In such situations, the isotope is termed radioactive.Radioactive elements are ubiquitous in soil, water and air.Age estimates on a given geological stratum by different radiometric methods are quite often different, sometimes by hundreds of millions of years.There is no absolutely reliable long-term radiological clock. The age of any fossil can never be measured directly, only indirectly with large assumptions being made and almost entirely dependent on the discover’s world view.
Therein lies the sneakiness of young earth creationist scientists: there’s just enough truth in their stories that it makes you begin to question your own judgement.The last sentence is key, and it leads into problem number 1 with the study on Mt. The K-AR method was totally inappropriate for the task at hand and unsuitable for dating the magma dome. Date a really young rock (in this case 10 years old) and expect that the technique would give you a blank answer (as in no Ar, because with a half life of 1.25 billion years, there is certainly no time for Potassium to degrade into Ar.) Lo and behold there was, in his term, a non-trivial amount of Argon present in the sample, enough to give a whole rock age of 350,000 years plus or minus 50,000 years and on some of the pyroxene 1.7 to 2.8 million years old plus or minus anywhere from 300,000 to 600,000 years. According to Austin et al, the problem is that K-Ar is useless and therefore we should scrap any and all analysis done by this method.There’s several reasons why his conclusions are flawed in a very serious manner and why no geochronologist or any publication of note would publish this drivel: Enough about the Mt. Helens stuff, how about the Grand Canyon one as I feel that more adequately addresses your concerns about dating.I’ll leave with this: The so called inaccuracies of radiogeneic dating don’t discredit the technique itself because every technique we use was calibrated against each other and found to be acceptable within statistical error under the best of given circumstances.In the end, does it really matter if the earth is 4.55 billion years old, 4.3, or somewhere in between?