Topics: Does radiometric dating debunk the bible?
There are many different kinds of radiometric dating and not all conclusions we will reach can be extrapolated to all methods used. Also, different radiometric dating techniques independently converges with each other and with other dating techniques such as dendrochronology, layers in sediment, growth rings on corals, rhythmic layering of ice in glaciers, magnetostratigraphy, fission tracks and many other methods. This serves as strong evidence for the reliability of radiometric dating methods.
But wait a second! Doesn’t this assume that the rocks are closed systems? Surely, if some daughter nuclei left the rock or parent nuclei entered the rock, the dates would come out all wrong! While this is technically true, there are several mini-industries dedicated developing methods and techniques to make sure that there is no contamination and check to see if the rocks where disturbed between forming and being tested by scientists. How is this done? Let’s find out!
If a rock is heated during its lifetime, the system gets disturbed and some of the parent and/or daughter isotopes may move in or out of the rock. If so, the data will not fall on an isochron line, but will be all over the place. This tells scientists that the sample has been disturbed and cannot be dated with this particular method. So far from rejecting samples because they do not fit a preconceived notion of what the age should be, scientists reject samples because there is ample evidence that it has been disturbed: the data points do not lie on the isochron lines.