Zircon (Zr Si O) in particular has been the focus of thousands of geochronological studies, because of its ubiquity in felsic igneous rocks and its claimed extreme resistance to isotopic resetting (Begemann et al. However, accurate radioisotopic age determinations require that the decay constants or half-lives of the respective parent radionuclides be accurately known and constant in time.
Ideally, the uncertainty of the decay constants should be negligible compared to, or at least be commensurate with, the analytical uncertainties of the mass spectrometer measurements entering the radioisotope age calculations (Begemann et al. Clearly, based on the ongoing discussion in the conventional literature this is still not the case at present.
U-Pb radioisotope dating is now the absolute dating method of first choice among geochronologists, especially using the mineral zircon.
However, even uncertainties of only 1% in the half-lives lead to very significant discrepancies in the derived radioisotope ages.
The recognition of an urgent need to improve the situation is not new (for example, Min et al. It continues to be mentioned, at one time or another, by every group active in geo- or cosmochronology (Boehnke and Harrison 2014; Schmitz 2012).
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.
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.He showed that there is still some uncertainty in what the values for these measures of the Rb decay rate differ when Rb-Sr ages are calibrated against the U-Pb ages of either the same terrestrial minerals and rocks or the same meteorites and lunar rocks.Ironically it is the slow decay rates of isotopes such as Sm used for deep time dating that makes precise measurements of their decay rates so difficult.From a creationist perspective, the 1997–2005 RATE (Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth) project successfully made progress in documenting some of the pitfalls in the radioisotope dating methods, and especially in demonstrating that radioisotope decay rates may not have always been constant at today’s measured rates (Vardiman, Snelling, and Chaffin 2000, 2005).Yet much research effort remains to be done to make further inroads into not only uncovering the flaws intrinsic to these long-age dating methods, but towards a thorough understanding of radioisotopes and their decay during the earth’s history within a biblical creationist framework.Nor can the measured Pb isotope ratios be used to somehow decide what proportions of them are the initial Pb without recourse to unprovable assumptions about the mineral or rock’s history or their interpreted U-Th-Pb ages within an assumed deep time history.