Since there doesn't seem to be any systematic error that could cause so many methods to agree with each other so often, it seems that there is no other rational conclusion than to accept these dates as accurate.However, this causes a problem for those who believe based on the Bible that life has only existed on the earth for a few thousand years, since fossils are found in rocks that are dated to be over 500 million years old by radiometric methods, and some fossils are found in rocks that are dated to be billions of years old.
Considering that the half-life of potassium-40 (40K) is fairly long (1,250 million years, Mc Dougall and Harrison, 1999, p.
If these dates are correct, this calls the Biblical account of a recent creation of life into question.
After study and discussion of this question, I now believe that the claimed accuracy of radiometric dating methods is a result of a great misunderstanding of the data, and that the various methods hardly ever agree with each other, and often do not agree with the assumed ages of the rocks in which they are found.
However, rather than dealing with this issue and critically evaluating Austin's other procedures (including the unacceptable mineral and glass impurities in his 'fractions'), YECs loudly proclaim that the results are discrepant with the 1986 AD eruption.
Considering that the dacite probably erupted in 1986 AD, Austin should have known that at least some of the samples would have given dates that were younger than 2 million years old and that Geochron Laboratories could not have provided reliable answers.
When Rutherford announced his findings it soon became clear that Earth is millions of years old.