Different radiometric dating techniques

A very common claim of young earth creationists in trying to reject the evidence for an old earth is to loudly proclaim that radiometric dating methods “makes assumptions” and that these “assumptions” are somehow fatally flawed or not supported by evidence.

These claims generally land in three different categories: (1) radiometric dating assumes that initial conditions (concentrations of mother and daughter nuclei) are known, (2) radiometric dating assumes that rocks are closed systems and (3) radiometric dating assumes that decay rates are constant.

A particular isotope of a particular element is called a nuclide. That is, at some random point in time, an atom of such a nuclide will be transformed into a different nuclide by the process known as radioactive decay.

This transformation is accomplished by the emission of particles such as electrons (known as beta decay) or alpha particles.

So the claimed ages of many millions of years, which are based on today’s slow decay rates, are totally unreliable.

With the help of this growing body of information, creation geologists hope to piece together a better understanding of the precise sequence of events in earth’s history, from Creation Week to the Flood and beyond.

Various methods exist differing in accuracy, cost and applicable time scale.

Additionally, elements may exist in different isotopes, with each isotope of an element differing only in the number of neutrons in the nucleus.

A particular isotope of a particular element is called a nuclide. That is, at some point in time, an atom of such a nuclide will spontaneously transform into a different nuclide.

This transformation may be accomplished in a number of different ways, including radioactive decay, either by emission of particles (usually electrons (beta decay), positrons or alpha particles) or by spontaneous fission, and electron capture.

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