Radioactive decay and fossil dating

Along this line, Roger Wiens, a scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, asks those who are skeptical of radiometric dating to consider the following (quoted in several cases from [Wiens2002]): All of the different dating methods agree--they agree a great majority of the time over millions of years of time.Some [skeptics] make it sound like there is a lot of disagreement, but this is not the case.

All rocks and minerals contain tiny amounts of these radioactive elements.Since the 1950s, geologists have used radioactive elements as natural "clocks" for determining numerical ages of certain types of rocks. "Forms" means the moment an igneous rock solidifies from magma, a sedimentary rock layer is deposited, or a rock heated by metamorphism cools off.It's this resetting process that gives us the ability to date rocks that formed at different times in earth history.The simplest means is to repeat the analytical measurements in order to check for laboratory errors.Another method is to make age measurements on several samples from the same rock unit.

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