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(2) Geochemistry suggests alternate time interpretations for the parent-daughter ratios.– (a) Radiometric ages for some minerals may not give the time of emplacement of the volcanic or granitic rock because the minerals were formed earlier and the emplaced magma was not hot enough to melt them.For example, loss or gain of parent or daughter atoms might be expected if the sample shows signs of mechanical breakdown, chemical weathering, or metamorphic high pressures and temperatures.Following are three of the many reasons that scientists put confidence in radiometric dates: (1) Decay rates appear to be constant.RADIOMETRIC DATING WORKS Geology observations about the relation between different rocks can give relative ages, but radiometric dating is the primary method for giving absolute ages. During a certain length of time called a half-life, half of the radioactive parent atoms in a sample decay to stable daughter atoms.The number of both parent and daughter atoms are measured and the higher the daughter/parent ratio, the older the sample.In most cases, these rocks are not fossil-containing sedimentary rocks, but are volcanic, granitic, or metamorphic.These inorganic methods date fossil material only by association and give ages of millions or billions of years.
The alpha particles would then travel further in the mineral and damage a larger spherical halo in the mineral lattice.
(a) The strong force that governs nuclear decay rates is several orders of magnitude greater than the electromagnetic force that governs atomic interactions at even the highest temperatures and pressures found on earth.
Only at the high temperatures in the interior of stars would the decay rates be expected to change significantly.
The exact age is easily determined with a simple equation.
Of the many radioactive parent-daughter pairs of atoms, about half a dozen are used for age dating. (a) Carbon-14 methods can date organic material such as bones, wood, and shells directly.
CREATIONIST RESPONSES First are several suggestions for young earth creationists studying radiometric dating: (a) work within the scientific community and use caution when making scientific claims; (b) work toward a constructive alternative model, more than just attacking existing models; (c) address the big picture, more than scattered discrete pieces of data; (d) don’t expect quick “silver bullet” proofs for the Bible; and (e) origins activities are one-time events, so don’t expect any origins research to fit a purely naturalistic scientific model.