|Site Map | Contacts | Links | Newsletter ||
The Bible and Science:
Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth
Edited by Vardiman, Snelling, and Chaffin
ICR & CRS, 2000.
A Critique by Dr. Stephen Meyers
Prologue by John Morris
3 Assumptions of Radioisotope Dating:
The rate of decay has been the same. John Morris in his book The Young Earth states, "I am not going to challenge that assumption....I'm willing to grant (with reservations) the probability that the decay rates of the major isotopes used in dating have remained the same throughout the past. Yet now Morris is questioning the rate of decay.
Decay rates are constant even at extreme temperatures of 2000 C or -186 C (Dalrymple 1982, 12).
No additions or removal of either parent of daughter isotopes.
When rock first formed it contained a known amount of daughter material.
Introduction by Larry Vardiman
Rate stands for Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth.
First Rate Meeting
Three major obstacles to accelerated decay:
Great quantities of heat are released by radioactive decay. If accelerated decay occurred during the flood, then the heat from the decay would "vaporize all the waters in the oceans" (page 8).
Great quantities of deadly radiation would be released. If accelerated decay occurred during the flood, then deadly radiation would have killed Noah and all the animals (Ibid.).
The theological difficulties with the idea of decay before the Fall of Adam and Eve into sin. If God created a perfect world, how could things be decaying before the Fall since there was no death. For the sun to burn there must be laws of entropy before the Fall. I think there view of the Fall is wrong. The proposal that there were very low concentrations of 40K in man and animals before the flood is not supported by any evidence that I know of. They still stumble over the theological obstacle of the Fall. Supernatural intervention must be invoked to prove their point (pp.8-9).
They plan to concentrate on long-age isotopes rather than short-age isotopes like Carbon 14.
Second Rate Meeting
Third Rate Meeting
Fourth Rate Meeting: The final draft for the book.
Radioisotope Dating Review
By Don DeYoung
DeYoung reviews the basics of radioisotope dating. A the end of the chapter he proposes accelerated decay that may have occurred at creation, the Fall, or the Flood. He gives fancy formulas for accelerated decay, but no evidence that it occurred. The overwhelming evidence from scientific testing is that a flood would not cause accelerated decay. We have floods every year yet the rate of decay stays constant. See Decay Rate. Secondly, one has to change the very nature of matter to change the decay rate. Just as changing the speed of light changes matter, (E=MC2). Changing on part of the formula changes the other parts. If the decay rate was accelerated at the Fall, then the heat and radiation would have killed all life. If there is a perfect creation, how can one have rapid decay at creation. Creation is the very opposite of rapid decay.
Distribution of Radioactive Isotopes in the Earth
by John R. Baumgardner
Baumgardner posits that the enigma of the correlation between surface heat flow and the radioactivity of surfaces rocks is explained by accelerated decay. One does not need accelerated decay to explain this. Accelerated decay presents far more problems than it solves.
Mineral Isochron Method Applied as a Test of the Assumptions of Radioisotope Dating
By Steven A. Austin
Austin concludes that Grand Canyon rocks indicate significant discordance in ages.
There have been many rocks tested showing concordance. A few poorly chosen rocks do not disprove this. See R.A.T.E. More Faulty Creation Science from The Institute for Creation Research.
G. Brent Dalrymple has written an interesting article entitled "Radiometric Dating Does Work! Some Examples and a Critique of a Failed Creationist Strategy" in Reports of the National Center for Science Education, May/June 2000.
Dalrymple states, "Austin (1996) has documented excess 40Ar in 1986 dacite flow from Mt. St. Helens, but the amounts are insufficient to produce errors in all but the youngest rocks" (page 17).
The Mt. Vesuvius flow (79 AD) contained excess 40Ar, but the 40Ar/39Ar Isochron method does not require any assumptions about trapped argon. Thus this eliminates any error due to excess 40Ar (Ibid.).
See also the articles "Comments on a Creationist's Irrelevant Discussion of Isochrons" by Derek York and "Nuclear Isochrons by Dave Thomas both in Reports of the National Center for Science Education, May/June 2000.
Geochemical Processes in the Mantle and Crust
By Andrew A. Snelling
By far the longest chapter with 171 pages. Yet even with this long chapter he fails to convince. Snelling spends a number of pages discussing excess 40Ar producing erroneous old ages.
Dalrymple states, "Austin (1996) has documented excess 40Ar in 1986 dacite flow from Mt. St. Helens, but the amounts are insufficient to produce errors in all but the youngest rocks" (page 17). So Snelling concentrates on very young rocks like known lava flows to show what scientists all ready know.
For example, certain rocks like xenoliths can not be dated by K-Ar because of excess argon which yields older dates (Dalrymple 1982, 26). This is seen in the dating of the 1801 flow from Hualalei volcano in Hawaii. For more information see K-AR dating of Hawaiian lava is wildly inaccurate.
Dalrymple states that the Mt. Vesuvius flow (79 AD) contained excess 40Ar, but the 40Ar/39Ar Isochron method does not require any assumptions about trapped argon. Thus this eliminates any error due to excess 40Ar (Ibid.).
Contrary to what Snelling says, radiometric isotopes are the strongest indicators that the earth is very old, unless you assume God is trying to fool us. All the fast decaying isotopes are gone (Ross 1994, 95). If the earth was young, they would still be here. Decay rates are constant even at extreme temperatures of 2000 C or -186 C (Dalrymple 1982, 12).
Theoretical Mechanisms of Accelerated Radioactive Decay
By Eugene F. Chaffin
These theoretical mechanisms are purely wishful thinking. Chaffin concentrates on fission track data. On page 315 he admits the research by Bielecki did not indicate a change in fission track densities in Miocene age rocks that were considered post-flood rocks. So why continue on writing when the data clearly does not support the hypothesis.
Fission-track analyses may reveal the last thermal change in the rock, but not its absolute age. See A Criticism of the ICR's Grand Canyon Dating Project.
Accelerated Nuclear Decay: A Viable Hypothesis
By D. Russell Humphreys
This Hypothesis is as viable as the decay of C. The strongest evidence for this is said to be high retention of radiogenic 4He in microscopic zircons that are embedded in crystals of biotite (black mica). The problem is that Humphreys assumes that Helium diffusion is a simple linear process when it is not. See RATE. Humphreys says that nuclear theory favors changes in alpha-decay rates, beta-decay also depends on gauge boson masses, and cosmic expansion may have accelerated nuclear decay. He posits a small reduction in the tension (about 14 tons) of the strong nuclear force that would accelerate nuclear decay, but a change in the strong nuclear force will change mass itself.
by Andrew Snelling
John Morris in his book The Young Earth gives some important criticisms of Gentry's radiohalos. He states, "Why have no halos of other possible elements, which are truly independent, ever been discovered (p.63)? Some of Gentry's halos were found in pegmatite dikes which form more rapidly than granite. Granites are found in flood deposits so they can not be rocks from creation as Gentry claims. Finally, how can fully formed uranium halos reflecting longer decay be found in the same rocks as the polonium halos which have shorter decay chain (63-63)? If you are still not convinced of by John Morris see the following links.
- Polonium Halo FAQs
- Articles in Opposition to Creationism
- Are Po halos in coalified wood evidence for the Noachian Flood?
- Polonium halos and myrmekite in pegmatite and granite
- Review of the article: "The thermal erasure of radiohalos in biotite" by Mark Armitage and Ed Back (Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal, v. 8, n. 2, 1994, pp. 212-222)
- The geology of Gentry's "TINY MYSTERY" by Richard Wakefield
- Creationist geologic time scale: An attack strategy for the sciences by Donald U. Wise
- Critique of article by Mark Armitage, "The effect of thermal stress on radiohalos in biotites," American Laboratory, November, 1997, v. 29, no. 22, p. 25-33, by Kurt Hollocher
- Equal time for the origin of granite - A miracle!
- Affiliation of Christian Geologists
- Talk Origins
- R.A.T.E. More Faulty Creation Science from The Institute for Creation Research
- A Radiometric Dating Resource List
- Articles in Opposition to Creationism