Mathematical methods of the historical dating

Another method is to make age measurements on several samples from the same rock unit.This technique helps identify post-formation geologic disturbances because different minerals respond differently to heating and chemical changes.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].

One question that sometimes arises here is how can scientists assume that rates of radioactivity have been constant over the great time spans involved.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).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.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.The isochron techniques are partly based on this principle.The use of different dating methods on the same rock is an excellent way to check the accuracy of age results.The latest high-tech equipment permits reliable results to be obtained even with microscopic samples.Radiometric dating is self-checking, because the data (after certain preliminary calculations are made) are fitted to a straight line (an "isochron") by means of standard linear regression methods of statistics.

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