How reliable is radiometric dating

These are often characterised as the norm, rather than the exception.I thought it would be useful to present an example where the geology is simple, and unsurprisingly, the method does work well, to show the quality of data that would have to be invalidated before a major revision of the geologic time scale could be accepted by conventional scientists.When I have asked an audience this question they have looked at me incredulously and said, “Starting time?” You cannot know how long the swimmer took unless you knew the time on the wristwatch when the race started.

However, a recent analysis using state-of-the-art equipment found that a basic assumption underlying one of these clock systems needs to be re-evaluated.This age was based on the belief that the rate of decay has been constant, and that Uranium 238 will be present in a known ratio to Uranium 235.The varying quantities of these isotopes call into question the calculated age of the solar system, since “one of the equation’s assumptions — that certain kinds of uranium always appear in the same relative quantities in meteorites — is wrong.” CAIs are “calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions” found in the meteorite.The differing amounts of material that were found in separate samplings of the same meteorite were unexpected.The current standard age assigned to the solar system of 4.6 billion years was determined by studying the Uranium-to-Lead decay systems in meteorites, which are assumed to have formed before the planets did.

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