Radiometric dating example

First, it provides no evidence whatsoever to support their claim that the earth is very young.If the earth were only 6000–10 000 years old, then surely there should be some scientific evidence to confirm that hypothesis; yet the creationists have produced not a shred of it so far.It will probably fail, but what would a reasonable person conclude from that? All they indicate is that the methods are not infallible.Those of us who have developed and used dating techniques to solve scientific problems are well aware that the systems are not perfect; we ourselves have provided numerous examples of instances in which the techniques fail.

These methods provide valuable and valid age data in most instances, although there is a small percentage of cases in which even these generally reliable methods yield incorrect results.The heat of the impact melted some of the feldspar crystals in the granitic rocks of the impact zone, thereby resetting their internal radiometric clocks.These melted crystals, and therefore the impact, have been dated by the 40Ar/39Ar method at 74.1 Ma (million years; Izett and others 1998), but that is not the whole story by a long shot.The Pierre Shale, which is divided into identifiable sedimentary beds called members, also contains abundant fossils of numerous species of ammonites, ancestors of the chambered nautilus.The fossils, when combined with geologic mapping, allow the various exposed sections of the Pierre Shale to be pieced together in their proper relative positions to form a complete composite section (Figure 1).Other creationists have focused on instances in which radiometric dating seems to yield incorrect results.In most instances, these efforts are flawed because the authors have misunderstood or misrepresented the data they attempt to analyze (for example, Woodmorappe 1979; Morris HM 1985; Morris JD 1994).I could have selected many more examples but then this would have turned into a book rather than the intended short paper.The Manson Meteorite Impact and the Pierre Shale In the Cretaceous Period, a large meteorite struck the earth at a location near the present town of Manson, Iowa.Such failures may be due to laboratory errors (mistakes happen), unrecognized geologic factors (nature sometimes fools us), or misapplication of the techniques (no one is perfect).In order to accomplish their goal of discrediting radiometric dating, however, creationists are faced with the daunting task of showing that a preponderance of radiometric ages are wrong — that the methods are untrustworthy most of the time.

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