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Radiometric dating is based on the decay of radioactive isotopes in to stable isotopes. Isotopes are varieties of an element, based on number of neutrons in nucleus. The above illustration is the U238 - Pb206 series. U238 is the parent isotope and the others are daughter isotopes. The Pb206 is the final daughter isotope and the one used in radiometric dating.
Now when scientists date an object they do not hook it up to their Acme Dating Machine which spits out a date. They only measure isotope ratios not dates. The ratios are then used with assumptions of the dating method being used to calculate a date. The main assumption is that these ratios are the result of decay over time, how ever they could be produced by other processes.
Uinkaret Plateau in the Grand Canyon.
Ages are in Millions of Years.
|K-Ar||Rb-Sr||Rb-Sr Isochron||Pb-Pb Isochron|
|0.01||1230 - 1310||1300 - 1380||2390 - 2810|
|1.0 - 1.4||1260 - 1380|
|2.63||1310 - 1370|
|3.6||1320 - 1440|
|3.67||1360 - 1420|
Derived from chart at Radioactive Dating Explained - Part 2
The above chart shows that using different radiometric dating methods on the same rock one can get radically different ages. The above example ranges from 10,000 to 2.81 Billion years. Now the Earth is alleged to be 4.5 Billion years old , this means the possible ages for this rock formation cover more than half the age claimed for the Earth, and covers every geologic age from precambrian to the present.
Also as can be seen above different samples of the same rock will can produce different ages for the same method. K-Ar dates range from 10,000 to 3.64 million years and Rb-Sr ranges from 1.23 to 1.44 Billion years. The Rb-Sr has some over lapping ages, non of which cover all 5 dates, and the K-Ar has no over lapping ages.
On July 20th, 1969 Astronauts landed on the moon for the first time. When they brought back soil from the Moon and it was dated in labs the results showed the soil as more than a billion years older than the Moon was alleged to be. The discrepancy was explained by process of heating and cooling that the soil had been through. So why can't the entire date be the result of such process?
If that is not bad enough some methods can give negative ages. So if observed isotope ratios are the result of decay over time, then you can hold a rock in your hand that isn't going to form for another 10 million years.
The way around these problems is that all dating methods calibrated are to geologic column. In that dates that agree with it are accepted, while dates disagree with it, dismissed as a contaminated sample. This is not accusing Evolutionists of cooking the books nor does it require a conspiracy. Rather it is just a result of assuming that the theory has been proven, and that any discrepancies are accounted for with in the theory. They are not considered a reason questioned it. This makes independent testing of these dating methods impossible, since published discrepant dates are rear.
Radioactive Dating Explained - Part 2
Unreliability of Radiometric Dating and Old Age of the Earth