Radioisotope dating accuracy
2001; Steiger and Jäger 1977), in spite of ongoing attempts (Miller 2012).The uncertainties associated with direct half-life determinations are, in most cases, still at the 1% level, which is still significantly better than any radioisotope method for determining the ages of rock formations.
(1969), have not been accompanied by any comparable improvement in the accuracy of the decay constants (Begemann et al.However, from a biblical perspective the earth was created by God on Day 1 of the Creation Week before the sun and the rest of the solar system were created on Day 4, all only about 6000 or so years ago.Yet the earth would still have had an initial (created) Pb isotopic endowment.U-Pb radioisotope dating is now the absolute dating method of first choice among geochronologists, especially using the mineral zircon.A variety of analytical instruments have also now been developed using different micro-sampling techniques coupled with mass spectrometers, thus enabling wide usage of U-Pb radioisotope dating.However, problems remain in the interpretation of the measured Pb isotopic ratios to transform them into ages.
Among them is the presence of non-radiogenic Pb of unknown composition, often referred to as common or initial Pb.
From a creationist perspective, the 1997–2005 RATE (Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth) project successfully made progress in documenting some of the pitfalls in the radioisotope dating methods, and especially in demonstrating that radioisotope decay rates may not have always been constant at today’s measured rates (Vardiman, Snelling, and Chaffin 2000, 2005).
Yet much research effort remains to be done to make further inroads into not only uncovering the flaws intrinsic to these long-age dating methods, but towards a thorough understanding of radioisotopes and their decay during the earth’s history within a biblical creationist framework.
Once radioactive decay of U and Th started after creation, daughter Pb isotopes were added inside the earth.
Then catastrophic plate tectonics during the Flood stirred the mantle and via partial melting added new rocks to the crust.
The decay of Pb, respectively, forms the basis for one of the oldest methods of geochronology (Dickin 2005; Faure and Mensing 2005).