Zircon and radiometric dating

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With the release of key peer-reviewed papers at the 2003 ICC (International Conference on Creationism), it is clear that RATE has made some fantastic progress, with real breakthroughs in this area.When physicist Dr Russell Humphreys was still at Sandia National Laboratories (he now works full-time for ICR), he and Dr John Baumgardner (still with Los Alamos National Laboratory) were both convinced that they knew the direction in which to look for a definitive answer to the puzzle of why radiometric dating consistently gives ages of millions and billions of years.Of course, there are many problems with such dating methods, such as parent or daughter substances entering or leaving the rock, as well as daughter product being present at the beginning.Here I want to concentrate on another source of error, namely, processes that take place within magma chambers.

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This age is computed under the assumption that the parent substance (say, uranium) gradually decays to the daughter substance (say, lead), so the higher the ratio of lead to uranium, the older the rock must be.

In this way, even different growth zones in individual crystals can be analyzed and thus "dated." An alternative procedure is to take all the zircon grains liberated from a rock sample, and if they are of uniform composition, chemically digest them into solution for standard mass spectrometer analysis.

This dating method has become very popular for dealing with Precambrian terranes where it can often be difficult to resolve relationships between rock units and the geological history. It must be assumed that when the zircon grains crystallized, no radiogenic Pb was in them, and that all the radiogenic Pb now measured was derived by radioactive decay from U and Th.

That observation is clearly at odds with the belief that world is only around 6000 years old.

To counter the conclusions of radiometric dating creationists have formed the RATE (Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth) Group.

This team, supported by several creationist organizations, exists to disprove the validity of radiometric dating.

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