The Fallacy Of Radio Isotope Dating

The vertebrate sequence A reflection in rock Obscured by the ages, A frozen time clock.

But how many years,

Into the din, Dates each fossil We're examining?

More than anything else, evolutionists do not like having their dating system challenged. The present dating systems for organic material and rocks are so ingrained into the present scientific consciousness in the fields of biology, anthropology, paleontology, etc., that to question their veracity is bound to raise emotions. As strange as it may sound, radioactive dating - the most crucial leg of the neo-darwinian support structure - is perhaps the least scientific and the most flawed of all evolutionary postulates.

Richard Milton, in his phenomenal book, Shattering the Myths of Darwinism, outlines the history of present-day dating systems and their flaws, some of which I have outlined in the section below, along with my own research:

In the 1940s, American chemist Willard Libby developed the radiocarbon method of dating organic materials. His system was based on carbon 14, a radioactive isotope of carbon 12. Carbon 14 begins to decay as soon as it is created at a half-life rate of 5,700 years. When a plant or animal dies, it stops taking in carbon 14 from the land and atmosphere, so the amount of carbon 14 in its body begins to decay, while the ordinary carbon 12 remains the same. All other still-living organisms, argued Libby, still retain the same proportion of carbon 14 to carbon 12. this proportion does not change as long as the organism is still alive, thus it can be determined, based on the proportion of carbon 14 to carbon 12, how long ago the organism died.

Willard Libby made the crucial assumption that the total amount of carbon 14 in the atmosphere has remained constant over time.

Studies by researchers Richard Lingenfelter, Hans Suess, V. Switzer, and Melvin Cook (done independently) have determined the proportion of carbon 14 to carbon 12 in the atmosphere is increasing (see Lingfelter, R., "Production of C-14 by cosmic ray neutrons" Review of Geophysics, Feb. 1963, 1:51; Suess, H., "secular variations in the Cosmic-ray produced carbon 14 in the atmosphere and their interpretations" Journal of Geophysical Research, Dec. 1965, 70: 5947; Switzer, V., "Radioactive dating and low level counting" Science, Aug. 1967, 157:726; Cook, M., "Do radiological clocks need repair?" Creation Research Society Quarterly, Oct. 1968, 5:70). Melvin Cook found, at present, carbon 14 is increasing 38% faster than it is decaying. The Earth's atmosphere is accumulating carbon 14.

If carbon 14 levels are increasing, the amount of carbon 14 the animal had before it died will be higher than assumed. This assumption will cause test samples to appear younger than they actually are, causing inaccuracies. Also, the carbon-dating system is not usable after 57,000 years because after 10 half-lives, very little carbon 14 is left in the sample to examine.

Research Melvin Cook has also demonstrated that uranium-lead and potassium-argon methods for dating inorganic rocks are also severely flawed. Cook's findings have been supported by other reputable scientists in the peer-reviewed literature. Funkhouser and Naughton demonstrated the flaws in uranium-lead methods by dating volcanic material known to have been formed in a Hawaiian volcanic eruption in 1801. the dating system showed these new materials to be 3 billion years old (see Funkhouser, J., Naughton, J. Journal of Geophysical Research, July 1968, 73: 4606). In another related study, Professor McDougall of Australian National University found, through potassium-argon dating, ages of up to 465,000 years for rocks known to be less than 1,000 years old (see Nature, 20 March 1980, p. 230-232, 12 November 1981, p. 123-124).

Most people do not realize that the 4 billion year age estimate of the Earth derives exclusively from methods of assessing radioactive uranium decay (and the decay of similar elements). No other dating system presents an age of the Earth even in the ballpark of 4 billion years.

The uranium dating system works by tracking lead isotopes which are formed from the decay of radioactive uranium 238. Uranium 238 decays into lead 206, which is distinct from common lead 204. the half-life of uranium 238 is 4.5 billion years. From this relation, rocks are dated. The amount of uranium 238 and lead 206 in the sample are compared. The problem with this dating system is that lead 206 can be formed by other processes! While uranium 238 is decaying, it is also releasing neutrons which bombarded surrounding particles, including common lead 204. By absorbing neutrons, common lead 204 can be converted into lead 206.

Uranium 238 and other isotopes are not metals in their natural form, but appear as water-soluble uranium oxide which can wash from one place to another. Thereby enriching some sites and depleting others, throwing off the dating accuracy yet again.

The problem with radioactive dating is there is no independent means (outside of the radioactivity paradigm) of verifying the ages of samples. Most rock samples, when dated present a range of dates which appear as a bell curve. Along the curve some ages are too old and some are too young and ages are chosen subjectively often because they "feel right" within the context. Consider the McDougall study (cited in Nature, also see and compare Nature, 18 April 1970, 20 September 1974, 4 December 1975, 28 October 1976), where the "scatter" of dates is conducted by different groups of researchers ranged from 0.52 million to 17.5 million years ago for a sample of kBs Tuff rock material used to date the age of the Lake Turkana Man fossils. The dates for rock samples taken from KBS Tuff were all over the place. The date of 2.6 million years arrived at for the KBS Tuff sample was eventually chosen, to end the whole debate, because it was apparently "reasonable" to the scientists involved.

The assumptions behind radioactive dating cannot be applied to a system that is not understood within the unrestricted world of physics in Nature. When we pull out the dating system and really understand that the entire methodology for dating the Earth, the fossils, and even the universe itself is flawed, then we may perhaps for the first time, appreciate the incredible mystery of Life. The Earth could have been here for trillions of years, millions of years, or a few thousand years -the truth is.nobody knows.

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