# Why is radioactive dating unreliable in most situations

Dr meert shows where different radiometric methods return concordant dates for a given sample or region if radiometric dating really does not work, one would not expect different methods to return concordant ages one more example of consistency, that leads to. The overall reliability of radiometric dating was addressed in some detail in a recent book by brent dalrymple, a premier expert in the field he wrote [ dalrymple2004, pg 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. Instead, it would be far more accurate to say that scientists attempt to estimate the age of something thus, the “ages” assigned to rocks on the basis of radiometric dating are not measurements rather they are estimates this is an important distinction because a measurement is direct, objective, repeatable. However, conditions may have been different in the past and could have influenced the rate of decay or formation of radioactive elements scientists place great faith in this dating method, and yet more than 50% of radiocarbon dates from geological and archaeological samples of northeastern north. Many absolute dating techniques take advantage of radioactive decay, whereby a radioactive form of an element is converted into another radioactive isotope pollen that ends up in lakebeds or peat bogs is the most likely to be preserved, but pollen may also become fossilized in arid conditions if the soil is acidic or cool. If you want to study what creationists say about radiometric dating in depth, i recommend three books, the mythology of modern dating methods and studies in flood geology, both by john woodmorappe and creation's woodmorappe shows that even the published results are enough to render the method as unreliable.

Discussion on the inaccuracies found using the carbon-14 dating method, and the various other radioactive dating methods plus evidence for a much younger earth we can take a sample of air, count how many 12c atoms there are for every 14c atom, and calculate the 14c/12c ratio because 14c is so well mixed up. Radiocarbon dating, which is used to calculate the age of certain organic materials, has been found to be unreliable, and sometimes wildly so - a discovery that could upset previous studies on climate change, scientists from china and germany said in a new paper their recent analysis of sediment from. Just the fact that there are so many fossils shows that the great sedimentary deposits on earth had to have formed rapidly, because well-preserved fossils do not form under conditions of gradual sedimentation so what exactly is wrong with radiometric dating how can we explain the fact that these dating.

The reliability of radiometric dating is subject to three unprovable assumptions that every geologist must make when using the radioactive “clock” no geologists were present when most rocks formed, so they cannot test whether the original rocks already contained daughter isotopes alongside their. Users of 14c ages should be aware of the practice in calculating routinely quoted errors although the carbon cycle (eg death of an organism) λ = decay constant (ln2/t½) where t½ = 5568 yr (libby half-life) at = the bulk cellulose sample) under as near-identical conditions as are practicable, then we will most likely. [i] naturalists still make assumptions even if they try to say that they don't have to know initial conditions there are many assumptions that have to be made when using radiometric dating methods that might make these techniques unreliable if any of these assumptions are wrong, then the reliability of the. As someone who has studied radioactivity in detail, i have always been a bit amused by the assertion that radioactive dating is a precise way to that i read enough to convince me that radiometric dating had some significant assumptions that warranted more skepticism about their reliability for age dating.

Photo gallery of dating errors click to view scientific if the radiometric dating problem has been solved in this manner, then why do we need isochrons, which are claimed to be more accurate the same indeed, there are a number of conditions on the reliability of radiometric dating for example, for. This orientation is not an assumption, because in virtually all situations, it is also possible to determine the original way up in the stratigraphic succession from way up indicators for example, wave ripples have their pointed crests on the up side, and more rounded troughs on the down side many.

As explained below, the radiocarbon date tells us when the organism was alive ( not when the material was used) this fact should always be remembered when using radiocarbon dates the dating process is always designed to try to extract the carbon from a sample which is most representative of the original organism. Carbon dating's not unreliable, it's just not useful for samples older than about 50,000 years, because by that time there's too little carbon-14 left in the sample to well, unless you want to be really pedantic about the cladistics of the situation, in which case there are dinosaur bones in my rubbish bin that are just a couple of. Dating - principles of isotopic dating: all absolute isotopic ages are based on radioactive decay, a process whereby a specific atom or isotope is converted into another specific atom or isotope at a constant and known rate most elements exist in different atomic forms that are identical in their chemical properties but differ in. These techniques are somewhat similar to the radiometric methods of dating rocks, which i shad consider in a little more detail (for an excellent and exhaustive explanations of the errors in creationist arguments about dating methods have been given by stephen brush (1982,1996) and brent dalrymple ( 1994) my aim.

## Why is radioactive dating unreliable in most situations

Radiometric dating techniques indicate that the earth is thousands of times older than that--approximately four and a half billion years old many christians accept this and interpret the genesis account in less scientifically literal ways however, some christians suggest that the geologic dating techniques are unreliable, that. And radioactive dating is so shrouded with mystery that many don't even try to understand how the method works they just believe it must be right but the basic concept of a swimming race is a familiar situation that illustrates the simple principles involved in measuring time once we understand what we. Efforts to salvage carbon dating are many and varied, with calibration curves attempting to bring the c-14 dates in line with historical dates, but these produce predictably unreliable results a back to genesis way of thinking insists that the flood of noah's day would have removed a great deal of the world's carbon from.

All radiometric dating systems are range the 2004 calibration set is here basically, the calibration curves are off by no more than 16 years over the historical range (6,000 years or so) and no more than 163 years over the last 20,000 years that's less than 1% if you're interested in that sort of thing. 1 an age could be estimated by measuring the amount of carbon-14 present in the sample and comparing this against an internationally used reference standard the impact of the radiocarbon dating technique on modern man has made it one of the most significant discoveries of the 20th century no other scientific method. Radioactive isotopes are unstable and will decay into more stable isotopes of other elements one common radiometric dating method is the uranium-lead method this involves uranium isotopes with an atomic mass of 238 this is the most common form of uranium it decays by a 14-step process into. In many cases, the daughter nuclide itself is radioactive, resulting in a decay chain, eventually ending with the formation of a stable (nonradioactive) daughter nuclide each step in such a chain is characterized by a distinct half-life in these cases, usually the half-life of interest in radiometric dating is the longest one in the.

Radiocarbon dating of soils has always been a tricky problem since organic matter is continually being introduced into the soil, the measured age of soil organic matter has always tended to underestimate the true age of the soil [1] historically, a solution has been to separate the portion of the soil sample. But is radiometric dating really the objective hard science many believe it to be by “objective repeatable: given the same initial conditions, those parameters should be the same regardless of who performs the operations predictable: yet this is precisely the situation we have with radiometric dating. Carbon dating is discussed with emphasis on the practical implications for users of dates the four topics which rather special nature of the bristlecone growth conditions, caution dictates that these calibrations for the reliability of the solid state electronic equipment on which most modern counting systems are based.