Even different samples of rock collected from the same outcrop would give a larger scatter of results. He would again say that the calculated age did not represent the time when the rock solidified.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.They would all have fitted nicely into the field relationships that he had observed and his interpretation of them.The field relationships are generally broad, and a wide range of ‘dates’ can be interpreted as the time when the lava solidified.Our geologist would be very happy with this result.He would say that the date represents the time when the volcanic lava solidified.However, this error is not the real error on the date.
In the same way, by identifying fossils, he may have related Sedimentary Rocks B with some other rocks.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.The field relationships, as they are called, are of primary importance and all radiometric dates are evaluated against them.
For example, a geologist may examine a cutting where the rocks appear as shown in Figure 1.
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.