Radiological dating

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.

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.

In a related article on geologic ages (Ages), we presented a chart with the various geologic eras and their ages.

In a separate article (Radiometric dating), we sketched in some technical detail how these dates are calculated using radiometric dating techniques.

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.

For example, creationist writer Henry Morris [Morris2000, pg.

Several hundred laboratories around the world are active in radiometric dating.

Their results consistently agree with an old Earth.

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).

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The isochron techniques are partly based on this principle.

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