The Pierre Shale, which is divided into identifiable sedimentary beds called members, also contains abundant fossils of numerous species of ammonites, ancestors of the chambered nautilus.

The fossils, when combined with geologic mapping, allow the various exposed sections of the Pierre Shale to be pieced together in their proper relative positions to form a complete composite section (Figure 1).

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).

In order to accomplish their goal of discrediting radiometric dating, however, creationists are faced with the daunting task of showing that a preponderance of radiometric ages are wrong — that the methods are untrustworthy most of the time.

The impact also created shocked quartz crystals that were blasted into the air and subsequently fell to the west into the inland sea that occupied much of central North America at that time.

Today this shocked quartz is found in South Dakota, Colorado, and Nebraska in a thin layer (the Crow Creek Member) within a thick rock formation known as the Pierre Shale.

Where are the data and age calculations that result in a consistent set of ages for all rocks on earth, as well as those from the moon and the meteorites, no greater than 10 000 years? Second, it is an approach doomed to failure at the outset.

Creationists seem to think that a few examples of incorrect radiometric ages invalidate all of the results of radiometric dating, but such a conclusion is illogical.Even things that work well do not work well all of the time and under all circumstances.Try, for example, wearing a watch that is not waterproof while swimming. A few verified examples of incorrect radiometric ages are simply insufficient to prove that radiometric dating is invalid.Only rarely does a creationist actually find an incorrect radiometric result (Austin 1996; Rugg and Austin 1998) that has not already been revealed and discussed in the scientific literature.The creationist approach of focusing on examples where radiometric dating yields incorrect results is a curious one for two reasons.Not only that, they have to show the flaws in those dating studies that provide independent corroborative evidence that radiometric methods work.