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It is possible to measure the ratio of the different radioactive parent isotopes and their daughter isotopes in a rock, but the ratios are not dates or ages.
The dates must be inferred based on assumptions about the ratios.
However, there are many methods that can be used to determine the age of the earth or other objects.
The textbooks focus on relative dating, based on the layering of the rocks, and radiometric dating.
Determining the relative age of a rock layer is based on the assumption that you know the ages of the rocks surrounding it.
The starting isotope is called the parent and the end-product is called the daughter.
The time it takes for one half of the parent atoms to decay to the daughter atoms is called the half-life.
Relative ages are assigned to rocks based on the idea that rock layers lower in the strata were deposited before rock layers that are higher.
Creationists do not necessarily disagree with this concept, but it can only be applied to layers that are found in one location and/or can be determined to have been deposited in a continuous layer over a very wide area.