Scientific dating method failures

Sometimes only one method is possible, reducing the confidence researchers have in the results. “They’re based on ‘it’s that old because I say so,’ a popular approach by some of my older colleagues,” says Shea, laughing, “though I find I like it myself as I get more gray hair.” Kidding aside, dating a find is crucial for understanding its significance and relation to other fossils or artifacts.Methods fall into one of two categories: relative or absolute. Steve Austin and his associates at the Institute for Creation 'Research' (ICR) collected a dacite sample from Mt. Helens, Washington State, USA, which probably erupted in 1986 AD. then ineffectively separated the sample into several mineral and glass 'fractions', submitted the dacite and its 'fractions' for potassium 40-argon 40 (K-Ar) dating, and subsequently used the bogus results to inappropriately attack the K-Ar method. Considering that the half-life of potassium-40 (40K) is fairly long (1,250 million years, Mc Dougall and Harrison, 1999, p.

However, isochron dating bypasses this assumption, as explained below. The final condition is the number of atoms of parent and daughter isotopes remaining in the rock and can easily be measured in a lab.

Biostratigraphy: One of the first and most basic scientific dating methods is also one of the easiest to understand.

Layers of rock build one atop another — find a fossil or artifact in one layer, and you can reasonably assume it’s older than anything above it.

Radioactive decay has become one of the most useful methods for determining the age of formation of rocks.

However, in the very principal of radiometric dating there are several vital assumptions that have to be made in order for the age to be considered valid.

Leave a Reply