Examples of inaccurate radiometric dating, more Bad News for Radiometric Dating
The relative concentrations of lead isotopes are measured in the vicinity of a rock. Perfect crystals are very rare. However, if the crust is enriched in lead or impoverished in uranium before the mixing, then the age of the isochron will be increased. But my inclination is to think that the same kinds of mixing processes that produce isochrons can also produce discordia. He comes closest to recognizing the fact that the Sr concentration is a third or confounding variable in the isochron simple linear regression.
Often one does not get a straight line for the values. So we see that it is actually not much harder to get an isochron yielding a given age than it is to get a single rock yielding a given age.
Or maybe the uranium poor rocks crystallize out first and the remaining magma is enriched in uranium. Any process that enriches or impoverishes part of the magma in lead or uranium before such a mixing will have a similar effect. The correlation was not very good.
In reality, I would expect that crystal growth would be blocked locally by various things, possibly particles in the way. Let N p be the concentration of some non-radiogenic not generated by radioactive decay isotope of D at point p. Such a distribution would give the appearance of age.
Either it is the result of an unknown decay process, or it is the result of fractionation which is greatly increasing the concentration of radium or greatly decreasing the concentration of uranium. Then the surrounding crystal surface would continue to grow and close up the gap, incorporating a tiny amount of magma. But this point is sufficiently complicated that I can't see the implications right away. This can result in dates being inherited from magma into minerals.
As lava rises through the crust, it will heat up surrounding rock. Earlier, I indicated how crystals can have defects or imperfections in which small amounts of magma can be trapped. So we are investing a lot of time and energy to explain how this marvelous agreement of the various methods can arise in a creationist framework. Cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere are constantly converting the isotope nitrogen N into carbon C or radiocarbon. We have gold appearing pure at times, silver pure at times, etc.
One of the most striking examples of different dating methods confirming each other is Stonehenge. Also, John Woodmorappe's paper has some examples of anomalies involving zircons. However, dating violence statistics canada local eruptions of volcanoes or other events that give off large amounts of carbon dioxide can reduce local concentrations of carbon and give inaccurate dates. What it means is that radiometric dates have no necessary relation to true ages!
So, creationists who complain about double rings in their attempts to disprove C dating are actually grasping at straws. Finally, correlation between different isotopic dating methods may be required to confirm the age of a sample. Time is one of the values that can be determined from the slope of the line representing the distribution of the isotopes.
Luminescence dating Luminescence dating methods are not radiometric dating methods in that they do not rely on abundances of isotopes to calculate age. Radiometric dating is largely done on rock that has formed from solidified lava. They have their work cut out for them, however, because radiocarbon C dating is one of the most reliable of all the radiometric dating methods. This calls the whole radiometric dating scheme into serious question. This makes carbon an ideal dating method to date the age of bones or the remains of an organism.
For all other nuclides, the proportion of the original nuclide to its decay products changes in a predictable way as the original nuclide decays over time. It's interesting that isochrons depend on chemical fractionation for their validity.
More Bad News for Radiometric Dating
One would not expect there to be much difference in the concentration of lead isotopes due to fractionation, since isotopes have properties that are very similar. That is, the more daughter product relative to parent product, the greater the age.
Carbon, though, is continuously created through collisions of neutrons generated by cosmic rays with nitrogen in the upper atmosphere and thus remains at a near-constant level on Earth. This can happen by mixing scenarios as indicated above. There are quite a number of mechanisms in operation in a magma chamber. In the growth-ring analyses of approximately one thousand trees in the White Mountains, we have, in fact, found no more than three or four occurrences of even incipient multiple growth layers.
As the ocean floor sinks, it encounters increasing pressures and temperatures within the crust. As far as I know, it's anyone's guess, but I'd appreciate more information on this. Although more than one rock type can be generated from a single magma, apparently other mechanisms also exist to generate magmas of quite varied chemical compositions.
First, in order to have a meaningful isochron, it is necessary to have an unusual chain of events. There are those processes taking place when lava solidifies and various minerals crystallize out at different times. But lead is a metal, and to me it looks more likely that lead would concentrate along with the iron. However, the U-Th-Pb method uses a different procedure that I have not examined and for which I have no data. The above two-source mixing scenario is limited, because it can only produce isochrons having a fixed concentration of N p.
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