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Radiometric Dating: Back to Basics (does it really prove the Earth is millions of years old?)
Answers Magazine ^ | June 17, 2009 | Andrew A. Snelling, Ph.D.

Posted on 06/18/2009 8:48:47 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts

Radiometric dating is often used to “prove” rocks are millions of years old. Once you understand the basic science, however, you can see how wrong assumptions lead to incorrect dates.

Most people think that radioactive dating has proven the earth is billions of years old. After all, textbooks, media, and museums glibly present ages of millions of years as fact.

Yet few people know how radiometric dating works or bother to ask what assumptions drive the conclusions. So let’s take a closer look and see how reliable this dating method really is...

(Excerpt) Read more at answersingenesis.org ...


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KEYWORDS: antiscience; antisciencedarwin; belongsinreligion; bsalert; coloringbookcreation; cowdungalert; crackerheadsunited; crap; creation; cretinism; darwindrones; dumdums; evolution; evoreligion; fools; forrestisstoopid; frembarrassment; goodgodimnutz; intelligentdesign; jihad; kkkmeeting; magicdust; moreembarrassingcrap; pseudoscience; ragingyechardon; science; templeofdarwin
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This is PART ONE in a three part series. Stay tuned for parts two and three!!!
1 posted on 06/18/2009 8:48:48 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: editor-surveyor; metmom; Alamo-Girl; betty boop; GourmetDan; MrB; valkyry1; DaveLoneRanger; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 06/18/2009 8:49:27 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts; All

I do need a good laugh..


3 posted on 06/18/2009 8:52:28 AM PDT by KevinDavis (Can't Stop the Signal!)
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To: GodGunsGuts

All of metrology uses certain assumptions. It is a field bound by limitations on methodolgy and accuracy. When used as a tool to “prove” something it will frequently be misused. Fact is the data are the data ——interpretation is everything


4 posted on 06/18/2009 8:52:56 AM PDT by the long march
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To: GodGunsGuts

As soon as you show us **exactly**, with verified peer-reviewed physical evidence, where on planet earth is (or was).


5 posted on 06/18/2009 8:53:59 AM PDT by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: GodGunsGuts

Thanks for the daily laugh!
And I assume, of course, that you don’t have a smoke detector in your house. Who would trust their well being to the flaky, unpredictable nature of radioactive decay?


6 posted on 06/18/2009 8:54:26 AM PDT by blowfish
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To: GodGunsGuts

Superposition
Not a valid dating method- too manyvariables must be taken into account- too many suppositions
http://www.fbinstitute.com/powell/evolutionexposed.htm

Stratigraphy
http://geoinfo.nmt.edu/publications/bulletins/135/home.html

Dendrochronology
Up to 10000 years tops

Radiometric Dating Methods
problems with radiometic http://www.specialtyinterests.net/carbon14.html

Obsidian Hydration Dating
Many obsidians are crowded with microlites and crystallines (gobulites and trichites), and these form fission-track-like etch pits following etching with hydrofluoric acid. The etch pits of the microlites and crystallines are difficult to separate from real fission tracks formed from the spontaneous decay of 238U, and accordingly, calculated ages based on counts including the microlite and crystalline etch pits are not reliable.”
http://trueorigin.org/dating.asp
http://www.scientifictheology.com/STH/Pent3.html

Paleomagnetic/Archaeomagnetic
Very little info on this method
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/dp5/tecto.htm

Luminescence Dating Methods
http://karst.planetresources.net/Kimberley_Culture.htm

Amino Acid Racemization
http://www.creation-science-prophecy.com/amino/

Fission-track Dating
http://www.ao.jpn.org/kuroshio/86criticism.html

Ice Cores
Varves
At best- the two methods above are only accurate to about 11,000 years due to numerous conditions and environmental uncertainties

Pollens
Corals
Highly unreliable- you’d need constant temps to maintaIN reliable growth pattersn http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v14/i1/coral_reef.asp

Cation Ratio
Fluorine Dating
http://www.present-truth.org/Creation/creation-not-evolution-13.htm

Patination
Known times only throuhg analysis of the patina
Oxidizable Carbon Ratio

Electron Spin Resonance
Cosmic-ray Exposure Dating
Closely related to the buggiest dating methods of Carbon dating

why it’s wrong:
http://www.cs.unc.edu/~plaisted/ce/dating.html#Carbon
http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/3059

RaDio helio dating disproves:
http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/369
http://www.cs.unc.edu/~plaisted/ce/
http://www.rae.org/


7 posted on 06/18/2009 8:56:44 AM PDT by CottShop (Scientific belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge)
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To: GodGunsGuts
But what if the assumptions are wrong? For example, what if radioactive material was added to the top bowl or if the decay rate has changed?

When discussing evolution, they argue that speciation cannot be assumed because no one has ever verified that change happened.

When discussing radiometrics they argue that decay rates cannot be assumed to be constant because no can verify that change has not happened.

8 posted on 06/18/2009 8:57:14 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

Can’t wait—this will be amusing. Can you post the bibliography that the author has provided so we can do some advance reading?

The entire series has been peer reviewed, right?


9 posted on 06/18/2009 8:58:20 AM PDT by Buck W. (The President of the United States IS named Schickelgruber...)
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To: xcamel
I love an article which through 90% of the content, proves it works, then in the last 10%, the entire argument is ..but what if..

I would like to see the what if held up to the same observation and testing standards.

10 posted on 06/18/2009 8:58:20 AM PDT by mnehring
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To: CottShop

Thanks for the additional links, CottShop!


11 posted on 06/18/2009 8:59:57 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts

But it’s such an awesome plot device!


12 posted on 06/18/2009 9:00:31 AM PDT by El Sordo
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To: mnehring

“I would like to see the what if held up to the same observation and testing standards.”

It is—none.


13 posted on 06/18/2009 9:01:37 AM PDT by Buck W. (The President of the United States IS named Schickelgruber...)
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To: Buck W.
The entire series has been peer reviewed, right?

Most of the greatest achievements of science took place before what we call today peer review.
14 posted on 06/18/2009 9:02:31 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: GodGunsGuts

My son is a Nuke on a US Navy submarine. If the decay rate of the uranium in it’s reactor core ever changes significantly he’s dead meat. If it slows down, they’re left without power. If it speeds up it will melt the containment. Should I tell him to get the hell off that boat?


15 posted on 06/18/2009 9:05:10 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

Radiometric dating is geological Cachexia.


16 posted on 06/18/2009 9:06:25 AM PDT by editor-surveyor (The beginning of the O'Bummer administration looks a lot like the end of the Nixon administration)
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To: Buck W.

> The entire series has been peer reviewed, right?

Do you mean like Global Warming and Piltdown Man?


17 posted on 06/18/2009 9:06:30 AM PDT by Westbrook (Having more children does not divide your love, it multiplies it.)
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To: tacticalogic

No, because radioactive decay can only change when it is required to bolster a theological argument.


18 posted on 06/18/2009 9:07:35 AM PDT by blowfish
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To: GodGunsGuts
[...] So let’s take a closer look and see how reliable this dating method is [...]

To begin with, radiometric dating isn't as a method - rather, it's a whole slew of methods, which in many cases can be used to corroborate each other. (E.g. the obsidian hydration analysis of a stone tool might comport well with the Carbon-14 dating of the wooden heft the obsidian was attached to.

Secondly, some of the techniques referred to here (dendrochronology, etc.) are NOT radiometric in nature, but rather are based upon entirely different principles.

Regards,

19 posted on 06/18/2009 9:08:52 AM PDT by alexander_busek
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To: GodGunsGuts

The Earth is Billions of years old.


20 posted on 06/18/2009 9:09:35 AM PDT by agere_contra
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To: Buck W.
"Can’t wait—this will be amusing. Can you post the bibliography that the author has provided so we can do some advance reading?"

Here's a rebuttal Snelling wrote on TrueOrigin.org.

Others may be interested in the articles on the site.

21 posted on 06/18/2009 9:10:08 AM PDT by GourmetDan (Eccl 10:2 - The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.)
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To: Buck W.; GodGunsGuts

Here´s some background on the author....

http://www.noanswersingenesis.org.au/realsnelling.htm


22 posted on 06/18/2009 9:10:40 AM PDT by Natufian (The mesolithic wasn't so bad, was it?)
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To: aruanan

“Most of the greatest achievements of science took place before what we call today peer review.”

Achievements, not publications.
Today, we subject scientific articles to peer review. Unreviewed articles are nothing more than musings designed to deceive.


23 posted on 06/18/2009 9:10:40 AM PDT by Buck W. (The President of the United States IS named Schickelgruber...)
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To: tacticalogic
Should I tell him to get the hell off that boat?

Not if it's underwater...

24 posted on 06/18/2009 9:11:24 AM PDT by Hegewisch Dupa
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To: CottShop

There´s no link to support the assertion you make about ice cores and varves. I presume that´s an oversight, right?


25 posted on 06/18/2009 9:11:54 AM PDT by Natufian (The mesolithic wasn't so bad, was it?)
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To: Westbrook

“Do you mean like Global Warming and Piltdown Man?”
And creation “science”, yes. Apparently, you agree with the need for peer review.


26 posted on 06/18/2009 9:12:05 AM PDT by Buck W. (The President of the United States IS named Schickelgruber...)
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To: mnehring

Since we now use a radiometric time standard universally, should the rate change we would have no way of recording or proving such.


27 posted on 06/18/2009 9:14:51 AM PDT by editor-surveyor (The beginning of the O'Bummer administration looks a lot like the end of the Nixon administration)
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To: scripter

Read later


28 posted on 06/18/2009 9:16:59 AM PDT by scripter ("You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." - C.S. Lewis)
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To: Buck W.
Creation science journals are all peer reviewed. However, Answers Magazine is a popular science and apologetics magazine. As such, it receives the same amount of peer review as other popular science mags, such as New Scientist and Scientific American. If you object to Answers Magazine on this basis, then you must object to all popular science magazines.
29 posted on 06/18/2009 9:17:35 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: Hegewisch Dupa
Not if it's underwater...

Oddly, they make them practice doing exaclty that.

30 posted on 06/18/2009 9:17:42 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: tacticalogic

Yes, unless the scientists who built it are young earth creationists. Only then will he be fine.


31 posted on 06/18/2009 9:18:06 AM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: editor-surveyor
"Since we now use a radiometric time standard universally, should the rate change we would have no way of recording or proving such."

Hey! Don't confuse the issue by posting the facts!

We gotta paradigm to maintain...

32 posted on 06/18/2009 9:18:40 AM PDT by GourmetDan (Eccl 10:2 - The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

Is counting all the begats in Genesis more accurate that radioactive decay dating????

In that method you are really making some BIG assumptions.....


33 posted on 06/18/2009 9:19:07 AM PDT by nuke rocketeer (File CONGRESS.SYS corrupted: Re-boot Washington D.C (Y/N)?)
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To: GodGunsGuts

How do new earthers explain the “pock” marks left in the crust by Yellowstone eruptions and the fact they are consistent with the timing of plate movements? (approx 600,000 years apart). Geological events occur over millions of years, not overnight.


34 posted on 06/18/2009 9:20:58 AM PDT by RockyMtnMan
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To: GodGunsGuts
Wrong Assumptions, Wrong Dates

.

OK, assume "Assumption 2" is correct. Decay is, and has been, constant. There is no way one can assume the "daughter atoms" were all produced by decay.

Since you can't assume they were all produced by decay, you cannot measure the original amount of the "parent atoms".

35 posted on 06/18/2009 9:24:23 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: tacticalogic

You do realise that those are not contradictory. And that, in fact, science is supposed to be about verification, not assumption, and that whenever something has not been verified, it cannot be assumed.

If someone were to take either of those arguments and say they proved the negative, your complaint would have merit.

But any claim of scientific fact can be dismissed if it can be shown there is no verification of the assumptions.

The problem with applying scientific evolution to the mythology of origins is that we cannot observe initial conditions, and we cannot observe or repeat the past.

We can guess what happened in the past, and pretend that Occam’s razor is actually a scientific principle rather than a handy way of guessing at what happened, but we’ll never be able to say with certainty that a particular belief of the process of origins is the correct one.

After all, an all-powerful God could have created the universe 6000 years ago in precisely the state it would have to be in if it had evolved over billions of years. Sure, from a scientific perspective that would be “uninteresting”, but there’s no way to prove it didn’t happen.


36 posted on 06/18/2009 9:24:31 AM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: GodGunsGuts

Looks like you’re getting flamed already. You have to realize that although this is a conservative, pro-military, pro-God website, most people on these boards do not agree with a true literal interpretation of the Bible, especially when it comes to this type of subject.


37 posted on 06/18/2009 9:25:10 AM PDT by pctech
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To: GodGunsGuts

“If you object to Answers Magazine on this basis, then you must object to all popular science magazines.”

Scientific American and New Scientist are not intended to be peer reviewed journals. Their authors, though, generally have a solid history of peer review elsewhere. However, you are touting this series as a breakthrough, so the fact that it appears in a non peer reviewed publication must cause you some concern.

Now, back to the question: can you post the bibliography that the author cites, and can you post references to his other peer-reviewed works? (I’ll reserve comment on your statement “Creation science journals are all peer reviewed” until later so as to not clutter this post).


38 posted on 06/18/2009 9:25:13 AM PDT by Buck W. (The President of the United States IS named Schickelgruber...)
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To: RockyMtnMan

==Geological events occur over millions of years, not overnight.

Granite formation: catastrophic in its suddenness

http://creation.com/granite-formation-catastrophic-in-its-suddenness


39 posted on 06/18/2009 9:25:44 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: mnehring

One valid question you and I both know would never get answered...

However, I did hear once from a “devout creationist” that Adam and Eve were driven from Eden **to earth**

(I hope it was a nice car)


40 posted on 06/18/2009 9:26:50 AM PDT by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: GodGunsGuts

Thanks for the ping!


41 posted on 06/18/2009 9:26:56 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: CharlesWayneCT

See post 15. On what basis do we trust those lives to the proposition that those decay rates are constant?


42 posted on 06/18/2009 9:27:09 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: tacticalogic; editor-surveyor
"My son is a Nuke on a US Navy submarine. If the decay rate of the uranium in it’s reactor core ever changes significantly he’s dead meat. If it slows down, they’re left without power. If it speeds up it will melt the containment. Should I tell him to get the hell off that boat?"

Doesn't that assume that radioactive decay energies are variable in dynamic time?

See editor-surveyor's post #27.

43 posted on 06/18/2009 9:27:56 AM PDT by GourmetDan (Eccl 10:2 - The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.)
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To: KevinDavis

44 posted on 06/18/2009 9:30:02 AM PDT by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: GourmetDan
Doesn't that assume that radioactive decay energies are variable in dynamic time?

Decay rates are time based. If time varies the decay rate will still be constant with respect to time.

45 posted on 06/18/2009 9:30:15 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: tacticalogic
"Decay rates are time based. If time varies the decay rate will still be constant with respect to time."

You again assumed radiometric and dynamic time are equivalent.

I referred you to post #27 so that you would think about the distinction, not repeat the fallacy.

46 posted on 06/18/2009 9:34:30 AM PDT by GourmetDan (Eccl 10:2 - The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.)
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To: Buck W.
The entire series has been peer reviewed, right?

What if we can't trust the vaunted "peers?"


47 posted on 06/18/2009 9:40:35 AM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: tacticalogic

Damn - I had forgotten they do that - probably put it out of my mind. That’s some serious manly-man work.


48 posted on 06/18/2009 9:40:49 AM PDT by Hegewisch Dupa
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To: GodGunsGuts

We actually do have one example (Venus) of a planet which is ballpark for some sort of 5K - 10K age. Venus LOOKS like a new planet, 900 F surface temperature, massive 90-bar CO2 atmosphere, major thermal imbalance, major upwards UV flux, total lack of regolith, statistically random cratering, etc. etc. Earth and Mars do not resemble that in any way, shape, or manner; you have to assume they are significantly older than that, but not hundreds of millions or billions of years old. Robert Bass once redid Lord Kelvin’s heat equations for the Earth WITH a maximum possible figure for radioactive elements included and came up with a max possible age of around 200M years. Attempts to publish that got him thrown out of BYU for heresy.


49 posted on 06/18/2009 9:41:52 AM PDT by varmintman
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To: GourmetDan
You again assumed radiometric and dynamic time are equivalent.

I'll stand by my original statement. If the decay slows down, the reaction doesn't produce enough power - power is also time based. If it speeds up it will melt the containment - the cooling systems that keep it from doing this are equally time based, being dependent on how much coolant they can move through the system and as a direct function how much heat they can remove in a given amount of time.

50 posted on 06/18/2009 9:42:17 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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