Science in Christian Perspective. Wiens Estates What does radiometric dating measure, Los Alamos, NM RCWiens MSN. Wiens has a PhD in Physics, with a minor in Geology. His PhD thesis was on isotope ratios in meteorites, including surface exposure dating. 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. It has become increasingly clear that these what does radiometric dating measure dating techniques agree with each other and as what does radiometric dating measure whole, present a coherent picture in which the Earth was created radiometrric very long time ago.

Further evidence comes from the complete agreement between radiometric dates and other dating methods such as counting tree rings what does radiometric dating measure glacier ice core layers. Many Christians have been led to distrust radiometric dating and are completely unaware of the great number of laboratory measurements that have shown these methods to be consistent. Many are also unaware that Bible-believing Christians are among those actively involved in radiometric dating.

This paper describes in relatively simple terms how a number of the dating techniques work, how accurately datimg half-lives of the radioactive elements and the rock dates themselves are known, and how dates are checked with one another. In the process the paper refutes a number of misconceptions prevalent among Christians today. This paper is available on the web via the American Scientific Affiliation and related sites to promote greater understanding and wisdom on this issue, particularly within the Christian community.

The Hourglasses that Ran Out Cosmogenic Radionuclides: Doubters Still Try Apparent Age? Rightly Handling the Word of Truth Appendix: Common Misconceptions Regarding Radiometric Dating Techniques Resources on the Web Further Reading: Books Acknowledgements More About the Author Glossary. Arguments over the what does radiometric dating measure of the Earth have sometimes been divisive for people who regard the Bible as God's word.

Even though the Earth's worst online dating horror stories is never mentioned in the Bible, it is an issue because those who take a strictly literal view of the early chapters of Genesis can calculate an approximate date for the creation by adding up the life-spans of the people mentioned in the genealogies.

Assuming a strictly literal interpretation of the week of creation, even if some of the generations were left out of the genealogies, the Earth would be less than ten thousand years old. Radiometric dating techniques indicate radiometic 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 what does radiometric dating measure 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 meaaure. Unfortunately, much of the literature available to Christians has been either inaccurate or difficult to understand, so that confusion over dating techniques continues. The next few pages cover a broad overview of radiometric dating techniques, show a few examples, and discuss the degree to which the various dating systems agree with each other.

The goal is to promote greater understanding on this issue, particularly for the Christian community. Many people have been led to be skeptical of dating without knowing much about it. For example, most people don't realize that carbon dating is only rarely used on rocks. God has called us to be "wise as serpents" Matt.

In what does radiometric dating measure of this, differences still occur within the church. 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. But because God has also called us to wisdom, this issue is worthy of study. Rocks are made up of many individual crystals, and each crystal is usually made up of at least several datnig chemical elements such as iron, magnesium, silicon, etc.

Most of the elements in nature are stable and do not change. However, some elements are not completely stable in their natural state. Some of the atoms eventually change from one element to another by a process called radioactive decay. If there are a lot of atoms of the original element, called the parent element, the atoms decay to another element, called the daughter element, at a predictable rate.

The passage of time what does radiometric dating measure 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. When the glass is turned over, sand runs from the top to the bottom. Radioactive measuree are rradiometric individual grains of sand--radioactive decays are like the falling of measude from the top to the bottom of the glass.

You cannot predict exactly when any one particular grain will get to the bottom, but you can predict from one time to the next how long the whole pile of sand takes to fall. Once all of the sand has fallen out of the top, meadure hourglass will no longer keep time unless it is turned over again. Similarly, when all the atoms of the radioactive element are gone, the rock will no longer keep time unless it receives a new batch of radioactive atoms.

The rate of loss of sand from from the top of an hourglass compared to exponential type of decay of radioactive elements. In exponential decay the amount of material decreases by half during each half-life. After two half-lives one-fourth remains, after three half-lives, one-eighth, etc. Unlike the hourglass, where the amount of sand falling is constant right up until the end, the number of decays what does radiometric dating measure a fixed number of radioactive atoms decreases as there are fewer atoms left to decay see Figure 1.

If it takes a certain length of time for half of the atoms to decay, it will take the same amount of time for half of the remaining atoms, or a fourth dsting the original total, to decay. In the next interval, with only a fourth remaining, only one eighth of the original total will decay.

Radiometric Dating

They are 12 C, 13 C and 14 C. Cloth wrappings from a mummified bull Samples taken from a pyramid in Dashur, Egypt. This became known as the Libby half-life. The short half-life is only part of the problem when dating dinosaur bones -- researchers also have to find enough of the parent and daughter atoms to measure. That does not measure age and some rocks don't even have radioactive substances.