Absolute dating geology
From a creationist perspective, the 1997–2005 RATE (Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth) project successfully made progress in documenting some of the pitfalls in the radioisotope dating methods, and especially in demonstrating that radioisotope decay rates may not have always been constant at today’s measured rates (Vardiman, Snelling, and Chaffin 2000, 2005).
Yet much research effort remains to be done to make further inroads into not only uncovering the flaws intrinsic to these long-age dating methods, but towards a thorough understanding of radioisotopes and their decay during the earth’s history within a biblical creationist framework.
2001; Steiger and Jäger 1977), in spite of ongoing attempts (Miller 2012).
The uncertainties associated with direct half-life determinations are, in most cases, still at the 1% level, which is still significantly better than any radioisotope method for determining the ages of rock formations.
These new rocks rapidly accumulated more Pb isotopes due to the concurrent accelerated radioactive decay of U and Th in them during the Flood.
Thus, without being able to unequivocally distinguish the daughter Pb atoms produced by in situ U and Th decay from the initial Pb atoms in a mineral or rock, it is impossible to determine their absolute U-Pb ages.
However, even uncertainties of only 1% in the half-lives lead to very significant discrepancies in the derived radioisotope ages.
The recognition of an urgent need to improve the situation is not new (for example, Min et al. It continues to be mentioned, at one time or another, by every group active in geo- or cosmochronology (Boehnke and Harrison 2014; Schmitz 2012).
Zircon does incorporate initial Pb when it crystallizes. It cannot be proven that the Pb in apparently cogenetic U- or Th-free minerals is only initial Pb, and that it is identical to the initial Pb in the mineral being dated.One crucial area the RATE project did not touch on was the issue of how reliable are the determinations of the radioisotope decay rates, which are so crucial for calibrating these dating “clocks.” However, in a recent series of papers, Snelling (2014a, b, 2015a, b, 2016, 2017) reviewed how the half-lives of the parent radioisotopes used in long-age geological dating have been determined and collated all the determinations of them reported in the literature to discuss the accuracy of their currently accepted values.