Radiometric dating percent error
Zircon has a very high closure temperature, is resistant to mechanical weathering and is very chemically inert.
Zircon also forms multiple crystal layers during metamorphic events, which each may record an isotopic age of the event.
Mass spectrometers detect atoms of specific elements according to their atomic weights.
They, however, do not have the sensitivity to distinguish atomic isobars (atoms of different elements that have the same atomic weight, such as in the case of carbon 14 and nitrogen 14—the most common isotope of nitrogen).
ICR creationists claim that this discredits C-14 dating. Answer: It does discredit the C-14 dating of freshwater mussels, but that's about all.
Kieth and Anderson show considerable evidence that the mussels acquired much of their carbon from the limestone of the waters they lived in and from some very old humus as well.
Uranium-lead dating is often performed on the mineral zircon (Zr Si O4), though it can be used on other materials, such as baddeleyite.
Zircon and baddeleyite incorporate uranium atoms into their crystalline structure as substitutes for zirconium, but strongly reject lead.
So, if we measure the rate of beta decay in an organic sample, we can calculate how old the sample is. Question: Kieth and Anderson radiocarbon-dated the shell of a living freshwater mussel and obtained an age of over two thousand years.
There are two techniques in measuring radiocarbon in samples—through radiometric dating and by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS).
The two techniques are used primarily in determining carbon 14 content of archaeological artifacts and geological samples.
The uranium-lead radiometric dating scheme has been refined to the point that the error margin in dates of rocks can be as low as less than two million years in two-and-a-half billion years.
An error margin of 2–5% has been achieved on younger Mesozoic rocks.
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Certainly the majority of scientists accept radiometric dating.