Radiometric dating methods of rocks
The oldest rock so far dated is a zircon crystal that formed 4.4-billion-years ago, which was only 200 million years or so after the Earth itself formed.
YEC biblical literalists are necessarily bound to the dogmatic religious conclusion that the Earth is of a certain age based on a particular literal interpretation of the Genesis creation myth.
Most rocks contain uranium, allowing uranium-lead and similar methods to date them.
Other elements used for dating, such as rubidium, occur in some minerals but not others, restricting usefulness.
The half-life , specific to each nuclide, can be accurately measured on a pure sample, and is known to be independent of the chemical composition of the sample, temperature and pressure.
One way Young Earth Creationists and other denialists try to discredit radiometric dating is to cite examples radiometric dating techniques providing inaccurate results. Helens, creationists attempted discredit the discipline through dishonest practices.
This is frequently because the selected technique is used outside of its appropriate range, for example on very recent lavas. The Institute for Creation Research's RATE project aimed to show scientifically that methods of radiometric dating produced wildly inconsistent and incorrect values.
Although the time at which any individual atom will decay cannot be forecast, the time in which any given percentage of a sample will decay can be calculated to varying degrees of accuracy.
The time that it takes for half of a sample to decay is known as the half life of the isotope.