Radiometric dating uses the decay rates of

As we pointed out in these two articles, radiometric dates are based on known rates of radioactivity, a phenomenon that is rooted in fundamental laws of physics and follows simple mathematical formulas.

Dating schemes based on rates of radioactivity have been refined and scrutinized for several decades.

In a related article on geologic ages (Ages), we presented a chart with the various geologic eras and their ages.

In a separate article (Radiometric dating), we sketched in some technical detail how these dates are calculated using radiometric dating techniques.

The Wheeler Formation has been previously dated to approximately 507 million year old, so we know the trilobite is also about 507 million years old.

But, how can we determine how old a rock formation is, if it hasn’t previously been dated?

Here is one example of an isochron, based on measurements of basaltic meteorites (in this case the resulting date is 4.4 billion years) [Basaltic1981, pg. Skeptics of old-earth geology make great hay of these examples.

For example, creationist writer Henry Morris [Morris2000, pg.This decay is an example of an exponential decay, shown in the figure below.Knowing about half-lives is important because it enables you to determine when a sample of radioactive material is safe to handle.Using relative dating the fossil is compared to something for which an age is already known.For example if you have a fossil trilobite and it was found in the Wheeler Formation.Scientists look at half-life decay rates of radioactive isotopes to estimate when a particular atom might decay.

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