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When it is stated that these methods are accurate to one or two percent, it does not mean that the computed age is within one or two percent of the correct age.It just means that there is enough accuracy in the measurements to compute t to one or two percentage points of accuracy, where t is the time required to obtain the observed ratio of daughter to parent, assuming no initial daughter product was present at the beginning, and no daughter or parent entered or left the system.On the surface, radiometric dating methods appear to give powerful support to the statement that life has existed on the earth for hundreds of millions, even billions, of years.We are told that these methods are accurate to a few percent, and that there are many different methods.Thus radiometric dating methods appear to give evidence that the earth and meteorites are old, if one accepts the fact that decay rates have been constant.However, there may be other explanations for this apparent age. I also believe that the evidence indicates that the earth has recently undergone a violent catastrophe.
In general, in n half-lives, only 1/(2^n) of the original parent material will be left.
At the start, let me clarify that my main concern is not the age of the earth, the moon, or the solar system, but rather the age of life, that is, how long has life existed on earth.
Many dating methods seem to give about the same ages on meteorites.
In order to use these methods, we have to start out with a system in which no daughter element is present, or else know how much daugher element was present initially so that it can be subtracted out.
We also need to know that no parent or daughter has entered or left the system in the meantime.