Radioactive decay is a natural process and comes from the atomic nucleus becoming unstable and releasing bits and pieces.
With the exception of Carbon-14, radiometric dating is used to date either igneous or metamorphic rocks that contain radioactive elements such as uranium. Now when the uranium or thorium disintegrates, the alpha particles which are emitted are slowed down by the crystals in which the grains of the uranium- or thorium-bearing minerals are embedded.
And even though various radioactive elements have been used to "date" these rocks, for the most part, the methods are basically the same. This means that if you had some pure uranium-238 with no lead in it, 4.5 billion years later one half of it would have decayed into its stable daughter product (lead-206). Where these alpha particles finally stop, crystal deformation occurs (and) shows up as a discolouration or a darkening of the crystals.
While there is no proof that the rates were different in the past than they are today, there is also no proof that they were the same.
Thus radioactive dating relies purely on assumptions.
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.
This decay process leads to a more balanced nucleus and when the number of protons and neutrons balance, the atom becomes stable.
This radioactivity can be used for dating, since a radioactive 'parent' element decays into a stable 'daughter' element at a constant rate.
However, not as well known is the fact that such methods have serious flaws which are often glossed over, or ignored when writing on, or discussing this subject in public. that (the) half-lives (of uranium-thorium-lead) are not constant but vary with time. comes from the study of pleochroic haloes which form in a rock in the following way.
Another pertinent thing that's also ignored, minimized, or scoffed at are the numerous other scientific methods of dating the earth, solar system, and or universe that yield much younger ages than 500 million years (max). When a rock crystallises, the crystals of the minerals in the rock often enclose minute grains of other minerals which contain uranium and thorium.
However, rocks and other objects in nature do not give off such obvious clues about how long they have been around.