Even the initial ratios of parent and daughter elements in the earth do not necessarily indicate an age as old as 4. It had been noted that some minerals which yield such dates as beryl, cordierite, etc. Especially the gaseous radioactive decay byproducts such as argon, radon, and helium are mobile in rock. Thus, a large amount of Ar40 was present in the beginning. Also, if P1 is reduced by fractionation prior to mixing, this will make the age larger.
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It is just too subjective and too open to pitfalls in interpretation to be used as any sort of independent measure of estimating elapsed time.
Radiometric Dating Does Work!
It is supposed to take very long periods of time, great pressure, heat, and moisture to produce coal. And even for this one, the results were not very good. For example, after extensive testing over many years, it was concluded that uranium-helium dating is highly unreliable because the small helium atom diffuses easily out of minerals over geologic time. If we assume the earth went through a catastrophe recently, then the crustal plates might have been agitated, permitting lava and argon to escape from the magma. Possible changes in the decay rate The following information was sent to me by e-mail:.