Radiogenic dating techniques
Whenever possible we design an age study to take advantage of other ways of checking the reliability of the age measurements.
The simplest means is to repeat the analytical measurements in order to check for laboratory errors.
Some [skeptics] make it sound like there is a lot of disagreement, but this is not the case.
The disagreement in values needed to support the position of young-earth proponents would require differences in age measured by orders of magnitude (e.g., factors of 10,000, 100,000, a million, or more).
Radioactive decay rates have been measured for over sixty years now for many of the decay clocks without any observed changes.
And it has been close to a hundred years since the uranium-238 decay rate was first determined.
147] has highlighted the fact that measurements of specimens from a 1801 lava flow near a volcano in Hualalai, Hawaii gave apparent ages (using the Potassium-Argon method) ranging from 160 million to 2.96 billion years, citing a 1968 study [Funkhouser1968].
For example, creationist writer Henry Morris [Morris2000, pg.
Other objections raised by creationists are addressed in [Dalrymple2006a].
The overall reliability of radiometric dating was addressed in some detail in a recent book by Brent Dalrymple, a premier expert in the field. 80-81]: These methods provide valid age data in most instances, although there is a small percentage of instances in which even these generally reliable methods yield incorrect results.
As we pointed out in these two articles, radiometric dates are based on known rates of radioactivity, a phenomenon that is rooted in fundamental laws of physics and follows simple mathematical formulas.
Dating schemes based on rates of radioactivity have been refined and scrutinized for several decades.
Such failures may be due to laboratory errors (mistakes happen), unrecognized geologic factors (nature sometimes fools us), or misapplication of the techniques (no one is perfect).