Listen to chat live adults - Absolute dating fossils
Part 2 explains how scientists run into problems when they make assumptions about what happened .
Based on these observations and the known rate of radioactive decay, they estimate the time it has taken for the daughter isotope to accumulate in the rock.
However, unlike the hourglass whose accuracy can be tested by turning it upside down and comparing it to trustworthy clocks, the reliability of the radioactive “clock” is subject to three unprovable assumptions.
So geologists have assumed these radioactive decay rates have been constant for billions of years.
However, this is an enormous extrapolation of seven orders of magnitude back through immense spans of unobserved time without any concrete proof that such an extrapolation is credible.
8 Physicists have carefully measured the radioactive decay rates of parent radioisotopes in laboratories over the last 100 or so years and have found them to be essentially constant (within the measurement error margins).
Furthermore, they have not been able to significantly change these decay rates by heat, pressure, or electrical and magnetic fields.This is the same age that we get for the basalt layers deep below the walls of the eastern Grand Canyon.4 How could both lavas—one at the top and one at the bottom of the Canyon—be the same age based on these parent and daughter isotopes?One solution is that both the recent and early lava flows inherited the same rubidium-strontium chemistry—not age—from the same source, deep in the earth’s upper mantle.This source already had both rubidium and strontium.To make matters even worse for the claimed reliability of these radiometric dating methods, these same basalts that flowed from the top of the Canyon yield a samarium-neodymium age of about 916 million years,5 and a uranium-lead age of about 2.6 billion years!Yet the same uranium decay also produced abundant helium, but only 6,000 years worth of that helium was found to have leaked out of the tiny crystals. Not Billions (Master Books, Green Forest, Arkansas, 2005), pages 65–78.