Radiometric dating is demonstrably unreliable. Dating by different radiometric methods frequently gives widely varying results. If the methods were accurate, the results should be consistent, but they are not.
See the book Science, Scripture, and the Young Earth (ICR, 1983, pp. 17-20) where Dr. Henry Morris quotes numerous published admissions by professional geologists in peer-reviewed scientific research journals concerning the unreliability of radioactive dating methods and the frequent contradictory results that are obtained.
Moreover, rocks of historically known ages give wildly inaccurate values when dated radiometrically. Scientists watched the lava dome at Washington’s Mount St. Helens form in 1986. Yet when samples from the lava were dated using the potassium-argon method, the ages ranged from 0.5 to 2.8 million years. These dates are absurd.
Uranium-lead tests on lunar rock samples from Apollo 11 gave dates from 4.6 to 8.2 billion years, a variance of 78%. Potassium-argon tests gave an age of 2.3 billion years. These are huge discrepancies.
Basalt at the bottom of the Grand Canyon was dated as 1.07 billion years old by rubidium-strontium isochron dating. Lava flows on the north rim of the canyon were dated as 1.34 billion years old by the same method, a difference of 26%. Even more significantly, the layers at the bottom of the canyon, which must be older, were dated as younger than the lava at the top which overflowed into the canyon after the canyon’s formation.
Volcanic lava rocks from Hawaii gave potassium-argon dates ranging from 160 million to 3 billion years. The lava rocks had been formed by a volcanic eruption in 1801. Geologists explained the reason for the invalid results as the incorporation of environmental argon in the lava at the time of the eruption. This likely happens for all igneous rocks—thereby invalidating these methods.
If radiometric methods are wrong for rocks of known age, why trust them for rocks of unknown age?
Evolutionist William Stansfield, professor of biology at California Polytechnic State University, wrote,
“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.”
(Dr. William D. Stansfield, The Science of Evolution, Macmillan Publishing Co., 1977, p. 84.)
Soli Deo Gloria.
This is the 35th in a series of blog posts on the Age of the Earth. I began with the Biblical testimony that the earth is 6,000 years old, because the evidence from nature should be interpreted and understood in the light of clear Biblical truth. The prequels have considered the issue’s importance, what Jesus thought, the Genesis genealogies, and the historic teaching of the church. Current articles are discussing scientific evidence on the age of the earth, explaining fallacies of radiometric dating methods and giving examples of scientific methods which yield short ages.
Read the prequels:
1. How Old Is the Earth?
2. Why Is the Age of the Earth Important?
3. Earth: Young or Old?
4. Age of the Earth—Jesus’ View
5. Age of the Earth—Jesus Interpreted OT Literally
6. Age of the Earth—What Did Jesus Say?
7. Age of the Earth—What Did Jesus’ Contemporaries Think?
8. Age of the Earth—Genealogies
9. Age of the Earth—What Does Begat Mean?
10. Age of the Earth—Interlocking Genealogies
11. Age of the Earth—Any Gaps in Genealogies?
12. Age of the Earth—No Gaps in Genealogies
13. Age of the Earth—Any Missing Generations?
14. Age of the Earth—Scriptural Confirmation (Adam to Noah)
15. Age of the Earth—Scriptural Confirmation (Noah to Abraham)
16. Age of the Earth—Luke’s Testimony
17. Age of the Earth—Luke & Cainan Puzzle
18. Age of the Earth—Luke & Cainan Explanation
19. Age of the Earth—Add It Up
20. Age of the Earth—6,000 Years Old
21. Age of the Earth—History’s View
22. Age of the Earth—Church Fathers’ Opinion
23. Age of the Earth—Josephus, Luther, Calvin
24. Age of the Earth—Archbishop Ussher
25. Age of the Earth—Prof. James Strong
26. Age of the Earth—Kepler & Newton
27. Age of the Earth—Dr. William Hales
28. Age of the Earth—Prof. Leupold
29. Age of the Earth—Prof. Barr
30. Age of the Earth—History’s Opinion
31. Age of the Earth—Radiometric Dating
32. Age of the Earth—Scientific Clocks
33. Age of the Earth—Radioactive Decay Clocks
34. Age of the Earth—Radiometric Dating Fallacies
Read the sequel:
36. Age of the Earth—Therefore…
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Monday October 13, 2008 A.D.
For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (Exodus 20:11 NASB)