The half-life of a certain type of carbon dating is a lie does not describe the exact amount of time that every single atom experiences before decaying.
This is a digitized version of an article from The Times's print archive, before the start of online publication in To preserve these articles as. This is a digitized version of an article from The Times's print archive, before the start of online publication in To preserve these articles as. One of the most essential tools for determining an ancient object's age, carbon dating, might not be as accurate as we once thought. Many people think that radiometric dating has proved the Earth is millions of years In other words, the age should lie between million years and .
Such small uncertainties are no reason to dismiss radiometric dating. All of the dating schemes work from knowing the present abundances of the parent and daughter isotopes. Claim: There are only a few different dating methods. Response: [Wiens' article] has listed and discussed a number of different radiometric dating methods and has also briefly described a number of non-radiometric dating methods. Well over forty different radiometric dating methods are in use, and a number of non-radiogenic methods not even mentioned here.
Claim: A young-Earth research group reported that they sent a rock erupted in from Mount Saint Helens volcano to a dating lab and got back a potassium-argon age of several million years. This shows we should not trust radiometric dating. Response: There are indeed ways to "trick" radiometric carbon dating is a lie if a single dating method is improperly used on a sample.
The reasons are discussed in the Potassium-Argon Dating section [of Wiens' article]. Be assured that multiple dating methods used together on igneous rocks are almost always correct unless the sample is too difficult to date due to factors such as metamorphism or a large fraction of xenoliths.