How do we know radiometric dating is accurate
Most scientists and many Christians believe that the radiometric dating methods prove that the earth is 4.5 billion years old.The textbooks speak of the radiometric dating techniques, and the dates themselves, as factual information.Recent puzzling observations of tiny variations in nuclear decay rates have led some to question the science behind carbon-14 dating and similar techniques.However scientists tested the hypothesis that solar radiation might affect the rate at which radioactive elements decay and found no detectable effect.For example, a problem I have worked on involving the eruption of a volcano at what is now Naples, Italy, occurred 38500 years ago with a plus or minus of 300 years.So, when the materials are appropriate and one carefully avoids contamination and re setting radiometric clocks can be VERY ACCURATE.
Some critics, particularly religious fundamentalists, argue that neither fossils nor dating can be trusted, and that their interpretations are better.
Recent research by a team of creation scientists known as the RATE (arth) group has demonstrated the unreliability of radiometric dating techniques.
Even the use of isochron dating, which is supposed to eliminate some initial condition assumptions, produces dates that are not reliable.
Far from being data, these dates are actually interpretations of the data.
As discussed before, the assumptions influence the interpretation of the data.
Atoms of radioactive isotopes are unstable and decay over time by shooting off particles at a fixed rate, transmuting the material into a more stable substance.