Radiometric dating worksheet answers
William Smith was one of the most important scientists from this time who helped to develop knowledge of the succession of different fossils by studying their distribution through the sequence of sedimentary rocks in southern England.It wasn't until well into the 20th century that enough information had accumulated about the rate of radioactive decay that the age of rocks and fossils in number of years could be determined through radiometric age dating.Many geologists claim that radiometric “clocks” show rocks to be millions of years old.However, to read any clock accurately we must know where the clock was set at the beginning.Play a game that tests your ability to match the percentage of the dating element that remains to the age of the object.Radiometric dating measures the decay of radioactive atoms to determine the age of a rock sample.Yet few people know how radiometric dating works or bother to ask what assumptions drive the conclusions. This figure wasn’t established by radiometric dating of the earth itself. Radiohalos shouldn’t exist, according to conventional wisdom!
The most widely known form of radiometric dating is carbon-14 dating.The stable form of carbon is carbon 12 and the radioactive isotope carbon 14 decays over time into nitrogen 14 and other particles.Carbon is naturally in all living organisms and is replenished in the tissues by eating other organisms or by breathing air that contains carbon.It is founded on unprovable assumptions such as 1) there has been no contamination and 2) the decay rate has remained constant.By dating rocks of known ages which give highly inflated ages, geologists have shown this method can’t give reliable absolute ages.