Methods of dating the age of the earth

Methods of dating the age of the earth

Despite seeming like a relatively stable place, the Earth's surface has changed dramatically over the past 4. Mountains have been built and eroded, continents and oceans have moved great distances, and the Earth has fluctuated from being extremely cold and almost completely covered with ice to being very warm and ice-free. These changes typically occur so slowly that they are barely detectable over the span of a human life, yet even at this instant, the Earth's surface is moving and changing. As these changes have occurred, organisms have evolved, and remnants of some have been preserved as fossils. A fossil can be studied to determine what kind of organism it represents, how the organism lived, and how it was preserved.

Age Dating the Earth

For example, back in , Lord Kelvin calculated how long Earth might have taken to cool from its original molten state. He concluded that Earth was born 20 to million years ago. Their message proved difficult to decipher. How old is Earth? However, from working with layer upon layer of rock laid down on Earth over long time spans, early 20th century scientists came to believe Earth not millions of years old — but billions of years old.

Modern radiometric dating methods came into prominence in the late s and s. These methods focus on the decay of atoms of one chemical element into another. They led to the discovery that certain very heavy elements could decay into lighter elements — such as uranium decaying into lead. This work gave rise to a process known as radiometric dating. This technique is based on a comparison between the measured amount of a naturally occurring radioactive element and its decay products, assuming a constant rate of decay — known as a half-life.

Over the decades of the 20th century, scientists documented tens of thousands of radiometric age measurements. Likewise, scientists use radiometric dating to determine the ages of moon rocks, obtained by astronauts. Taken together, these methods give results that suggest an age for our Earth, meteorites, the moon — and by inference our entire solar system — of 4.

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Using relative and radiometric dating methods, geologists are able to answer the Second, it is possible to determine the numerical age for fossils or earth. However, there are many methods that can be used to determine the age of the earth or other objects. The textbooks focus on relative dating.

Lisle Oct 27, Geology , Origins , Physics. We are told that scientists use a technique called radiometric dating to measure the age of rocks. We are also told that this method very reliably and consistently yields ages of millions to billions of years, thereby establishing beyond question that the earth is immensely old — a concept known as deep time. This apparently contradicts the biblical record in which we read that God created in six days, with Adam being made on the sixth day.

The age of the Earth is 4.

For example, back in , Lord Kelvin calculated how long Earth might have taken to cool from its original molten state. He concluded that Earth was born 20 to million years ago. Their message proved difficult to decipher.

Creation 101: Radiometric Dating and the Age of the Earth

When asked for your age, it's likely you won't slip with the exception of a recent birthday mistake. But for the sprawling sphere we call home, age is a much trickier matter. Before so-called radiometric dating, Earth's age was anybody's guess. Our planet was pegged at a youthful few thousand years old by Bible readers by counting all the "begats" since Adam as late as the end of the 19th century, with physicist Lord Kelvin providing another nascent estimate of million years. Kelvin defended this calculation throughout his life, even disputing Darwin's explanations of evolution as impossible in that time period.

Age of the Earth

Age dating the Earth Geochronology is the scientific study of the age of the Earth and the temporal sequence of events related to the formation of the planet and the history of life on Earth. The word is derived from Geo meaning Earth , and chronology , which is the study of time, or a record of events in the order of their occurrence timeline. It is from this field of study that fossils and artifacts are dated based on the perceived age of the geological layers in which they are located. Geologists determine the age of rocks , fossils , and sediments using a variety of methods including relative and absolute dating. When dating an object, a geologist measures some physical property of the object, which is believed to provide evidence regarding its age. All dating methods rely upon assumptions about the past. These assumptions are based on the axioms or worldview the scientist is operating within. This worldview is the basis for an entire system of theories. Creation science is one theoretical system and evolution is another. Thus even when creationists and evolutionists use the same dating methods, they will more often than not achieve radically different results.

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Dating Rocks and Fossils Using Geologic Methods

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FOSSILS: how fossils are dated
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