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The isochron techniques are partly based on this principle.The use of different dating methods on the same rock is an excellent way to check the accuracy of age results.Such failures may be due to laboratory errors (mistakes happen), unrecognized geologic factors (nature sometimes fools us), or misapplication of the techniques (no one is perfect).We scientists who measure isotope ages do not rely entirely on the error estimates and the self-checking features of age diagnostic diagrams to evaluate the accuracy of radiometric ages.The differences actually found in the scientific literature are usually close to the margin of error, usually a few percent, not orders of magnitude!Vast amounts of data overwhelmingly favor an old Earth.If two or more radiometric clocks based on different elements and running at different rates give the same age, that's powerful evidence that the ages are probably correct.

One question that sometimes arises here is how can scientists assume that rates of radioactivity have been constant over the great time spans involved.Whenever possible we design an age study to take advantage of other ways of checking the reliability of the age measurements.The simplest means is to repeat the analytical measurements in order to check for laboratory errors.The latest high-tech equipment permits reliable results to be obtained even with microscopic samples.Radiometric dating is self-checking, because the data (after certain preliminary calculations are made) are fitted to a straight line (an "isochron") by means of standard linear regression methods of statistics.

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