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Radiometric dating, or radioactive dating as it is sometimes called, is a method used to date rocks and other objects based on the known decay rate of radioactive isotopes.
Different methods of radiometric dating can be used to estimate the age of a variety of natural and even man-made materials.
Radioactive decay is a natural process and comes from the atomic nucleus becoming unstable and releasing bits and pieces.
These are released as radioactive particles (there are many types).
Since the morphology of a fossil cannot be changed, it is obvious that the dating is the more subjective element of the two items.
Yet, accurate dating of fossils is so essential that the scientific respectability of evolution is contingent upon fossils having appropriate dates.
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The methods work because radioactive elements are unstable, and they are always trying to move to a more stable state. This process by which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy by releasing radiation is called radioactive decay.