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Ar total-gas ages are slightly older, which cannot be explained by the recoil effect only, the impact of which being amplified by the inhomogeneous shape of the clay minerals and their crystallographic characteristics, with varied crystallinity indices, and a particle width about 10 times large than thickness.The Ar data outline some advantages, such as the plateaus obtained by incremental step heating of the various size fractions, even if not translatable straight as ages of the illite populations; they allow identification of two generations of authigenic illite that formed at about 200 and 175 Ma, and one detrital generation.By measuring the ratio of daughter to parent, we can measure how old the sample is. Each radioactive element has a half-life, which tells how long it takes for half of the element to decay.For potassium 40, the half-life is about 1.3 billion years.However, there may be other explanations for this apparent age. I also believe that the evidence indicates that the earth has recently undergone a violent catastrophe.Perhaps the earth was made from older pre-existing matter, or perhaps decay rates were briefly faster for some reason. Geologic time is divided up into periods, beginning with the Precambrian, followed by the Cambrian and a number of others, leading up to the present.We are told that these methods are accurate to a few percent, and that there are many different methods.
Potassium 40 (K40) decays to argon 40, which is an inert gas, and to calcium.
Even the creationist accounts that I have read do not adequately treat these issues.
At the start, let me clarify that my main concern is not the age of the earth, the moon, or the solar system, but rather the age of life, that is, how long has life existed on earth.
The original element is called the parent, and the result of the decay process is called the daughter element.
Assuming we start out with pure parent, as time passes, more and more daughter will be produced. A ratio of infinity (that is, all daughter and no parent) means an age of essentially infinity.
In general, in one half-life, half of the parent will have decayed.