Modern dating methods

‘Dating is absolutely crucial, it underpins everything,’ says Michael Walker.Based at the University of Wales Trinity St David, he has devoted his career to studying the Quaternary period – the last 2.6 million years and the so-called ‘age of humans’.There is no absolutely reliable long-term radiological ‘clock’ ” (William Stansfield, 1977, pp. The potassium-argon [K-Ar] dating method, used to date lava flows, also has problems—as shown by studies of Mount St. “The conventional K-Ar dating method was applied to the 1986 dacite flow from the new lava dome at Mount St. Porphyritic dacite which solidified on the surface of the lava dome in 1986 gives a whole rock K-Ar ‘age’ of 0.35 - 0.6 Ma. In layman’s terms, these volcanic rocks that we know were formed in 1986—less than 20 years ago—were “scientifically” dated to between 290,000 and 3.4 million years old!These ‘ages’ are, of course, preposterous [since we know the rock formed recently]. Such examples serve to illustrate the fallibility of the dating methods on which many modern scientists rely so heavily.However, at death the balance is upset, because replenishment by life processes such as feeding, breathing and photosynthesis ceases.The 14C in dead tissues continually decreases by radioactive decay” (Brian Skinner and Stephen Porter, 1989, pp. By measuring the amount of carbon-14 and comparing that amount to the original, scientists can obtain a date for the death of the organism. This is an informational tour in which students gain a basic understanding of geologic time, the evidence for events in Earth’s history, relative and absolute dating techniques, and the significance of the Geologic Time Scale.

The theory of evolution has become so ubiquitous in the scientific world today that it even distorts the way geological formations are dated.

Though originally a field reserved for archaeologists, physical scientists like Walker are showing that they also have crucial contributions to make.

With the help of new physical and chemical dating methods, scientists are finally beginning to discover how and when archaic species became…

These dates supposedly prove these formations are millions of years old rather than thousands.

Yet we find that different methods can yield radically different results.

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