Radioactive isotopes in dating the past

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When ‘parent’ uranium-238 decays, for example, it produces subatomic particles, energy and ‘daughter’ lead-206.Isotopes are important to geologists because each radioactive element decays at a constant rate, which is unique to that element.Geologists often need to know the age of material that they find.They use absolute dating methods, sometimes called numerical dating, to give rocks an actual date, or date range, in number of years.The atoms of some chemical elements have different forms, called isotopes.These break down over time in a process scientists call radioactive decay.These rates of decay are known, so if you can measure the proportion of parent and daughter isotopes in rocks now, you can calculate when the rocks were formed.

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The Bible gives a much different picture and explains that relying on man’s reasoning is foolishness.

For example, fission track dating measures the microscopic marks left in crystals by subatomic particles from decaying isotopes.

Another example is luminescence dating, which measures the energy from radioactive decay that is trapped inside nearby crystals.

There are three main assumptions that must be made to accept radiometric dating methods.

These must be accepted on faith in uniformitarian and naturalistic frameworks.

The table below shows characteristics of some common radiometric dating methods.

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