Reasons radiometric dating is accurate

Surely, if some daughter nuclei left the rock or parent nuclei entered the rock, the dates would come out all wrong! Follow Debunking Denialism on Facebook or Twitter for new updates.

While this is technically true, there are several mini-industries dedicated developing methods and techniques to make sure that there is no contamination and check to see if the rocks where disturbed between forming and being tested by scientists. On of the great things about many forms of radiometric dating is that they are self-checking.

There are many different kinds of radiometric dating and not all conclusions we will reach can be extrapolated to all methods used.

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But what about assuming that initial amounts are known?

A second property of isochron diagrams is that it actually gives the initial amount of daughter isotope as a result of the method. At this intersect, the ratio of parent/(another stable isotope of the same element as the daughter) is by definition 0 and so no amount of the daughter here is produced by decay of the parent in the rock.

A very common claim of young earth creationists in trying to reject the evidence for an old earth is to loudly proclaim that radiometric dating methods “makes assumptions” and that these “assumptions” are somehow fatally flawed or not supported by evidence.

These claims generally land in three different categories: (1) radiometric dating assumes that initial conditions (concentrations of mother and daughter nuclei) are known, (2) radiometric dating assumes that rocks are closed systems and (3) radiometric dating assumes that decay rates are constant.

This serves as strong evidence for the reliability of radiometric dating methods. These isotopes differ in the number of neutrons they have in their nuclei.

Those isotopes that are not stable decay into daughter nuclei.

Most young earth creationists reject all of these points.

As a scientific skeptics, we ask ourselves: is this really the case?

The initial conditions are just read off the graph; it is not just assumed.

In a last ditch effort, young earth creationists exclaim that scientists just assume, without warrant, that decay rate are constant. Decay rates have been shown to be constant, despite very high pressure and temperature.

That is, you can see if the sample comes from rocks that have been disturbed (or contaminated) or not just by looking at the results.

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