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In two half-lives, half of the remainder will decay, meaning 3/4 in all will have decayed.

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When it is stated that these methods are accurate to one or two percent, it does not mean that the computed age is within one or two percent of the correct age.

It just means that there is enough accuracy in the measurements to compute t to one or two percentage points of accuracy, where t is the time required to obtain the observed ratio of daughter to parent, assuming no initial daughter product was present at the beginning, and no daughter or parent entered or left the system.

Potassium is about 1/40 of the earth's crust, and about 1/10,000 of the potassium is potassium 40.

Uranium decays to lead by a complex series of steps. Thus we obtain K-Ar dating, U-Pb dating, and Rb-Sr dating, three of the most common methods.

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.

When one considers the power of God, one sees that any such conclusions are to some extent tentative. Some fossils are found in Precambrian rocks, but most of them are found in Cambrian and later periods.Since Cambrian and later rocks are largely sedimentary and igneous (volcanic) rocks are found in Cambrian and later strata, if these rocks are really 550 million years old, then life must also be at least 550 million years old.Therefore, my main concern is with rocks of the Cambrian periods and later.We can assume that the Precambrian rocks already existed when life began, and so the ages of the Precambrian rocks are not necessarily related to the question of how long life has existed on earth.The Cambrian period is conventionally assumed to have begun about 550 million years ago.Potassium 40 (K40) decays to argon 40, which is an inert gas, and to calcium.

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