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The results are not even close to each other, although the samples should all have given the same age.
Furthermore, the ages calculated for these Grand Canyon rocks using three ‘isochron’ methods also disagreed greatly with each other.
Clearly, there is a problem with the assumptions on which the K-Ar ‘ages’ are calculated.
The isotopic results other than potassium-argon (K-Ar), namely rubidium-strontium (Rb-Sr), samarium-neodymium (Sm-Nd) and lead-lead (Pb-Pb), were used to calculate ages for the rock formation utilizing isochrons.
They might claim that they are due to the uncertain effects of metamorphism and later alteration, especially erosion and weathering. They are further confirmation of the repeated failure of all the radioisotope ‘dating’ methods to successfully date Grand Canyon rocks.
Geologists justify this, saying that some geochemical alteration in the past disturbed the radioisotopes in those samples.
For example, the calculated ‘age’ could be taken as the ‘date’ of metamorphism, or it could be the ‘age’ of the original volcanic (or sedimentary) rock, or something in between, or something else.
dating method turned out to be vastly different (see box, ‘Calculating the ages’, below), even for those closely spaced samples from the same outcrop of the same lava flow.
argon) and its corresponding ‘parent’ isotope (e.g. However, before this calculation can be made, it is necessary to assume how much of the ‘daughter’ and ‘parent’ were present when the rock formed.
It is also necessary to assume that no isotopes were gained or lost over time and that the rate of radioactive decay has remained constant at the very slow rate measured today.