TNRTB Archive – Retained for reference information
News that scientists observed the largest-ever increase in the rate of radiometric decay offers no hope either for young-earth creationists or for those intent on denying evidence for supernatural fine-tuning in the radiometric decay rates. The observed increase was seen only for that kind of radiometric decay where the decay occurs as electrons stray into the nucleus. The researchers forced the accelerated decay rate by encasing the radiometric atoms inside buckeyballs (soccer-ball-like lattices of sixty carbon atoms) which surrounded the radiometric atoms with a dense field of electrons. Even for this highly contrived circumstance, the decay rate was sped up by only 0.9 percent. (A young-earth scenario would require orders of magnitude changes in decay rates.) This extraordinary experiment in no way would alter any radiometric dates for the age of the earth or the universe or any of the evidence for the supernatural design of the radiometric decay rates for the benefit of life.
- T. Ohtsuki et al., “Enhanced Electron-Capture Decay Rates of 7Be Encapsulated in C60 Cages,” Physical Review Letters 93, 112501 (2004).
- Philip Ball, “Radioactivity Gets Fast-Forward,” [email protected], 17 September, 2004, doi:10.1038/news040913-24.
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