Radiometric dating of potassium
Other dating techniques, like K-Ar (potassium-argon and its more recent variant 40Ar/39Ar), Rb-Sr (rubidium-strontium), Sm-Nd (samarium-neodynium), Lu-Hf (lutetium-hafnium), and U-Pb (uranium-lead and its variant Pb-Pb), have all stood the test of time.
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.
Even things that work well do not work well all of the time and under all circumstances.
Try, for example, wearing a watch that is not waterproof while swimming. A few verified examples of incorrect radiometric ages are simply insufficient to prove that radiometric dating is invalid.
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.
Other creationists have focused on instances in which radiometric dating seems to yield incorrect results.
As a result, it is nearly impossible to be completely fooled by a good set of radiometric age data collected as part of a well-designed experiment.
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).
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.
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Radiometric dating of rocks and minerals using naturally occurring, long-lived radioactive isotopes is troublesome for young-earth creationists because the techniques have provided overwhelming evidence of the antiquity of the earth and life.