Fossil radioactive dating

Chronometric dating, also known as chronometry or absolute dating, is any archaeological dating method that gives a result in calendar years before the present time.

Archaeologists and scientists use absolute dating methods on samples ranging from prehistoric fossils to artifacts from relatively recent history.

Chronometric techniques include radiometric dating and radio-carbon dating, which both determine the age of materials through the decay of their radioactive elements; dendrochronology, which dates events and environmental conditions by studying tree growth rings; fluorine testing, which dates bones by calculating their fluorine content; pollen analysis, which identifies the number and type of pollen in a sample to place it in the correct historical period; and thermoluminescence, which dates ceramic materials by measuring their stored energy.

Scientists first developed absolute dating techniques at the end of the 19th century.

Next time you see dates quoted of millions of years remember that the numbers are not scientific measurements of time elapsed.

They are the result of big philosophical assumptions.

Without these observations you cannot be sure that the time is valid.

You can get any date you like depending on the assumptions you make.

And that is what geologists do—they make up an assumed geological history for rock depending on the numbers that come from the geochronology lab that measures the isotopes in the rocks now.

Many people assume that the dates scientists quote of millions of years are as reliable as our knowledge of the structure of the atom or nuclear power.

And radioactive dating is so shrouded with mystery that many don’t even try to understand how the method works; they just believe it must be right.

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