Radioisotope dating assumptions

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No matter what the radiometric date turned out to be, our geologist would always be able to ‘interpret’ it.He would simply change his assumptions about the history of the rock to explain the result in a plausible way. Wasserburg, who received the 1986 Crafoord Prize in Geosciences, said, ‘There are no bad chronometers, only bad interpretations of them!(Creationists do not agree with these ages of millions of years because of the assumptions they are based on.) Because of his interest in the volcanic dyke, he collects a sample, being careful to select rock that looks fresh and unaltered.On his return, he sends his sample to the laboratory for dating, and after a few weeks receives the lab report.In other words, the age should lie between 197.2 million years and 203.6 million years.However, this error is not the real error on the date.Let us imagine that the date reported by the lab was 150.7 ± 2.8 million years.Our geologist would be very happy with this result.

The field relationships, as they are called, are of primary importance and all radiometric dates are evaluated against them.

He would say that the date represents the time when the volcanic lava solidified.

Such an interpretation fits nicely into the range of what he already believes the age to be.

In fact, he would have been equally happy with any date a bit less than 200 million years or a bit more than 30 million years.

They would all have fitted nicely into the field relationships that he had observed and his interpretation of them.

It relates only to the accuracy of the measuring equipment in the laboratory.

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