. One archaeologist in the U. Over the past years archaeologists have developed many effective methods and techniques for studying the past.

Dating: Dating, in geology, determining a chronology or calendar of events in the history of Earth, using to a large degree the evidence of organic evolution in the sedimentary rocks accumulated through geologic time in marine and continental environments. To date past events, processes, formations, and.

View images by clicking on link or reduced image: Each image opens into a new window. These primitive, medium sized apes lived in rain forests between 18 and 22 million years ago. This species and others such as Dryopithecus existed before the hominid line diverged on the path to humans. This lineage ancestral gibbons is believed to have diverged from the great ape and human lineages between 17 and 25 Mya Avers, Oreopithecus ‘s hand closely matches the pattern of early hominids, with a grasping capability including firm pad-to-pad precision gripping that apes are unable to perform presumably as a response to similar functional demands to hominids Moya-Sola et al, Bipedal activities made up a significant part of the positional behavior of this primate Kohler and Moya-Sola, Gorilla and human DNA only differs by 2.

Our DNA differs by only 1. The two species of Pan, the chimpanzee, P. The human ancestral line must have arisen between 5 and 8 million years ago.

Methods of Gathering Data

Earth is constantly bombarded with primary cosmic rays , high energy charged particles — mostly protons and alpha particles. These particles interact with atoms in atmospheric gases, producing a cascade of secondary particles that may in turn interact and reduce their energies in many reactions as they pass through the atmosphere.

By the time the cosmic ray cascade reaches the surface of Earth it is primarily composed of neutrons. In rock and other materials of similar density, most of the cosmic ray flux is absorbed within the first meter of exposed material in reactions that produce new isotopes called cosmogenic nuclides. At Earth’s surface most of these nuclides are produced by neutron spallation. Using certain cosmogenic radionuclides , scientists can date how long a particular surface has been exposed, how long a certain piece of material has been buried, or how quickly a location or drainage basin is eroding.

The Age of the Earth Strengths and weaknesses of radiometric and other dating methods. See also the discussions on Dating a Young Earth and Biblical Earth Dating.

This age is obtained from radiometric dating and is assumed by evolutionists to provide a sufficiently long time-frame for Darwinian evolution. And OE Christians theistic evolutionists see no problem with this dating whilst still accepting biblical creation, see Radiometric Dating – A Christian Perspective. This is the crucial point: Some claim Genesis in particular, and the Bible in general looks mythical from this standpoint. A full discussion of the topic must therefore include the current scientific challenge to the OE concept.

This challenge is mainly headed by Creationism which teaches a young-earth YE theory. A young earth is considered to be typically just 6, years old since this fits the creation account and some dating deductions from Genesis. The crucial point here is: Accepted Dating Methods Here we outline some dating methods , both absolute and relative, that are widely accepted and used by the scientific community.

Absolute dating supplies a numerical date whilst relative dating places events in time-sequence; both are scientifically useful. Radiometric Dating This is based upon the spontaneous breakdown or decay of atomic nuclei.

Unreliability of Radiometric Dating and Old Age of the Earth

Over the next century, amateur and official meteorologists continued taking observations in settlements dotted around the continent, providing documentary evidence of climate variability in Australia. Unfortunately for modern-day scientists, there was no common standard for observing equipment during the colonial period. Any number of instrument configurations were used, including—perhaps iconically—thermometers housed in beer crates on outback verandas.

By , however, the newly formed Australian Bureau of Meteorology had established standardised equipment in many parts of the country Over the past century, the Bureau has expanded, developed and advanced its network of observing sites.

Relative dating is the science of determining the relative order of past events (i.e., the age of an object in comparison to another), without necessarily determining their absolute age, (i.e. estimated age).In geology, rock or superficial deposits, fossils and lithologies can be used to correlate one stratigraphic column with another. Prior to the discovery of radiometric dating in the early.

One line rowle with the line upon it Two staples or bank hooks Two rules of two foot apiece Three mallets Two spare planing irons If a joiner had these tools, then a lutemaker could certainly have had them. A Spnaish inventory of a violero”s workshop tools is reproduced in Lute News 71, p. There is also the inventory of tools of a lutemaker in Leiden, published in Vlam, Chr. Surviving tools A few tools survive from my chosen period and indeed from much earlier; some Roman planes survive, as do Viking ones, and they seem remarkably familiar to the modern carpenter in their design.

Some of the Viking tools have been shown to be steel-tipped, for instance iron plane blades with steel edges forged on; plane blades were still being made like this in the 19th century, which helps to justify my use of Victorian blades for my reconstructed tools. Nautical disasters have preserved useful examples of preserved early tools, for instance planes and a carpenter”s rule survive from the Mary Rose, sunk in and partly recovered from the bed of the Solent in Jointer plane from Mary Rose Rule from Mary Rose It is interesting to note that that the Mary Rose rule has an eighth of an inch as its smallest division.

This gives an insight into the attitude to measurement in an age when every artefact was custom made:

Radiocarbon dating – Wikipedia

A disconformity is a surface between parallel sedimentary beds of significantly different ages. Evidence of stream erosion or existence of a paleosol ancient soil horizon may help in recognizing a disconformity Which of the following is NOT a method to determine numerical age? Cross-cutting relations – Cross-cutting relationships are used for relative, not numerical, dating. Carbon and fission-track dating depend on radioactive decay to give numerical ages; dendrochronology tree-ring dating also gives numerical ages A hominin human family skull was found in a shale layer between two fine-grained igneous rock layers.

There were no baked zones on the rocks above the igneous layers. The skull can be assigned an absolute age range because it is in a layer between 2 sills – The igneous layers are flows, not sills, because they have not baked the sedimentary rock immediately above and below them.

Radiometric Dating. How radiometric dating works in general. Why methods in general are inaccurate. Why K-Ar dating is inaccurate. The branching ratio problem.

They quickly hardened into the dense, black rock called basalt Figure 3. Further thick sediment layers were soon deposited on top of them. Determining the Ages of Rocks Can the exact age of these basalt lavas be determined by their position in the Grand Canyon sequence of rock layers or by physically examining them? However, most geologists classify the Cardenas Basalt as Precambrian; that is, it is older than the so-called Cambrian rock layers such as the Tapeats Sandstone and Bright Angel Shale that contain fossils of marine creatures such as trilobites Figure 4.

But the rock itself looks like many other basalts found all around the world Figure 5. With the application of radioactivity to the dating of rocks, these geologists believe they now have a virtually foolproof method for determining exact ages. Figure 2 Grand Canyon map showing the location of outcrops of the Cardenas Basalt lavas.

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March 28, This post is about elevation measurements for exposure-dating samples, and how accurate they need to be. Basically, the main thing that controls cosmogenic-nuclide production rates is site elevation, or, more precisely, atmospheric pressure — at higher elevation, there is less atmosphere between you and the extraterrestrial cosmic-ray flux, so the production rate is higher.

Thus, to compute the cosmogenic-nuclide production rate at a sample site, the first thing we need to know is the elevation. Once we know the elevation, we can convert it to a mean atmospheric pressure using a model for how the atmospheric pressure varies with elevation, and then compute the production rate. The second one — converting an elevation to a mean atmospheric pressure during the exposure duration of the sample — is actually a fairly complicated problem and is the subject of another post , as well as a fairly large number of papers.

However, the first one — accurately measuring the elevation — ought to be pretty simple.

The Australian Climate Observations Reference Network – Surface Air Temperature (ACORN-SAT) dataset has been developed to monitor climate variability and change in Australia. The dataset employs the latest analysis techniques and takes advantage of digitised observational data to provide a daily.

Acknowledgements Introduction his document discusses the way radiometric dating and stratigraphic principles are used to establish the conventional geological time scale. It is not about the theory behind radiometric dating methods, it is about their application, and it therefore assumes the reader has some familiarity with the technique already refer to “Other Sources” for more information. As an example of how they are used, radiometric dates from geologically simple, fossiliferous Cretaceous rocks in western North America are compared to the geological time scale.

To get to that point, there is also a historical discussion and description of non-radiometric dating methods. A common form of criticism is to cite geologically complicated situations where the application of radiometric dating is very challenging. These are often characterised as the norm, rather than the exception. I thought it would be useful to present an example where the geology is simple, and unsurprisingly, the method does work well, to show the quality of data that would have to be invalidated before a major revision of the geologic time scale could be accepted by conventional scientists.

Geochronologists do not claim that radiometric dating is foolproof no scientific method is , but it does work reliably for most samples. It is these highly consistent and reliable samples, rather than the tricky ones, that have to be falsified for “young Earth” theories to have any scientific plausibility, not to mention the need to falsify huge amounts of evidence from other techniques. This document is partly based on a prior posting composed in reply to Ted Holden. My thanks to both him and other critics for motivating me.

Background Stratigraphic Principles and Relative Time Much of the Earth’s geology consists of successional layers of different rock types, piled one on top of another. The most common rocks observed in this form are sedimentary rocks derived from what were formerly sediments , and extrusive igneous rocks e. The layers of rock are known as “strata”, and the study of their succession is known as “stratigraphy”.

Relative and Absolute Dating