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

Potential of abundant, environmentally harmless energy technology , which already exists My strategy for manifesting that energy event for humanity’s and the planet’s benefit. I w as born in In that same year, I had my cultural and mystical awakenings. During my second year of college, I had my first existential crisis and a paranormal event changed my studies from science to business. I s till held my energy dreams, however, and in , eight years after that first paranormal event, I had a second one that suddenly caused me to move up the coast from Los Angeles to Seattle, where I landed in the middle of what is arguably the greatest attempt yet made to bring alternative energy to the American marketplace. That effort was killed by the local electric industry , which saw our technology as a threat to its revenues and profits, and my wild ride began. The owner of the Seattle business left the state to rebuild his effort. I followed him to Boston and soon became his partner. M y partner’s experiences in Seattle radicalized him. My use of “radical” intends to convey the original ” going to the root ” meaning.

Everything Worth Knowing About … Scientific Dating Methods

Public Opinion Introduction The television, newspapers, and textbooks commonly proclaim, as though it were proven fact, that the earth is 4 to 5 billion years old. What is not commonly taught is how the scientists determined that age. What assumptions did they make? What evidence did they use? What evidence did they discard? We will examine these questions in this article.

Potassium-Argon Dating Potassium-Argon dating is the only viable technique for dating very old archaeological materials. Geologists have used this method to date rocks as much as 4 billion years old. It is based on the fact that some of the radioactive isotope of Potassium, Potassium (K),decays to the gas Argon as Argon (Ar).

Departures from this assumption are quite common, particularly in areas of complex geological history, but such departures can provide useful information that is of value in elucidating thermal histories. A deficiency of 40 Ar in a sample of a known age can indicate a full or partial melt in the thermal history of the area. Reliability in the dating of a geological feature is increased by sampling disparate areas which have been subjected to slightly different thermal histories.

Ar—Ar dating is a similar technique which compares isotopic ratios from the same portion of the sample to avoid this problem. Applications[ edit ] Due to the long half-life , the technique is most applicable for dating minerals and rocks more than , years old. For shorter timescales, it is unlikely that enough 40 Ar will have had time to accumulate in order to be accurately measurable. K—Ar dating was instrumental in the development of the geomagnetic polarity time scale.

One archeological application has been in bracketing the age of archeological deposits at Olduvai Gorge by dating lava flows above and below the deposits. In the K—Ar method was used by the Mars Curiosity rover to date a rock on the Martian surface, the first time a rock has been dated from its mineral ingredients while situated on another planet.

Study Says Sutlej Had Bigger Role to Play in Indus Civilisation Than Thought

The Radiometric Dating Game 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. We are told that these methods are accurate to a few percent, and that there are many different methods.

We are told that of all the radiometric dates that are measured, only a few percent are anomalous. This gives us the impression that all but a small percentage of the dates computed by radiometric methods agree with the assumed ages of the rocks in which they are found, and that all of these various methods almost always give ages that agree with each other to within a few percentage points.

Since there doesn’t seem to be any systematic error that could cause so many methods to agree with each other so often, it seems that there is no other rational conclusion than to accept these dates as accurate.

This page, Potassium-Argon Dating I, is dedicated to looking at the assumptions that are made in Potassium-Argon age determinations. The second page, Potassium-Argon Dating II, is dedicated to looking at what questions are needed so that a model can be suggested.

Hominin of human lineage fossils unearthed there between and consist of about teeth, four jaws, a partial skeleton, parts of two skulls, and a leg bone. The various layers have yielded remains from a broad and critical span of time in human evolution. Moreover, the geologic contexts and ages of the Omo material are known with precision, and the associated animal fossils provide a record of environmental change in eastern Africa.

Specimens of Paranthropus aethiopicus occur from 2. Fossils of this species continue to be found in younger strata to 1. An early species of Homo is represented by a few remains dating between 2. Much later in time roughly , years ago , near-modern Homo sapiens is present. Oldowan stone tools first appear between 2. The Omo I cranium, found in near the Omo River in Ethiopia and considered to be representative of early anatomically modern Homo sapiens. The layers of ash—easily dated by the potassium-argon method—reveal that the area, now an arid wasteland, was once a fertile region with several rivers and lush forests.

Chronological dating

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.

Potassium-argon dating, method of determining the time of origin of rocks by measuring the ratio of radioactive argon to radioactive potassium in the rock. This dating method is based upon the decay of radioactive potassium to radioactive argon in minerals and rocks; potassium .

Important We believe any unbiased reader will realize that we were fair with our treatment of the two models in the table above. Yet, although the theory of evolution matches the facts in some cases, evolution is still an unproven theory. By now, you may believe it should be your first choice also. Unlike many others that preceded us, we attempted to find a clear defense of evolution for two reasons: To keep from being accused of bias.

To keep from making claims that someone could refute later. Even though there are a great number of claims in books and on the Internet, we could find no scientific, testable facts that support the theory of evolution. The best site we could find was at The University of California at Berkeley. If you are interested, click here to examine the scientific evidence recorded at UC Berkeley yourself.

It includes lots of pictures, links to other pages, and scientific names. The site is very interesting and informative. Yet, we could not find a listing of the provable, testable facts supporting evolution anywhere.

Radiometric Dating

This task of interpretation has five main aspects. Classification and analysis The first concern is the accurate and exact description of all the artifacts concerned. Classification and description are essential to all archaeological work, and, as in botany and zoology , the first requirement is a good and objective taxonomy. Second, there is a need for interpretive analysis of the material from which artifacts were made. This is something that the archaeologist himself is rarely equipped to do; he has to rely on colleagues specializing in geology , petrology analysis of rocks , and metallurgy.

The potassium-argon (K-Ar) isotopic dating method is especially useful for determining the age of lavas. Developed in the s, it was important in developing the theory of plate tectonics and in calibrating the geologic time scale.

Updated 8 January c Introduction In a related article on geologic ages Ages , we presented a chart with the various geologic eras and their ages. In a separate article Radiometric dating , we sketched in some technical detail how these dates are calculated using radiometric dating techniques. As we pointed out in these two articles, radiometric dates are based on known rates of radioactivity, a phenomenon that is rooted in fundamental laws of physics and follows simple mathematical formulas.

Dating schemes based on rates of radioactivity have been refined and scrutinized for several decades. The latest high-tech equipment permits reliable results to be obtained even with microscopic samples. Radiometric dating is self-checking, because the data after certain preliminary calculations are made are fitted to a straight line an “isochron” by means of standard linear regression methods of statistics.

Everything Worth Knowing About … Scientific Dating Methods

Herbchronology Dating methods in archaeology[ edit ] Same as geologists or paleontologists , archaeologists are also brought to determine the age of ancient materials, but in their case the areas of their studies are restricted to the history of both ancient and recent humans. Thus, to be considered as archaeological, the remains, objects or artifacts to be dated must be related to human activity. It is commonly assumed that if the remains or elements to be dated are older than the human species, the disciplines which study them are sciences such geology or paleontology, among some others.

Potassium–argon dating, abbreviated K–Ar dating, is a radiometric dating method used in geochronology and archaeology. It is based on measurement of the product of the radioactive decay of an isotope of potassium (K) into argon (Ar).

There are lots of ways to guesstimate ages, and geologists knew the earth was old a long time ago and I might add that they were mostly Christian creationist geologists. But they didn’t know how old. Radiometric dating actually allows the measurement of absolute ages, and so it is deadly to the argument that the earth cannot be more than 10, years old. Radiometric methods measure the time elapsed since the particular radiometric clock was reset.

Radiocarbon dating, which is probably best known in the general public, works only on things that were once alive and are now dead. It measures the time elapsed since death, but is limited in scale to no more than about 50, years ago. Generally applied to igneous rocks those of volcanic origin , they measure the time since the molten rock solidified.

If that happens to be longer than 10, years, then the idea of a young-Earth is called into question. If that happens to be billions of years, then the young-Earth is in big trouble. As of January, , The oldest rocks found on earth are 4.

Understanding Past Climate and Ecosystems

Rubidium—strontium method The radioactive decay of rubidium 87Rb to strontium 87Sr was the first widely used dating system that utilized the isochron method. Because rubidium is concentrated in crustal rocks, the continents have a much higher abundance of the daughter isotope strontium compared with the stable isotopes. A ratio for average continental crust of about 0. This difference may appear small, but, considering that modern instruments can make the determination to a few parts in 70, , it is quite significant.

Dissolved strontium in the oceans today has a value of 0. Thus, if well-dated, unaltered fossil shells containing strontium from ancient seawater are analyzed, changes in this ratio with time can be observed and applied in reverse to estimate the time when fossils of unknown age were deposited.

Potassium-Argon Dating Potassium-Argon dating has the advantage that the argon is an inert gas that does not react chemically and would not be expected to be included in the solidification of a rock, so any found inside a rock is very likely the result of radioactive decay of potassium.

Scientists combine many pieces of evidence in order to understand Earth’s past. Fossils A show specifically which animals lived in a region, while the sediments surrounding the bones provide important clues about the depositional setting. Bones can be further analyzed for their isotopic compositions, which is influenced by what plants the animal consumed while alive B. Additionally, pollen released from plants tends to be readily preserved in the geologic record, providing a detailed record of past floral communities.

All of these bits of evidence can be combined to create detailed reconstructions of environments that existed millions of years ago C. West Coast Fossil Park: Location map showing the elevation of Africa 1 with the Western Cape region of South Africa 2 expanded. On map 2, the southern orange star is the location of Cape Town, and the northern blue star represents the West Coast Fossil Park. The subset region 3 is expanded to show the present sea level conditions 3A and the situation 5.

At that time, the site occupied by the fossil park would have been near the coast where the ancient Berg River emptied into the Atlantic. Introduction How do we know what the ancient Earth was like before people were around to witness and record conditions? One of the main ways geoscientists unravel past climates and ecosystems is by conducting detailed studies of deposits that contain the preserved remains of ancient plants and animals.

The formation of fossils is generally a rare occurrence, so finding pockets of concentrated, or highly detailed, fossil remains is scientifically valuable. In such sites the soft parts of an organism, which normally decay, are recorded as impressions or carbon films.

1. Rate of Decay

Everything Worth Knowing About Scientific Dating Methods This dating scene is dead. The good dates are confirmed using at least two different methods, ideally involving multiple independent labs for each method to cross-check results. Sometimes only one method is possible, reducing the confidence researchers have in the results. Methods fall into one of two categories:

Argon–argon (or 40 Ar/ 39 Ar) dating is a radiometric dating method invented to supersede potassium-argon (K/Ar) dating in accuracy. The older method required splitting samples into two for separate potassium and argon measurements.

How accurate are carbon-dating methods? All methods of radioactive dating rely on three assumptions that may not necessarily be true: Rate of Decay It is assumed that the rate of decay has remained constant over time. This assumption is backed by numerous scientific studies and is relatively sound. However, conditions may have been different in the past and could have influenced the rate of decay or formation of radioactive elements. Evolutionists assume that the rate of cosmic bombardment of the atmosphere has always remained constant and that the rate of decay has remained constant.

Thus radioactive dating relies purely on assumptions. We could put forward the following counter arguments to the constancy of these assumptions: The current high rate of entry might be a consequence of a disturbed post-Flood environment that altered the carbon to carbon ratio. Pre-Flood dates would thus have to be discarded. Some scientists argue that the magnetic field of the earth has declined over time.

Carbon comes from nitrogen and is independent of the carbon reservoir. If even a small percentage of the limestone deposits were still in the form of living marine organisms at the time of the Flood, then the small amount of carbon would have mixed with a much larger carbon reservoir, thus resulting in a drastically reduced ratio. Specimens would then look much older than they actually are.

K–Ar dating

For other uses, see Superposition disambiguation. This article includes a list of references , related reading or external links , but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. March Learn how and when to remove this template message Layer upon layer of rocks on north shore of Isfjord , Svalbard , Norway.

Since there is no overturning, the rock at the bottom is older than the rock on the top by the Law of Superposition. The law of superposition is an axiom that forms one of the bases of the sciences of geology , archaeology , and other fields dealing with geological stratigraphy.

How potassium-argon dating works Published: 24 June (GMT+10) Photo Wikipedia by Tas Walker. One of the most widely used dating methods is the potassium-argon method, which has been applied to ‘dating’ rocks for decades, especially igneous rocks that have solidified from molten magma.

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. Clearly, such huge time periods cannot be fitted into the Bible without compromising what the Bible says about the goodness of God and the origin of sin, death and suffering —the reason Jesus came into the world See Six Days?

Christians , by definition, take the statements of Jesus Christ seriously. This only makes sense with a time-line beginning with the creation week thousands of years ago. It makes no sense at all if man appeared at the end of billions of years. We will deal with carbon dating first and then with the other dating methods.

How the carbon clock works Carbon has unique properties that are essential for life on Earth. One rare form has atoms that are 14 times as heavy as hydrogen atoms: Carbon is made when cosmic rays knock neutrons out of atomic nuclei in the upper atmosphere. These displaced neutrons, now moving fast, hit ordinary nitrogen 14N at lower altitudes, converting it into 14C.

Unlike common carbon 12C , 14C is unstable and slowly decays, changing it back to nitrogen and releasing energy. This instability makes it radioactive.

Uranium – Lead and Potassium – Argon Dating