Isotope dating accuracy
Would he have concluded that the fossil date for the sediments was wrong? Would he have thought that the radiometric dating method was flawed? Instead of questioning the method, he would say that the radiometric date was not recording the time that the rock solidified.He may suggest that the rock contained crystals (called xenocrysts) that formed long before the rock solidified and that these crystals gave an older date.In other words, the age should lie between 197.2 million years and 203.6 million years.However, this error is not the real error on the date.(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.On his return, he sends his sample to the laboratory for dating, and after a few weeks receives the lab report.He would say that the date represents the time when the volcanic lava solidified.Such an interpretation fits nicely into the range of what he already believes the age to be.
What would our geologist think if the date from the lab were less than 30 million years, say 10.1 ± 1.8 million years? Or he may decide that the rock had been affected by a localized heating event—one strong enough to disturb the chemicals, but not strong enough to be visible in the field.Let us imagine that the date reported by the lab was 150.7 ± 2.8 million years.