Updated 31 March c Introduction In a related are radiometric dating methods reliable on geologic ages Ageswe presented a chart with the various geologic eras and their ages. In a separate article Radiometric datingwe sketched in some technical detail how these dates are calculated using radiometric dating techniques. As we pointed out in these two articles, radiometric dates are based on known rates of radioactivity, a phenomenon that is rooted in fundamental laws of physics and follows simple mathematical formulas.
Dating schemes based on rates of radioactivity have been refined and scrutinized for several decades.
Are radiometric dating methods reliable - what are the various methods of radiometric dating that may be used
The latest high-tech equipment permits reliable results to be obtained even with microscopic ares radiometric dating methods reliable. Radiometric dating is self-checking, because the data after certain preliminary calculations are made are fitted to a straight line an "isochron" by means of standard linear regression methods of statistics.
The slope of the line determines the date, and the closeness of fit is a measure of the statistical reliability of the resulting date. Technical details on how these dates are calculated are given in Radiometric dating. Here is one example of an isochron, based on measurements of basaltic meteorites in this case the resulting date is 4.
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Just how reliable are these dates? As with any experimental procedure in any field of science, these measurements are subject to certain "glitches" and "anomalies," as noted in the literature. Skeptics of old-earth geology make great hay of these examples.
For example, creationist writer Henry Morris [ Morrispg. In the particular case that Morris highlighted, the lava flow was unusual because it included numerous xenoliths typically consisting of olivine, an iron-magnesium silicate material that are foreign to the lava, having been carried from deep within the Earth but not completely melted in the lava.
Also, as the authors of the article were careful to explain, ares radiometric dating methods reliable cannot be dated by the K-Ar method because of excess argon in bubbles trapped inside [ Dalrymple ]. Thus in this case, as in many others that have been raised by skeptics of old-earth geology, the "anomaly" is more imaginary than real. Other objections raised by creationists are addressed in [ Dalrymplea ].
The overall reliability of radiometric dating was addressed in some detail in a recent book by Brent Dalrymple, a premier expert in the field. He wrote 44 year old dating year Dalrymplepg.
Such failures may be due to laboratory errors mistakes happenunrecognized geologic factors nature sometimes fools usor misapplication of the techniques no one is perfect.
We scientists who measure isotope ages do not rely entirely on the error estimates and the self-checking features of age diagnostic diagrams to evaluate the accuracy of radiometric ages. Whenever possible we design an age study to are radiometric dating methods reliable advantage of other ways of checking the reliability of the age measurements.
The simplest means is to repeat the analytical measurements in order to check for laboratory errors. Another method is to make age measurements on several samples from the same rock unit. This technique helps identify post-formation geologic disturbances because different minerals respond differently to heating and chemical changes.
The isochron techniques are partly based on this principle. The use of different dating methods on the same rock is an excellent way to check the accuracy of age results. If two or more radiometric clocks based on different elements and running at different rates give the same age, that's powerful evidence that the ages are probably correct. Along this line, Roger Wiens, a scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, asks those who are skeptical of radiometric dating to consider the following quoted in several cases from [ Wiens ] : There are well over forty different radiometric dating methods, and scores of other methods such as tree rings and ice cores.
All of the different dating methods agree--they agree a great majority of the time over millions of years of are radiometric dating methods reliable. Some [skeptics] make it sound like there is a lot of disagreement, but this is not the case.
The disagreement in values needed to support the position of young-earth proponents would require differences in age measured by orders of magnitude e.
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The differences actually found in the scientific literature are usually close to the margin of error, usually a few percent, not ares radiometric dating methods reliable of magnitude! Vast amounts of data overwhelmingly favor an old Earth. Several hundred laboratories around the world are active in radiometric dating. Their results consistently agree with an old Earth.
Over a thousand papers on radiometric dating were published in scientifically recognized journals in the last year, and hundreds of thousands of dates have been published in the are radiometric dating methods reliable 50 years. Essentially all of these strongly favor an old Earth.
Radioactive decay rates have been measured for over sixty years now for many of the decay clocks without any observed changes. And it has been close to a hundred years since the uranium decay rate was first determined.
A recent survey of the rubidium-strontium method found only about 30 cases, out of tens of thousands of published results, where a date determined using the proper procedures was subsequently found to be in error.
Both long-range and short-range dating methods have been successfully verified by dating lavas of historically known ages over a range of several thousand years. The mathematics for determining the ages from the observations is relatively simple. Rates.
How Carbon Dating Works