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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. 1979, 1986 © Harper Collins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 Cite This Source (rā'dē-ō-mět'rĭk) A method for determining the age of an object based on the concentration of a particular radioactive isotope contained within it.
he question of the ages of the Earth and its rock formations and features has fascinated philosophers, theologians, and scientists for centuries, primarily because the answers put our lives in temporal perspective.
Instead, I describe briefly only the three principal methods. These are the three methods most commonly used by scientists to determine the ages of rocks because they have the broadest range of applicability and are highly reliable when properly used.
These are also the methods most commonly criticized by creation “scientists.” For additional information on these methods or on methods not covered here, the reader is referred to the books by Faul (47), Dalrymple and Lanphere (35), Doe (38), York and Farquhar (136), Faure and Powell (50), Faure (49), and Jager and Hunziker (70), as well as the article by Dalrymple (32).
By the mid- to late 1800s, geologists, physicists, and chemists were searching for ways to quantify the age of the Earth.
Lord Kelvin and Clarence King calculated the length of time required for the Earth to cool from a white-hot liquid state; they eventually settled on 24 million years.
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Radiocarbon dating is one such type of radiometric dating.