Radiometric Dating (Creationism vs. Science)
From CreationWiki, the encyclopedia of creation science
Much of Mr. Wong's article radiometric dating doesn't need to be answered in detail. Most will simply be given a link to another CreationWiki page.
Mr. Wong starts off the article refuting a e-mail sent to him. In reply to the first point, which the Young Earth creationist claims that the decay rate isn't a constant, he claims that...
This is tantamount to claiming that the gravity of the Earth might have been 5 times stronger in medieval times, or that the boiling point of water might have been a thousand degrees a century ago. The decay rates of radioisotopes are driven by the quantum mechanics of barrier tunneling and the relative strengths of coulomb repulsion and nuclear binding energy which drive all nuclear interactions. If they were to change, this would mean that the characteristics of fundamental particles and forces are changing, which means that the behavior of all matter in the universe is in a state of flux. Moreover, since they claim the Earth is just 6,000 years old, these sweeping changes would have been occurring right before our eyes, during recorded history!
First, much of this a straw man. Creationist have proposed models for accelerated decay during certain periods in time. Such as the creation and the Flood. We shouldn’t expect to see changes in our present time. Take note that throughout the article, Mr. Wong complains about changing constants in nature might have bad effects on the earth, but completely ignores theories proposed by creation scientists that could easily explain such models.
The rest of this is answered in full in the article accelerated decay.
Why, then, do Egyptian pyramids built 4500 years ago still stand?
This assumes that the timeline is right and doesn’t need to apply to YEC. Many point out that it may indeed be wrong. See Egyptian chronology for more details.
How did a 4800 year old California Bristlecone Pine tree (nicknamed "Methuselah") survive?
Actually, this give supports to the idea of a global flood. This fit one prediction of Flood geology. See The oldest living thing is younger than 4900 years (Talk.Origins)
Also, since tree rings can grow faster then once a year, tree ring dating might be completely off. See Dendrochronology is suspect because 2 or more rings can grow per year (Talk.Origins).
Mr. Wong’s next rebuttal is to the statement that the original concentration of the materials need to be known.
This is an oft-used straw-man attack. Radiometric dating does not necessarily depend on the assumption that none of the daughter material was originally present. If there's some compelling reason that the daughter material might not have been present in the original molten pool (eg. it's a noble gas and would have diffused out), then dating would be performed on that basis. However, under most circumstances the trick is to determine how much of the daughter material was originally present, rather than assuming the concentration was zero without doing any work to justify that assumption.
There in only one more real point that need to be answered. Near the end he article, he uses the isochron method to prove the radiometric system is right. See Isochron dating gives unreliable results (Talk.Origins) for a critque.