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Author Topic:   Is Radiometric Dating Really that Accurate?
EvO-DuDe
Inactive Member


Message 16 of 114 (14245)
07-26-2002 7:23 PM


Okay, this topic seems to have died. I'll attempt to revive it.
It appears that TrueCreation believes that yes, radioisotope dating is accurate in the sense that different dating techniques generally do agree when used on the same rock. However, TrueCreation believes that the radioactive decay rates were accelerated some time in the past. But TrueCreation has not really explained how this accelerated decay could have happened and if there is any evidence supporting his acclerated decay theory. Is there any evidence for accelerated decay?
Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by edge, posted 07-26-2002 7:47 PM EvO-DuDe has not yet responded

  
edge
Member
Posts: 4521
From: Colorado, USA
Joined: 01-09-2002
Member Rating: 7.7


Message 17 of 114 (14246)
07-26-2002 7:47 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by EvO-DuDe
07-26-2002 7:23 PM


quote:
Originally posted by EvO-DuDe:
Okay, this topic seems to have died. I'll attempt to revive it.
It appears that TrueCreation believes that yes, radioisotope dating is accurate in the sense that different dating techniques generally do agree when used on the same rock. However, TrueCreation believes that the radioactive decay rates were accelerated some time in the past. But TrueCreation has not really explained how this accelerated decay could have happened and if there is any evidence supporting his acclerated decay theory. Is there any evidence for accelerated decay?

I understand the the basic evidence goes back to historical measurements of the speed of light, some dating to over a hundred years ago. They show a general decline in measured speeds up until about 1960 when the decline miraculously stopped. In fact, much of the overall slope of the line graph I remember seeing relied heavily on one early measurement. To some, this means that the speed of light coincidentally stopped declining at about the time technology to measure it developed. The reason it would stop is unclear.

Since this observation, elaborate stories have emerged as to how this could happen. Most ignore the effects on the physical universe that a much higher lightspeed would have, but those are just details. As to evidence for c-decay, I haven't really seen any.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by EvO-DuDe, posted 07-26-2002 7:23 PM EvO-DuDe has not yet responded

  
Rationalist
Inactive Member


Message 18 of 114 (15567)
08-17-2002 12:25 PM


There is good reason to believe that radioactive decay was not faster in the past than it was today, at least on the order of 6,000 years.

Radioactive decay generates heat, and this heat would be rather intense if we were to accellerate the decay of radioisotopes to the point where the decay products would match a 6,000 year old earth. That we do not see any evidence of dramatic and intense heat having been released over the 6,000 year period argues against the accellerated decay rate. Of course we can simply add another ad-hoc hypothesis that the decay rate was indeed accellerated, and the heat was somehow eliminated from the process. These are just the sort of ad-hoc explanations that tend to multiply unbounded in creationist arguments.

I believe that the astronomical evidence also points to a constant decay rate in the past. If the light we are seeing from nearby stars has traveled any distance (even 6,000 years worth), our view into the past indicates that their nuclear processes have remained constant over the period of time the light has traveled. This applies regardless of whether the source of the light is 6,000 years old or several billion years old. There is no evidence of any change in historical nuclear processes anywhere else in the universe.


Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by Joe Meert, posted 08-17-2002 8:44 PM Rationalist has not yet responded

  
Joe Meert
Member (Idle past 3790 days)
Posts: 913
From: Gainesville
Joined: 03-02-2002


Message 19 of 114 (15584)
08-17-2002 8:44 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by Rationalist
08-17-2002 12:25 PM


[QUOTE]Originally posted by Rationalist:
[B]There is good reason to believe that radioactive decay was not faster in the past than it was today, at least on the order of 6,000 years.

Radioactive decay generates heat, and this heat would be rather intense if we were to accellerate the decay of radioisotopes to the point where the decay products would match a 6,000 year old earth. [/quote]

[/b]

JM: Correct! See http://gondwanaresearch.com/hp/adam.htm

Cheers

Joe Meert


This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Rationalist, posted 08-17-2002 12:25 PM Rationalist has not yet responded

    
Rationalist
Inactive Member


Message 20 of 114 (15727)
08-19-2002 10:11 PM


Likewise, and theories about the nature of the speed of light at the very beginning of the universe notwithstanding.. the astronomical evidence also points to the speed of light remaining entirely constant as far as we can measure to the very furthest quasars.

We know this because the information the light has the same energy minus the red shift (amplitude), where we would expect higher energy if the light was compressed by a slower speed. Also, the processes we see happening with this light seem to be running at the same speed as they would nearby. Like a record player played too fast, slow light speed speeded up would cause processes from far away to be on "fast forward", and they aren't.

This clearly argues for a constant speed of light.


  
Thunderbird
Inactive Member


Message 21 of 114 (15947)
08-22-2002 7:08 PM


Hi, I am interested in discussing the topic of radiometric dating.

I think that the current potassium-argon radioisotope dating method
for igneous rocks is inaccurate because it has been tested on rocks
that are known to be young since they have been observed to formed
recently by active volcanos, such as at Mount Saint Helens and in
New Zealand.

Applying this dating method to these rocks resulted in very high
numbers for these rocks ranging from 340,000 to 2.8 Million years.


Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by gene90, posted 08-22-2002 8:08 PM Thunderbird has responded
 Message 23 by wj, posted 08-22-2002 9:50 PM Thunderbird has not yet responded

  
gene90
Member (Idle past 1933 days)
Posts: 1610
Joined: 12-25-2000


Message 22 of 114 (15948)
08-22-2002 8:08 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by Thunderbird
08-22-2002 7:08 PM


Who did the analysis and what methodology was used? In lava flows you can find xenoliths--fragments of rock from deep underground that are carried with the lava and so are much older than the flow.

YECs can make radiometric dating fail by doing such things as sampling xenoliths and taking only one data point, or discarding several datapoints for one spurious, irreproducible one.

Another problem with dating such recent flows is that the margin of error commonly is within a couple of million of years. If a flow is 100 million years old, and gives a radiometric age of 102 MY then that error is perfectly reasonable. But if a flow that happened yesterday gives 2 MY, YECs cry foul. It's really a silly argument when taken in the correct context.

[This message has been edited by gene90, 08-22-2002]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by Thunderbird, posted 08-22-2002 7:08 PM Thunderbird has responded

Replies to this message:
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wj
Inactive Member


Message 23 of 114 (15959)
08-22-2002 9:50 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by Thunderbird
08-22-2002 7:08 PM


Subject to Thunderbird actually providing references for his statements, they appears to be based on creationist Snelling's incompetent or dishonest work.

Examples of successful dating of historical lava flows are included in the links in my message #11 in the "Two questions concerning radioisotope dating" thread. Or are we simply to be persuaded by creationist assertions?


This message is a reply to:
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Thunderbird
Inactive Member


Message 24 of 114 (15981)
08-23-2002 1:53 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by gene90
08-22-2002 8:08 PM


[QUOTE]Originally posted by gene90:
[B]Who did the analysis and what methodology was used? In lava flows you can find xenoliths--fragments of rock from deep underground that are carried with the lava and so are much older than the flow.
[/QUOTE]

The analysis was done by Dr. Steve Austin. At this point, I
have no reason to believe, he or Snelling are fraudulent, since
I've not read of the reasons this claim is being made.

It was not established that xenoliths were captured by his sample. He took steps to prevent them from being used by manually selecting
rocks that didn't appear to be xenoliths and checking the rocks
under the microscope for microscopic xenoliths.

quote:

YECs can make radiometric dating fail by doing such things as sampling xenoliths and taking only one data point, or discarding several datapoints for one spurious, irreproducible one.


Austin reported on 5 different samples that were sent to the lab
for the Potassium-Argon dating. He didn't say whether other samples
were omitted from his article. The article doesn't state whether
multiple datapoints were provided for each of the samples. Why
wouldn't the lab give produced one number based on the potassium-argon ratios for the entirety of each sample?

I would have no way of knowing if he intentionally selected xenoliths or discarded datapoints. What reason is there to
believe that accusation?

quote:

Another problem with dating such recent flows is that the margin of error commonly is within a couple of million of years. If a flow is 100 million years old, and gives a radiometric age of 102 MY then that error is perfectly reasonable. But if a flow that happened yesterday gives 2 MY, YECs cry foul. It's really a silly argument when taken in the correct context.


I'm not sure if this is a silly argument. The young rocks are exhibiting a very old age because they have argon in them. A small
ratio of argon to potassium would result in a very large age because
of the long half life of potassium. Therefore this method is
susceptible to inaccuracy if small amounts of additional Argon
are present. The error is dependent on the amount or ratio of
additional Argon present.

The young rock should not have a small amount of Argon in it. Instead, it should have next to nil or a trace amount in order for the method to be accurate.

[This message has been edited by gene90, 08-22-2002][/B][/QUOTE]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by gene90, posted 08-22-2002 8:08 PM gene90 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by wj, posted 08-23-2002 6:46 AM Thunderbird has not yet responded
 Message 26 by Joe Meert, posted 08-23-2002 7:32 AM Thunderbird has not yet responded
 Message 27 by edge, posted 08-23-2002 4:13 PM Thunderbird has responded
 Message 32 by gene90, posted 08-26-2002 9:26 PM Thunderbird has not yet responded

  
wj
Inactive Member


Message 25 of 114 (15988)
08-23-2002 6:46 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by Thunderbird
08-23-2002 1:53 AM


Ah, the incredulity and selective belief of the creationist.

Well Thunderbird, give citations for your claims. I'm sure I know where they come from but you never know, there might be something new in the world of creationism.

I will be absent for about a week so others might demolish your cited sources before I get back. In the meantime, read the links I referred you to which give examples of accurate dating of historical lava flows eg Mt Vesuvius. Explain how accurate dates can be obtained by a methodology which you hope is inaccurate.

Your incredulity at tested rocks showing a "very old age" of 2 million years should be put into context. K-40 has a half life of 1.2 billion years. It's quite understandable that even minute experimental errors can swamp the measurements of radiogenic argon from rocks only hundreds of years old. It's very difficult to do correctly but it can be done, but obviously not by creationists. "Very old rocks" are those which are dated by the K-Ar method at billions of years old.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Joe Meert
Member (Idle past 3790 days)
Posts: 913
From: Gainesville
Joined: 03-02-2002


Message 26 of 114 (15989)
08-23-2002 7:32 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by Thunderbird
08-23-2002 1:53 AM


Thunderbird,

Did Austin also run those samples via the Ar-Ar method? If not, why? Do you feel it is important that every sample dated must give a correct age or the method is suspect? How do you explain the volumes of concordant ages (for example see http://gondwanaresearch.com/radiomet.htm or the discussions of radiometric dating here http://gondwanaresearch.com/hp/crefaqs.htm )? If radiometric dating is so wrong and untrustworthy, why do so many practicing scientists use it? Do you think that science turns its back on the anomalies as part of a grand conspiracy? Do you think that there are no Christian scientists who use radiometric dating to verify an old earth? Can you please cite any of Austins or Snellings peer-reviewed literature on radiometric dating that shows they have a clue as to how to collect, process and run the samples they are collecting? Why do creationists involve themselves in pseudoscientific pursuits such as the RATE project http://gondwanaresearch.com/rate.htm ?

Cheers

Joe Meert


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Thunderbird, posted 08-23-2002 1:53 AM Thunderbird has not yet responded

    
edge
Member
Posts: 4521
From: Colorado, USA
Joined: 01-09-2002
Member Rating: 7.7


Message 27 of 114 (16004)
08-23-2002 4:13 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Thunderbird
08-23-2002 1:53 AM


quote:
Originally posted by Thunderbird:
The analysis was done by Dr. Steve Austin. At this point, I
have no reason to believe, he or Snelling are fraudulent, since
I've not read of the reasons this claim is being made.

Ah, but we do have evidence that Steve Austin has committed fraud. Read this reference, specifically the Introductory Lecture.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/icr-visit/bartelt1.html

quote:
It was not established that xenoliths were captured by his sample. He took steps to prevent them from being used by manually selecting rocks that didn't appear to be xenoliths and checking the rocks under the microscope for microscopic xenoliths.

But, if someone's agenda is to 'prove' that radiometric dating was invalid, would you trust them to do the sampling? You should learn to critically analyze your sources.

quote:
I would have no way of knowing if he intentionally selected xenoliths or discarded datapoints. What reason is there to
believe that accusation?

Well, see above.

quote:
The young rock should not have a small amount of Argon in it.

Why not? Should they also not have small amounts of fluorine? Do you really understand geochemistry and radiometric dating?

quote:
Instead, it should have next to nil or a trace amount in order for the method to be accurate.

Not at all. Sometimes it is possible to measure the original content of the sample. In other methods, the actual amount of daughter nuclides does not affect the date. In others, it is a safe assumption that there was no daughter in the sample at the time of formation.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Thunderbird, posted 08-23-2002 1:53 AM Thunderbird has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by Thunderbird, posted 08-23-2002 10:12 PM edge has responded

  
Thunderbird
Inactive Member


Message 28 of 114 (16008)
08-23-2002 10:12 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by edge
08-23-2002 4:13 PM


quote:
Originally posted by edge:
[B]
quote:
Originally posted by Thunderbird:
The analysis was done by Dr. Steve Austin. At this point, I
have no reason to believe, he or Snelling are fraudulent, since
I've not read of the reasons this claim is being made.

Ah, but we do have evidence that Steve Austin has committed fraud. Read this reference, specifically the Introductory Lecture.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/icr-visit/bartelt1.html

[/QUOTE]

I didn't see any evidence of fraud in the lecture. Fraud implies
that he intended to deceive. His interpretation of geological
data may have been disputed, but that doesn't constitute fraud.

quote:

quote:
It was not established that xenoliths were captured by his sample. He took steps to prevent them from being used by manually selecting rocks that didn't appear to be xenoliths and checking the rocks under the microscope for microscopic xenoliths.

But, if someone's agenda is to 'prove' that radiometric dating was invalid, would you trust them to do the sampling? You should learn to critically analyze your sources.


I don't think you can assume that someones viewpoint makes them
untrustworthy or imcomptent and that they would intentionally
decieve people by collecting deceptive samples.

The very purpose of the Austin experiment was to look at the
K-Ar dating method in a critical light and to examine
this question; Is this method accurate?

The method is based on a scientific principle, but also there
are assumptions made so it probably makes since to calibrate
the method to rocks of a known historical age and that was
the reason for testing the young rocks.

Austin also references a 1969 Dalrymple study that shows inaccurate
results for rocks at historically active volcanos.

The method has been shown to inaccurate. If the K-Ar method doesn't work or is unreliable on rocks of a known age, then why go ahead and use it on rocks on a unknown age.

Recently, a new argon method is being used. If scientists are replacing K-Ar method that suggests it is no longer accepted as accurate. What then happens to the all data that resulted from
previous K-Ar calculations? Will it be revised to reflect a newer
method?

[QUOTE]

quote:
The young rock should not have a small amount of Argon in it.

Why not? Should they also not have small amounts of fluorine? Do you really understand geochemistry and radiometric dating?

quote:
Instead, it should have next to nil or a trace amount in order for the method to be accurate.

Not at all. Sometimes it is possible to measure the original content of the sample. In other methods, the actual amount of daughter nuclides does not affect the date. In others, it is a safe assumption that there was no daughter in the sample at the time of formation. [/B]


The point is that Austin was testing a method that makes the assumption that these igneous rocks didn't have any Argon in them.
That is what was assumed in the formula by others who used the
K-Ar method.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by edge, posted 08-23-2002 4:13 PM edge has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by John, posted 08-24-2002 12:06 AM Thunderbird has not yet responded
 Message 30 by edge, posted 08-24-2002 1:40 AM Thunderbird has not yet responded

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 29 of 114 (16011)
08-24-2002 12:06 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by Thunderbird
08-23-2002 10:12 PM


quote:
Originally posted by Thunderbird:
I don't think you can assume that someones viewpoint makes them
untrustworthy or imcomptent and that they would intentionally
decieve people by collecting deceptive samples.

Read it more carefully.

Using a dating method known to be inaccurate at less than 2 million years to date recent lava flows, and then using the results to attempt to discredit the method is deceptive.

quote:
The very purpose of the Austin experiment was to look at the
K-Ar dating method in a critical light and to examine
this question; Is this method accurate?

It isn't when applied to recent material. He proved this, not that it needed proving.

quote:
The method is based on a scientific principle, but also there
are assumptions made so it probably makes since to calibrate
the method to rocks of a known historical age and that was
the reason for testing the young rocks.

Not really. One does not measure the size of an electron with a yardstick.

quote:
Austin also references a 1969 Dalrymple study that shows inaccurate
results for rocks at historically active volcanos.

Again. Of course it is inaccurate. 1969 is well shy of 2mya.

quote:
The method has been shown to inaccurate. If the K-Ar method doesn't work or is unreliable on rocks of a known age, then why go ahead and use it on rocks on a unknown age.

Its called a margin for error. A date a million years off is tolerable when you are dating something that is 200 million years old. But not when you are dating something 20 years old.

quote:
Recently, a new argon method is being used. If scientists are replacing K-Ar method that suggests it is no longer accepted as accurate. What then happens to the all data that resulted from
previous K-Ar calculations? Will it be revised to reflect a newer
method?

The more methods the better. We cross compare and get a more accurate picture.

Really, I don't think you know how radio-isotope dating works.

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


This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by Thunderbird, posted 08-23-2002 10:12 PM Thunderbird has not yet responded

  
edge
Member
Posts: 4521
From: Colorado, USA
Joined: 01-09-2002
Member Rating: 7.7


Message 30 of 114 (16020)
08-24-2002 1:40 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by Thunderbird
08-23-2002 10:12 PM


quote:
Originally posted by Thunderbird:
The analysis was done by Dr. Steve Austin. At this point, I
have no reason to believe, he or Snelling are fraudulent, since
I've not read of the reasons this claim is being made.

e: Ah, but we do have evidence that Steve Austin has committed fraud. Read this reference, specifically the Introductory Lecture.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/icr-visit/bartelt1.html

Thunderbird: I didn't see any evidence of fraud in the lecture. Fraud implies that he intended to deceive. His interpretation of geological
data may have been disputed, but that doesn't constitute fraud.


You obviously didn't read my link. Austin has been caught in a lie. If that isn't deception, then perhaps you should give me your definition of the word.

quote:
T: It was not established that xenoliths were captured by his sample. He took steps to prevent them from being used by manually selecting rocks that didn't appear to be xenoliths and checking the rocks under the microscope for microscopic xenoliths.

e: But, if someone's agenda is to 'prove' that radiometric dating was invalid, would you trust them to do the sampling? You should learn to critically analyze your sources.

T: I don't think you can assume that someones viewpoint makes them
untrustworthy or imcomptent and that they would intentionally
decieve people by collecting deceptive samples.


Wow! Johnny Cochran is looking for you!

quote:
The very purpose of the Austin experiment was to look at the
K-Ar dating method in a critical light and to examine
this question; Is this method accurate?

No, the conclusion was predetermined. Clearly the work was one of very poor scholarship and deceptive. You have already said that you cannot determine much of the conditions of the experiment. This was by design.

quote:
The method is based on a scientific principle, but also there
are assumptions made so it probably makes since to calibrate
the method to rocks of a known historical age and that was
the reason for testing the young rocks.

But no geochronologist would conduct his analysis in this way. Why would Austin break protocol?

quote:
Austin also references a 1969 Dalrymple study that shows inaccurateresults for rocks at historically active volcanos.

But he omits Dalrymples explanation. That is deception.

quote:
The method has been shown to inaccurate.

It has been shown to be inaccurate in incompetent hands and under conditions that are not acceptable in mainstream science.

quote:
If the K-Ar method doesn't work or is unreliable on rocks of a known age, then why go ahead and use it on rocks on a unknown age.

This has yet to be shown. You have been deceived. By Stuart Nevins, or was that Steve Austin.

quote:
Recently, a new argon method is being used. If scientists are replacing K-Ar method that suggests it is no longer accepted as accurate.

Not at all. Where did you ever get this idea from. It is simply that Ar-Ar dating give more information regarding the thermal history of the sample.

quote:
What then happens to the all data that resulted from
previous K-Ar calculations? Will it be revised to reflect a newer
method?

Nothing.

quote:
Instead, it should have next to nil or a trace amount in order for the method to be accurate.

Nonsense. Do you really know anything other than what you read in creationist tracts?

quote:
The point is that Austin was testing a method that makes the assumption that these igneous rocks didn't have any Argon in them.

Nope. Austin did his level best to get invalid answers.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by Thunderbird, posted 08-23-2002 10:12 PM Thunderbird has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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