Three methods of radiometric dating

Other dating techniques, like K-Ar (potassium-argon and its more recent variant 40Ar/39Ar), Rb-Sr (rubidium-strontium), Sm-Nd (samarium-neodynium), Lu-Hf (lutetium-hafnium), and U-Pb (uranium-lead and its variant Pb-Pb), have all stood the test of time.These methods provide valuable and valid age data in most instances, although there is a small percentage of cases in which even these generally reliable methods yield incorrect results.Even things that work well do not work well all of the time and under all circumstances.Try, for example, wearing a watch that is not waterproof while swimming. A few verified examples of incorrect radiometric ages are simply insufficient to prove that radiometric dating is invalid.It is rare for a study involving radiometric dating to contain a single determination of age.Usually determinations of age are repeated to avoid laboratory errors, are obtained on more than one rock unit or more than one mineral from a rock unit in order to provide a cross-check, or are evaluated using other geologic information that can be used to test and corroborate the radiometric ages.Scientists who use radiometric dating typically use every means at their disposal to check, recheck, and verify their results, and the more important the results the more they are apt to be checked and rechecked by others.As a result, it is nearly impossible to be completely fooled by a good set of radiometric age data collected as part of a well-designed experiment.

Creationists seem to think that a few examples of incorrect radiometric ages invalidate all of the results of radiometric dating, but such a conclusion is illogical.

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).

In order to accomplish their goal of discrediting radiometric dating, however, creationists are faced with the daunting task of showing that a preponderance of radiometric ages are wrong — that the methods are untrustworthy most of the time.

First, it provides no evidence whatsoever to support their claim that the earth is very young.

If the earth were only 6000–10 000 years old, then surely there should be some scientific evidence to confirm that hypothesis; yet the creationists have produced not a shred of it so far.

The heat of the impact melted some of the feldspar crystals in the granitic rocks of the impact zone, thereby resetting their internal radiometric clocks.

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