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Author Topic:   Feedback about reliability of dating
Jake22
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 77 (48366)
08-02-2003 12:01 AM


Hey everybody. I ran across some info on a Christan site (www.christiancourier.com/archives/earthAge.htm) that offered some data on the unreliability of dating. I was hoping to get some feedback on that info. I realize that some of the rest of the article may be outdated or perhaps unfounded, but all I'm asking is what you make of the three points listed below (he references the material in the article I cited).

Of course a Christian site will give very biased information, so I was hoping to get some feedback from you folks. I figure I need both sides of the bias spectrum when reading something like that . What do you guys think about this, as in, why does it not refute the accuracy of dating techniques (which I assume is the stance most will take)? Thanks!

quote:
(a) Studies on submarine basaltic rocks from Hawaii, known to have formed less than two hundred years ago, when dated by the potassium-argon method, yielded ages from 160 million to almost 3 billion years (Funkhouser, p. 4601).

(b) The shells of living mollusks have been dated at up to 2,300 years old (Keith, p. 634).

(c) Freshly-killed seals have been dated at up to 1,300 years, and mummified seals, dead only about thirty years, have yielded dates as high as 4,600 years (Dort, p. 210). In our book, Creation, Evolution and the Age of the Earth, we documented one case where muscle tissue from mummified musk ox was dated at 24,000 years, while hair from the same carcass dated only 7,200 years! (1989a, p. 13). Clearly, the evolutionary clocks are drastically in need of repair!


Thanks all,
Jake


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Minnemooseus
Member
Posts: 3251
From: Duluth, Minnesota, U.S. (West end of Lake Superior)
Joined: 11-11-2001


Message 2 of 77 (48367)
08-02-2003 12:29 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jake22
08-02-2003 12:01 AM


a) Basaltic rocks are very low in Potassium, and are thus poor candidates to get a quality radiometric date via K/Ar methods. I would have to see the original article to see why it was evern tried.

My knowledge it pretty thin on such things, but from what I know, basalts are poor rocks to date by any radiometric method. Perhaps others can chip in if and how basalts can be directly radiometricly dated.

b & c) The examples have VERY RECENTLY (earlier today!) been specificly covered at the "Carbon-14: A Scientifically Proven Dating Method?" topic.

Moose

[This message has been edited by minnemooseus, 08-01-2003]


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nator
Member (Idle past 1116 days)
Posts: 12961
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 3 of 77 (48385)
08-02-2003 9:51 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jake22
08-02-2003 12:01 AM


quote:
Of course a Christian site will give very biased information,

If the Christians who wrote it have integrity and are intellectually honest, it won't be biased.

Try this Christian site on dating methods:

http://www.reasons.org/resources/apologetics/radiometricdating/index.shtml?main


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John
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 77 (48387)
08-02-2003 10:00 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jake22
08-02-2003 12:01 AM


(a) Studies on submarine basaltic rocks from Hawaii, known to have formed less than two hundred years ago, when dated by the potassium-argon method, yielded ages from 160 million to almost 3 billion years (Funkhouser, p. 4601).

Potasium-argon does not work for recent dates. It works between about 4.3 bya and 100kya. Anyone attempting to use the method ought to know this. Anyone using this method on rock known to be two hundred years old is incredibly stupid or deceitful. It is like trying to measure a carrot seed with a ruler marked only in inches-- your margin for error is HUGE.

(b) The shells of living mollusks have been dated at up to 2,300 years old (Keith, p. 634).

By what method? Probably C-14, yes? Anything currently alive is going to have a very bad C-14 date. We know this. We've unintentionally altered atmospheric C-14 levels.

BTW, the only Keith listed in the sources at the bottom is an M.S. Keith, and it looks like a magazine reference from 1963. I can't find the article. However, how does one get pg. 634 from a magazine? That is a big 'zine!

(c) Freshly-killed seals have been dated at up to 1,300 years, and mummified seals, dead only about thirty years, have yielded dates as high as 4,600 years (Dort, p. 210). In our book, Creation, Evolution and the Age of the Earth, we documented one case where muscle tissue from mummified musk ox was dated at 24,000 years, while hair from the same carcass dated only 7,200 years! (1989a, p. 13). Clearly, the evolutionary clocks are drastically in need of repair!

There isn't enough information to tell what is happening. My bet is contamination of the samples.

------------------
www.hells-handmaiden.com


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mark24
Member (Idle past 1669 days)
Posts: 3857
From: UK
Joined: 12-01-2001


Message 5 of 77 (48392)
08-02-2003 10:32 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jake22
08-02-2003 12:01 AM


Jake,

Why do radiometric dating techniques corroborate so well - An example?

Mark

------------------
Occam's razor is not for shaving with.


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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5143
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 6 of 77 (48412)
08-02-2003 8:26 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jake22
08-02-2003 12:01 AM


Jake - from post #12 at http://http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=page&f=3&t=37&p=2
the 2300-year old living mollusk is this:
Is apparently a reference to the paper "Radiocarbon Dating: Fictitious Results with Mollusk Shells", M L Keith and G M Anderson, Science, vol 141, pp 634-637 (1963). The entire article is in essence an explanation why river-dwelling snails give bad 14C dates - they get lots of their carbon from "old" groundwater and humus - and a warning to other scientists doing 14C dating to look out for these effects.
Whoever you got that list from, and my guess is that his initials are KH, is out to deceive, or at the very best never even read the title of the paper he referenced, though he did apparently find the time to find sample 62-48 in Table 1 and extract only that date.

There is another, similar YEC claim of 27,000 year ages on living snails - this is extracted from "Major Carbon-14 Deficiency in Modern Snail Shells from Southern Nevada Springs" A C Riggs, Science, v 224, pp 58-61 (1984). These have a similar cause, as the springs where the snails grew are fed by groundwater loaded with ancient ( 14C depleted) carbon in the form of bicarbonate.

As to old dates for seal meat: what species of seal? What do they eat? I doubt if it's escargot, but I'll bet that the original reference knows and explains why the got old dates.

However, how does one get pg. 634 from a magazine? That is a big 'zine!
They run consecutive page numbers for all the issues in a volume, which is months' worth. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences gets page numbers up over 10,000! Bigger than Modern Bride, even!
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Jydee
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 77 (194040)
03-24-2005 12:22 PM


Dating of manuscripts
How accurate is the dates we asign to ancient events?

When did Vesuvius destroy Pompeii ?

According to the Roman historian Pliny the Younger, Vesuvius erupted in the early afternoon of Aug. 24, 79 AD , destroying Pompeii, Herculaneum and other Roman cities. Did it indeed happened in the year 79. Two of Pliny the Younger's letters refer to the erution and the death of his uncle Pliny the Older. He only mentoined the date and not the Roman year. None of his orginal letters are abvailable , only copies made hundreds of years since his death are available. Is thsi accuracy?

I refer to the following websites

http://www.revisedhistory.org/investigation-historical-dating.htm

http://www.biblicalchronology.com/introduction.htm

http://www.bartleby.com/people/PlinyYng.html

http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/97legacy/pompeii.html

The third one is included not to confirm 79 AD but to show that scientific is about + - 100 years accurate for relative recent events.

Edited by AdminJar to fix broken links

This message has been edited by AdminJar, 03-24-2005 03:40 PM


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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5143
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 8 of 77 (194054)
03-24-2005 1:48 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Jydee
03-24-2005 12:22 PM


Re: Dating of manuscripts
We also have other evidence for nearer that date, though - no coins later than that Roman year are buried there, and a volcanic ash layer in the GRIP (?) ice core from Greenland was counted to be within seven years of 79 AD. R D Alley did the work, but I don't have a citation at hand.
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Jydee
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 77 (194792)
03-27-2005 7:36 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Coragyps
03-24-2005 1:48 PM


Re: Dating of manuscripts
Did you visit the sites I referred too?

The Roman coins just refer to the emperor and not to year is was
minted. Will it convince the authors in the first two sites I referred too?


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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5143
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 10 of 77 (194809)
03-27-2005 10:11 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Jydee
03-27-2005 7:36 AM


Re: Dating of manuscripts
The first two links you give disagree pretty badly with each other, too: the second claims errors of four years or so, while the first claims a few millenia. There's plenty enough C-14 and uranium/thorium dates, as well as lake varves and ice layers, to confine dates as young as Roman times to within a few decades of the generally accepted ones. I don't see too much point in worrying about much greater accuracy than that.
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 16002
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 11 of 77 (194815)
03-27-2005 10:52 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jake22
08-02-2003 12:01 AM


both (b) and (c) are false readings due to what is known as the resevoir effect.

the concept of 14C is that atmospheric nitrogen (14N) is converted to 14C by cosmic ray bombardment, and then, being radioactive, decays over time.

animals that consume products that have absorbed fresh carbon (plants etcetera) will have the same proportion of 14C to 12C (the "normal" isotope of carbon and the most common) as the atmosphere, and when they die the 14C will no longer be consumed and radioactive decay will reduce the proportion of 14C to 12C within the sample in a radioactive decay pattern (half live of some 5730+ years)

see http://www.howstuffworks.com/carbon-14.htm

in some instances the animals are not consuming fresh carbon or atmospheric carbon, but carbon where radioactive decay has already depleted the proportion of 14C to 12C -- the resevoir of their source for carbon doesn't have the normal proportion of carbon isotopes.

This happens a lot in deep sea water, in shellfish and in other fish etc that live in deep sea water, and animals that eat {shellfish\fish\etc} from deep water sources (seals).

see http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CD/CD011_4.html for more information on this specific effect and the seals.

also read http://www.asa3.org/ASA/resources/Wiens.html for a good overview of radiometric methods and limitations.

and http://my.erinet.com/%7Ejwoolf/rad_dat.html for a discussion of some problems with creationist radiometric information.

beyond that feel free to read and respond to {age correlations and an old earth} on this forum, which deals with the correlations of various age dating methods and specific ones that rely on actual annual data:
http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=page&f=3&t=92&p=1

welcome to the fray, and enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
{{{Buddha walks off laughing with joy}}}


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JonF
Member
Posts: 2831
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 12 of 77 (194816)
03-27-2005 11:08 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jake22
08-02-2003 12:01 AM


why does it not refute the accuracy of dating techniques?

Simple. They're lies.

Note also:

1. Even if a few erroneous results can be established (which your source fails to do), that does not establish the presence of systematic and universal error (which is what's required for all dates to be wrong).

2. Creationists love to criticize the K-Ar method (which is still used because it's well understood, almost always accurate, and low-cost) but they fail to consider the more robust methods (isochrons, Ar-AR, concordia-discordia, and many others) which correlate with K-Ar results.

You may want to visit Correlation Among Various Radiometric Ages.

Studies on submarine basaltic rocks from Hawaii, known to have formed less than two hundred years ago, when dated by the potassium-argon method, yielded ages from 160 million to almost 3 billion years (Funkhouser, p. 4601).

This is a really old chestnut; its presence is evidence that the author hasn't down any homework. More evidence that she/he hasn't done any homework is that it's a confused version of two creationist claims.

The referenced paper is not about submarine lava, it's about subaerial lava containing lots of xenoliths (literally "foreign stones") which are older rocks that didn't melt in the magma. From Dalryumple, G. Brent, How Old is the Earth: A Response to Scientific Creationism, in Evolutionists Confront Creationists, Awbrey, F. and Thwaites, W. (eds.). Proceedings of the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Pacific Division, AAAS 1, Part 3, California, AAAS. pp. 66-131 (note how long ago this was published):

quote:
The 1801 Flow from Hualalai Volcano
quote:
Volcanic rocks produced by lava flows which occurred in Hawaii in the years 1800-1801 were dated by the potassium-argon method. Excess argon produced apparent ages ranging from 160 million to 2.96 billion years. (77, p. 200)

Similar modern rocks formed in 1801 near Hualalai, Hawaii, were found to give potassium-argon ages ranging from 160 million years to 3 billion years. (92, p. 147)



Kofahl and Segraves (77) and Morris (92) cite a study by Funkhouser and Naughton (51) on xenolithic inclusions in the 1801 flow from Hualalai Volcano on the Island of Hawaii.

The 1801 flow is unusual because it carries very abundant inclusions of rocks foreign to the lava. These inclusions, called xenoliths (meaning foreign rocks), consist primarily of olivine, a pale-green iron-magnesium silicate mineral. They come from deep within the mantle and were carried upward to the surface by the lava. In the field, they look like large raisins in a pudding and even occur in beds piled one on top of the other, glued together by the lava. The study by Funkhouser and Naughton (51) was on the xenoliths, not on the lava. The xenoliths, which vary in composition and range in size from single mineral grains to rocks as big as basket-balls, do, indeed, carry excess argon in large amounts. Funkhouser and Naughton were quite careful to point out that the apparent ages they measured were not geologically meaningful. Quite simply, xenoliths are one of the types of rocks that cannot be dated by the K-Ar technique. Funkhouser and Naughton were able to determine that the excess gas resides primarily in fluid bubbles in the minerals of the xenoliths, where it cannot escape upon reaching the surface. Studies such as the one by Funkhouser and Naughton are routinely done to ascertain which materials are suitable for dating and which are not, and to determine the cause of sometimes strange results. They are part of a continuing effort to learn.

Two extensive K-Ar studies on historical lava flows from around the world (31, 79) showed that excess argon is not a serious problem for dating lava flows. The authors of these reports dated numerous lava flows whose age was known from historical records. In nearly every case, the measured K-Ar age was zero, as expected if excess argon is uncommon. An exception is the lava from the 1801 Hualalai flow, which is so badly contaminated by the xenoliths that it is impossible to obtain a completely inclusion-free sample.

-------------------

31. Dalrymple, G. B. 40Ar/36Ar analyses of historic lava flows. 1969. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 6: 47-55. (note: the results table is at http://www.gate.net/~rwms/AgeEarth.html near the bottom of the docuemnt)

51. Funkhouser, J. G. & J. J. Naughton. 1968. Radiogenic helium and argon in ultramafic inclusions from Hawaii. Geophys. Res. J. 73: 4601-4607.

77. Kofahl, R. E. & K. L. Segraves. 1975. The creation explanation. Harold Shaw Publ., Wheaton, Ill. 255 pp.

79. Krummenacher, D. 1970. Isotopic composition of argon in modern volcanic rocks. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 8: 109-117.

92. Morris, H. M. 1974a. Scientific creationism (Public School Edition). Creation-Life Publ., San Diego, Calif. 217 pp.


See also CD013 and the several pages to which that page links.

As for the submarine lava flows: K-Ar dating relies on entrapped and dissolved argon escaping when magma reaches the surface and depressurizes. If argon is retained this throws off the result. Submarine lavas (easily detected by characteristic shapes such as "pillows" and characteristic crystal structures caused by fast cooling) often don't allow the argon to escape; the outer shell solidifies before the argon in the interior can escape. This is well-known.

Creationists point to studies establishing the fact of this issue as invalidating radioistope dating. It doesn't; such studies merely establish that submarine lavas should not be dated by K-Ar!

I don't have references handy, but J.G. Funkhouser, I.L. Barnes and J.J. Naughton, "Problems in the Dating of Volcanic Rocks by the Potassium-Argon Method," Bulletin of Volcanology, 29 (1966): pp.709-717 or A.W. Laughlin, "Excess Radiogenic Argon in Pegmatite Minerals," Journal of Geophysical Research, 74 (1969): pp.6684-6690 may be relevant (based on my web searching).

(b) The shells of living mollusks have been dated at up to 2,300 years old (Keith, p. 634).

(c) Freshly-killed seals have been dated at up to 1,300 years, and mummified seals, dead only about thirty years, have yielded dates as high as 4,600 years (Dort, p. 210).

Again, these came from studies that establish the limits of the method; marine organisms can't be 14C dated because they draw their carbon from a reservoir that is not in equilibrium with atmospheric carbon. It's not a problem with terrestrial organisms such as wood, and since the potential for error is known it's not a problem at all.

From Strahler, A.N, Science and Earth History: The Evolution/Creation Controversy, Prometheus Books, 1999 (1st edition 1987) (again note how long ago this was published):

quote:
Creation scientists point out that living mollusks have been found whose shells show C-14 ages as great as 2300 years. Reference here is to a paper by two mainstream scientific researchers who published their results in the journal, Science, under the title of "Radiocarbon Dating; Fictitious Results with Mollusk Shells." (Keith and Anderson, 1963). This result is absurd on the face of it and indicates to the creationists that many living systems are not in equilibrium for C-14 exchange. The authors of the paper present evidence that the mussels they sampled obtained much of the carbon used in their shells from limestone (calcium carbonate) in their habitat. The C-14 content of the limestone carbon is very low because of the great age of the rock. The authors intended to point out a source of major error in the dating method that could be avoided by having made sure that the carbon used by an invertebrate animal is of recent atmospheric origin. In this respect, plants that photosynthesize carbohydrates are reliable sources of ages because they withdraw carbon directly from the atmosphere as gaseous carbon dioxide.

See also Claim CD011.3 and Claim CD011.4.

In our book, Creation, Evolution and the Age of the Earth, we documented one case where muscle tissue from mummified musk ox was dated at 24,000 years, while hair from the same carcass dated only 7,200 years! (1989a, p. 13)

Note that their reference is to a creationist tract: Jackson, Wayne (1989a), Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth (Stockton, CA: Christian Courier Publications). Nobody's ever seen any of this in a peer-reviewed journal or report.

Creationists love to play telephone; they copy from each other endlessly, never check sources, and introduce fascinating errors. Someone should make a phylognetic tree for this one.

Some creationists say "17,200 years" instead of "7,200 years". (e.g. SCIENTISTS SPEAK ABOUT RADIOCARBON DATING). But it's almost certain that, at some point in the copying game, someone dropped "mammoth" and substituted "musk ox". If they really meant "mammoth", see Claim CD011.2.


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CreationWise
Inactive Member


Message 13 of 77 (239036)
08-31-2005 2:11 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by JonF
03-27-2005 11:08 AM


Dating Method
The dating methods you talk about aren't always as accurate as you claim. scientists tested the Grand canyon floor and found out it was 3.5 billion years old. but then they tested the top of the grandcanyon and they found out it was 45 Billion years old. Also, three layers of the canyon floor had been on the top. A rockslide threw it down. And you talk about us christians not checking our sources.
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Brian
Member (Idle past 1433 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002


Message 14 of 77 (239039)
08-31-2005 2:18 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by CreationWise
08-31-2005 2:11 PM


Re: Dating Method
Hi,

And you talk about us christians not checking our sources.

You do know that you didn't provide any sources for your claim that:

scientists tested the Grand canyon floor and found out it was 3.5 billion years old. but then they tested the top of the grandcanyon and they found out it was 45 Billion years old. Also, three layers of the canyon floor had been on the top. A rockslide threw it down.

Sources please? :rolleyes:

Brian.


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Sardonica
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 77 (261704)
11-20-2005 11:07 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Brian
08-31-2005 2:18 PM


Dating Dinosaurs
Quoting Frank Sherwin, M.S.

"Evolutionist Mary H. Schweitzer of North Carolina State University has discovered flexible blood vessels inside the fossilized thighbone of a "68-70 million year old" Tyrannosaurus rex1 from the Hell Creek formation in eastern Montana. Further investigation revealed round microscopic structures that look to be cells inside the hollow vessels. Even to the untrained eye, the tissue samples look as if the animal died recently. . . The evidence seems to indicate the T. rex fossil is—well, young. Young as in just centuries-old, certainly not an age of millions of years."

"This is not the first time that puzzling soft tissue has been unearthed. Nucleic acid (DNA) taken from wet "fossil" magnolia leaves allegedly 17-20 million years old have been discovered.3 Fragments of genetic material up to 800 base pairs long were recovered—amazing considering it does not take long for water to degrade DNA . . ."

Is there an answer to this contradiction between dating and new discovery which I just have not uncovered yet or have carelessly overlooked? Can anyone make sense of these new discoveries and what past research has informed us about our dating techniques as it pertains to dinosaurs and other forms of life? If these claims are true, that is that dinosaurs are only centuries old and our dating techniques are anywhere from somewhat to incredibly invalid, what will the effect upon evolution and creationism be? Can anyone shed light on this?

Link to full article:
http://icr.org/index.php?module=articles&action=view&ID=2033

Sources:
1. Schweitzer, M. H., et al.,Science, vol. 307, no. 5717, pp. 1952-1955, 25 March 2005.
2. Boswell, E., Montana State University News Service, 24 March 2005.
3. Golenberg, E., et al., Nature 344:656-8.
4. Cano, S., Science, vol. 268, no. 5213, p. 977, Research News, 19 May 1995


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