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Therefore, there are several assumptions that must be made in radioisotope dating.

Three critical assumptions can affect the results during radioisotope dating: Radioisotope dating can be better understood using an illustration with an hourglass.

All our calculations could be correct (observational science), but the result could be wrong.

This is because we failed to take into account some critical assumptions.

If scientists fail to consider each of these three critical assumptions, then radioisotope dating can give incorrect ages.

We know that radioisotope dating does not always work because we can test it on rocks of known age.

The dating process then requires measuring how much daughter element is in a rock sample and knowing the decay rate (i.e., how long it takes the parent element to decay into the daughter element—uranium into lead or potassium into argon). Half-life is defined as the length of time it takes half of the remaining atoms of a radioactive parent element to decay.

The decay of The radioisotope dating clock starts when a rock cools.

During the molten state it is assumed that the intense heat will force any gaseous daughter elements like argon to escape.

Determining how the environment might have affected a rock also falls under historical science. Since radioisotope dating uses both types of science, we can’t directly measure the age of something.

We can use scientific techniques in the present, combined with assumptions about historical events, to estimate the age.