Radiometric dating of dinosaur fossils
Dating secrets explains how this works in practice.Some real-life examples of how geologists change their assumptions after the event include the dating of Skull KNM-ER 1470 (see The pigs took it all) and of the Mungo skeletal remains, Australia (see The dating game).Once we understand what we actually need to do we can apply the same principles to radioactive dating, and see if the methods do what they are claimed to do.Picture a swimmer competing in a 1,500 metre race and an observer with an accurate wristwatch.
But they don’t discuss the basic flaw in the method: you cannot determine the age of a rock using radioactive dating because no-one was present to measure the radioactive elements when the rock formed and no-one monitored the way those elements changed over its entire geological history.
Researchers have found a reason for the puzzling survival of soft tissue and collagen in dinosaur bones - the bones are younger than anyone ever guessed.
Carbon-14 (C-14) dating of multiple samples of bone from 8 dinosaurs found in Texas, Alaska, Colorado, and Montana revealed that they are only 22,000 to 39,000 years old.
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.