Start How radiometric dating works

How radiometric dating works

For example, a geologist may examine a cutting where the rocks appear as shown in Figure 1.

In fact, he would have been equally happy with any date a bit less than 200 million years or a bit more than 30 million years.

They would all have fitted nicely into the field relationships that he had observed and his interpretation of them.

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.

Our geologist would be very happy with this result.

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!

(Creationists do not agree with these ages of millions of years because of the assumptions they are based on.) Because of his interest in the volcanic dyke, he collects a sample, being careful to select rock that looks fresh and unaltered.