The fatal flaw with radioactive dating methods
Each of the various decay schemes and dating methods has unique characteristics that make it applicable to particular geologic situations.For example, a method based on a parent isotope with a very long half-life, such as C method can only be used to determine the ages of certain types of young organic material and is useless on old granites.
James Hutton, a physician-farmer and one of the founders of the science of geology, wrote in 1788, “The result, therefore, of our present inquiry is, that we find no vestige of a beginning, — no prospect of an end.” Although this may now sound like an overstatement, it nicely expresses the tremendous intellectual leap required when geologic time was finally and forever severed from the artificial limits imposed by the length of the human lifetime.These parent isotopes decay to stable daughter isotopes at rates that can be measured experimentally and are effectively constant over time regardless of physical or chemical conditions.There are a number of long-lived radioactive isotopes used in radiometric dating, and a variety of ways they are used to determine the ages of rocks, minerals, and organic materials.Without the idea of billions of years there is no basis for evolution theory. Yet, evolution theory leaves behind it a trail of unanswered questions.Evolution theory asks that you ignore these unanswered age related questions and accept their hypothesis as reality.Unbeknownst to the scientists engaged in this controversy, however, geology was about to be profoundly affected by the same discoveries that revolutionized physics at the turn of the 20th century.
The discovery of radioactivity in 1896 by Henri Becquerel, the isolation of radium by Marie Curie shortly thereafter, the discovery of the radioactive decay laws in 1902 by Ernest Rutherford and Frederick Soddy, the discovery of isotopes in 1910 by Soddy, and the development of the quantitative mass spectrograph in 1914 by J. Thomson all formed the foundation of modern isotopic dating methods.
The Christian’s biblical view offers answers to otherwise unanswerable questions and it makes sense.
Radiometric methods should always be considered in the light of other reliable evidence.
James Joly calculated that the Earth’s age was 89 million years on the basis of the time required for salt to accumulate in the oceans.
There were other estimates but the calculations were hotly disputed because they all were obviously flawed by uncertainties in both the initial assumptions and the data.
In fact, they prove nothing except that the “scientific” study of the age of the earth is blurred by assumptions and remains untestable in the empirical world of science.