Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Radiometric Dating: Clear or Foggy?

         Radiometric dating of rocks may not be as black and white as you may think. Often, mainstream science mentions the results of radiometric dating in publications without mentioning that it may be off significantly of just plain wrong. They present this persona that radiometric dating is absolute, authoritative,  not to be challenged, and always accurate. If you read closely you can find publications that mention how they had to date something numerous times to get the date they expected or that they had to try a different radiometric dating method. If you look you can also find information about the assumptions that radiometric dating uses.

For example Wikipedia says the K-Ar dating requires five assumptions to be true in order for this dating method to be accurate.
K–Ar dating - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

You may think all of these assumptions are very well established, but they will still always be assumptions.  Just the thought of science using assumptions does not sound flawless does it? What if an assumption is wrong? How will that affect the results? Maybe radiometric is not so clear after all.

Then there is this statement:
"Due to the long half-life, the technique is most applicable for dating minerals and rocks more than 100,000 years old. For shorter timescales, it is unlikely that enough argon-40 will have had time to accumulate in order to be accurately measurable."

This statement is not listed in the assumptions section, but is presenting one nonetheless.  If this dating method is only for rocks older than 100,000 years, then it assumes that rocks older than 100,000 years exist.

Further reading:
Radiometric Dating Questions and Answers

No comments:

Post a Comment