As stated before rocks are not dated by plugging them in to an ACME dating machine. Dating labs do not measure time but measure isotopes ratios. Are these ratios the result of radioactive decay over time or other processes that have taken place in the rock?
Ages of Rocks in Millions of Years
|K-Ar||Rb-Sr||Rb-Sr Isochron||Pb-Pb Isochron|
|0.01||1230 - 1310||1300 - 1380||2390 - 2810|
|1.0 - 1.4||1260 - 1380|
|2.63||1310 - 1370|
|3.6||1320 - 1440|
|3.67||1360 - 1420|
Some times different methods used on the same rock, produce different ages. Further more the same method can produce different ages on different parts of the same rock. Some times these are close but other times they are vary different.
Some times radiometric dating produces impossible results.
Ages in Billions of Years
|Apollo Sample #||Low||High||Age Inconsistencies |
extremes in billions
Some soil from the Moon has been dated as more than a billion older than the uniformitarian age for the Moon. It was explained by processes of heating and cooling soil had been through.
Some rocks dated older than the
4.5 billion year evolutionary age for Earth.
|Description||Method||"Date" in |
|Diamonds from magma||K-Ar Isochron||6.0 +- 0.3|
Recent or young volcanic rocks producing excessively old K-Ar "ages":
|Name||Location||Real Date||K-Ar date|
|Kilauea Iki basalt||Hawaii||AD 1959||8.5±6.8 Ma|
|Mt. Etna basalt||Sicily||May 1964||0.7±0.01 Ma|
|Medicine Lake |
|Glass Mountains, |
|<500 years||12.6±4.5 Ma|
|Hualalai basalt||Hawaii||AD 1800-1801||22.8±16.5 Ma|
|East Pacific Rise basalt||Pacific Ocean||<1 Ma||690±7 Ma|
|Olivine basalt||Nathan Hills,Victoria |
|<0.3 Ma||18.0±0.7 Ma|
|Anorthoclase in |
|Mt Erebus, |
|Kilauea basalt||Hawaii||<200 years||21±8 Ma|
|Kilauea basalt,||Hawaii||<1,000 years||42.9±4.2 Ma; |
|Sea mount basalt||Near East Pacific Rise||<2.5 Ma||580±10 Ma; |
|East Pacific Rise basalt||Pacific Ocean||<0.6 Ma||24.2±1.0 Ma|
Examples of negative ages
|Glass Mountain||AD 1579 - 1839||-130,000 |
|Mt. Mihara||AD 1961||- 70,000 years|
|Sakurajima||AD 1946||-200,000 years|
G.B. Dalrymple, "40Ar/36Ar Analyses of Historic Lava Flows," Earth and Planetary Science Letters,6 (1969): pp. 47-55.
Some rocks have been measured with negative radiometric ages, in some case in terms of millions of years. Isochron dating can also produce negative ages, by producing a negative slope. K-Ar and Ar-Ar can result in negative ages when atmospheric argon is considered. So if these are real dates then you can hold a rock in your hand that wont form for hundreds of thousands or even millions of years yet.
Now in all fairness Ar-Ar dating can get the right age for a sample of known age, but it can also date samples as way too old, but without a known date there is no way of knowing when it is too old. One key factor is the fact that Ar-Ar dating need a standard of "known" age. If standard is of historically known age, such as would likely be used for testing Ar-Ar dating on sample of known age, then one would be more likely to get the correct age. For allegedly older samples K-Ar is used to "date" the standard and as such it still has the same problems as K-Ar dating.
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