Radioactive Decay

Radioactive Decay Rates May Change

December, 2011

In 1 Corinthians 13 the Bible says, “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.” Our knowledge is imperfect in this life, and we are continually learning more. This is also true in the scientific realm, and theories that were once held often have to be given up. We may see scientific theories change again very soon due to new discoveries concerning rates of radioactive decay, the speed of light, and the degree of ape-human similarity. All of these areas are significant for theories of the origin of life on earth, so it is helpful to examine them in more detail. Here there is only space to examine the first of these areas, namely, the rate of radioactive decay.

How Accurate Is Radiometric Dating?

March, 2011

Did the z-pinch effect, above, produce electrical effects that altered radioactive decay rates in earth's past?

Dating methods based on radioactivity have been used to indicate a vast age, in the millions or billions of years, for certain rocks. However, in some cases, other methods yield much younger ages.

For example, some zircons have been radiometrically dated to about 4 billion years old.  The decay process for the zircons involves alpha particle emission from uranium and/or thorium inside the zircon. An alpha particle is simply a helium nucleus, which will quickly gather up 2 electrons and become a helium atom. (Electrons are quickly accumulated when you rub a balloon on some material - perhaps your hair - and then place the balloon on a wall or ceiling. The resulting static electrical force will hold the balloon in place.) So, the radioactive decay in the zircon results in helium production.

Accurate Predictions Based on the Young Earth Creation Model

January, 2008

Good scientific theories are able to explain data and make testable predictions. For the Christian, a third element is required, that the theory be in harmony with the clear teachings of scripture. Some creation scientists even begin with scripture to formulate theories and hypotheses. In this essay, we will look at three predictions ultimately based on scripture, made by physicist Russell Humphreys of the Institute for Creation Research. The predictions deal with (1) the magnitude and dynamics of planetary magnetic fields, (2) the existence of a cosmic rotation axis, and (3) diffusion of helium through zircons. All of these predictions are in accord with a young earth interpretation of Genesis 1. As we will see, the data fit the predictions well.

D. Russell Humphreys, Ph.D.

Evidences for a Recent Creation: Part 3

December, 2005

Parts I and II mentioned young carbon 14 dates as evidence that very old isotopic dates correspond to true ages in the thousands of years. Also, helium retention in zircons and the pattern of discordances in isotopic dates suggest an increase of decay rates in the past. There is also evidence that human mutation rates were faster in the past, which is consistent with a higher level of radiation. Furthermore, the genetic diversity of humans and other organisms suggests an origin a few thousand years ago. Several references by Anderson and Spangler suggest that decay rates can vary.

Accelerated Nuclear Decay Difficulties Solved?

September, 2015

One of the major challenges confronting the young earth view has been the supposed ages of millions of years  for the earth and dinosaurs—even billions for the age of the earth.   One proposal that has been made by creation scientists to account for this seeming discrepancy between secular science view and the creationist view is accelerated nuclear decay (abbreviated herein as ACCND).

What is ACCND? I will explain this by analogy. Think of an hourglass. It is used to tell time based on an assumed rate at which the sand moves through the neck of the hourglass. The movement of sand is analogous to the decay of radioisotopes. If the rate at which sand moves through the hourglass were accelerated by temporarily widening the neck, allowing more sand to fall through faster, we would have a lot more sand in the bottom half. Someone might look at the hourglass and conclude, based on the large amount of sand in the bottom part (or the amount of radioisotope decay products in a specimen), that a long time had passed. Actually, only a short time would have passed.

The Big Stretch - Part 2 - Objections

February, 2017

The Twin Jet Nebula  ESA/Hubble [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

In a previous article, The Big Stretch - Part 1, http://tasc-creationscience.org/article/big-stretch-1, a cosmological model was introduced, the Setterfield Plasma-ZPE model.

There have been various arguments raised against this model. In this article, we will examine some of those arguments, to try to determine if they are valid or not. 

We will start with a brief overview of the model; for more details, refer to The Big Stretch - Part 1 or to www.setterfield.org.

RATE Group Finds Strong Evidence for A Young Earth and Accelerated Nuclear Decay!

September, 2001

Helium Diffusion in Biotite

The Institute for Creation Research (ICR; www.icr.org) reported in its October 2001 Acts and Facts newsletter (Vol. 30, No. 10, October 2001; http://www.icr.org/pubs/af/pdf/af0110.pdf and http://www.icr.org/headlines/ratereport.html) that the RATE (Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth) group has found strong experimental evidence for a young earth and episodes of rapid nuclear decay in the past. RATE has put forth several research proposals in their book Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth (ICR and CRS, 2000; http://www.icr.org/rate.html), edited by Drs. Larry Vardiman, Andrew A. Snelling, and Eugene F.Chaffin, to examine radiometric dating.

 

Image

RATE: L to R: Bill Hoesch, Stephen Boyd, Donald DeYoung, Steve Austin, John Baumgardner, D. Russell Humphreys, Andrew Snelling, Eugene Chaffin, John Morris. Front: Larry Vardiman, Chairman

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