Radiometric dating methods geology

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Whenever possible we design an age study to take 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.Such failures may be due to laboratory errors (mistakes happen), unrecognized geologic factors (nature sometimes fools us), or 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.147] has highlighted the fact that measurements of specimens from a 1801 lava flow near a volcano in Hualalai, Hawaii gave apparent ages (using the Potassium-Argon method) ranging from 160 million to 2.96 billion years, citing a 1968 study [Funkhouser1968].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.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.

Technical details on how these dates are calculated are given in Radiometric dating. As with any experimental procedure in any field of science, these measurements are subject to certain "glitches" and "anomalies," as noted in the literature.

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.g., factors of 10,000, 100,000, a million, or more).

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-238 decay rate was first determined.

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