How does radioactive dating occur

Other objections raised by creationists are addressed in [Dalrymple2006a].

The overall reliability of radiometric dating was addressed in some detail in a recent book by Brent Dalrymple, a premier expert in the field. 80-81]: These methods provide valid age data in most instances, although there is a small percentage of instances in which even these generally reliable methods yield incorrect results.

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.

One question that sometimes arises here is how can scientists assume that rates of radioactivity have been constant over the great time spans involved.

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.

The differences actually found in the scientific literature are usually close to the margin of error, usually a few percent, not orders of magnitude!

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).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 [Wiens2002]): All of the different dating methods agree--they agree a great majority of the time over millions of years of time.The latest high-tech equipment permits reliable results to be obtained even with microscopic samples.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.

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