Using an hourglass to tell time is much like using radiometric dating to tell the age of rocks. There are key assumptions that we must accept in order for the method to be reliable. Radiometric dating is based on the fact that radioactive isotopes decay to form isotopes of different elements. The starting isotope is called the parent and the end-product is called the daughter.
The time it takes for one half of the parent atoms to decay to the daughter atoms is called the half-life. If certain things are known, it is possible to calculate the amount of time since the parent isotope began to decay. For example, if you began with 1 gram of carbon, after 5, years you would be left with 0. The reason this age may not be a true age—even though it is commonly called an absolute age—is that it is based on several crucial assumptions.
Most radiometric dating techniques must make three assumptions: The rate of radioactive decay is known and has been constant since the rock formed. There has been no loss or gain of the parent or daughter isotopes from the rock. The amounts of parent and daughter isotopes present when the rock formed are known. The major problem with the first assumption is that there is no way to prove that the decay rate was not different at some point in the past.
It is true that radioisotope decay rates are stable today and are not largely affected by external conditions like change in temperature and pressure, but that does not mean that the rate has always been constant. Recent research by a creation science group known as RATE Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth has produced evidence of accelerated rates of decay at some point or points in the past. Creation scientists suggest that there are two possible times that God supernaturally intervened on a global scale—during Creation Week and the Flood.
It is not unreasonable to assume that God used the energy of accelerated radioactive decay to initiate and drive the major geologic changes in the earth that accompanied the Flood. Evidence for the period of accelerated decay is found in zircon crystals. Zircon crystals in granite contain radioactive uranium, which decays into lead over time. As the uranium decays, helium is produced in the crystals.
Helium escapes from the crystals at a known, measurable rate. If those rocks were over a billion years old, as evolutionists claim, the helium should have leaked out of the rock. The presence of lots of helium in the crystals is evidence in support of a young earth. Fossils and rocks do not come with dates stamped on them. The dates must be interpreted based on the evidence.
Biblical geologists start with the assumptions laid out in the Bible and conclude that the rocks must be less than 6, years old. Evolutionists reject the authority of the Bible and conclude that the rocks must be millions or billions of years old. Other important findings of the RATE project include detecting carbon in coal and diamonds. He is not capricious but has put order and regularity into His creation, and He is a reliable eyewitness of what happened in the past as recorded in the Bible.
The evidence seen around us in the rocks and fossils confirm the literal or face value reading of that narrative. As explained above, the very techniques of science were established by those who had a Christian view of the world rooted in the historical narrative of the Bible and the trustworthiness of both its author and the text itself.
To begin with, is the earth approximately 4 billion years old? Actually, the latest estimates suggest a date of 4. Most people are not aware of this. The truth is that the age of the earth has been established by dating meteorites, which are not earth rocks. They have come from somewhere else in the solar system, and their source is assumed to have formed at the same time as the earth. As you yourself have said, radioactive isotopes can be used to date bone fragments.
In this case, radiocarbon has been used, and sure enough, radiocarbon dating reveals that fossilized dinosaur bones are only thousands of years old!
Radiometric Dating: Problems with the Assumptions
Radioactive Dating Method ‘Under Fire’
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