The origins of dating

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However, the methods must be used with care -- and one should be cautious about investing much confidence in the resulting age...

especially in absence of cross-checks by different methods, or if presented without sufficient information to judge the context in which it was obtained.

An additional nice feature of isochron ages is that an "uncertainty" in the age is automatically computed from the fit of the data to a line.

A routine statistical operation on the set of data yields both a slope of the best-fit line (an age) and a variance in the slope (an uncertainty in the age).

That encompasses the entire young-Earth timescale thousands of times over." in the decay equation.

Age "uncertainty" When a "simple" dating method is performed, the result is a single number.

There is no good way to tell how close the computed result is likely to be to the actual age.

The simplest form of isotopic age computation involves substituting three measurements into an equation of four variables, and solving for the fourth.

The equation is the one which describes radioactive decay: If one of these assumptions has been violated, the simple computation above yields an incorrect age.

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