Radioactive and relative dating
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.
This means that the uranium must have decayed very rapidly over the same 6,000 years that the helium was leaking. The assumptions on which the radioactive dating is based are not only unprovable but plagued with problems.
These basalts yield ages of up to 1 million years based on the amounts of potassium and argon isotopes in the rocks.
But when we date the rocks using the rubidium and strontium isotopes, we get an age of 1.143 billion years.
To date a radioactive rock, geologists first measure the “sand grains” in the top glass bowl (the parent radioisotope, such as uranium-238 or potassium-40).
They also measure the sand grains in the bottom bowl (the daughter isotope, such as lead-206 or argon-40, respectively).
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?
For the other radioactive “clocks,” it is assumed that by analyzing multiple samples of a rock body, or unit, today it is possible to determine how much of the daughter isotopes (lead, strontium, or neodymium) were present when the rock formed (via the so-called isochron technique, which is still based on unproven assumptions 2 and 3).Because of such contamination, the less than 50-year-old lava flows at Mt.Ngauruhoe, New Zealand (), yield a rubidium-strontium “age” of 133 million years, a samarium-neodymium “age” of 197 million years, and a uranium-lead “age” of 3.908 billion years!Part 2 explains how scientists run into problems when they make assumptions about what happened .An hourglass is a helpful analogy to explain how geologists calculate the ages of rocks.