Radiometric dating not accurate
Let us imagine that the date reported by the lab was 150.7 ± 2.8 million years.
Our geologist would be very happy with this result.
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.
’ In fact, there is a whole range of standard explanations that geologists use to ‘interpret’ radiometric dating results.
Someone may ask, ‘Why do geologists still use radiometric dating?
It is clear that the sedimentary rock was deposited and folded before the dyke was squeezed into place.
By looking at other outcrops in the area, our geologist is able to draw a geological map which records how the rocks are related to each other in the field.
They would all have fitted nicely into the field relationships that he had observed and his interpretation of them.
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.
The field relationships are generally broad, and a wide range of ‘dates’ can be interpreted as the time when the lava solidified.
What would our geologist have thought if the date from the lab had been greater than 200 million years, say 350.5 ± 4.3 million years?
It relates only to the accuracy of the measuring equipment in the laboratory.