This paper describes in relatively simple terms how a number of the dating techniques work, how accurately the half-lives of the radioactive elements and the rock dates themselves are known, and how dates are checked with one another.In the process the paper refutes a number of misconceptions prevalent among Christians today.But because God has also called us to wisdom, this issue is worthy of study.Rocks are made up of many individual crystals, and each crystal is usually made up of at least several different chemical elements such as iron, magnesium, silicon, etc.Similarly, when all the atoms of the radioactive element are gone, the rock will no longer keep time (unless it receives a new batch of radioactive atoms).
The goal is to promote greater understanding on this issue, particularly for the Christian community.
When the glass is turned over, sand runs from the top to the bottom.
Radioactive atoms are like individual grains of sand--radioactive decays are like the falling of grains from the top to the bottom of the glass.
Many people have been led to be skeptical of dating without knowing much about it. In spite of this, differences still occur within the church.
For example, most people don't realize that carbon dating is only rarely used on rocks. A disagreement over the age of the Earth is relatively minor in the whole scope of Christianity; it is more important to agree on the Rock of Ages than on the age of rocks.
Most of the elements in nature are stable and do not change.