Earth dating theories

This assumed the ocean was initially pure water and that it's salinity was derived from continental erosion. The technique gave 90 million years, but took no account of the non-constant erosion rate, or the loss and recycling of salt, or the fact that salt is obtained from other sources as well as continents.

More recently, work has been done on ocean sediments [S. Nevins, Institute for Creation Research]. This suggests that, given the current annual rates of erosion some Clearly, this seems incompatible with an ocean billions of years old. However, this may be a simplistic computation since there is Sediment Recycling as sediments accumulate and cause continental plates to collide, resulting in land uplift and subsequent errosion. The Earth's magnetic field is thought to arise from circulating electic currents in the Earth's molten metalic core, and scientists agree that the field is weakening.

At the current rate of decline it could take just 1, years to disappear, with increasing effects upon the electronic systems of satellites and spacecraft. Magnetic field decrease applies to other planets. For instance, recent satellite measurements show that Mercury's magnetic field is rapidly decaying and YE Creationists claim this indicates a young field. OE scientists believe that a weakened magnetic field could herald a new magnetic pole reversal.

Magnetic pole reversals are rebutted by YE creationists. Instead they claim that the field decrease can be used as a clock to date the earth since it has been decaying since the origin of the earth. Taking the half-life of the decaying magnetic moment at years , the field is now only about one third as strong as it was at the time of Christ. Working further back in time, the value of the earth's magnetic field approaches that of a magnetic star at 10, years ago.

Since this would need a huge nuclear power source, it seems magnetic field decay places an upper age limit on the earth of the order of 10, years. Whilst the rigour of this YE theory is disputed see talkorigins , recent spacecraft observations have confirmed its planetary magnetic predicions made in ! The decay of uranium and thorium isotopes results in a net build-up of Helium-4 atoms in the atmosphere.

It is claimed to be increasing at an annual rate of 3. From these figures and known decay rates, it can be shown that the current amount of atmospheric Helium can be generated in just 11, years not billions of years. Short-period comets orbit the sun in less than years the Halley comet orbits about every 76 years.

Each time they come close to the sun they lose material the comet tail and disintegrate. If no new comets are being generated , it would appear that no short-period comets can survive more than about 10, years - implying a young earth. This claim is countered by the fact that the origin of short-period comets is still uncertain and that there may be a source of short-period comets e. This is perhaps one of the more challenging anomalies for OE science. It is claimed that Homo sapiens appeared some , to , years ago.

But doesn't it seem strange that after more than , years earth's population is still only 7 billion? After all, the population increased from 1 billion in to 7 billion in - a span of just years! Of course, population growth is exponential, but even then the numbers don't add up. Some claim a world-wide catastrophe may have occurred around 70, years ago, reducing the human population to maybe just 1, breeding pairs. Let's do the maths on these 'catastrophe' figures. Of course, there are many factors that affect r, such as climate, disease, war, standard of living and so on.

Typically, population growth rates are between 0. In words, earth's population should be some million, billion, billion, billion.

Age of the Earth

This an impossibly large number when compared to the earth's current 7 billion people. Either the population growth calculation is hopelessly wrong, or the theory of human evolution is suspect!

This computation appears much more realistic. Earth dating via ocean sediments, magnetic field decay, atmospheric helium, short-period comets and other techniques point to a young earth. However, the scientifc accuracy of YE claims are frequently challenged e. In order to balance the discussion we should also challenge the currently accepted radiometric dating methods. If these are suspect then the disputed methods take on more meaning. There are several causes for concern here.


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The K-Ar method dates rocks by measuring the accumulated Ar It is claimed the advantage of this method is that it circumvents the zero date problem i. In other words, all Ar in a rock is assumed to have been produced by in-situ radioactive decay of K within the rock since it formed and there was zero Ar in the rock when it solidified.


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However, this primary assumption has been challenged e. This 'zero Ar' problem has also been identified by Snelling who comments for one research project:. Certainly it is known to diffuse easily from deeper rocks under pressure so surface rocks tend to have a higher Ar concentration than would be expected. This, coupled with the fact that potassium is easily washed out of minerals, suggests this technique can give an artificially high age for the earth and leads some to conclude that:.

If we question these techniques, there is an alternative method called isochron dating. The isochron dating method attempts to combat the zero date problem by using ratios of isotopes and samples of different minerals from the same rock. However, it still relies on certain basic assumptions, and in particular on the assumption that the specimen was entirely homogenous when it formed i.

The method also assumes that all mineral samples will have the same initial Sr to Sr ratio, but this is not always the case. So whilst isochron dating can give a straight line, the slope may have no significance [Vardiman et al].

Non-radiometric Dating

What about the radiometric assumption of constant decay rate? Such an assumption rests on the old evolutionary concept of uniformitarianism. In broad terms this means the observed geological features are the result of slow geological forces of the same kind and intensity as those found today. And for radiometric dating it means that the decay constant of the parent has not changed over earth's history.

Scientific justification for this assumption is found for example in Radiogenic Isotope Geology, A.

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Brief history of the plate tectonics theory | Earth Observatory of Singapore

The overall theme is that of a very old earth. In contrast, Humphreys has proposed an accelerated decay higher decay rate early in earth's history, leading to a younger earth. This idea has been rebutted by those who claim there is no known scientific mechanism to produce such a change, see for example Tim-Thompson: Others disagree and say that studies in theoretical physics suggest accelerated nuclear decay can occur e.

Uniformitarianism is also challenged if we invoke the concept of a world-wide flood for which there is much evidence. Vardiman et al claim that this would result in unreliable radioisotopic dating. They conclude from their research that:. Let's take a deeper look into the theory of accelerated nuclear decay. Classical OE dating radiometric dating is based upon the spontaneous breakdown or decay of atomic nuclei, where a radioactive parent atom decays to a stable daughter atom.

Age Dating the Earth

The clash between OE dating millions or billions of years and YE dating thousands of years centres on the decay constant K. As discussed, OE dating rests on the evolutionary concept of uniformitarianism and an assumed constant decay rate for all time. But this is not necessarily so. The Decreasing Speed of Light: In , Albrecht and Magueijo proposed a reduction in 'c' over time as a solution to cosmological puzzles.

For example, theories in which light is traveling faster in the early periods of the existence of the Universe have been recognised as an alternative to the 'big bang' inflation scenario, see Pedram and Jalalzadeh. So, rather than 'c' being constant with time, it has been proposed that the product 'hc' where here 'h' is Planks Constant and 'c' is the speed of light in a vacuum should be considered constant, see Setterfield.

For example, Carbon would decay to nothing in well under 1 million years, so if Carbon is found in a dinosaur fossil it is interpreted as resulting from contamination. The result is that the geologic column is the ultimate filter for other dating methods. This not only makes the other dating methods look more consistent than they actually are, but it also renders the very existence of the geologic column untestable.

The result is that these dating methods only produce old ages for the Earth within the evolutionary theoretical system. Within the creation theoretical system, different assumptions are used, producing different results. Radiometric dating utilizes the decay rates of certain radioactive atoms to date rocks or artifacts. Uniformitarian geologists consider this form of dating strong evidence that the Earth is billions of years old. However, research by creationists has revealed a large number of problems with radiometric dating.


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  • Age of the Earth: strengths and weaknesses of dating methods?
  • Strengths and weaknesses of radiometric and other dating methods!
  • The Age of the Earth.
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  • In some cases such as Carbon dating , radioactive dating actually gives strong evidence for a young Earth , while other methods such as K-Ar dating and Isochron dating are based on faulty assumptions and are so unreliable as to be useless.