Encyclopedia Vol. 1
CHAPTER SEVEN - DATING METHODS
- 1 - THE MAGIC QUALITIES OF TIME
Yes, time does appear to have magical qualities, at least if you listen to how
evolutionists extol its marvelous abilities. Consider the following statements:
*Darwin recognized his theories fell flat without long ages of time.
(Knowledgeable scientists now recognize they fall flat, even if there had been long ages
"I am greatly troubled at the short duration of the world according to Lord
Kelvin, for I require for my theoretical views a very long period."*Charles
Darwin, quoted in N. Macbeth, Darwin Retried (1972), p. 109.
Lord Kelvin was one of the most brilliant scientists of the 19th century. *Charles
Darwin, lacking even a day's scholastic training in science, strongly disliked Kelvin's
clear evidences that the earth could not be millions of years old:
"Darwin developed a personal dislike for Kelvin calling him the 'odious specter'.
. Darwin was reassured by the geologists' new ideas on the age of the earth; he knew that
enough time was available, and that was the secret strength of his theory.. ages were
great enough to give ample latitude to the geologists and the biologists for their
explanations of the changes in the surface of the earth and the changes in the forms of
the creatures that inhabit our planet."*Robert Jastrow, "How Old is the
Universe?" in Natural History, 83 (1974):80-82.
A well-known scientist solemnly tells us that large amounts of time can (using only
the randomness to be found in moving gas, water, and sand) perform the miracles which even
laboratory scientists cannot perform:
"Time is in fact the hero of the plot. The time with which we have to deal is of
the order of two billion years. What we regard as impossible on the basis of human
experience is meaningless here. Given so much time, the 'impossible' becomes possible, the
possible probable, and the probable virtually certain. One has only to wait: time itself
performs the miracles."*G. Wald, "The Origin of Life, " in The
Physics and Chemistry of Life (1955), p. 12.
Evolutionists declare that the most mathematically impossible of events will definitely
occur, given enough time. For example, would you like to see oceans on the moon, cities
building themselves on Mars, and a cold steel bar extending through the entire diameter of
the still-burning sun? Just allow enough time, and nature will definitely do it. It will
happen all by itself. Anything can happen given enough time:
"The mechanists were not discouraged by the enormous span of time required for
this chance event. They point out that, given enough time, the most improbable event
becomes a statistical certainty."*J. Keosian, The Origin of Life (1968), p.
"The highly improbable . . indeed is inevitable."*Leo Koch,
"Vitalistic-Mechanistic Controversy," in Scientific Monthly, 85 (1957):250.
*Urey hopes that enough billion years could turn the impossible into a possibility:
"The evolution from inanimate systems of biochemical compounds, e.g., the
proteins, carbohydrates, enzymes and many others, of the intricate systems of reactions
characteristic of living organisms, and the truly remarkable ability of molecules to
reproduce themselves seems to those most expert in the field to be almost impossible. Thus
a time from the beginning of photosynthesis of two billion years may help many to accept
the hypothesis of the spontaneous generation of life."*Harold
the Early Chemical History of the Earth and the Origin of Life," in Proceedings of
the National Academy of Science, 38 (1952):362.
*Operin sees it differently:
"It is sometimes argued in speculative papers on the origin of life that highly
improbable events (such as the spontaneous formation of a molecule of DNA and a molecule
of DNA-polymerase in the same region of space and at the same time) become virtually
inevitable over the vast stretches of geological time. No serious quantitative arguments,
however, are given in support of such conclusions." *A.I. Oparin, Life: Its
Nature, Origin and Development (1961), p. 31.
- 2 - PROBLEMS WITH DATING METHODS
Thoughtful scientists have carefully considered some of the problems and implications
in the standard dating methods. Their message deserves wide consideration:
"To extrapolate is to estimate on the basis of values already known;" so says
the dictionary. But when evolutionists extrapolate, they estimate on the basis of
assumptions, which in turn are based on theories. The result is a house of cards which
constantly needs to be propped up lest it fall to pieces.
"Geochronology [theoretical dating of rocks and the entire planet] is a field of
study in which one is on 'thin ice' scientifically speaking, since the methods used make
extrapolations into the past in which no observations have been recorded and hypotheses
cannot be checked by the experimental method. The extrapolations made will depend upon
one's assumptions. Will Rogers once said in effect that a scientist gets a bigger
reputation the more he advances hypotheses that you cannot check to see if they are right
or wrong. Some scientists such as Harold Urey refuse to speculate on the physical
condition of the surface of the moon, for instance, even though there is a great deal of
evidence collected in this regard, but will write volumes concerning the origin of the
earth and prehistory.'' H. Slusher, The Creation Alternative (1970), p. 55.
Here are some factors that must be taken into account in order for time dating to be of
"Many different processes of change may be used as clocks to measure time, but for
such a clock or timer to be reliable it must meet the following requirements:
 The time units must be meaningful and readable.
(2] The timer must be sensitive enough to measure the interval in question. The same
timer would not be used for a hundred yard dash and the return of Haley's comet.
[3[ We must know when the timer was started. True, some clocks have a calendar, but a
clock does not tell how many times its hands have gone around.
 We must know not only when the timer was started, but what the reading was on the
timer scale when it started. Was the stop watch at zero when the race began? Or was it on
 The timer must run at a uniform rate; if it does not, we must know what the
irregularities are in order to have a meaningful timer.
 The timer must not have been disturbed in any way or reset since it was
started." R. E. Kofahl and K. L. Segraves, The Creation Explanation (19751
Now for a brilliant statement. If the universe has existed forever, as the
evolutionists claim, then why are there any radioactive substances anywhere? They should
long ago have turned into inert, non-radioactive isotopes.
"To assume that the universe had no beginning . . fails to account for the
continued existence of radioactivity." *Scientific American, Quoted in F.
Meldau, Why We Believe in Creation, p. 66.
"Of the original thorium and uranium existing on Earth at the time of its
formation, 80 percent of the former and 50 percent of the latter still exist
today."*Isaac Asimov, Asimov's New Guide to Science (1984), p. 280.
A scientist looks at the inherent problems in radioactive dating:
"There are many difficulties and assumptions associated with the radioactivity
methods. There are the experimental difficulties of measuring very small quantities of
elements present. There is no way of knowing how much original lead is present in the
mineral. If some of the lead in the sample was non-radiogenic, then the computed age would
be too large by an indefinite amount. The methods used for the determination and
elimination of this non-radiogenic lead are very inaccurate. There can also be the factor
of uranium leaching. With all the tectonic movements and erosional action it would seem
that there would be considerable changes in the quantities of the parent elements. There
could also be by the same processes radiogenic lead contamination. A major basic
assumption is that the decay rates have remained constant. This is now open to serious
question. It is believed that cosmic radiation may affect disintegration constants. Also
Westinghouse physicists in 1964 found a way of changing the decay rate of iron 57 by as
much as 3 percent. If a decay rate can vary then this radioactive dating method is useless
again." H. Slusher, The Creation Alternative (1970), pp. 62-63.
*Salop refers to the impracticality of trying to date strata by radiodating methods:
"After describing one group of geologists who uncritically accepted radiometric
dating, Salop [* L. J. Salop, Precambrian of the Northern Hemisphere (1971), p. 3]
"'The other group [of geologists], in the face of many discrepancies between
radiometric and geological data, tended to reject this technique in stratigraphic studies,
or accepted it with great caution.'
"The fact that Precambrian dating results are often very contradictory has been
discussed towards the end of the author's work. This statement by Salop illustrates the
consequences of such erratic dates."John Woodmorappe, "An Anthology of
Matters Significant to Creationism and Diluviology: Report 1,"in Creation Research
Society Quarterly, March 1980, p. 218.
-3 - URANIUM DATING
Uranium dating is considered the "master clock" by which all the other dating
methods are calibrated. Yet, as we have observed earlier in this chapter, it is full of
uncertain assumptions, and obviously inaccurate results.
"Uranium-lead decay is the primary basis of the absolute geological time scale,
and. . it has been used to calibrate other methods," yet it is as flawed as the other
"In principle, the time of formation of a uranium mineral can be determined from
one of the following isotopic ratios: Pb206/U238, Pb2O7/U236,
or Pb207/Pb206. Since these ratios are affected in differing degrees
and direction by various errors in measurement or geological alteration, the concurrence
of ages obtained from these three ratios suggests a true absolute age.
Actually for a large fraction of the mineral samples on which these ratios have been
measured, the three isotopic ages do not agree.
"Since the uranium-lead decay is the primary basis of the absolute geological time
scale, and since it has been used to calibrate other methods, it is important that we
understand these anomalies [inaccuracies].
"In a recent paper, Kulp, Bate, and Broecker attempted to evaluate the factors
that would produce anomalous ages. It was concluded that uncertainties in the chemical and
isotopic analyses and the physical constants were not a significant source of error.
Except in the rare cases where the concentration of common lead in the total lead of a
sample becomes large, the error in the correction for common lead is trivial. Radon
leakage ranges from 0.01 percent to 5 percent in most minerals causing the 206/238 age to
be low by this proportion for all minerals (i.e., less than 600 million years).
"For minerals older than 1000 million years, the correction on the 207/206 age for
radon leakage is generally unimportant. Five of about 50 samples for which uranium-lead
ages have been published show the effect of recent oxidation and leaching. In these cases
the 207/206 ages as expected for uranium removal. After a consideration of all these
factor:, many of the anomalous ages remain unexplained." *J.L Kulp and *W.R.
Eckelmann, "Anomalous Uranium-Lead Ages," Geological Society of America
Bulletin, 86:767 (1955).
In his important book, Implications of Evolution, *Kerkut comments on the problems
in uranium/lead and thorium/lead dating.
"There are considerable differences in the age as determined from the different
ratio of the isotopes 206/207, 206/238, 207/235, or 208/232. Thus Kulp has published a
table giving data for forty-five different samples of material, the end ratios being
determined by mass spectrometer; and of these only seven are believed to be accurate to
"Some are very inaccurate due, it is believed, to the loss of radon by diffusion
from the rocks in the series U238/Pb206. Another difficulty
is due to the amount of non-radiogenic lead present in the material. Where this is high
there is a corresponding high error in the estimation. This can lead to an error of 700
million years in the exceptional case of the Caribou Mine, Colorado, where the deposit
contained as much as 97 percent lead. The correct age of the deposit was 25 million years
old." *G.A. Kerkut, "Radioactive Dating of Rocks," Implications of
Evolution (1960), p. 137.
- 4 - THORIUM DATING
Thorium radioactive dating is another important means of ascertaining the dates of
ancient materials. But, as we have discovered earlier in this chapter, its inaccuracies
outweigh its value.
John Woodmorappe produced an excellent analysis of dating errors produced by the
thorium-lead method. Radiodating technicians consider their results very satisfactory, as
long as some of the dates are difficult to contest. Yet Woodmorappe says that only a few
wrong dates should be enough to void the whole procedure as a waste of time.
"The uniformitarians may contend that there are many more dates in agreement with
accepted values than there are anomalies such as all of Table 1. Even if this were true,
it would not appear to be an overwhelming majority, and a significant minority of
discrepant dates would probably be sufficient to discredit all of radiometric dating.
Since most igneous [volcanic] bodies have wide biostratigraphic limits, it is difficult to
tell that a date is not anomalous because it could take on many different values and not
be anomalous." John Woodmorappe, "Radiometric Geochronology
Reappraised," Creation Research Society Quarterly, 16:102 (1979).
"J. Woodmorappe tabulates several discordant ages obtained by the thorium-lead
method, which in addition do not agree with uranium-lead dates for the same sample.
"Granites from Utah, thought be less than 70 million years old, were
radiometrically dated as: 794 millions (Th232/Ph208); 494 million
years (U238/Ph206); and 756 million years (U236/Pb207).
"Granites from eastern Siberia, supposed to be more than 600 million years old,
had radiometric ages of: 420 million years (Th232/Ph208); 370
million years (U238/Ph206); and 410 million years (U236/Pb207)
"Interestingly enough, the only comprehensive survey of discordant radiometric
dates found so far is by creationist J. Woodmorappe. He compiles over 350 radiometric
dates that 'are very anomalous with respect to accepted values for their biostratigraphic
positions.' By 'very anomalous' Woodmorappe means either more than 20 percent too high or
20 percent too low. To support his immense table, he lists 445 references from the
scientific literature."* William Corliss, Anomalies in Geology (1989), p.
In regard to his findingsand after having reviewed large numbers of scientific
papers and all the excuses to be found in them,Woodmorappe says this:
"The implications of all these findings are enormous. Any discrepant date can be
explained away, and a heating or weathering event can be invented whenever necessary for
this purpose. No evidence need be found because its absence can be attributed to it being
strong enough to make the unwanted date discrepant, but too weak to show up in thin
"An illogical situation arises because at one time it is claimed that radiometric
dates have withstood obvious alteration of the rock, while at other times they supposedly
were so sensitive that they were made discrepant by an event too weak to alter the rock
"A skeptical view of radiometric dating looks at all these lacks of correlation of
alteration and discrepancy of dates as evidence that they are just rationalizations, and
that discrepant dates are not primarily caused by alteration but by the fundamental
invalidity of radiometric dating." John Woodmorappe, "Radiometric
Geochronology Reappraised," Creation Research Society
Quarterly, 16:102 (1979).
- 5 - RUBIDIUM-STRONTIUM DATING
Rubidium-Strontium (Rb-Sr) dating has serious problems invalidating the
possibility of useful dating, according to knowledgeable scientists:
The Rb-Sr problem is so serious as to be overwhelming:
"One serious consequence of the mantle isochron model is that crystallization ages
determined on basic igneous rocks by the Rb-Sr whole rock technique can be greater than
the true age by many hundreds of millions of years. This problem of inherited age is more
serious for younger rocks, and there are well-documented instances of conflicts between
stratigraphic age and Rb-Sr age in the literature."*C. Brooks,
and *S. R. Hart, "Ancient Lithosphere: Its Role in Young Continental Volcanism,
"in Science, Vol. 193, September 17, 1876, p. 1093.
Whenever the Rb-Sr dates do not agree with other theorized dates, it is said that
too much strontium was in the sample, and that that extra amount did not come from
rubidium in the sample, but somehow wandered in from elsewhere.
"The major source of error in Rb-Sr [rubidium-strontium] age determinations on
whole rock samples of shale is the presence of inherited radiogenic strontium in the
detrital minerals." *P.R. Whitney and *P.M. Hurley, "The Problem of
Inherited Radiogenic Strontium in Sedimentary Age Determination," in Geochimics et
Cosmochimica Acts, Vol. 24 April 1864.
These experts tell the young geologists not to worry when their Rb-Sr dates are not in
agreement with sedimentary fossil theories:
"These data suggest that great caution must be used when applying the Rb-Sr whole
rock technique to metamorphic rocks. This and other studies show that meter-sedimentary
rocks can yield linear arrays of points on isochron diagrams, but that the age can have a
variety of geological meanings and need not define the date of deposition or metamorphism
of the sediment." *M. Spanglet, *H.A. Brueckner and *R.G.
"Old Rb-Sr Whole Rock Apparent Ages From Lower Cambrian Psammites and
Southeastern New York" in the Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, Vol. 88,
May 1878, p.788.
Rb-Sr researchers went to the southwestern part of Montana and analyzed rocks in that
locality. They came up with an immense variety of dates. (1 AE6 109
years, therefore 1.6 AE5 1 billion, 600 thousand years ago.)
"Major isotopic age discordances are found at the eastern margin of a terrain in
SW Montana which underwent metamorphism 1.6 AE (1.6 billion years] ago. In Portal Creek, a
one-mile portion of a traverse across this margin yields:
"(1) Discordant whole rock Rb-Sr ages which approximate 2.8 AE [2.8 billion
years]; (2) seven biotite Rb-Sr ages concordant at 1.68 AE [1.68 billion years]; (3)
fifteen biotite K-Ar ages which are highly discordant and range from 1.63 to 3.25 AE
(1.68-3.25 billion years]; (4) ten generally concordant hornblende K-Ar ages at 1.9 AE
[1.9 billion years]." *Ibid.
In the next paragraph, the discordant dates are theorized away.
"It is concluded that there was a major resetting event for the hornblendes at 1.9
AE [1.9 billion years] ago. This was followed by a milder event at 1.6 AE (1.6 billion
years] when the biotites became open systems while the hornblendes did not. During this
time, the biotites lost all their radiogenic 87Sr, but actually gained
radiogenic 40Ar in amounts up to 16x10-4 scc Ar/g
*Brooks admits the extremely skewed dates produced by Rb-Sr dating, but explains that
they can be explained by a theory developed to explain them.
"An important but commonly overlooked isotopic property of volcanic rocks is that
they often show Sr isotopic compositions that correlate with Rb/Sr ratios to form
pseudoisochrons which give ages grossly in excess of the true age of volcanism. It is our
contention that these pseudoisochrons are a key to the understanding of mantle processes
both in continental and oceanic regions, and that for the former they furnish evidence for
the participation of ancient lithosphere in continental magmatism [volcanic action]."
*C. Brooks, et. al., "Ancient Lithosphere: Its Role in Young Continental
Volcanism," Science, 193:1086 (1976).
6 - POTASSIUM-ARGON DATING
Potassium-Argon (K-Ar) dating is widely used at the present time to date fossils and
related organic materials from earlier times (see chapter 26, Paleomagnetic Dating). Modern
scientific research in several crucial areas of advanced studies relies heavily upon it.
Read this and you will wonder why:
*Sedemann downgrades the usefulness of K-Ar dating of underseas rocks:
"In an attempt to establish criteria for obtaining reliable K-Ar [potassium-argon]
dates, conventional K-Ar studies of several Deep Sea Drilling Project sites were
undertaken. K-Ar dates of these rocks may be subject to inaccuracies as the result of
seawater alteration. Inaccuracies also may result from the presence of excess radiogenic
Ar-40 trapped in rapidly cooled rocks at the time of their formation."
E. Sedemann, "Effect of Submarine Alteration on K-Ar Dating of Deep-Sea Igneous
Rocks," in the Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, Vol. 88, November 1977,
In working with K-Ar dating samples, those that disagree are tossed in the waste
basket, with the judgment that, for some unknown reason, the sample had "too
much" or "too little" K-Ar in it!
"In conventional interpretation of K-Ar age data, it is common to discard ages
which are substantially too high or too low compared with the rest of the group or with
other available data such as the geological time scale. The discrepancies between the
rejected and the accepted are arbitrarily attributed to excess or loss of argon."
*A. Hayatsu, "K-Ar Isochron Age of the North Mountain Basalt, Nova
Scotia," in the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, Vol. 18, 1979, p. 974.
All K-Ar dates not in the accepted time range are not only trashed, but not
discussed. This is science?
"In general, dates in the 'correct ball park' are assumed to be correct and are
published, but those in disagreement with other data are seldom published nor are
discrepancies fully explained."*R. L Mauger, "K
-Ar Ages of Biotite from Tuffs in Eocene Rocks of Green River, Washakie and Uinta Basins," in
Contributions to Geology, Vol. 16,(1), 1977, p. 37.
The K-Ar sample must agree with the theory before it can be utilized:
"Strong indication of the reliability of a conventional K-Ar date, such as its
concordance with the dates of co-existing minerals, must exist before geologic
significance can be attributed."*David E. Saidemann, "Effect of
Submarine Alteration on K-Ar Dating of Deep-Sea Igneous Rocks," in the Bulletin of
the Geological Society of America Vol. 88, November 1977, p. 1660.
Two researchers laugh at the foolishness of only selecting certain K-Ar dating samples
for use, while explaining away the rest:
"Thus, if one believes that the derived ages in particular instances are in gross
disagreement with established facts of field geology, he must conjure up geological
processes that could cause anomalous or altered argon contents of the
minerals."*J P. Evernden and *J.R. Richards, "Potassium Argon Ages in
Eastern Australia," in the Journal of the Geological Society of Australia, Vol. 9,
No. 1, 1962, p.3.
'Natural History adds this comment:
"The [potassium-argon] dating method is increasingly inaccurate for dates of less
than one million years. Consequently, there is a period during Early and Middle
Pleistocene times when dating human remains is difficult and uncertain." *Natural
History, February 1967, p. 58.
The use of such highly-inaccurate dates are the basis for the long ages assigned to the
existence of our planet:
"Through radioactive dating methods, the age of the earth has been approximated at
4,500 million years. A new and higher figure6,500 million yearshas now been
given [using K-Ar dating]."*Science Digest, December 1962, p. 35.
Two scientists talk frankly about the flaws in K-Ar dating technology:
"The potassium-argon clock has been heralded and was supposed to have great
prospects. But, as of late, it has fallen into some bad times. There are some very serious
objections to using the potassium-argon decay family as a radiometric clock. This is, of
course, very harmful to the position of those holding the theory of seafloor spreading
since their time scale has been calculated using mainly K40/Ar4Odates.
"About 11 percent of K40 decays by electron capture and gamma ray
emission to Ar4O and the remaining 89 percent of the K40 decays by
beta-particle emission to form Ca4O. The geochronologist considers the Ca40
of little practical use in radiometric dating since common calcium is such an abundant
element and the radiogenic Ca40 has the same atomic mass as the calcium.
"There is far too much Ar40 in the earth for more than a small fraction
of it to have been formed by radioactive decay of K40. This is true even if the
earth were really 4.5 billion years old. In the atmosphere of the earth, Ar40
constitutes 99.6 percent of the total argon. This is around 100 times the amount that
would be generated by radioactive decay over the hypothetical 4.5 billion years. Certainly
this is not produced by an influx from outer space. Thus, it would seem that a large
amount of Ar4O was present in the beginning. Since geochronologists assume that
errors due to presence of initial Ar4O are small, their results are highly
"Argon diffuses from mineral to mineral with great ease. It leaks out of rocks
very readily and, therefore, can move from down deep in the earth, where the pressure is
large, and accumulate in an abnormally large amount in the surface where our rock samples
for dating are found. They would all have excess argon due to this movement. This makes
them appear older. Rocks from deeper in the crust would show this to a lesser degree.
Also, since some rocks hold the Ar4O more strongly than others, some rocks will
have a large apparent age, others smaller ages, though they may actually be the same age.
"If you were to measure Ar4O concentration as a function of depth, you
would no doubt find more of it near the surface than at deeper points because it migrates
more easily from deep in the earth than it does from the earth into the atmosphere. It is
very easy to see how the huge ages are being obtained by the K40-Ar4O
radiometric clock, since surface and near surface samples will contain argon due to this
"Mr. Webster Smith . . regarded the atomic [radioactive] dating method . . as
still very tentative especially where the older rocks were concerned and where discordant
and even absurd results were quite common. There were records of granites which atomically
were older than other granites that they intruded . . Argon was all too prone to be either
deficient, wholly absent, or even too high; in such cases the author 'adjusted' his
figures." *P.A. Sabine and *J Watson, Introduction to "Isotopic
Age-Determinations of Rocks from the British Isles," in Journal of the Geological
Society of London, 12:525, 1955-64 (1965).
K-Ar analysis yields old ages for new materials.
"The radiogenic argon and helium contents of three basalts erupted into the deep
ocean from an active volcano [Kilauea] have been measured. Ages calculated from these
measurements increase with sample depth up to 22 million years for lavas deduced to be
recent."*C.S. Noble and J.J. Naughton, "Deep-Ocean Basalts:
Inert Gas Content and Uncertainties in Age Dating," Science, 162:265 (1968).
Another scientist also discusses the problem:
"Many of the rocks seem to have inherited Ar4O from the magma from
which the rocks were derived. Volcanic rocks erupted into the ocean definitely inherit Ar40
and helium, and thus when these are dated by the K40-Ar40 clock, old
ages are obtained from very recent flows. For example, lavas taken from the ocean bottom
off the island of Hawaii on a submarine extension of the east rift zone of Kilauea volcano
gave an age of 22 million years, but the actual flow happened less than 200 years ago.
"Some geochronologists believe that a possible cause of excess argon is that argon
diffuses into mineral progressively with time. Significant quantities of argon may be
inherited into a mineral even at pressures as low as one bar.
"If such 'wild' ages as mentioned above are obtained for pillow lavas, how 'wild'
are those from deep sea drilling out in the Atlantic where sea-floor spreading is supposed
to be occurring?"H. Slusher, Critique of Radiometric Dating (19731 p.
In scientific terminology, we are here told that K-Ar samples are only usable when they
agree with pre-decided standards as to the amount of inert substance (argon) contained
within them. If the ratios do not agree, then the conclusions will be erratic.
"The Ar-40/Ar-36 vs. K-40/Ar-36
isochrons are valid only when all samples of the system under consideration have the same
non-radiogenic argon composition. If this condition does not hold, invalid ages and
intercepts are obtained. Models
2-9 yield isochron ages that are too high, too low, or in the future, sometimes
by orders of magnitude."*M. Shafiqullah and *P.E. Damon, "Evaluation of
K-Ar Isochron Methods, " in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 38:1355-6 (1974).
Read it and weep. Is this science?
"Potassium-argon determinations on 23 muscovite-biotite pairs from the
Upper East Alpine Aftkristallin of the Eastern Alps yield apparent ages ranging between 79
and 107 m.y. [million years] for the muscovite and between 78 and 490 m.y. for the
coexisting biotite. The micas appear to be of the same generation and neither differential
leaching of potassium nor abnormal blocking temperature relationships are able to explain
this discordance." *M.S. Brewer, "Excess Radiogenic Argon in
Metamorphic Micas from the Eastern Alps, Austria," Earth and Planetary Science
Letters, 6:321 (1969).
The accepted theory today among scientists is that our planet is 4.5 billion years old.
But, using the wildly aberrant K-Ar dating, a Soviet scientific team, headed by *E.K.
Gerling, found 6-billion-year-old rocks in the Baltic Shield, a type of rock that covers
large sections of Scandinavia! ("Earth's Age Much Underestimated?" New
Scientist, 14:;720 (1962). No one, anywhere, has been able to produce such an ancient age
for a rock. But, considering the dating methods used, that should be understandable.
*Engles discusses yet another aspect of the "K-Ar problem."
"The K-Ar dating of more than one mineral from a single rock sample has often
revealed widely discordant ages. Where these minerals are mutual contaminants in mineral
separates, as in the system biotite-hornblende, mixed ages will result, and these will
always tend toward apparent concordance. The 'true' ages of the pure end-member of such
mixtures may be very different from the mixed ages. It is not uncommon to find situations
where purity levels of 95% or more do not suffice to give geologically meaningful ages.
The effects of sample purity on discordant mineral ages can be evaluated and limits
determined for the ages of the theoretical mineral components."*Joan C.
Engles, "Effects of Sample Purity on Discordant Mineral Ages Found in
Dating," Journal of Geology, 79:609 (1971).
* Hayatsu explains why it is so easy to work with potassium/argon dating: simply trash
the discordant dates.
"In conventional interpretations of K-Ar age data, it is common to discard ages
which are substantially too high a too low compared with the rest of the group or with
other available data, such as the geological time scale. The discrepancies between the
rejected and the accepted are arbitrarily attributed to excess or loss of
argon."*A. Hayatsu, "K-Ar Isochron Age of the North Mountain Basalt,
Nova Scotia," Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 16:974 (1979).
This is what happens when samples of rock from a single source are repeatedly tested
with the potassium 40/argon 40 (K-Ar) method:
"The fossil skull known as 1470 was found by Richard Leakey in 1972 in Kenya. It
has proved a difficult skull to date. When Leakey made his find, he believed the skull was
about 2.6 million years old. So he sent samples of the rock in which 1470 was found to
Cambridge, England, for dating. Tests on these first samples gave an average age not of
2.8 million years, but of an incredible 221 million years! This was more than 218 million
years too great!
"Scientists who did the dating decided the rock they had tested must have been
contaminated. So Leakey sent more samples. From these the scientists chose crystals that
seemed fresher than others, and they came up with an age of 2.4 million years. (They later
adjusted this to 2.6 million years, plus or minus 26,000 years, which agreed well with
Leakey's belief before dating tests began).
"But dating work on the rock did not stop there. More samples were taken. More
tests were done. Results this time ranged from 290,000 years up to 19.5 million years!
"Trying to bring some sense to the results, paleomagnetic determinations were
begun. Leakey's 1470 fossil was then given an age of 3 million years.
"But this drew opposition from paleontologists who said it conflicted with the age
of animal fossils from the region. Then Dr. Garniss Curtis, from the University of
California at Berkeley, said his potassium/argon tests dated the rock at 1.8 million
years." "1470 Skull and Radiometric Dating," Ex Nihilo, 8:9,
RADIODATING FOSSIL-BEARING STRATA
Because radiodating methods are based on assumptions, some of which are incorrect and
all of which are unverifiable,they yield dates which conflict with one another.
Fossil-bearing sedimentary strata dating is nothing more than a 19th century set of
theorized dates. Putting the two together provides quite a challenge for the scientific
community. Here is what authorities in the field have to say about the matter:
Efforts to radiodate the sedimentary strata have not proven to be the help that was
originally expected of them:
"It is obvious that radiometric techniques may not be the absolute dating methods
that they are claimed to be. Age estimates on a given geological stratum by different
radiometric methods are often quite different (sometimes by hundreds of millions of
years). There is no absolutely reliable long-term radiological
clock."*William Stansfield, The Science of Evolution, p. 84
"The most reasonable age" for the strata is that which is in agreement with
the 100-year-old strata theory of datings. Radiodating conclusions must, in one way or
another, be wrested into agreement with the proper age dates or they are not usable.
"The most reasonable age can be selected only after careful consideration of
independent geochronologic data as well as field, stratigraphic and paleontolic evidence,
and the petrographic and paragenetic relations. . In an effort to evaluate a discordant
age sequence, therefore, the data are adjusted in one of several ways.. until the
lead-uranium and lead-lead ages are in agreement."*L It
Stieff, *T.W. Stern
and *R.N. Eichler, "Algebraic and Graphic Methods for Evaluating Discordant Lead
Isotope Ages," U.S.G.S. Professional Paper 414-E, 1963, E-1.
Radiodating conclusions must agree with the fossil-dating theory; if not, they are
"The internal consistency demonstrated above is not a sufficient test of the
accuracy of the age determinations; they must also be consistent within any age
constraints placed on intrusion by fossils in the country rocks."*I. S.
Williams, *W. Compton, *B. W. Chapell and *T. Shirahause, "Rubidium-Strontium Age
Determinations of Micas," in the Journal of the Geological Society of Australia, Vol.
22, No. 4, 1975, p. 502.
Fossils are used to date the rocks and the rocks date the fossils. What can be the
value of such a method of dating past ages? *Ager writes about his disappointment when
physicists say that strata are dated radiometrically. He said that he could think of no
cases where radioactive decay methods are used to date fossils. (See *D. Ager, "Fossil
Frustrations," New Scientist, November 10, 1983, p. 425.) Here was a
radiodating sample that had to be trashed because it did not agree with the fossil-dating
"The Mississippian age for sample NS-45 cannot be correct because it is grossly
inconsistent with the stratigraphic position of the laves."*C. M.
Carmichael and *H. C., Palmer, "Paleomagnetism of the Late Triassic North Mountain
Basalt of Nova Scotia,"in the Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 73, 1968,
Recently-extruded volcanic rocks yield extremely wild radiodatings, but the application
of theories regarding fossil-bearing strata above and below those rocks, and theories
regarding geomagnetic reversals will solve the problem: simply throw away the test results
which do not agree with the classical strata theory.
"This is an inherent uncertainty in dating young volcanic rocks: anomalies may be
detected only by stratigraphic consistency tests, independent dating techniques, and
comparison with the known time scale of geomagnetic reversals during the last 5 million
years (Cox 1969)." *R.L Armstrong, "Late Cenozoic McMurdo Group and Dry
Valley Glacial History, Victoria Land, Antarctica, " in the New Zealand Journal of
Geology and Geophysics, Vol. 21, 1978, p.692.
Some field geologists are not happy with a situation in which radiodating results vary
so widely from fossil-dating theories.
"Much still remains to be learned of the interpretation of isotopic ages, and the
realization that the isotopic age is not necessarily the geologic age of a rock has led to
an over-skeptical attitude by some field geologists." *O.E. Brown and *JA
Miller, "Interpretation of Isotopic Ages in Orogenic Belts," in the Geological
Society of London Special, No. 3 1969, p. 137
Radioactive dating yields such discordant results that its test conclusions would be
totally useless if it were not for the fact that the fossil-dating theory is used as a
measure of which radioactive dates might somehow be brought into line and which should be
"Structure, metamorphism, sedimentary reworking and other complications have to be
considered. Radiometric dating would not have been feasible if the geologic column had not
been erected first . . The axiom that no process can measure itself means that there is no
absolute time, but this relic of the traditional mechanics persists in the common
distinction between 'relative' and 'absolute' age."*J.E. O'Rourke,
"Pragmatism versus Materialism in Stratigraphy, " American Journal of Science,
Vol. 276, January 1976, p. 54.
"Paleontological dating" is another name for the 100-year-old
fossil-dating theory. Here is a clear statement of the problem:
"Paleontological dating of rocks is by far the most important and determinative
method of dating, and yet it should be obvious that its validity depends entirely upon the
assumption of evolution. Other methods are also used (e.g. radioactive dating), but these
are secondary methods, as is obvious from the fact that, when contradictions between
methods occur (and this is quite frequently) the paleontological dates always govern. That
the paleontological method is based primarily on evolution is evident from the tact that
the frequent anomalous sequences found in local columns must always be corrected in some
way to conform to the standard column; otherwise the order of evolution of one region
would have to be different from that in another region.''H. M. Morris, W. W.
Boardman, and R. F. Koontz, Science and Creation (1971), p. 25.
- 8 - CARBON 14 DATING
Carbon 14 dating was looked upon as a wonderful solution to many dating problems when
it was first developed. But it has since been found to be riddled with many
inconsistencies, and based upon a surprising number of unworkable uniformity assumptions.
Again, we will let the experts speak:
Even today the assumed C-14 values are changing:
"It seems probable that the present-day inventory of natural C-14 [the amount of
carbon 14 now naturally occurring in the atmosphere] does not correspond to the
equilibrium value, but is increasing."*Hens E. Suess, "Secular
Variations in the Cosmic-Ray Produced Carbon 14 in the Atmosphere and their
Interpretations, " Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 70, December 1, 1985, p.
Earlier changes in magnetic shielding would work havoc with radiocarbon dating results.
"It most certainly would ruin some of our carefully developed methods of dating
things from the past .
"If the level of carbon-14 was less in the past, due to a greater magnetic
shielding from cosmic rays, then our estimates of the time that has elapsed since the life
of the organism will be too long." *Science Digest, December 1960, p. 18.
Dates assigned to shell-fish remains vary by large amounts.
"Errors of shell radiocarbon dates may be as large as several thousand
years."*Science, August 18, 1863, p. 834.
Radiocarbon specimen amounts are measured, then dates are assigned on the basis of
assumptions about conditions in the past.
"Throughout the conference (of radiocarbon experts) emphasis was placed on the
fact that laboratories do not measure ages, they measure sample activities. The connection
between activity and age is made through a set of assumptions . . one of the main
assumptions of C-14 dating is that the atmospheric radiocarbon level has held steady over
the age-range to which the method applies."*Science, December 10, 1965, p.
The large amount of carbon that is now locked up in oil, petroleum, and fossils in the
rock strata, indicates that atmospheric carbon dioxide prior to the Flood could have been
"This loss [of carbon dioxide from the air] is relatively minor today. On the
other hand it would be especially large during a period such as the Carboniferous when
there were extensive marshes and shallow seas. At the end of the Carboniferous the
atmospheric carbon dioxide content may have been reduced to a very low level because of
the tremendous quantities that has been used in the newly formed coal and oil
deposits." *G. N. Plass, "Carbon Dioxide and the Climate," in
American Scientist, Vol. 44, July 1956, p. 313.
Carbon 14 dating does not agree with tree ring dating.
"A comparison of radiocarbon dates obtained from Egyptian archeological samples
and from contemporary tree growth-rings shows significant discrepancies over an extended
period of time."David J. Tyler, "Crisis in Radiocarbon
Calibration," Creation Research Society Quarterly, September 1977, p. 92.
Careful analysis of the discrepancies between the two indicates that both C-14 and
tree-ring dating are flawed.
"The discrepancy between the bristlecone-pine-calibrated Egyptian radiocarbon
dates and the historical dates for Ancient Egypt from 1900-600 B.C. carries with it the
implication that, within the error limits discussed, both chronological systems are
incorrect." *R.M. Clark and *C. Renkew, "Tree-ring Calibration of
Radiocarbon Dates and the Chronology of Ancient Egypt," in Nature, 243(5405):266-270.
Glaciation dating theories do not agree with radiocarbon dating results.
"All calculations of radiocarbon dates have been made on the assumption that the
amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide has remained constant. If the theory presented here
of carbon dioxide variations in the atmosphere is correct, then the reduced carbon dioxide
dates for events before the recession of the glaciers are in question."*G.
N. Plass, "Carbon Dioxide and the Climate," in American Scientist, Vol. 44, July
Red deer antlers with like ages, yielded radiocarbon dates that varied by as much as
"Picks [for digging], made from the antlers of red deer, and supposed to be about
4,000 years old, were found in the remains of Neolithic flint mines, at Grimes' Graves,
Norfolk, England. The ages for the antlers indicated by the carbon 14 varied over a range
of about 300 years. But from other evidence it was concluded that the picks all belonged
within a few years of one another."News note, Creation Research Society
Quarterly, June 1977, p. 70.
Radiocarbon dating theories are heavily based on continuous uniformity of carbon
dioxide balances in the atmosphere. Yet such uniformity does not exist.
"There is strong indication, despite the large errors, that the present natural
production rate exceeds the natural decay rate by as much as 25% . . It appears that
equilibrium in the production and decay of carbon 14 may not be maintained in
detail."*Richard E. Ungenfelter, "Production of C-14 by Cosmic X-Ray
Neutrons," Reviews of Geophysics, Vol., 1, February 1963, p. 51.
Live sea shells, uncontaminated by modern radioactive fallout, gave varied C-14 ages
ranging from 440 to 750 years!
"The mean apparent radiocarbon ages of marine shells, collected alive before the
initiation of atomic bomb testing, and also before the main input of dead carbon derived
from fossil fuels, are found to be 440 yrs. [years] for the coast of Norway, 510 yrs. for
Spitzbergen, and 750 yrs for Ellesmere Island, Arctic Canada."*Jan Mangerud
and *Steiner Gulliksen, "Apparent Radiocarbon Ages of Recent Marine Shells from
Norway, Spitzbergen, and Arctic Canada," Quaternary Research, 5:263 (1975).
Living trees as being 10,000 years old!
"Living trees near an airport were dated as 10,000 years old with C-14, because
the wood contained contamination from airplane exhaust."Erech A. von
"Time Upside Down, " in Creation Research Society Quarterly, June 1974, p. 18.
Carbon 14 dating of modern snail shells in Nevada are dated at 27,000 years!
"Carbon-14 contents as low as 3.3 +/- [plus or minus] 0.2 percent modern [apparent
age: 27,000 years] measured from the shells of snails Melanoides tuberculatus living
in artesian springs in southern Nevada, are attributed to fixation of dissolved HCO3
with which the shells are in carbon isotope equilibrium."*Alan C. Riggs,
"Major Carbon-14 Deficiency in Modem Snail Shells from Southern Nevada Springs,"
Science, 224:58 (1984).
How to get rid of discordant C-14 dates: simply throw out the ones you do not want.
"Six radiocarbon ages have been determined for organic carbon through the core [of
material obtained from the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska]. These ages, which range
from 4,390 + /210 to 15,500 +/- x 800 years B.P. [before the present], are so disarranged
that no consecutive dates are juxtaposed, and the oldest age determinative is from the
2.88-to-3.40 meter interval.
This disarrangement of radiocarbon ages suggests that the delta sediments are to some
degree composed of recycled sediment. By disregarding the 15,500 + /- 800-year age as
being inconsistent with the other radiocarbon ages, and by assuming that contamination has
made the remaining dates too old by about the same amount that the radiocarbon age (4,390
+ /- 210 years B.P.) near the top of the core exceeds usual surface sediment dates,
Creager and McManus conclude that the delta was formed about 12,000 years ago."*D.S.
McCulloch, "Quaternary Geology of the Alaskan Shore of the Chukchi Sea," in
David M. Hopkins (ed.), Bering Land Bridge (1967), p. 110. (Stanford.)
Careful analysis of radiocarbon datings of specimens from only the last four centuries
reveals marked discrepancies. It is also an indictment of the accuracy of thorium-uranium
dating for even very recent samples.
"A detailed comparison of conventional radiocarbon years with calendar years
covering the past four centuries is given. [Using the excuse of] Relatively large
atmospheric 14C changes cannot entirely solve the problems of age calibration.
By matching radiocarbon ages with ages derived from 23OTh/234U,
thermoluminescence and magnetic dating, the 14C timescale is shown to deviate
by a maximum of 2,000 years over the 9,000-32,000 BP interval. "*Minze
Stuiver, "Radiocarbon Timescale Tested Against Magnetic and Other Dating
Methods," Nature, 273:271 (1978).
Not even samples from a few thousand years ago in the Near East provide useful
"A last difficulty, and at the moment one of the most frustrating, is the failure
of the radiocarbon technique to yield dates of certain dependability. Although it was
hailed as the answer to the prehistorian's prayer when it was first announced, there has
been increasing disillusion with the method because of the chronological uncertainties (in
some cases, absurdities) that would follow a strict adherence to published C14
dates. This is not to question the physical laws underlying the principle used, or the
accuracy of the counters now in operation around the world; the unsolved problem, instead,
seems to lie in the difficulty of securing samples completely free from either older or
younger adherent carbon.
"At least to the present, no kind or degree of chemical cleaning can guarantee
one-age carbon, typical only of the time of the site from which it was excavated. What
bids to become a classic example of C14 irresponsibility is the 6,000-year
spread of 11 determinations for Jarmo, a prehistoric village in northeastern Iraq, which,
on the basis of all archeological evidence, was not occupied for more than 500 consecutive
years."*Charles A. Reed, "Animal Domestication in the Prehistoric Near
East," Science, 130:1830 (1959).
J.G. Ogden 111, director of a radiocarbon dating laboratory, expressed his deep
concerns about the multitude of carbon 14 problems. There are just too many unknown
factors standing in the way of successful dating. Then he gives a revealing statement:
"It may come as a shock to some, but fewer than 50 percent of the radiocarbon
dates from geological and archaeological samples in northeastern North America have been
adopted as *acceptable* by investigators."'J. Gordon Ogden III, "Use
and Abuse of Radiocarbon Dates," Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 288:167
The problem is real and even worse than before realized. Six years after discovering
it, Libby admitted a basic flaw in carbon-14 dating.
"In 1952, when Willard Libby first published his work on radiocarbon dating, he
called attention to the critical assumption that the ratio of carbon-14 to carbon-12 has
been constant. He tested that assumption by making various measurements and calculating
how rapidly carbon-14 was forming and decaying. Surprisingly, carbon-14 seemed to be
forming faster than it was decaying. That would mean that there was less carbon-14 in the
atmosphere in the past. If we did not know that, we would falsely conclude that the lack
of carbon-14 was because the missing carbon-14 had decayed through old age. Libby felt
sure that his measurements must have been in error since he thought the earth was so old
that a balance between formation and decay must exist. Recently, others have duplicated
Libbys measurements with much greater accuracy. They have concluded that the
out-of-balance condition is real and even worse than Libby believed."Walter
T. Brown, In the Beginning (1989), p. 96.
Radiocarbon dating just does not yield the accurate dates that it ought to provide us
with, even when applied to Near Eastern archaeological specimens.
"A last difficulty, and at the moment one of the most frustrating, is the failure
of the radiocarbon technique to yield dates of certain dependability. Although it was
hailed as the answer to the prehistorians prayer when it was first announced, there
has been increasing disillusion with the method because of the chronological uncertainties
(in some cases, absurdities) that would follow a strict adherence to published C-14 dates.
This is not to question the physical laws underlying the principle used, or the accuracy
of the counters now in operation around the world; the unsolved problem, instead, seems to
lie in the difficulty of securing samples completely free from either older or younger
"At least to the present, no kind or degree of chemical cleaning can guarantee
one-age carbon, typical only of the time of the site from which it was excavated. What
bids to become a classic example of C-14 irresponsibility is the 6,000-year spread of 11
determinations for Jarmo, a prehistoric village in northeastern Iraq, which, on the basis
of all archeological evidence, was not occupied for more than 500 consecutive years.
" "Charles A. Reed, "Animal Domestication in the Prehistoric Near
East," Science, 130:1630 (1959).
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