Fossil dating radioactive decay
A recent survey of the rubidium-strontium method found only about 30 cases, out of tens of thousands of published results, where a date determined using the proper procedures was subsequently found to be in error.One question that sometimes arises here is how can scientists assume that rates of radioactivity have been constant over the great time spans involved.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.
The use of different dating methods on the same rock is an excellent way to check the accuracy of age results.
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).
The differences actually found in the scientific literature are usually close to the margin of error, usually a few percent, not orders of magnitude!
Vast amounts of data overwhelmingly favor an old Earth.