Radiometric dating a christian perspective by dr roger c wiens
With the discovery of radiometric dating, it became possible for the first time to attempt precise figures.
Radiometric dating works on the principle that certain atoms and isotopes are unstable.
During the 19th century, and even well into the twentieth, geological chronology was very crude.
Dates were estimated according to the supposed rate of deposition of rocks, and figures of several hundred million years were bandied out; usually arrived at through inspired guesswork rather than anything else.
Using the known rate of change in radio-active elements (radiometric dating), some Earth rocks have been shown to be billions of years old, while the oldest solar system rocks are dated at 4.6 billion years.
Astronomers use the distance to galaxies and the speed of light to calculate that the light has been traveling for billions of years.
He was employed at Caltech's Division of Geological & Planetary Sciences at the time of writing the first edition.
Further evidence comes from the complete agreement between radiometric dates and other dating methods such as counting tree rings or glacier ice core layers.
(For a brief science review, see sidebar and figure 1.) The timepiece that allows dating is the “radioactive” decay of certain kinds of atoms from one form into another.
Radioactive decay results from unstable combinations of protons and neutrons in the atom’s nucleus.
Even in the case of very long half-lives, modern scientific instruments are now accurate enough to give very fine readings.
We usually hear of Carbon 14 dating, which is very important in archaeology.
This conclusion is not based on just one measurement or one calculation, but on many types of evidence.