No geologists were present when most rocks formed, so they cannot test whether the original rocks already contained daughter isotopes alongside their parent radioisotopes.For example, with regard to the volcanic lavas that erupted, flowed, and cooled to form rocks in the unobserved past, evolutionary geologists simply assume that none of the daughter argon-40 atoms was in the lava rocks.Radiocarbon dating is one kind of radiometric dating, used for determining the age of organic remains that are less than 50,000 years old.For inorganic matter and for older materials, isotopes of other elements, such as potassium, uranium, and strontium, are used.Part 1 (in the previous issue) explained how scientists observe unstable atoms changing into stable atoms in the present.Part 2 explains how scientists run into problems when they make assumptions about what happened .Obviously, these eruptions took place very recently, after the Canyon’s layers were deposited ().
The object's approximate age can then be figured out using the known rate of decay of the isotope.
However, unlike the hourglass whose accuracy can be tested by turning it upside down and comparing it to trustworthy clocks, the reliability of the radioactive “clock” is subject to three unprovable assumptions.
No geologist was present when the rocks were formed to see their contents, and no geologist was present to measure how fast the radioactive “clock” has been running through the millions of years that supposedly passed after the rock was formed.
To make matters even worse for the claimed reliability of these radiometric dating methods, these same basalts that flowed from the top of the Canyon yield a samarium-neodymium age of about 916 million years,5 and a uranium-lead age of about 2.6 billion years!
6 The problems with contamination, as with inheritance, are already well-documented in the textbooks on radioactive dating of rocks.7 Unlike the hourglass, where its two bowls are sealed, the radioactive “clock” in rocks is open to contamination by gain or loss of parent or daughter isotopes because of waters flowing in the ground from rainfall and from the molten rocks beneath volcanoes.