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Helium isotope dating

Helium isotope dating

Helium Diffusion as a Creationist Clock By Michael Ward Scientists use certain elements present in a certain abundance to calculate an approximate age for rocks. One of the decay ratios used is Uranium decaying through a series of alpha and beta decays to Lead.

Helium isotope dating

The number in superscript preceding the element name indicates the atomic mass, the sum of its protons and neutrons. Alpha decay releases a Helium nucleus two protons and two neutrons from the parent helium isotope dating to create two atoms: the released Helium and a daughter product that has an atomic number two less than the original and an atomic mass four less than the original.

Using the helium isotope dating of the remaining Uranium, the amount of Lead that has built up, and the original amount of Lead which is not created by any known decay process, scientists can calculate an approximate age based on the decay rate of Uranium and the ratios of Uranium to Lead and Lead to Lead.

Some creationists claim that there is too much helium in Earth's crust for the earth to be any more than two million years old Sarfati, If Earth has existed for billions of years, there should be helium isotope dating helium left in deeper rocks as a result of radioactive alpha decay.

They claim that if God had created the Earth with initial Helium in the atmosphere, the maximum age would be even lower than two million-perhaps even as little as 6, years Humphreys et.

How Carbon Dating Works

The RATE Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth project, cosponsored by the Institute for Creation Research, the Creation Research Society, and Answers in Genesis, claims that the amount of helium present in minerals at different depths of the earth's crust is too high to support day-age or evolutionist theories about an old Earth. They sent rock samples to a lab for helium diffusion tests, and their results were that the rock samples have too little resistance to the diffusion of Helium through the rock for the age to be greater than at most two million years.

The conclusion reached by the RATE project as to the reason for the increased amount of Helium is that sometime in the past few thousand years there was a helium isotope dating of increased radioactivity DeYoung, A fundamental problem with this hypothesis, however, is that the amount of energy released during the accelerated decay proposed by RATE would potentially be enough to evaporate the oceans and melt the Earth's crust Ross, The samples RATE tested were from a borehole sample retrieved in with no statement made as to the storage or collection conditions of the samples.

Was the rock sample kept at the same temperature and pressure during storage as that it would have experienced had it remained in the ground? Was there any chance of helium from any other sources contaminating the sample?

Important to Know

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In order to fully quantify the rock samples they obtained, the above two questions need to be thoroughly answered to secure the quality of the rock being sampled. However, neither of these questions were answered, and the wording of the paragraph indicates that the samples that were sent to the laboratory were excavated thirty years previous and not fresh.

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Even with an obvious lack of sample documentation there is other substantial criticism of the accuracy of the findings of the RATE project. One major critique was written by Kevin Henke, Ph.

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His criticisms range from using faulty standard deviation for error factors to incorrectly identifying rock samples that could lead to very serious errors in measurements to using equations that yield inconsistent dates as examples of how traditional radioisotope dating is flawed. There are also questions about the purity of some of the rock samples that were claimed to be of high purity: in an appendix to the final report, the lead scientist expressed some confusion as to the behavior of a rock sample which can only be explained as impurities in the sample Henke, Another major problem is that the the diffusion measurements were taken while the samples were in a vacuum.

Gases readily try to expand and fill all available space, and a vacuum acts just as one imagines: it "pulls" the gas out of the rock much faster than it helium isotope dating ordinarily helium isotope dating when confined in cubic miles of rock. The diffusion values that were measured the amount of gas that came out of the rock in a certain period of time at certain temperatures were used as equivalent values to the natural environment Henke, Another serious procedural error is that there is no distinction in the amount of Helium diffused that separates 3Helium from 4Helium.

One may wonder why such a detail would matter; after all, Helium is Helium, right? Most of the 3Helium helium isotope dating not have been caused by decay while most-if not all-of the 4Helium would be the result of decay, so to simply state that a certain amount of Helium diffused from the rock would be inaccurately representing the facts.

Scientists usually look at the daughter product of the decay in order to determine the approximate age of a rock or mineral. The reasoning for this is that.

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