First impressions dating
The stunning improvements in the performance of mass spectrometers during the past four or so decades, starting with the landmark paper by Wasserburg et al.
(1969), have not been accompanied by any comparable improvement in the accuracy of the decay constants (Begemann et al.
U decay in those rocks added daughter Pb isotopes to the common or initial Pb isotopes in them, inherited from the rock’s sources.
So the Pb isotope ratios measured in these rocks today must be interpreted before their U-Pb ages can be calculated.
There is thus no impediment to accepting and using the Bible’s account of Creation and the Flood as a reliable framework for unravelling the history of the earth and the Pb isotopes found in its minerals and rocks.
Radioisotope dating of minerals, rocks and meteorites is perhaps the most potent claimed proof for the supposed old age of the earth and the solar system.
However, from a biblical perspective the earth was created by God on Day 1 of the Creation Week before the sun and the rest of the solar system were created on Day 4, all only about 6000 or so years ago.
Yet the earth would still have had an initial (created) Pb isotopic endowment.
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.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.The decay of Pb, respectively, forms the basis for one of the oldest methods of geochronology (Dickin 2005; Faure and Mensing 2005).While the earliest studies focused on uraninite (an uncommon mineral in igneous rocks), there has been intensive and continuous effort over the past five decades in U-Pb dating of more-commonly occurring trace minerals.
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However, problems remain in the interpretation of the measured Pb isotopic ratios to transform them into ages.