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Radiometric dating of rocks and minerals using naturally occurring, long-lived radioactive isotopes is troublesome for young-earth creationists because the techniques have provided overwhelming evidence of the antiquity of the earth and life.
Some so-called creation scientists have attempted to show that radiometric dating does not work on theoretical grounds (for example, Arndts and Overn 1981; Gill 1996) but such attempts invariably have fatal flaws (see Dalrymple 1984; York and Dalrymple 2000).
In 1905, shortly after the discovery of radioactivity, the American chemist Bertram Boltwood suggested that lead is one of the disintegration products of uranium, in which case the older a uranium-bearing mineral the greater should be its proportional part of lead.
Analyzing specimens whose relative geologic ages were known, Boltwood found that the ratio of lead to uranium did indeed increase...
The life span of a single atom may have any value, but a statistical quantity, the half-life of a macroscopic sample, can be measured; this is the time in which one-half of the sample disintegrates.
The age of a rock, for example, can be determined by measuring...
Using such techniques, investigators have been able to determine the ages of various rocks and rock formations and thereby quantify the...Radioisotope dating techniques have shown that this water is many thousands of years old.