Radiometric dating how stuff works


08-Dec-2019 08:54

The impact also created shocked quartz crystals that were blasted into the air and subsequently fell to the west into the inland sea that occupied much of central North America at that time.Today this shocked quartz is found in South Dakota, Colorado, and Nebraska in a thin layer (the Crow Creek Member) within a thick rock formation known as the Pierre Shale.

Usually determinations of age are repeated to avoid laboratory errors, are obtained on more than one rock unit or more than one mineral from a rock unit in order to provide a cross-check, or are evaluated using other geologic information that can be used to test and corroborate the radiometric ages.

The heat of the impact melted some of the feldspar crystals in the granitic rocks of the impact zone, thereby resetting their internal radiometric clocks.

These melted crystals, and therefore the impact, have been dated by the 40Ar/39Ar method at 74.1 Ma (million years; Izett and others 1998), but that is not the whole story by a long shot.

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.

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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).I could have selected many more examples but then this would have turned into a book rather than the intended short paper.