F Rosa Rubicondior: Creationism in Crisis - How Radiometric Dating Really Works - And Refutes Creationism

Saturday 2 March 2024

Creationism in Crisis - How Radiometric Dating Really Works - And Refutes Creationism

Example of a radioactive decay chain from lead-212 (212Pb) to lead-208 (208Pb) . Each parent nuclide spontaneously decays into a daughter nuclide (the decay product) via an α decay or a β− decay. The final decay product, lead-208 (208Pb), is stable and can no longer undergo spontaneous radioactive decay.
Source: Wikipedia

Creationism in Crisis - How Radiometric Dating Really Works - And Refutes Creationism

As a service to Creationists, I asked ChatGPT to outline the main geochronology techniques, how and when they are used by palaeontologists, what their limitations are, and how scientists allow for possible sources of error.

All creationists need do is explain how and where these techniques are wrong and what the source of error is that can make 10,000 years or less look like hundreds of millions, or billions of years, without claiming the fundamental forces which control the universe changed to such an extent that atoms would not have been able to form when the they believe the universe, Earth and all life on it were created.

Remember to supply the verified evidence because a claim made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence, and false claims will simply demonstrate what many people already know - that creationism is a cult for people gullible enough to believe falsehoods and ignorant enough not to know they've been fooled.

Can I have a description of all the main geochronology techniques, how and when they would be used by palaeontologists, what the sources of error are, and how these are mitigated, please. Certainly! Geochronology techniques are crucial tools for determining the ages of rocks, fossils, and other geological features. Here's an overview of some main geochronology techniques, their applications in paleontology, potential sources of error, and methods for mitigating these errors:
  1. Radiometric Dating:
    • Technique: Radiometric dating relies on the decay of radioactive isotopes in minerals. Common isotopes used include uranium-lead (U-Pb), potassium-argon (K-Ar), and rubidium-strontium (Rb-Sr).
    • Application in Paleontology: Paleontologists use radiometric dating to determine the ages of fossils or the rocks containing fossils. For example, U-Pb dating of zircon crystals in volcanic ash layers above and below fossil-bearing sedimentary layers can provide precise ages for those fossils.
    • Sources of Error: Common sources of error include contamination of samples, loss of parent or daughter isotopes, and incomplete closure of isotopic systems during geological processes.
    • Mitigation: To mitigate errors, researchers carefully select uncontaminated samples, perform multiple analyses on different parts of the same sample, and use isotopic systems that are less prone to contamination.
  2. Luminescence Dating:
    • Technique: Luminescence dating measures the amount of trapped electrons in minerals like quartz and feldspar, which accumulate over time when exposed to sunlight or heat. Common types include optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and thermoluminescence (TL).
    • Application in Paleontology: Paleontologists use luminescence dating to date the last time sediment grains were exposed to sunlight or heat, providing ages for sediment layers containing fossils.
    • Sources of Error: Errors can arise from incomplete resetting of the luminescence signal, uncertainty in the dose rate calculation, and variations in the mineral's luminescence properties.
    • Mitigation: Mitigation strategies include careful sample collection to minimize sunlight exposure, laboratory procedures to accurately measure the luminescence signal, and corrections for dose rate variations.
  3. Paleomagnetic Dating:
    • Technique: Paleomagnetic dating utilizes the Earth's magnetic field recorded in rocks to determine their ages. Changes in the Earth's magnetic field over time are recorded in rocks as they cool below a certain temperature.
    • Application in Paleontology: Paleontologists use paleomagnetic dating to establish the relative ages of sedimentary rocks and fossils by correlating their magnetic polarity with the known sequence of geomagnetic reversals.
    • Sources of Error: Errors can arise from disturbances of the original magnetic signal, uncertainties in the timing of geomagnetic reversals, and local variations in the Earth's magnetic field.
    • Mitigation: To mitigate errors, researchers carefully select undisturbed samples, conduct detailed magnetic field studies, and apply statistical techniques to account for uncertainties.
  4. Biostratigraphy:
    • Technique: Biostratigraphy relies on the identification and correlation of fossil assemblages to establish relative ages of sedimentary rocks. Fossils are used as time markers or index fossils based on their known stratigraphic ranges.
    • Application in Paleontology: Paleontologists use biostratigraphy to date sedimentary rocks and fossils by comparing their fossil content with established fossil assemblages from well-dated rock sequences.
    • Sources of Error: Errors can arise from incomplete fossil preservation, misidentification of fossils, and lateral facies changes in sedimentary sequences.
    • Mitigation: To mitigate errors, researchers conduct detailed fossil identifications, compare fossil assemblages from multiple locations, and integrate biostratigraphic data with other dating methods for cross-validation.
Each of these geochronology techniques has its strengths and limitations, and paleontologists often use multiple methods in combination to obtain robust age constraints for their studies. Careful sample selection, laboratory procedures, and data interpretation are essential for minimizing errors and ensuring accurate age determinations in paleontological research.

What are the range limitations of the main radiometric dating methods?

The main radiometric dating methods each have their own range limitations based on the half-life of the radioactive isotopes they rely on. Here are the range limitations for some of the main radiometric dating methods:
  1. Uranium-Lead (U-Pb) Dating:
    • Range Limitation: U-Pb dating is commonly used to date the crystallization of igneous and metamorphic rocks, as well as the age of certain minerals like zircon. Uranium-238 (U-238) decays to lead-206 (Pb-206) with a half-life of about 4.5 billion years, and uranium-235 (U-235) decays to lead-207 (Pb-207) with a half-life of about 704 million years. Therefore, U-Pb dating can provide ages ranging from hundreds of millions to billions of years.
  2. Potassium-Argon (K-Ar) Dating:
    • Range Limitation: K-Ar dating is typically used to date the crystallization of volcanic rocks and minerals such as micas and feldspars. Potassium-40 (K-40) decays to argon-40 (Ar-40) with a half-life of about 1.3 billion years. K-Ar dating is effective for dating rocks and minerals with ages ranging from a few thousand to several billion years.
  3. Rubidium-Strontium (Rb-Sr) Dating:
    • Range Limitation: Rb-Sr dating is commonly used to date igneous and metamorphic rocks containing minerals like feldspar and biotite. Rubidium-87 (Rb-87) decays to strontium-87 (Sr-87) with a half-life of about 48.8 billion years. Rb-Sr dating is suitable for rocks with ages ranging from tens of millions to several billion years.
  4. Carbon-14 (C-14) Dating:
    • Range Limitation: Carbon-14 dating is used to date organic materials such as bone, wood, and charcoal. Carbon-14 is produced in the atmosphere by cosmic ray bombardment and decays with a half-life of about 5,730 years. Carbon-14 dating is effective for materials up to about 50,000 years old.
These range limitations are based on the half-lives of the radioactive isotopes involved. Beyond these limits, the amount of remaining parent isotope or the ratio of parent to daughter isotopes becomes too low to accurately measure, leading to dating uncertainties. Additionally, contamination and other factors can also affect the accuracy of radiometric dates, so it's important to consider these limitations and potential sources of error when interpreting radiometric dating results.
So, there you are, creationists. All you have to do is provide the evidence that convinced you all those dating methods are wrong by a many orders or magnitude. Failure to do so will show that you've believed what you were told to believe without the slightest understanding of the science - the basis for all creationist beliefs.

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