Students, particularly Young-Earth Creationists, may come in with misconceptions about how the age of the Earth and of various parts of the fossil record were determined. Your Account. Explore Teaching Examples Provide Feedback. Teaching about Radiometric Dating Students, particularly Young-Earth Creationists, may come in with misconceptions about how the age of the Earth and of various parts of the fossil record were determined. For example, they may assume that the whole geologic timeline is based on radiocarbon dating, which only gives reliable results for dates back to 40, years before present Low, personal communication. Others will argue that decay rates could have changed Wise, , or that God could have changed them, which might result in too-old dates. The former argument is flawed because many radiometric dates are broadly supported by other estimates of change, such as tree rings and varved sediments for radiocarbon with some discrepancies, but still leaving the Earth far more than 6, years old. The second is not a scientific argument. If supernatural forces are changing the laws of physics while we’re not looking, no form of science, “creation science” or otherwise, can prove or disprove it. Students may also be aware that bad assumptions and contamination can result in inaccurate radiometric dates.
How Science Figured Out the Age of Earth
Uranium lead dating vs carbon dating Derek owens 31, teeth lose nitrogen content fun dating. Of uranium u are not used this method is. Do you the decaying matter is about 4. Uc berkeley press release. Levels of uranium decreases while that the early s. As well.
Scientists have calculated that Earth is billion years old, with an error range of 50 As the dating technology progressed, these methods proved solar system was a cloud of dust and gas that surrounded the young sun.
The rock walls were slippery and steep at points, and some people came in their dress shoes straight from the conference that brought them together. Let me see that. A brightly painted sign in the state park explained that million years ago these ancient creatures lived at the bottom of a warm, shallow sea during the Ordovician period. But none of these geologists believed it.
As young-earth creationists, they think the earth is about 8, years old, give or take a few thousand years. Creationist ideas about geology tend to appeal to overly zealous amateurs, but this was a gathering of elites, with an impressive wall of diplomas among them Harvard, U. They had spent years studying the geologic timetable, but they remained nevertheless deeply committed to a different version of history.
John Whitmore, a geologist from nearby Cedarville University who organized the field trip, stood in the middle of the fossil bed and summarized it for his son. Whitmore, who was wearing a suede cowboy hat, answered in a cowboy manner — laconic but certain. What was remarkable about the afternoon was not so much the fossils the bed is well picked over but the gathering itself, part of the First Conference on Creation Geology, held on the Cedarville campus.
Creationist geologists are now numerous enough to fill a large meeting room and well educated enough to know that in rejecting the geologic timeline they are also essentially taking on the central tenets of the field. But the participants in the conference insist that their approach is scientifically valid. Creationist geologists are thriving, paradoxically, at a moment when evangelicals are becoming more educated, more prosperous and more open to scientific progress.
And though they are a lonely few among Christian academics, they have an influence far out of proportion to their numbers.
Lisle Oct 27, Geology , Origins , Physics. We are told that scientists use a technique called radiometric dating to measure the age of rocks. We are also told that this method very reliably and consistently yields ages of millions to billions of years, thereby establishing beyond question that the earth is immensely old — a concept known as deep time.
One of the first and most basic scientific dating methods is also one of the Earth’s magnetic polarity flip-flops about every , to , years. to ,year-old range, too old for radiocarbon but too young for K-Ar.
When some Christians first consider the possibility that Earth might have a much longer history than a few thousand years, they face a daunting challenge. Conventional scientists claim that dating methods are robust and reliable, but young-earth advocates insist that all are based on untestable assumptions and circular reasoning. Without the tools or expertise to independently evaluate the competing claims, many Christians default to the young-earth view, assuming there must be scientific justification for the young-earth claims.
For those of us who actually use these dating techniques, it is equally challenging to find ways to communicate the reliability of these methods in an understandable way. Fortunately, the availability of new experimental data is starting to make this task easier. We offer an example here of how independent dating methods can be combined to test assumptions and verify conclusions. Much more detail on this can be found in our recently published article in Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith.
The thin darker lines grow during winter or dry seasons, and the thicker, lighter rings during the summer or rainy seasons. So each pair typically represents one year. There can be conditions when a specific tree forms a double ring or no ring at all in a year, but this can be discovered by measuring multiple trees in an area. Rings are not all the same width due to environmental factors, so when the same unique pattern of wider and narrower rings is found in different trees, this allows matching years to be lined up called cross-dating.
How are the ages of the Earth and universe calculated?
Radiocarbon dating can easily establish that humans have been on the earth for over twenty thousand years, at least twice as long as creationists are willing to allow. Therefore it should come as no surprise that creationists at the Institute for Creation Research ICR have been trying desperately to discredit this method for years. They have their work cut out for them, however, because radiocarbon C dating is one of the most reliable of all the radiometric dating methods.
This article will answer several of the most common creationist attacks on carbon dating, using the question-answer format that has proved so useful to lecturers and debaters. Answer: Cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere are constantly converting the isotope nitrogen N into carbon C or radiocarbon. Living organisms are constantly incorporating this C into their bodies along with other carbon isotopes.
Mesozoic bone consistently yields a falsely young radiocarbon “date” of a few thousand Taking advantage of the popularity of dinosaurs, young-Earth However, corrective calibration techniques and other procedures can.
The age of the earth is a central issue in creation -evolution discussions, because a young earth would not permit enough time for evolution to occur, and an old earth would contradict a literal reading of the Bible account of creation. The belief in an old earth is based on conventional dates for geological periods, which are in the hundreds of millions of years range, and are obtained by isotopic dating methods. Standard isotopic radiometric dating techniques typically yield such dates on fossil-bearing strata.
There are, however, numerous disagreements between dates produced by different isotopic dating methods, and there are many cases where the dates obtained are very different from the expected ones. Furthermore, geologists are aware of a number of factors that can cause radiometric dating methods to give bad dates, and these factors are sometimes difficult to recognize.
This already casts some doubt on isotopic dating methods. Creationists have given evidence that the geological column is much younger than hundreds of millions of years, but until now they have not had a quantitative method of measuring the age of the fossils or the geologic column. Nor have they had a uniform explanation for why isotopic dating methods give such old dates.
Teaching about Radiometric Dating
Aristotle thought the earth had existed eternally. Roman poet Lucretius, intellectual heir to the Greek atomists, believed its formation must have been relatively recent, given that there were no records going back beyond the Trojan War. The Talmudic rabbis, Martin Luther and others used the biblical account to extrapolate back from known history and came up with rather similar estimates for when the earth came into being.
Within decades observation began overtaking such thinking.
It was only in the early part of the 20th century, when isotopic dating methods were first applied, that it became Sample must contain wood, bone, or carbonate minerals; can be applied to young sediments J. Earth Sciences, V. 13, p.
Carbon 14 is used for this example:, which was put out by Dr. The above is offered as a simple fact of research. Knowing how faulty creationist “facts” can be, let’s do a little research of our own. One suspects that the scientific world would not be using the carbon method if it were so obviously flawed. Could it be that the whole scientific community has missed this point, or is it another case of creationist daydreaming?
This argument was popularized by Henry Morris , p. In another creationist, Robert L. Whitelaw, using a greater ratio of carbon production to decay, concluded that only years passed since carbon started forming in the atmosphere! The argument may be compared to filling a barrel which has numerous small holes in its sides.
O ne of the main objections to radiometric dating on the part of young earth creationists is that radiometric ages do not agree with each other or that contamination renders ages meaningless. In fact, the claim is partially true. Early mass spectrometers were not as sensitive as machines today and the methods for separating, cleaning and analysis were less sophisticated.
Although ye-creationists like Snelling talk about contamination of isotopic systems as if it were a foreign concept to modern geology, most geochronologists routinely check for possible contamination using a variety of methods. Creationists have seized upon these discoveries and held them forth as evidence that radiometric dating is inaccurate. But is this the case?
During the recent debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye, the young earth creationist Ken Ham made the claim that some 90% of dating methods.
Sometimes only one method is possible, reducing the confidence researchers have in the results. Kidding aside, dating a find is crucial for understanding its significance and relation to other fossils or artifacts.