Relative age dating methods
In fact, he would have been equally happy with any date a bit less than 200 million years or a bit more than 30 million years.They would all have fitted nicely into the field relationships that he had observed and his interpretation of them.From his research, our evolutionary geologist may have discovered that other geologists believe that Sedimentary Rocks A are 200 million years old and Sedimentary Rocks B are 30 million years old.Thus, he already ‘knows’ that the igneous dyke must be younger than 200 million years and older than 30 million years.From the mapped field relationships, it is a simple matter to work out a geological cross-section and the relative timing of the geologic events.His geological cross-section may look something like Figure 2.
Or he may suggest that the result was due to a characteristic of the lava—that the dyke had inherited an old ‘age’. 200.4 ± 3.2 million years) implies that the calculated date of 200.4 million years is accurate to plus or minus 3.2 million years.
In the same way, by identifying fossils, he may have related Sedimentary Rocks B with some other rocks.
Creationists would generally agree with the above methods and use them in their geological work.
And, of course, the reported error ignores the huge uncertainties in the Creationist physicists point to several lines of evidence that decay rates have been faster in the past, and propose a pulse of accelerated decay during Creation Week, and possibly a smaller pulse during the Flood year. He may suggest that some of the chemicals in the rock had been disturbed by groundwater or weathering.
What would our geologist think if the date from the lab were less than 30 million years, say 10.1 ± 1.8 million years? Or he may decide that the rock had been affected by a localized heating event—one strong enough to disturb the chemicals, but not strong enough to be visible in the field.
No matter what the radiometric date turned out to be, our geologist would always be able to ‘interpret’ it.