Reliability of radiometric dating

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It is a reliable and accurate way to determine the ages of rocks.

But, as is clear even from the very brief discussion in the previous paragraph, radiocarbon dating can say nothing one way or the other about whether the Earth is many millions of years old, since such dates are far beyond this method's range of resolution.Over the last few decades the advancement in the instrumentation (mass spectrometers) has improved precision of measurement, hence reducing the uncertainty of measurement of rock age.Dates determined by one radiometric scheme can often be verified by independantly determining the age by an alternative radiometric scheme.In 2009, several leading researchers in the field established a detailed calibration of radiocarbon dating, based on a careful analysis of pristine corals, ranging back to approximately 50,000 years before the present epoch [Reimer2009].Here is a graph showing radiocarbon dates on the vertical axis and the calibrated age on the horizontal axis (shown here with permission from Johannes van der Plicht, one of the authors of the 2009 study).

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