Review by Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
Published May 2006
DeYoung uses this chapter of the book to give a brief introduction to the process of radioisotope dating. For the most part, his explanations are satisfactory. Instead of criticizing the methods here, he will do that in future chapters.
Rather than give detailed descriptions here, I'll provide links to various resources so that the reader may become familiar with the processes.
DeYoung first talks about the first suggested use of radiometric dating in 1905. The first process he mentions is Potassium-Argon. This method is one of the most widely-used methods, due to the abundance of potassium in rock samples.
Next DeYoung mentions the use of Isochron Dating, which introduces some checks and balances into the equation, and allows for factoring in changes in the parent-daughter isotope ratio over the life of the rock.
He leaves several methods in the table on page 40 without discussing them, although some will come up later in great detail. These are:
He apparently neglects to mention some other methods. Later on in the book, he does discuss Fission-Track Dating. However, there is no indication at all that he addresses another popular dating method, Optically Stimulated Luminescence Dating.
He concludes this chapter with a short discussion on radioisotope dating assumptions. The three assumptions are:
1. The initial conditions of the sample are known (there is no daughter isotope in the initial sample, or that a known quantity of daughter isotope is present)
2. We can tell if the rock has exchanged atoms with its surroundings (i.e. what level of contamination is present)
3. The half-life of the isotope has remained constant since the rock has formed
DeYoung claims that the RATE team has found numerous examples where the first two assumptions fail. Of the third assumption, he says this is the most damaging, as the RATE team has found multiple lines of evidence that the decay rates were much higher in the past. These claims will be addressed in the appropriate chapters of this review.
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