For additional discussion, see Radiocarbon dating. For example, out of literally tens of thousands of dates measured using the rubidium-strontium dating scheme see description of the Rb-Sr scheme in Ages , only about 30 cases have been noted where the individual data values initially appeared to lie nearly on a straight line as is required , but the result was later found to be significantly in error. 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. The three isotopes don't occur equally either, He wrote [ Dalrymple , pg. Scientists have also performed very exacting experiments to detect any change in the constants or laws of physics over time, but various lines of evidence indicate that these laws have been in force, essentially the same as we observe them today, over the multi-billion-year age of the universe. 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. It is very easy to calculate the original parent abundance, but that information is not needed to date the rock. And each of these 30 cases is fairly well understood -- none of these is truly "mysterious" [ Wien ]. No one has measured the decay rates directly; we only know them from inference. Carbon dating cannot be used to date anything older than about 50, years, since the carbon half life is only years. Used mass spectrometers are currently available at eBay. Willard Libby and his colleague Ernest Anderson showed that methane collected from sewage works had measurable radiocarbon activity whereas methane produced from petroleum did not. But recently the prices of these devices have dropped to levels that even amateur meteorite hunters and others can afford. 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.
In some cases a batch of the pure parent material is weighed and then set aside for a long time and then the resulting daughter material is weighed. This is not true at all. As soon as a plant or animal dies, they stop the metabolic function of carbon uptake and with no replenishment of radioactive carbon, the amount of 14C in their tissues starts to reduce as the 14C atoms decay. It is true that some "anomalies" have been observed, although keep in mind that these have been identified by professional scientists in published literature, not by creationists or others outside of peer-reviewed scientific literature. Any material which is composed of carbon may be dated. The decay rates are poorly known, so the dates are inaccurate. For additional discussion, see Radiocarbon dating. 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. 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. There are well over forty different radiometric dating methods, and scores of other methods such as tree rings and ice cores. But there is no way to measure how much parent element was originally there. Several hundred laboratories around the world are active in radiometric dating. This shows we should not trust radiometric dating. The radiocarbon dating method is based on the rate of decay of the radioactive or unstable 14C which is formed in the upper atmosphere through the effect of cosmic ray neutrons upon nitrogen 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. The reasons are discussed in the Potassium-Argon Dating section [of Wiens' article]. This is not at all true, though it is implied by some young-Earth literature. The slope of the line determines the date, and the closeness of fit is a measure of the statistical reliability of the resulting date. It is done by comparing the ratios of parent and daughter isotopes relative to a stable isotope for samples with different relative amounts of the parent isotope. Essentially all of these strongly favor an old Earth. Well over forty different radiometric dating methods are in use, and a number of non-radiogenic methods not even mentioned here. There are actually many more methods out there. If the half-lives are billions of years, it is impossible to determine them from measuring over just a few years or decades. 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. Also, as the authors of the article were careful to explain, xenoliths cannot be dated by the K-Ar method because of excess argon in bubbles trapped inside [ Dalrymple ]. 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. Reliability of radiometric dating So, are radiometric methods foolproof?
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