Radiometric dating is based upon the scientific principle of
The actual accuracy of radiometric dating is about 2%, but there is no point in splitting hairs for this debate as to whether it is 2% or 3%.An error of 90% would, for example, still disprove Young Earth Creationism.The coral record verifies that radiometric methods are accurate. For the purposes of assessing accuracy, each of the methods is assumed to be applied in accordance with the established methods and technology.By analogy, a stop watch will not keep accurate time if it is not wound, if it is not in good repair, or if the operator forgets to press the button.Anyone questioning the accuracy of radiometric methods is obliged to explain why the cross-checks to sediments, coral growth, tree rings, and other isotope pairs all have the same errors.Why would an error in radiometric dating correspond to errors in the other methods so that they all track?
The multiple checks verify that the rate of isotope decay does not change over time, and it verifies the accuracies of the methods.Argon/argon dating works using only the ratio of the concentration of the argon isotopes. For the purposes of this debate, "accurate" means that 95% of the dating errors are within 10% of the measured date, within the time span for which the isotope pair is utilized.Since carbon dating depends upon variable cosmic ray intensity, a calibration curve is assumed to be applied to account for that.Measuring the ratio of C14 to C12 and C13 therefore dates the organic matter for periods back to about eight half-lives of the isotope, 45,000 years.After a long enough time the minority isotope is in an amount too small to be measured.