# Absolute or radiometric dating

*16-Jul-2017 21:52*

It depends on the accuracy of the measurements and the fit of the data to the line in each individual case.) For example, with Rb/Sr isochron dating, any age less than a few tens of millions of years is usually indistinguishable from zero.That encompasses the entire young-Earth timescale thousands of times over." in the decay equation.An additional nice feature of isochron ages is that an "uncertainty" in the age is automatically computed from the fit of the data to a line.A routine statistical operation on the set of data yields both a slope of the best-fit line (an age) and a variance in the slope (an uncertainty in the age).Whether there's a data point on the Y-axis or not, the Y-intercept of the line doesn't change as the slope of the isochron line does (as shown in Figure 5).

General comments on "dating assumptions" All radiometric dating methods require, in order to produce accurate ages, certain initial conditions and lack of contamination over time.

There are minor differences between isotopes of the same element, and in relatively rare circumstances it is possible to obtain some amount of differentiation between them. The effect is almost always a very small departure from homogeneous distribution of the isotopes -- perhaps enough to introduce an error of 0.002 half-lives in a non-isochron age. but it is rare and the effect is not large enough to account for extremely old ages on supposedly young formations.) as minerals form.

This results in a range of X-values for the data points representing individual minerals.

The wonderful property of isochron methods is: if one of these requirements is violated, it is nearly certain that the data will indicate the problem by failure to plot on a line.

(This topic will be discussed in much more detail below.) Where the simple methods will produce an incorrect age, isochron methods will generally indicate the unsuitability of the object for dating.Isochron methods avoid the problems which can potentially result from both of the above assumptions.Isochron dating requires a fourth measurement to be taken, which is the amount of a different isotope of the same element as the daughter product of radioactive decay.However, the methods must be used with care -- and one should be cautious about investing much confidence in the resulting age...