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It depends on the accuracy of the measurements and the fit of the data to the line in each individual case.) For example, with Rb/Sr isochron dating, any age less than a few tens of millions of years is usually indistinguishable from zero.

An additional nice feature of isochron ages is that an "uncertainty" in the age is automatically computed from the fit of the data to a line.A routine statistical operation on the set of data yields both a slope of the best-fit line (an age) and a variance in the slope (an uncertainty in the age).The simplest form of isotopic age computation involves substituting three measurements into an equation of four variables, and solving for the fourth.The equation is the one which describes radioactive decay: If one of these assumptions has been violated, the simple computation above yields an incorrect age.(Rocks which include several different minerals are excellent for this.) Each group of measurements is plotted as a data point on a graph.

The X-axis of the graph is the ratio of in a closed system over time.

Now that the mechanics of plotting an isochron have been described, we will discuss the potential problems of the "simple" dating method with respect to isochron methods.

The amount of initial wouldn't change over time -- because it would have no parent atoms to produce daughter atoms.

However, the methods must be used with care -- and one should be cautious about investing much confidence in the resulting age...

especially in absence of cross-checks by different methods, or if presented without sufficient information to judge the context in which it was obtained.

Each such age would match the result given by the isochron.