How do scientists use radiometric dating

Posted by / 29-Feb-2020 15:26

How do scientists use radiometric dating

The rate of uranium decay must have been at least 250,000 times faster than today’s measured rate! As this article has illustrated, rocks may have inherited parent and daughter isotopes from their sources, or they may have been contaminated when they moved through other rocks to their current locations.

Or inflowing water may have mixed isotopes into the rocks.

Yet this view is based on a misunderstanding of how radiometric dating works.

Part 1 (in the previous issue) explained how scientists observe unstable atoms changing into stable atoms in the present.

There are similar problems with the other radioactive “clocks.” For example, consider the dating of Grand Canyon’s basalts (rocks formed by lava cooling at the earth’s surface).

No geologist was present when the rocks were formed to see their contents, and no geologist was present to measure how fast the radioactive “clock” has been running through the millions of years that supposedly passed after the rock was formed.

No geologists were present when most rocks formed, so they cannot test whether the original rocks already contained daughter isotopes alongside their parent radioisotopes.

6 The problems with contamination, as with inheritance, are already well-documented in the textbooks on radioactive dating of rocks.7 Unlike the hourglass, where its two bowls are sealed, the radioactive “clock” in rocks is open to contamination by gain or loss of parent or daughter isotopes because of waters flowing in the ground from rainfall and from the molten rocks beneath volcanoes.

Similarly, as molten lava rises through a conduit from deep inside the earth to be erupted through a volcano, pieces of the conduit wallrocks and their isotopes can mix into the lava and contaminate it.

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