In the case of carbon dating, it is not the initial quantity that is important, but the initial ratio of C, but the same principle otherwise applies.
Recognizing this problem, scientists try to focus on rocks that do not contain the decay product originally.
The energy locked in the nucleus is enormous, but cannot be released easily.
If it does not entirely contradict them, we put it in a footnote.
And if it is completely 'out of date', we just drop it."Few archaeologists who have concerned themselves with absolute chronology are innocent of having sometimes applied this method...
This can also disrupt the ratios of lead and uranium in the sample.
In order to calibrate radiometric dating methods, the methods need to be checked for accuracy against items with independently-known dates.
It is important that the sample not have had any outside influences.
One example of this can be found in metamorphic rocks.
Radiometric dating is a method of determining the age of an artifact by assuming that on average decay rates have been constant (see below for the flaws in that assumption) and measuring the amount of radioactive decay that has occurred.
Radiometric dating is mostly used to determine the age of rocks, though a particular form of radiometric dating—called Radiocarbon dating—can date wood, cloth, skeletons, and other organic material.
There are a number of implausible assumptions involved in radiometric dating with respect to long time periods.
One key assumption is that the initial quantity of the parent element can be determined.
For these reasons, if a rock strata contains zircon, running a uranium-lead test on a zircon sample will produce a radiometric dating result that is less dependent on the initial quantity problem.