CREATIONISM VS EVOLUTION, (CONT.)
II) SCRIPTURAL TESTIMONY & PHYSICAL EVIDENCE OF A RECENT CREATION, (cont.)
B) SCRIPTURAL TESTIMONY & PHYSICAL EVIDENCE FROM EARTH WHICH TESTIFY TO A RECENT CREATION, (cont.)
8) METHODS OF AGE MEASUREMENT INDICATE A YOUNG EARTH
b) RADIOACTIVITY AGE MEASUREMENTS, (cont.)
3) CONCLUSIONS: RADIOACTIVE DATING METHODS
a) UNRELIABLE DATA
[Dr. Steven A. Austin states, (Impact periodical #224, Feb 1992, in article titled 'Excessively Old ''Ages'' for Grand Canyon Lava Flows')]:
"Everyone has heard about the great ages claimed by evolutionists for the earth's rocks. This is particularly true of Grand Canyon rocks. Television documentaries, textbooks, and museum displays tell us that the deepest rock layers within Grand Canyon are more than one billion years old. The same evolutionary sources tell us that the most recent rocks of Grand Canyon are just thousands of years old. The great thickness of strata in Grand Canyon is supposed to span 'geologic ages' representing many hundreds of millions of years....
...Two lava-flow formations occur in the Grand Canyon: the Cardenas Basalt and the western Grand Canyon lava flows... ...Both are basalts, and both should be ideal for radioactive isotope dating...
The deeply buried Cardenas Basalt occurs among the oldest strata of Grand Canyon. This basalt has been assigned to the Precambrian strata of the Undar Group, which contains the lowest and hence oldest strata of the Grand Canyon. Some geologists have suggested an 'age of more than one billion years.'
The western Grand Canyon lava flows are among the youngest formations of the Grand Canyon. The youngest flows came from volcanoes on the Uinkaret Plateau north of the Colorado River. Some of the lava flowed over the north rim, cascading into Grand Canyon, forming spectacular 'frozen' lava falls. Several lava flows even reached the river, forming lava dams. Although no Indian legends attribute them to recent eruptions, one early geologist remarked about the extraordinary freshness of the lava: 'It looks as fresh as any coulee of Vesuvius ejected twenty or thirty years ago.' One K-Ar 'model age' determination gave 1.2+_0.2 million years for the lava dam,
[E. D. Mckee, W. K. Hamblin, and P. E. Damon, 'K-Ar Age of Lava Dam in the Grand Canyon,' Geological Society of America Bulletin, 79 (January 1968): 133-136.]
...and geologists consider these lava flows to be Pleistocene in age.
Rubidium, a trace element which is chemically similar to potassium, is naturally radioactive. Twenty-eight percent of rubidium atoms are the isotope rubidium-87 (87Rb). It decays to strontium-87 (87Sr), which is a common, stable isotope of strontium. The radioactive decay of rubidium is slow, and would require 48.8 billion years for half the 87Rb of a rock to be converted to 87Sr. Evolutionary geologists have suggested that the isotope ratios of 87Rb to 87Sr in rocks can be used to determine 'ages' in hundreds of millions, even billions of years.
...the isotope ratios of six rock samples from the Cardenas Basalt... [as] ...determined by E. H. McKee and D. C. Noble, two geologists working with support from U.S. Geological Survey, National Science Foundation, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration...
[describes] a line on the plot of 87Sr/ 86Sr versus 87Rb/ 86Sr, is thought to testify to the validity of the method and the suitability of the specimens, and thus the basalt was given an 'age' interpretation by the two geologists. They reasoned that the Cardenas Basalt issued from a volcano or volcanoes which originally had lavas with a common ratio of strontium isotopes.
The original ratio of 87Sr to 86Sr of Cardenas Basalt was believed to be 0.7065. According to the 'age' interpretation, those samples of Cardenas Basalt with higher 87Rb have, over a very long period of time, acquired a large quantity of 87Sr by radioactive decay of 87Rb. The quantity of 86Sr is not affected by radioactive decay, and it stays constant. A simple calculation employed by these geologists indicates that 1.07+_ 0.07 billion years would be required for the rock samples to acquire their various strontium isotope ratios by rubidium decay. That 'age' of 1.07 billion years is the 'rubidium-strontium isochron age' of the Cardenas Basalt, and is widely regarded by evolutionists as the best age obtained for Grand Canyon Rocks...
...the isotope ratios obtained for basaltic lava flows from the western Grand Canyon... ...are from hawaiite lava flows from the Uinkaret Plateau on the north rim of Grand Canyon. Four whole rock samples and one feldspar sample separated from onE of the whole rock samples were submitted independently to three different laboratories for testing...
The data... ...show a linear trend on the 87Sr/86Sr line versus 87Rb/86Sr plot. There is a distinct slope to the line, which is unexpected. We might suppose that these recent lava flows on the north rim of Grand Canyon would be homogeneous with respect to strontium isotopes. All the rocks should have about the same strontium isotope ratios. Instead, we note that lava flows having higher 87Rb also have higher 87Sr. The abundances vary in a linear fashion. It would appear that an 'age' relationship is suggested by the linear plot... Indeed, the same equation used to date the Cardenas Basalt at 1.07 billion years gives an 'age' of 1.34 +or- 0.04 billion years for the recent lava flows of western Grand Canyon. That is even older than the Cardenas Basalt!
Old 'Ages' for Young Lava Flows
The observation that obviously recent lava flows from the north rim of Grand Canyon give ages even older than the deeply buried lava flows, challenges the basis upon which the isochron dating method is based."
"It thus becomes evident that age measurements by radioactivity are not nearly so precise nor so reliable as most writers imply. The great variety of possible experimental errors and physical alterations in the quantities being measured have all combined to produce such a high degree of statistical scatter in the results of the computations, especially when compared with the geochronological implications of the associated stratigraphy, that the great majority of the measurements have had to be rejected as useless for the desired purpose. Relatively, only a handful has been acceptable.
But of course it will be answered [by the evolutionists] that, even though experimental errors may be important, the measurements are still sufficiently accurate to give in most cases ages of at least the right order of magnitude. For example, a measurement indicating an age, say of one billion years, [evolutionists say] could hardly be in error by more than a factor of 10, and this would still give a hundred million years, nothing remotely comparable to the few thousand years implied by the Bible. Furthermore, it will be maintained that even though any given age measurement may be completely erroneous due to leaching or emanation or some other effect, there are many cases [critics maintain] now known where the age estimate has been checked by two or more different methods, independently. It sould seem improbable that the elements concerned would have each been altered in such a way as to continue to give equal ages; therefore, such agreement between independent measurements would seem to be strong evidence that alteration had not occurred and that the indicated age is therefore valid.
We reply, however, that the Biblical outline of earth history, with the geologic framework provided thereby, would lead us to postulate exactly this state of the radioactivity evidence! We would expect radiogenic minerals to indicate very large ages and we would expect different elements in the same mineral, or different minerals in the same formation, to agree with each other! The fact that so many calculations fail to agree or to fall into proper place in the stratigraphic sequence is strong testimony that uniform processes do not constitute the norm in earth history. The great number of 'discordant ages,' of 'anomalous leads,' and the like, testify to the intense mixing activity of the Deluge and other catastrophic geologic events."
b) FALSE ASSUMPTIONS
So the presuppositions which accompany today's dating procedures are to be questioned. Recall that the creation process according to God's Word was begun and completed in six 24 hour days. Then after the Fall, there began another process of thousands of years of devolution, (not evolution), which went through an unimaginable change at the Flood. Radiation content of elements in the earth most likely had different starting points than are assumed for today's dating experiments. The radioactivity in the elements within the earth was also inevitably effected by the dramatic changes during the worldwide volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and the consequent fall of the canopy and the ensuing Flood in Noah's time.
The dating methods now used assume that the earth evolved over billions of years and that it never existed in the perfect form that it was in before the Fall and the Flood.
Today's devolution is not the same as the creation process nor the same as an imaginary evolutionary one. For example, could not God have originally created certain specific amounts of non-radioactive elements for a purpose? This would be quite different from what modern day geologists presume as the status of the earth being the same after the Fall. In other words, it is very likely that within the core of the earth God created radioactive elements packed in alongside those moderating/nonradioactive elements in order to provide a consistently controlled nuclear reaction. Those controlling elements could very well have been the elements like lead, strontium 87, etc. which the radioactive elements evolve into after dispensing with their radioactivity. This would certainly throw off the dating theory which assumes zero non-radioactivity content at the onset. According to the creation model and God's Word, there must be nonradioactive elements originally present. Thus the earth could only be thousands of years old. Finally, if carbon dating is so accurate how come it has been reported that some LIVING snails and LIVING trees were recorded as being 2500 and 10,000 year old fossils?
"This may appear to many to be a surprising assertion [that the evidence testifies to the Flood and other catastrophic events rather than to millions of evolutionary years], but a little consideration should suffice to show its validity. The whole problem revolves about the basic assumptions implicit in all the radioactivity methods of measurement. In addition to the problems of measurement and alteration already discussed, there are two basic assumptions always present. One is that all of the identified radiogenic isotope has been derived from the parent isotope by radioactive disintegration. The other is that the rate of disintegration has always been the same as at present. Both these assumptions are absolutely necessary in order to obtain any kind of meaningful age measurement. But neither assumption can possibly be valid if the Bible account is true! They implicitly deny the two divinely revealed facts of a genuine Creation and at least one great discontinuity in the uniform processes of nature at the time of the Deluge."
[Dr. Baugh, op cit, pp. 11-13]:
[Evolutionists maintain that] "There are elements in the rock, such as radioisotopes, which indicate an Earth age of millions and in some instances, billions of years?... There is no data scientifically known which can give a rock a uniform age. All of the processes for dating radioisotopic material and alpha particle decay known to science give a variant in age determination when various portions of the same rock are examined...
When the alpha particle decay rate is examined, which is the interpretive line of measurement, it is found that it takes uranium - 238 over four billion years to lose half its mass. The line of reasoning goes that it had to have been around for at least four and a half billion years to have lost that much mass. This is not necessarily so. It really shows that U-238 was designed to be around for billions of years, and it was designed to be here for a useful purpose...
It is obvious from the work of geophysicists that these isotopes were, at one time, inside the earth. They were expunged, or thrown out, to the surface of the earth. What this demonstrates is that the interior of the earth, at some time in the past, was a perfectly balanced thermonuclear heater. If these isotopic elements are so arranged with moderating elements adjacent to them, the result is simply a controlled nuclear reactor. God designed the interior of the earth as such for the benefit of man."
ii) PRESUPPOSITION THAT DECAY RATES ARE UNIFORM IS WRONG
"...Regardless or whether or not the original mineral was 'set' to read a certain finite time at the instant of its creation, we still could not know for certainty what this original condition had been, since we cannot know to what extent the rate of decay has varied since that time.
It is possible, of course, to measure or estimate the decay rates as they exist now for each of the radioactive series and for each stage in the series, and this has been done. As we have seen, considerable question still exists as to the proper value for many of these decay constants, but the values of all the important ones are known to at least the right order of magnitude. And of course the claim is made that these decay rates never change and that it is, therefore, legitimate to use them in the computation of ages. [Evolutionists claim that all applicable extremes] ...of temperature, pressure, physical state, chemical combination, etc. have been applied to the radioactive elements without any significant indication of resulting changes in the disintegration constants. It is [falsely] claimed that no past change in terrestrial environments, as conceived according to uniformitarian principles, could have been outside the scope of these laboratory studies. It is, therefore [also falsely] maintained that the decay rates have never changed.
There is nothing basically inviolable about these decay rates, however. This is proved by the fact that it has been found possible to change some of them at least slightly, in the laboratories.
[external radiation exposure during creation and right after the Flood provided a window of vastly greater external radiation leading to immensely greater deterioration of parent elements. Also, juxtaposition of greater amounts of parent elements in the past = greater deterioration]
'Experiments with decay of
two artificial isotopes thought to be the most sensitive to change in
atomic structure (beryllium 7 and an excited state of technetium 99) have
shown that the decay rate can be changed, but the change is extremely
[Henry Faul: Nuclear Geology, p. 10]
...These changes were due to changes in the chemical compounds of which the elements were a part, but similar small changes in certain decay rates can be effected by pressure."
[Dr. Don R. Patton, op. cit., notes]:
"There has been in recent years the horrible realization that radiodecay rates are not as constant as previously thought, nor are they immune to environmental influences. And this could mean that the atomic clocks are reset during some global disaster, and events which brought the Mesozoic to a close may not be 65 million years ago but, rather, within the age and memory of man."
[Frederic B. Jueneman, FAIC, Industrial Research & Development, p. 21, June 1982]
iii) AGREEMENT OF DATA FROM DIFFERENT METHODS DOES NOT VERIFY THOSE RESULTS
"Uranium and thorium are often found together in the same mineral, for example, and although calculations of the age are usually discordant, they occasionally agree. With respect even to the case of a mineral containing only uranium, Brown says:
'Now there are four different ways we can compute the age of the mineral; namely, from
(1) the ratio of lead 206 to
(2) the ratio of lead 207 to uranium 235,
(3) the ratio of lead 206 to lead 207, and
(4) the ratio of helium to uranium.
Ideally, all four of these ages should agree, and no estimate can be considered trustworthy unless at least two independent methods (i.e., two of the first three here) agree. But, unfortunately, complicating factors often produce discrepancies in evaluating a given sample.'
[Harrison Brown: 'The Age of the Solar System,' Scientific American, Vol. 196, April 1957, p. 82]
...There is even more commonly disagreement between uranium and thorium ages, but again there is occasional agreement.
'As more and more evidence was gathered, the lead method began to carry conviction. There could be little doubt when pure thorium minerals associated in the same rocks with pure uranium minerals gave the same absolute age.'
[O. B. Muench: 'Determining Geologic Age from Radioactivity,' Scientific Monthly, Vol. 71, November 1950, p. 300]
...There are now known even a few cases where there is agreement between ages obtained by the lead method, the rubidium method, and/or the potassium method.
'There is good reason to present the state of progress at this time, since the newer techniques have already provided an indication of their usefulness and simplicity in providing potassium-argon and rubidium-strontium ages that agree for rocks for which the two indicated uranium-lead ages disagree. These measurements have also shown that rubidium-strontium and potassium-argon ages can be made to agree with concordant uranium-lead ages by a suitable choice of half-lives for potassium 40 and rubidium 87. The values so found lie within the large range of values for these two constants, which have been obtained by direct laboratory counting experiments.' "
[Lt. T. Aldrich: 'Measurement of Radioactive Ages of Rocks,' Science, Vol. 123, May 18, 1956, p. 871]
"But this kind of agreement is exactly what is to be expected on the basis of our deductions as to the past history of the radioactive elements, as originally created and as possible subject during the Creation and Deluge periods to accelerated rates of decay. If any of the radiogenic elements were actually and truly created at the beginning as seems eminently reasonable, it is most consistent with the perfect, 'very good' character of the original Creation to infer that these different radiogenic elements were created in homologous quantities. That is, if two or more such elements were to be included in the same created mineral or group of minerals, their relative amounts would have been the same as their relative rates of origin by radioactive disintegration from their respective 'parents.' Furthermore, it is most likely that, if these parents were also created in juxtaposition in the same minerals with them, they and each member of their respective decay chains would have been created and present in their so-called 'equilibrium' amounts as now governed by the individual decay rates of the members in the chain.
Skeptics will of course be immediately inclined to discard such a deduction as quite unscientific, in virtue of its being by its very nature unverifiable scientifically. And of course this is true to a degree, since no human experimenter can duplicate or even study processes of creation which are no longer going on. But as a matter of fact the assumption of uniformity is equally unverifiable scientifically as far as past history is concerned. It is only uniformitarian presupposition that decides the assumption of uniformity to be more reasonable than that of original creation!
The writers strongly deny that it is unscientific to postulate a primeval and genuine creation. The two great universal principles of thermodynamics - energy conservation and deterioration - inexorably witness to the scientific necessity of original creation. Nor is it unscientific to accept the Biblical revelation, verified as it has been in countless ways, especially by the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, as a true and reliable record of that which man cannot discover without such revelation, namely the events and order of the Creation.
All of this leads to the conclusion that, if it had been possible to make a radioactive time-estimate from these minerals immediately after their creation by the same methods as are now in use, they would have indicated some finite age for the earth, and this age, whatever it may have been, would have been the same for each of the different radiogenic elements in the mineral association. This is the most reasonable conclusion possible on the assumption of a genuine primeval creation as recorded in Genesis...
...Consider also the probable effect on the relative rates of radioactivity of the different elements during times when the environment was more radioactive than at present, such as on the first day of the Creation week and during the period of the Deluge. Each element of course has at present a definite value for its half-life or rate of disintegration. Whatever may be the fundamental nature and cause of these respective decay processes, it is likely that each would be affected roughly proportionately by any environmental factor potent enough to affect them at all. For example, if the higher incidence of cosmic radiation during any period were such as to have, say, doubled the rate of decay of uranium into lead, it is most probable that it would also have approximately doubled the rate of decay of thorium and that of rubidium and of other radioactive elements. Each rate would have been increased by a factor of the same order of magnitude, since each was subject to the same constant incidence of radiant energy.
And this of course means that, if the particular minerals were left undisturbed, they would continue to yield roughly 'accordant' ages, though these ages would now be apparently higher than they appeared at the time of Creation. Similarly, during the Flood period, each decay rate would have been speeded up in the same ratio, so that the individual elements would continue to give 'accordant' ages. Finally, at the present date, still assuming this to be one of the relatively rare cases where the minerals have remained comparatively undisturbed through all the vicissitudes of geomorphic history, the suite of minerals would still give accordant ages, but the age so indicated would obviously be much greater than the true age since its creation!... ...The fact that two or more apparently independent age-estimates agree prove that the computations are valid and the age correct! ...This result is to be expected regardless of whether or not the decay rates had changed in the past, and therefore it proves nothing except that the mineral under examination had probably not been disturbed and its component parts segregated since its original formation...
...Therefore, radioactivity age estimates cannot legitimately be used as proof of the age of the earth or of any formation in it!