How accurate is dating fossils
A young-Earth research group reported that they sent a rock erupted in from Mount Saint Helens volcano to a dating lab and got back a potassium-argon age of several million years. These different techniques do not contradict one another, but in fact support the timeline that has been identified. In fact new geologic time scales are published every few years, providing the latest dates for major time lines. The strict rules of the scientific method ensure the accuracy of fossil 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. The 'progress' shown by the fossils was a documentation of the grand pattern of evolution through long spans of time. The example given in the section [in Wiens' article] titled, "The Radiometric Clocks" shows that an accurate determination of the half-life is easily achieved by direct counting of decays over a decade or shorter. To date a rock one must know the original amount of the parent element.
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. And each of these 30 cases is fairly well understood -- none of these is truly "mysterious" [ Wien ]. Carbon dating cannot be used to date anything older than about 50, years, since the carbon half life is only years. Radioactive decay rates have been measured for over sixty years now for many of the decay clocks without any observed changes. The scheme worked all round the world, without fail. One does relative dating by observing fossils sequences using the stratigraphical method. Besides the order of fossils in the rocks, another method is the use phylogenetic trees. Discussions about Science, Evolution, and the Nature of the Universe. An isotope is an atom having the same number of protons in its nucleus as other varieties of the element but has a different number of neutrons. Note, for instance, that light coming to earth from distant stars which in some cases emanated billions of years ago reflects the same patterns of atomic spectra, based in the laws of quantum mechanics, that we see today. Obviously, things with short half-lives aren't useful for dating things that happened a really long time ago enough half-lives will have passed so that they're all nonradioactive and will stay that way. We call it the "half-life" because, statistically, you can rely on estimating that half of a given sample will have decayed changed weight in that amount of time. These different techniques do not contradict one another, but in fact support the timeline that has been identified. It is very easy to calculate the original parent abundance, but that information is not needed to date the rock. Here is a blog post I wrote about how C dating works and an application to the Shroud of Turin: When they die, the timer starts ticking, and all the radioactive isotopes remaining in the corpse start to decay at their predictable rates. Responses to specific creationist claims Wiens' online article, mentioned above, is an excellent resource for countering claims of creationists on the reliability of geologic dating. At the oldest, or deepest layer of rock there was no record of fossils, but then they noticed that simple sea creatures were found at the next higher level, then more complex ones like fishes at the next higher level and so on. The reasons are discussed in the Potassium-Argon Dating section [of Wiens' article]. From this one can determine how much of the daughter isotope would be present if there had been no parent isotope. Along this line, Roger Wiens, a scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, asks those who are skeptical of radiometric dating to consider the following quoted in several cases from [ Wiens ]: The next step was for geologists began to build up the stratigraphic column. Be assured that multiple dating methods used together on igneous rocks are almost always correct unless the sample is too difficult to date due to factors such as metamorphism or a large fraction of xenoliths. Whether a rock is million years or million years old does not make a great deal of difference. 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.
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