Chances are, you learned a simplified version of the technique at one point—if you remember your chemistry teacher discussing isotopes, half-lives, hourglasses, well, that was it—but have since removed the lesson to a box labeled "High School Amnesia" in some dark corner of your brain.If you're reading this now, however, you might be curious to reopen that box in an effort to follow my argument as I answer the title of this post (or, if nothing else, to avoid admitting that chemistry was "not really your thing").Since neutrons have no charge, they don't affect the chemical behavior of an element (besides its mass).Therefore, any mineral that contains potassium (K) will contain a mixture of all its isotopes (39, 40, and 41).For now, I wanted to consider an older article, only a page long, entitled "How do you date a New Zealand volcano?" Although the article was not published by any member of the RATE team, it provides a simple example of Ai G's critical approach: 1) remind readers that several assumptions are inherent to radiometric dating methods; 2) provide a case-in-point where at least one of those assumptions was falsified; 3) extrapolate the proven uncertainty to the rest of geochronology without qualification; 4) (optional) advise readers that anyone defending radiometric dating methods is trying to undermine God's clear teaching of a young Earth and, consequently, the gospel itself." Now, my concern is that to the non-scientist (or even to the experienced scientist that doesn't regularly work with geochronology) this reasoning may seem plausible and end the debate without warrant.But if the failure of the K-Ar dating method is so obvious, why do scientists still spend so much money on running samples?
Over the years, Answers in Genesis has committed to undermining the credibility of radiometric dating techniques.
If any excess argon becomes trapped in the mineral during crystallization, the mineral will appear older than it actually is; if any argon is lost after the mineral crystallizes, the mineral will appear younger.
As you can imagine, the chaos of Earth systems can produce both scenarios, so geochronologists have developed techniques to verify (test) each assumption. Most people (geologists included) think of radiometric dating methods as a means to assign absolute ages to rocks/minerals.
This definition can be misleading, however, without some qualification.
First, all radiometric dating methods are scientific models used to estimate the age of geologic events, provided a number of physical assumptions regarding the rock's history are met.