He also states that this applies to other methods of radiometric dating, so even independent verification by other radiometric dating methods does not validate the accuracy of any of them. The other seems to have the same misunderstanding of radiometric dating that Howard does.
Replication/testing: Too much slippage for this to be reliable from one testing lab to another.
You really have only whatever result you are willing to accept, that fits with your other assumptions about time etc.
Conclusion: Carbon 14 dating may be somewhat reliable for events within a few thousand years involving organic material, especially where the age of the material is already known so you have a witness to test the dating method itself by, but there are lots of errors possible there too.
Conclusion: Radiometric dating cannot be proved as reliable.
However, it is possible that I may have been somewhat hasty in my characterization of Howard.
In the HTML paper you cite, Howard states: Ar method in 1997, and the age was determined to be 1925 years old, differing by only seven years from the historically accepted age of 1918 years old.
Can she draw a reasonable conclusion concerning how long the stocker had worked? Now imagine another case, in which the manager counts the 100 cans of corn on the shelf, but she does not bother to count how many empty cartains are in the waste bin. Howard is a current faculty member at my old alma mater, I feel a certain obligation to respond, heh. Howard's paper, and it does appear to me that he's trying to use a journal devoted to pedagogy to get around the peer review process in expressing his skepticism to radiometric dating. There are links at the bottom of the page to Howard's response, as well as that of the two reviewers.
She concludes the stocker must have worked for 10 minutes. ""Just as the manager must count cans of corn and discarded cartons in order to judge how long the stocker had been working, so must the chemist identify and quantify all products from a reaction in order to deter-mine how long the reaction has been going."Howard says that since we do not know know the details of the 40K - 40Ar reaction, including all products, it's impossible to know that we receive an accurate radiometric dating, because it's impossible to know if there are any other factors (like, perhaps, some other non-radiogenic sources of 40Ar in the mineral) that cloud our measurements. The reviewers comments are interesting: one doesn't care whether or not Howard is a secret creationist -- he appears to think that the exercise is a good one for teaching critical thinking.
For any individual dating method, it is possible that unidentified processes may yield inaccurate dates, but it is inconceivable that all the unidentified processes relevant to each different element in all the different minerals recovered in rocks with so many different histories would somehow conspire so that each method would give the same dates in each case.
Frankly, if unidentified processes that make radiometric dating inaccurate were common, we would expect that no consistent dates would be obtainable at all.
Progress in human affairs has come mainly through the bold readiness of human beings not to confine themselves to seeking piecemeal improvements in the way things are done, but to present fundamental challenges in the name of reason to the current way of doing things and to the avowed or hidden assumptions on which it rests. Method: It is known that some kinds of atoms decay into other kinds of atoms at a particular rate. Assumption: Any errors you find can just be discarded.