Thus the first step in the radioactive dating technique is to measure the amounts of the parent and daughter elements (isotopes) in a rock sample via chemical analyses.This is done in specially equipped laboratories with sophisticated instruments capable of very good precision and accuracy, so in general there is no quarrel with the resulting chemical analyses.
Yet most people really don’t know much about these radioactive dating methods.
So slick and convincing are the presentations of results, particularly in glossy media and museum propaganda, that no one even bothers to question how these dating methods work, what assumptions are involved, and how reliable they are. The answers are not only instructive, but demolish the evolutionary geologist’s case for a 4.5-billion-year old earth.
This in turn allows the evidence for a young earth and universe1 to ‘speak’ more loudly in support of the scriptural chronology of a 6,000-7,000 year age, which of course leaves no time for any ‘big bang’ and ‘molecules-to-man’ evolutionary scenarios.
Recently, the radioactive dating method which geologists (and physicists) have considered to be perhaps the most reliable has come under heavy ‘fire’.
The big surprise is that the attack has come from an evolutionary geologist and has been published in a secular scientific journal! First, let’ s find out how radioactive dating methods are supposed to work.
Some types (technically known as ‘isotopes’) of ‘parent’ elements such as uranium, thorium, potassium and rubidium are said to be radioactive because the nuclei of the atoms are unstable, resulting in readjustments between the ‘particles’ (primarily neutrons and protons) in the nuclei with time.
To achieve stability, some ‘particles’ are ejected from the atoms, and these moving ‘particles’ constitute the radioactivity measured by Geiger counters and the like.
The end result is stable atoms of the ‘daughter’ elements lead, argon, and strontium respectively.
These assumptions are: So that these assumptions are easily understood, they are best explained in the context of the hourglass analogy (see Figure 1).