3 radioactive elements commonly used in the absolute dating
The passage of time can be charted by the reduction in the number of parent atoms, and the increase in the number of daughter atoms.Radiometric dating can be compared to an hourglass.
Radioactive atoms are like individual grains of sand--radioactive decays are like the falling of grains from the top to the bottom of the glass.Radiometric dating techniques indicate that the Earth is thousands of times older than that--approximately four and a half billion years old.Many Christians accept this and interpret the Genesis account in less scientifically literal ways.However, some Christians suggest that the geologic dating techniques are unreliable, that they are wrongly interpreted, or that they are confusing at best.Unfortunately, much of the literature available to Christians has been either inaccurate or difficult to understand, so that confusion over dating techniques continues.Radiometric dating--the process of determining the age of rocks from the decay of their radioactive elements--has been in widespread use for over half a century.
There are over forty such techniques, each using a different radioactive element or a different way of measuring them.
Many people have been led to be skeptical of dating without knowing much about it. In spite of this, differences still occur within the church.
For example, most people don't realize that carbon dating is only rarely used on rocks. A disagreement over the age of the Earth is relatively minor in the whole scope of Christianity; it is more important to agree on the Rock of Ages than on the age of rocks.
It has become increasingly clear that these radiometric dating techniques agree with each other and as a whole, present a coherent picture in which the Earth was created a very long time ago.
Further evidence comes from the complete agreement between radiometric dates and other dating methods such as counting tree rings or glacier ice core layers.
Some of the atoms eventually change from one element to another by a process called radioactive decay.