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You cannot predict exactly when any one particular grain will get to the bottom, but you can predict from one time to the next how long the whole pile of sand takes to fall.
Once all of the sand has fallen out of the top, the hourglass will no longer keep time unless it is turned over again.
Most of the elements in nature are stable and do not change.
However, some elements are not completely stable in their natural state.
This paper describes in relatively simple terms how a number of the dating techniques work, how accurately the half-lives of the radioactive elements and the rock dates themselves are known, and how dates are checked with one another.
In the process the paper refutes a number of misconceptions prevalent among Christians today.
He was employed at Caltech's Division of Geological & Planetary Sciences at the time of writing the first edition.
He is presently employed in the Space & Atmospheric Sciences Group at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
The goal is to promote greater understanding on this issue, particularly for the Christian community.However, some Christians suggest that the geologic dating techniques are unreliable, that they are wrongly interpreted, or that they are confusing at best.Unfortunately, much of the literature available to Christians has been either inaccurate or difficult to understand, so that confusion over dating techniques continues.Radiometric dating--the process of determining the age of rocks from the decay of their radioactive elements--has been in widespread use for over half a century.There are over forty such techniques, each using a different radioactive element or a different way of measuring them.