Radiometric dating dates
Some isotopes have very long half-lives, measured in billions or even trillions of years.
Others have extremely short half-lives, measured in tenths or hundredths of a second.
Some isotopes can break down in more than one way -- in these cases, each different breakdown type has its own half-life.The decay rate and therefore the half-life are fixed characteristics of an isotope. That's the first axiom of radiometric dating techniques: the half-life of a given isotope is a constant.I found several good sources, but none that seemed both complete enough to stand alone and simple enough for a nongeologist to understand them.Thus this essay, which is my attempt at producing such a source.
Radiometric dating methods are the strongest direct evidence that geologists have for the age of the Earth.When I first became interested in the creation-evolution debate, in late 1994, I looked around for sources that clearly and simply explained what radiometric dating is and why young-Earth creationists are driven to discredit it.