Radiometric dating equation used

The question of the age of the earth has produced heated discussions on Internet debate boards, TV, radio, in classrooms, and in many churches, Christian colleges, and seminaries. Let’s give a little history of where these two basic calculations came from and which worldview is more reasonable. Of course, the Bible doesn’t say explicitly anywhere, “The earth is 6,000 years old.” Good thing it doesn’t; otherwise it would be out of date the following year.

But we wouldn’t expect an all-knowing God to make that kind of a mistake. In essence, He gave us a “birth certificate.” For example, using a personal birth certificate, a person can calculate how old he is at any point. Genesis 1 says that the earth was created on the first day of creation ().

Simply counting the number of rings will give one a fairly good idea of the age of the tree.

Periods of heavy rain and lots of sunshine will make larger gaps of growth in the rings, while periods of drought might make it difficult to count individual rings. When a given quantity of an isotope is created (in a supernovae, for example), after the half-life has expired, 50% of the parent isotope will have decomposed into daughter isotopes.

Meteorites are among the oldest objects we know about - formed about 4.5 billion years ago. This article describes the principles and methods used to make that determination.

There are well-known methods of finding the ages of some natural objects.

It takes about 5,730 years for half of a sample of radiocarbon to decay back into nitrogen.

These ions are accelerated in an electric field through collimating slits and subject to a magnetic field which causes the ions to follow a curved path. By adjustment of the strength of the magnetic field and suitable placement of an ion collector, the different isotopes can be measured with precision.

There are some things that affect these measurements.

C-14 is produced in the upper atmosphere when nitrogen-14 (N-14) is altered through the effects of cosmic radiation bombardment (a proton is displaced by a neutron effectively changing the nitrogen atom into a carbon isotope).

The new isotope is called "radiocarbon" because it is radioactive, though it is not dangerous.

Leave a Reply