- If creationists were right and Earth was 6,000 years old, how radioactive would the Earth be?
- Quora Question Details Bot
- Aug 8, 2017
- Because the Earth is 4.54 billion years old all radioisotopes with a half-life less than ~50 million years have all decayed. Now with a 6,000 year age, quantities of radioisotopes with a half-life of greater than 90 years can now exist on Earth.
- Hans-Georg Lundahl
- Blog : "http://creavsevolu.blogspot.com". Debating evolutionists for 15 years +.
- Answered Feb 17
- First, the literal formulation of the question:
"If creationists were right and Earth was 6,000 years old, how radioactive would the Earth be?"
Spontaneously, what has one thing to do with the other? But, there is a but: questioner gave a detail description:
"Because the Earth is 4.54 billion years old all radioisotopes with a half-life less than ~50 million years have all decayed."
Except those being formed, like C14 ... right?
"Now with a 6,000 year age, quantities of radioisotopes with a half-life of greater than 90 years can now exist on Earth."
Greater than 6000 years, you mean?
Well - the argument presumes that ALL elements and isotopes that are at all possible were created or were formed in the first place, so that the absence of certain ones depends on all of it having decayed.
So, element x could theoretically have isotope y, but we don't find isotope y ... and some physicist concludes this is ... sorry, obviously the half life does not reduce an isotope to nothing, so 90 is the correct one ... it was not 50 billion years half life, but only 50 million years such ...
Well, what if isotope y was never there in the first place, when God created Earth? What would have obliged God to include it? A Big Bang process involved in forming elements? But what would have obliged God to choose that means? Nothing, of course.
Other problem, how do you check a very long half life?
Libby thought he had figured out the half life of C14 at 5600 some years, and when objects are double dated both by carbon 14 and historically, we find that the real half life is 5730 years. Now, with so short a half life, we can get significant portions of it within historically either undisputed or near undisputed chronology.
5730 years (presumed in the following)
2865 (half a half life)
1432 (quarter of a half life)
716 (eighth of a half life)
358 (sixteenth of a half life)
179 (thirtysecond of a half life)
Only very few, if any, would deny the known quality and well documented quality of the history of the last 179, 358 or even 716 years.
To get to the residua after such portions of a halflife, we only need to take square roots at every halving of the time, starting with square root of a half for the first halving, which is, as any A4 paper user knows, 70.7 %.
5730 years ~ 50 %
2865 years ~ 70.7 %
1432 years ~ 84.1 %
716 years ~ 91.7 %
358 years ~ 95.8 %
179 years ~ 97.9 %
In each case of original carbon 14 ratio to the carbon 12 content overall. As the carbon 14 content is always insignificant compared to the carbon 12, the decrease of carbon 14 is nearly the only relevant factor for the decrease of the ratio; whether the atoms decay to N14 or to C12 - I have heard both - the C12 content won't be increased by it.
Now, very few would contest the history since the battle field of Maella (First Carlist War, battle on october 1, 1838, close to 179 years ago, supposing some boots or uniforms can be dug up from the ground and carbon dated).
Not many more would contest the history since 1660, when Samuel Pepys began his diary, supposing its paper was fresh and has been carbon dayed and we know from other reason the diary is not a fraud but from Samuel Pepys.
Most would consider the history since 1302 is well known, so that a dead horse from the battle of Courtrai on July 11 1302 would confirm the horse had been grazing grass with carbon of our C14 degree, but what is now left in it is 91.7 % of modern carbon, all of which confirm the half life of carbon 14.
You don't have that for Uranium-Lead or things.