PART 1: Back to Basics PART 2: Problems with the Assumptions PART 3: Making Sense of the Patterns This three-part series will help you properly understand radiometric dating, the assumptions that lead to inaccurate dates, and the clues about what really happened in the past.
Most people think that radioactive dating has proven the earth is billions of years old.
Nevertheless, geologists insist the radioactive decay rates have always been constant, because it makes these radioactive clocks “work”!
New evidence, however, has recently been discovered that can only be explained by the radioactive decay rates not having been constant in the past.9 For example, the radioactive decay of uranium in tiny crystals in a New Mexico granite ( yields a uranium-lead “age” of 1.5 billion years.
No geologist was present when the rocks were formed to see their contents, and no geologist was present to measure how fast the radioactive “clock” has been running through the millions of years that supposedly passed after the rock was formed.
No geologists were present when most rocks formed, so they cannot test whether the original rocks already contained daughter isotopes alongside their parent radioisotopes.
These basalts yield ages of up to 1 million years based on the amounts of potassium and argon isotopes in the rocks.
But when we date the rocks using the rubidium and strontium isotopes, we get an age of 1.143 billion years.
Similarly, as molten lava rises through a conduit from deep inside the earth to be erupted through a volcano, pieces of the conduit wallrocks and their isotopes can mix into the lava and contaminate it.
Yet the same uranium decay also produced abundant helium, but only 6,000 years worth of that helium was found to have leaked out of the tiny crystals. Not Billions (Master Books, Green Forest, Arkansas, 2005), pages 65–78.
This means that the uranium must have decayed very rapidly over the same 6,000 years that the helium was leaking. The assumptions on which the radioactive dating is based are not only unprovable but plagued with problems.
So geologists have assumed these radioactive decay rates have been constant for billions of years.
However, this is an enormous extrapolation of seven orders of magnitude back through immense spans of unobserved time without any concrete proof that such an extrapolation is credible.
Yet lava flows that have occurred in the present have been tested soon after they erupted, and they invariably contained much more argon-40 than expected.1 For example, when a sample of the lava in the Mt. Helens crater (that had been observed to form and cool in 1986) ( age yield incorrect old potassium-argon ages due to the extra argon-40 that they inherited from the erupting volcanoes, then ancient lava flows of unknown ages could likewise have inherited extra argon-40 and yield excessively old ages.