Method of dating fossils by radioactive decay
Radiometric dating techniques indicate that the Earth is thousands of times older than that--approximately four and a half billion years old.
Many Christians accept this and interpret the Genesis account in less scientifically literal ways.
The passage of time can be charted by the reduction in the number of parent atoms, and the increase in the number of daughter atoms.
Radiometric dating can be compared to an hourglass.
Most processes that we are familiar with are like sand in an hourglass.
In exponential decay the amount of material decreases by half during each half-life.
Even though the Earth's age is never mentioned in the Bible, it is an issue because those who take a strictly literal view of the early chapters of Genesis can calculate an approximate date for the creation by adding up the life-spans of the people mentioned in the genealogies.
The rate of loss of sand from from the top of an hourglass compared to exponential type of decay of radioactive elements.Some of the atoms eventually change from one element to another by a process called radioactive decay.If there are a lot of atoms of the original element, called the parent element, the atoms decay to another element, called the daughter element, at a predictable rate.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.