Radiometric dating reliability

Since 1955 the estimate for the age of the Earth has been based on the assumption that certain meteorite lead isotope ratios are equivalent to the primordial lead isotope ratios on Earth.

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Before 1955, ages for the Earth based on uranium/thorium/lead ratios were generally about a billion years younger than the currently popular 4.5 billion years. old Earth is reviewed and deficiencies of the uranium/lead method are discussed.

The basic theory of radiometric dating is briefly reviewed.

However, human beings love to see factual precision, and we want to know how old something is.

Please remember that all dating methods, even those termed "absolute," are subject to margins of error. That is a very small amount of possible error range. Modern studies almost always use two or more methods to confirm dating work and to build confidence in the results obtained.

Dating is not necessary to demonstrate that evolution is a fact.

Chronological sequence is all that is really required.

Potassium is a common element found in many materials, such as micas, clay minerals, tephra, and evaporites.

In these materials, the decay product Ar is able to escape the liquid (molten) rock, but starts to accumulate when the rock solidifies (recrystallizes).

For each dating or chronological method there is a link in the box at right to take you to that section of this page.

There, you will find a brief description of the method, plus links to take you to other webpages with more extensive information.

The amount of Argon sublimation that occurs is a function of the purity of the sample, the composition of the mother material, and a number of other factors.

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