Radiogenic dating methods

Posted by / 23-Oct-2017 00:39

Radiogenic dating methods

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!

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.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.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 last 50 years.Essentially all of these strongly favor an old Earth.

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Another method is to make age measurements on several samples from the same rock unit.