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Relative age dating and radiometric dating

’ In fact, there is a whole range of standard explanations that geologists use to ‘interpret’ radiometric dating results.

Someone may ask, ‘Why do geologists still use radiometric dating?

No matter what the radiometric date turned out to be, our geologist would always be able to ‘interpret’ it.

It relates only to the accuracy of the measuring equipment in the laboratory.

Even different samples of rock collected from the same outcrop would give a larger scatter of results. He would again say that the calculated age did not represent the time when the rock solidified.

In fact, he would have been equally happy with any date a bit less than 200 million years or a bit more than 30 million years.

They would all have fitted nicely into the field relationships that he had observed and his interpretation of them.

Clearly, Sedimentary Rocks A were deposited and deformed before the Volcanic Dyke intruded them.

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These were then eroded and Sedimentary Rocks B were deposited.In the same way, by identifying fossils, he may have related Sedimentary Rocks B with some other rocks.Creationists would generally agree with the above methods and use them in their geological work.Let us imagine that the date reported by the lab was 150.7 ± 2.8 million years.Our geologist would be very happy with this result.From his research, our evolutionary geologist may have discovered that other geologists believe that Sedimentary Rocks A are 200 million years old and Sedimentary Rocks B are 30 million years old.Thus, he already ‘knows’ that the igneous dyke must be younger than 200 million years and older than 30 million years.The field relationships are generally broad, and a wide range of ‘dates’ can be interpreted as the time when the lava solidified.What would our geologist have thought if the date from the lab had been greater than 200 million years, say 350.5 ± 4.3 million years?It is clear that the sedimentary rock was deposited and folded before the dyke was squeezed into place.By looking at other outcrops in the area, our geologist is able to draw a geological map which records how the rocks are related to each other in the field.

Comments Relative age dating and radiometric dating