Are fossil dating methods accuracy

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It's assumed that the clock was set to zero when the study material was formed.

This requires that only the parent isotope be initially present or that the amount of daughter isotope present at the beginning is known so that it can be subtracted.

Many examples from literature show that the zero-reset assumption is not always valid.

Volcanic ejecta of Mount Rangitoto (Auckland, New Zealand) was found to have a potassium-40 age of 485,000 years, yet trees buried within the volcanic material were dated with the carbon-14 method to be less than 300 years old.

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We thank you in advance for partnering with us in this small but significant way. All methods of radioactive dating rely on three assumptions that may not necessarily be true: It is assumed that the rate of decay has remained constant over time.

No scientist can guarantee that any sample can be considered a closed system unless it was isolated from its environment when it was formed.

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This swimmer is competing in a 1,500 metre race and we have an accurate, calibrated wristwatch.

We note that at the instant the swimmer touches the edge of the pool our wristwatch reads and 53 seconds.

They will argue that the clock was not reset if the age is too old, or that isotopes were selectively removed if the age turns out to be too young.

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