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Radiometric Dating: How Reliable Is It? Part 4

WITNESS #4

After departing from this subject in my last article, “The Heresy of Evolution,” we return now to radiometric dating.

In Parts 1 – 3 we called atheist Roger Lewin, agnostic Richard Milton, and creationist Don Boys Ph.D., as witnesses against the reliability of radiometric dating. Our next witness is MARVIN L. LUBENOW.

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In Lubenow’s book,“Bones of Contention,” (not to be confused with the book of the same title by Roger Lewin which we looked at in Part 1), Lubenow relates a by-now-common scenario illustrating the pervasive subterfuge routinely indulged in by evolutionists. Lubenow relates that he was attending a debate between renowned creationist Henry Morris and evolutionist Dr. Peter J. Wyllie. Before the debate, Lubenow had an opportunity to speak with Wyllie. Lubenow asked Wyllie a question about “what appeared to be a serious flaw in the basic assumptions of radiometric dating methods.” Wyllie answered Lubenow, “You may have noticed that I did not go into that in my book.” Wyllie told Lubenow that radiometric dating methods were not his area of expertise.

Given this admission by Wyllie, what happened during the debate is nothing short of astonishing. Lubenow notes:

“During the debate, I was amazed that Wyllie’s entire argument against creation and for evolution was based on the alleged evidence provided by the radiometric dating methods for the age of the earth and its various strata.”!—emph. supp. Pg. 273-274

This irrationality is standard fare for evolutionists. Whether radiometric dating is or is not Wyllie’s “area of expertise,” an evolutionist with a doctorate, taking it upon himself to debate a creationist of Henry Morris’ stature, must certainly be aware of the things creationists, including Henry Morris, have said about the fallacies of radiometric dating. In taking it upon himself to debate Morris, Wyllie was saying in essence that he had studied the things Morris has written and believed he had knowledgeable, compelling rebuttals.

As far as modern creationism is concerned, Henry Morris may be regarded as the father of us all. Morris’ book, The Genesis Flood, was the catalyst that ignited the modern creationist movement and was first published in 1961, complete with a very erudite treatment of the problems and unsupported presuppositions at the foundation of radiometric dating (see The Genesis Flood, pgs. 332-379). It is not as if this issue has not been circulating for a very long time now. Wyllie’s professed “lack of expertise” in radiometric dating notwithstanding, permit me the skepticism of suspecting that this “lack of expertise” is a cloak concealing the fact that evolutionists such as Wyllie simply have no rational, compelling answer to Morris or other creationists regarding radiometric dating. Their use of radiometric dating as “proof of ancient ages” is all bluff and bluster, subterfuge, and not science at all.

The problems with radiometric dating, both technical and theoretical, have been well understood by evolutionists even prior to the publication of The Genesis Flood–pretty much since radiometric dating was first used, and Morris quotes a good number of evolutionists liberally verifying this, such as Henry Faul, Dr. L. T. Aldrich, R. L. Stanton, etc. Evolutionists have simply ignored the problems (in public) of radiometric dating and discreetly kept them out of public view. Worse yet, evolutionists have knowingly trumpeted radiometric dating as unassailable “proof” of ancient ages of rocks, fossils and the earth, while being fully aware of the profound problems associated with radiometric dating.

Lubenow continues on to note the results of radiometric dating performed by creationist, Dr. Andrew Snelling, of the RATE project:

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“An amazing situation develops when rocks that were seen to solidify by humans in historic times are then dated by radiometric means…

“This illustration comes from one of New Zealand’s most active volcanoes, Mount Ngauruhoe…

“A project was begun to compare the eyewitness dates of the lava flows with the dates obtained by radiometric dating of those very same rocks. Rock samples were taken from the hardened lava flows of the most recent eruptions, specifically the eruptions on 11 February 1949; 4 June 1954; 30 June 1954; 14 July 1954; and 19 February 1975. These most recent lava flows were clearly visible and easily identified. All of the volcanic rock samples were from twenty-five to fifty-one years old. (emph. supp.)

“A total of thirteen samples from these eruptions were sent for whole-rock potassium-argon dating to the Geochron Laboratories, Cambridge, Massachusetts, one of the most respected commercial dating laboratories in the world…

“The laboratory was not given any specific information regarding the source of the rock samples, nor were they given any information as to the expected age of the samples (emph. supp.). The samples were described only as probably very young…

“Four were dated at ‘less than 270,000 years old,’ one was dated at ‘less than 290,000 years old,’ one was dated at ‘800,000 years old,’ three were dated at ‘one million years old,’ one was dated at ‘1.2 million years old,’ and the last one was dated at ‘3.5 million years old.’ All were said to have a margin of error of about 20 percent in either direction.”—pg. 278-279

Yet again, we have demonstrable, empirical proof that there is something seriously wrong, not only technically, but conceptually with the whole process of radiometric dating. It is clear to me, even if it is not to Dr. Wyllie, that both the processes of radioactive decay and its effects are not understood to this day.

Another very significant aspect of this procedure of the RATE project that deserves attention is that the samples were submitted to the laboratory BLIND (as it should be), that is to say the laboratory technicians were not subjected to the influence of the submitters expectations of the age of the samples. One of the basic procedures of scientific investigation is the “blind test” or even better the “double-blind” process. Yet this almost never occurs in such testing. For example, I noted in Part 1 of this series that the KBS Tuff of Richard Leakey fame containing the famous skull 1470 was subjected to 41 separate and discordant age determinations ranging from 900,000 years of age to 223 million years of age! The technicians were fully aware from whom the samples were coming, and what Leakey’s expectations were. Leakey picked the date that suited his purposes and discarded the other 40 discrepant results!!! What kind of “science” is that? Needless to say, nobody involved alerted the public about the 40 discarded results. The public news reports were full of “the” radiometric dating result (singular) that Richard Leakey was looking for. Voila!-Leakey’s theory about the age of the skull was “confirmed.” Make no mistake about it, this kind of stacked deck approach is standard fare in the evolution fraud.

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Consider this excerpt from Wikipedia regarding double blind scientific testing:

“A blind or blinded experiment is an experiment in which information about the test that might lead to bias in the results is concealed from the tester, the subject, or both until after the test.[1] Bias may be intentional or unconscious. If both tester and subject are blinded, the trial is a double-blind experiment.
“Blind testing is used wherever items are to be compared without influences from testers’ preferences or expectations, for example in clinical trials to evaluate the effectiveness of medicinal drugs and procedures without placebo or nocebo effect, observer bias, or conscious deception; and comparative testing of commercial products to objectively assess user preferences without being influenced by branding and other properties not being tested.

“Blinding can be imposed on researchers, technicians, subjects, and funders. The opposite of a blind trial is an open trial. Blind experiments are an important tool of the scientific method, in many fields of research—medicine, psychology and the social sciences, natural sciences such as physics and biology, applied sciences such as market research, and many others. In some disciplines, such as medicinal drug testing, blind experiments are considered essential.”

Yet this is NOT the way most radiometric testing is done, as attested by geologist Don Patton in his video presentation, “How Old is the Earth – Creation or Evolution?”.) In most cases of radiometric testing both the field scientists submitting the samples and the laboratory technicians know everything there is to know about the sample and the range of expected results. Dates that do not conform to the expected results range are discarded as erroneous aberrations, “contaminated” samples (which is probably almost always true), or blamed on sloppy testing by lab technicians!!! This is the very opposite of the scientific double-blind method. (Mark Armitage, in a short 20 minute video, also exposes the pervasive fraud in radiometric dating.)

Is such a procedural approach true science? Such a methodology strikes me as agenda-based manipulation of data! In my opinion, no laboratory conducting such tests should have any information whatsoever about the sample they are testing other than what they can see with their eyes. In most cases, public money pays for these tests and the taxpaying public deserves solid assurance that the scientists operating in their name and on their dime are operating in an unbiased and objective manner. As things are now, this is far from reality.

Our next witness in Part 5 will be Jay Hall.

Tom Shipley

Written by Tom Shipley

I am a former atheist and was a evolutionist during my college days, but came to faith in Christ at the age of 20. Now I regard my pro-creation activities as part of the work of the kingdom of God. I believe that a very tough, strident and unapologetic stance against evolution is called for though I may soften my tone if and when Mark Armitage and David Coppedge, fired for their creationist beliefs, are given their jobs back. Articles copyright Tom Shipley. All Rights Reserved.

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