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Some [skeptics] make it sound like there is a lot of disagreement, but this is not the case.
The disagreement in values needed to support the position of young-Earth proponents would require differences in age measured by orders of magnitude (e.g., factors of 10,000, 100,000, a million, or more).
As we pointed out in these two articles, radiometric dates are based on known rates of radioactivity, a phenomenon that is rooted in fundamental laws of physics and follows simple mathematical formulas.
Dating schemes based on rates of radioactivity have been refined and scrutinized for several decades.
Here is one example of an isochron, based on measurements of basaltic meteorites (in this case the resulting date is 4.4 billion years) [Basaltic1981, pg. Skeptics of old-earth geology make great hay of these examples.
For example, creationist writer Henry Morris [Morris2000, pg.
Over a thousand papers on radiometric dating were published in scientifically recognized journals in the last year, and hundreds of thousands of dates have been published in the last 50 years.
This technique helps identify post-formation geologic disturbances because different minerals respond differently to heating and chemical changes.
The differences actually found in the scientific literature are usually close to the margin of error, usually a few percent, not orders of magnitude!
Vast amounts of data overwhelmingly favor an old Earth.
In a related article on geologic ages (Ages), we presented a chart with the various geologic eras and their ages.
In a separate article (Radiometric dating), we sketched in some technical detail how these dates are calculated using radiometric dating techniques.
The isochron techniques are partly based on this principle.