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The educational page hosted by the US Geological Society provides one recent example of the way radioactive dating is explained to the public.

They focus on the technicalities of radioactive decay, etc.

The systematic record of sampling data in the field appears to be essential for the implementation of the method and thus the calculation of reliable age results.

Consequently, we propose here some basic guidelines to help non-dating specialists intending to collect fossil teeth from archaeological or geological context for subsequent ESR dating purposes.

You could describe the atomic workings of the quartz oscillator and how it resonates at a specific and highly stable frequency, and how this is used to accurately pace a timekeeping mechanism.

The fact is that you can only establish the time for the race if it was timed by two or more reliable eyewitnesses who observed the you cannot measure the age of a rock using radioactive dating because no-one was present to measure the radioactive elements when the rock formed and no-one monitored the way those elements changed over its entire geological history This illustrates the problem with the radioactive dating of geological events.

Some real-life examples of how geologists change their assumptions after the event include the dating of Skull KNM-ER 1470 (see The pigs took it all) and of the Mungo skeletal remains, Australia (see The dating game).Many people assume that the dates scientists quote of millions of years are as reliable as our knowledge of the structure of the atom or nuclear power.And radioactive dating is so shrouded with mystery that many don’t even try to understand how the method works; they just believe it must be right.but don’t even mention the fact that we can’t measure the concentrations of isotopes in the past.So, the fatal problem with all radioactive dates is that they are all based on assumptions about the past.

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