He may suggest that some other very old material had contaminated the lava as it passed through the earth.

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.

The geologist may have found some fossils in Sedimentary Rocks A and discovered that they are similar to fossils found in some other rocks in the region.

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It is clear that the sedimentary rock was deposited and folded before the dyke was squeezed into place.

By looking at other outcrops in the area, our geologist is able to draw a geological map which records how the rocks are related to each other in the field.

(Creationists do not agree with these ages of millions of years because of the assumptions they are based on.) Because of his interest in the volcanic dyke, he collects a sample, being careful to select rock that looks fresh and unaltered.

On his return, he sends his sample to the laboratory for dating, and after a few weeks receives the lab report.

No matter what the radiometric date turned out to be, our geologist would always be able to ‘interpret’ it.

He would simply change his assumptions about the history of the rock to explain the result in a plausible way. Wasserburg, who received the 1986 Crafoord Prize in Geosciences, said, ‘There are no bad chronometers, only bad interpretations of them!

The field relationships are generally broad, and a wide range of ‘dates’ can be interpreted as the time when the lava solidified.

What would our geologist have thought if the date from the lab had been greater than 200 million years, say 350.5 ± 4.3 million years?

In the same way, by identifying fossils, he may have related Sedimentary Rocks B with some other rocks.