Answers to radiometric dating assignment
…Results show that because of all the helium still in the zircons, these crystals (and since this is Precambrian basement granite, by implication the whole earth) could not be older than between 4,000 and 14,000 years.
In other words, in only a few thousand years, 1.5 billion years’ worth (at today’s rates) of radioactive decay has taken place” (
For more on this, see Ai G’s radiometric dating FAQ page at
The point is that radiometric dating is not the sure thing that it has been made out to be over the last century.
” This article addresses that question, which represents the thinking of a large number of people today.
Certainly the majority of scientists accept radiometric dating.
It’s never used for non-organic samples, and almost never even attempted if the sample is thought to be much older than about 50,000 years.
It furnishes some good evidences that creationists often use.
(This is consistent with the geologic ‘age’ assigned to the granites in which these zircons are found.) There is a significant amount of helium from that ‘1.5 billion years of decay’ still inside the zircons.
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This is at first glance surprising for long-agers, because of the ease with which one would expect helium (with its tiny, light, unreactive atoms) to escape from the spaces within the crystal structure.
There should surely be hardly any left, because with such a slow buildup, it should be seeping out continually and not accumulating.
The three key underlying assumptions are 1) the rate of decay of parent into daughter has remained constant throughout the unobservable past; 2) the specimen which we are examining hasn’t been contaminated in any way (that is, no parent or daughter has been added or taken away at any point during the unobservable past), and 3) we can determine how much parent and daughter were present at the beginning of the decay process – not all of the Pb206 present today necessarily came from decaying U238; Pb206 may have been part of the original constitution of the specimen.