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Radiometric dating methods flaws

The field relationships are generally broad, and a wide range of ‘dates’ can be interpreted as the time when the lava solidified.

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!

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

Even different samples of rock collected from the same outcrop would give a larger scatter of results. He would again say that the calculated age did not represent the time when the rock solidified.

Clearly, Sedimentary Rocks A were deposited and deformed before the Volcanic Dyke intruded them.

These were then eroded and Sedimentary Rocks B were deposited.The geologist may have found some fossils in Sedimentary Rocks A and discovered that they are similar to fossils found in some other rocks in the region.He assumes therefore that Sedimentary Rocks A are the same age as the other rocks in the region, which have already been dated by other Tas Walker A geologist works out the relative age of a rock by carefully studying where the rock is found in the field.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.From his research, our evolutionary geologist may have discovered that other geologists believe that Sedimentary Rocks A are 200 million years old and Sedimentary Rocks B are 30 million years old.Thus, he already ‘knows’ that the igneous dyke must be younger than 200 million years and older than 30 million years.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.

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