Process uranium dating
In other words, the chance that a given atom will decay is constant over time.Decay rates are measured in half-lives the amount of time in which half of a radioactive element will decay.Lava (properly called magma before it erupts) fills large underground chambers called magma chambers.Most people are not aware of the many processes that take place in lava before it erupts and as it solidifies, processes that can have a tremendous influence on daughter to parent ratios.
Radiometric dating is largely done on rock that has formed from solidified lava.For example, over time, uranium atoms lose alpha particles (each made up of two protons and two neutrons) and decay, via a chain of unstable daughters, into stable lead.Although it is impossible to predict when a particular unstable atom will decay, the decay rate is predictable for a very large number of atoms.Our planet was pegged at a youthful few thousand years old by Bible readers (by counting all the "begats" since Adam) as late as the end of the 19th century, with physicist Lord Kelvin providing another nascent estimate of 100 million years.
Kelvin defended this calculation throughout his life, even disputing Darwin's explanations of evolution as impossible in that time period.
Most scientists today believe that life has existed on the earth for billions of years.