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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.It relates only to the accuracy of the measuring equipment in the laboratory.Even different samples of rock collected from the same outcrop would give a larger scatter of results. He would again say that the calculated age did not represent the time when the rock solidified.(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.In fact, he would have been equally happy with any date a bit less than 200 million years or a bit more than 30 million years.They would all have fitted nicely into the field relationships that he had observed and his interpretation of them.
What would our geologist think if the date from the lab were less than 30 million years, say 10.1 ± 1.8 million years? Or he may decide that the rock had been affected by a localized heating event—one strong enough to disturb the chemicals, but not strong enough to be visible in the field.He would say that the date represents the time when the volcanic lava solidified.Such an interpretation fits nicely into the range of what he already believes the age to be.In other words, the age should lie between 197.2 million years and 203.6 million years.However, this error is not the real error on the date.
From his research, our evolutionary geologist may have discovered that other geologists believe that Sedimentary Rocks A are 200 million years old and Sedimentary Rocks B are 30 million years old.