Radio dating rocks
But, as the NC State study suggests, that final figure might not be taking other variables into account.
For one, the atoms of different elements will diffuse through a material at different rates due to a process known as differential mass diffusion.
In another very important paper, scientists from the RATE group summarized the pertinent facts and presented further experimental data. This effectively limits the age of all buried biota to less than (at most) 250,000 years.
(When one takes into account the probability that before the Flood the ratio of radioactive to ‘normal’ carbon was much lower, C was primordial (existing from the very beginning), and not produced by cosmic rays—thus limiting the age of the entire earth to only a few thousand years.
How radiometric dating works in general Why methods in general are inaccurate Why K-Ar dating is inaccurate The branching ratio problem How Errors Can Account for the Observed Dates Why older dates would be found lower in the geologic column especially for K-Ar dating Do different methods agree with each other on the geologic column?
"The rate of diffusion will vary, based on the sample – what type of rock it is, the number of cracks and amount of surface area, and so on." The process as it's currently applied, Hayes says, is likely to overestimate the age of samples, and considering scientists have been using it for decades, our understanding of Earth's ancient timeline could be worryingly inaccurate.
The diamonds’ carbon-dated ‘age’ of about 58,000 years is thus an upper limit for the age of the whole earth.
Again, this is entirely consistent with helium diffusion results reported above, which indicate the upper limit is in fact substantially less.
Much of our understanding of the ancient history of our planet comes from radioisotope dating, a process where scientists calculate the amount of certain isotopes in a geological sample to determine how old it is.
But according to new research out of North Carolina State University, a flaw in this widely-used technique may be skewing the results so samples seem much older than they really are.