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Author Topic:   Is Radiometric Dating Really that Accurate?
edge
Member
Posts: 4569
From: Colorado, USA
Joined: 01-09-2002
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 5 of 114 (13862)
07-20-2002 3:51 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by EvO-DuDe
07-20-2002 3:15 PM


quote:
Originally posted by EvO-DuDe:
TrueCreation, how old do you think the earth is?
If you believe that it is young, can you explain why radioisotope dating techniques give such huge ages? Do you believe that the decay rates were much faster in the past, or do you believe that God created the universe with an 'appearence of age'? Can you give me some scientific evidence for a young earth? It seems to me that all of the creationists' best evidences for a young earth (decay of the magnetic field, too little helium in the atmosphere, accumulations of dust on the moon, etc.) were proven to be wrong.

You might also ask why there are ANY convergent radiometric dates at all. If the methods are so unreliable, it would seem that dates would be all over the chart. But they aren't.

I think one thing that needs to be sorted out here regarding the accuracy of radiometric dating is that, sometimes, it ISN'T accurate. But then sometimes my watch is wrong too. Sometimes a BP measurement is wrong. Sometimes a bathroom scale is off.... Do we throw these things out? No, because we can usually detect the errors and explain them, and even fix them sometimes. Do the creationists come out against tape measures because a carpenter makes a mistake on his measurements once in a while? Why not?

So, there are times that we throw out an anomalous reading because a source of error is detected. Does that carpenter use a board the wrong size? No, he knows that it is wrong and cuts another piece of lumber. Do the creationists say that he is hiding his results because the wrongly cut piece ends up in the junk pile? No, they compliment the guy on his workmanship.

I guess my point is that the ability to detect errors, explain them and correct them means that the system works. On the other hand YECs interpret this as 'throwing out (or hiding) divergent data' in some kind of conspiracy. Then they say that anything that is not absolutely accurate is not accurate at all. Kind of a dogmatic approach, don't you think?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by EvO-DuDe, posted 07-20-2002 3:15 PM EvO-DuDe has not yet responded

  
edge
Member
Posts: 4569
From: Colorado, USA
Joined: 01-09-2002
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 7 of 114 (13871)
07-20-2002 6:51 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by TrueCreation
07-20-2002 4:52 PM


quote:
Originally posted by TrueCreation:
"If you believe that it is young, can you explain why radioisotope dating techniques give such huge ages?"

--Because of Geochemistry and the Earths evolution through time, the bulk of which I logically attribute to the formation of the earths crust and chemical fractionation thereof.


Care to be a bit more specific? This is not exactly informative.

quote:
"Do you believe that the decay rates were much faster in the past, or do you believe that God created the universe with an 'appearence of age'?"

--Technically, I don't believe God created the universe with an appearance of age. But I would attribute an episode of accelerated decay somewhere in the past.


A bit vague here. Can you amplify a bit?

quote:
"Can you give me some scientific evidence for a young earth?

--I don't think this is the right question, really. A more penetrating question would be if there is evidence that contradicts a young earth, ...


Well, the subject of this thread, for one. Why do you ignore the systematic dates arrived at by radiometrics?

quote:
...because I could sit here and show you how whatever and whatever can be attributed to a young earth formation, but that wouldn't matter because thats just a lower limit to the age of the earth.

Good point. Every reliable date we have is actually a minimum.

quote:
I also unfortunately am unaware of any systematic mechanism by which reliable dates may be obtained.

In the realm of absolutism, I agree. However, radiometric dating gives us a defensible method that is coherrent with other geological data and basically works.

quote:
"It seems to me that all of the creationists' best evidences for a young earth (decay of the magnetic field, too little helium in the atmosphere, accumulations of dust on the moon, etc.) were proven to be wrong."

--From your list, seemingly your looking in the wrong places.


Ah, good. Then you can direct us to the correct places. What is your BEST clock for telling the age of the earth?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by TrueCreation, posted 07-20-2002 4:52 PM TrueCreation has not yet responded

  
edge
Member
Posts: 4569
From: Colorado, USA
Joined: 01-09-2002
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 12 of 114 (13880)
07-21-2002 1:13 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by John
07-21-2002 12:12 AM


quote:
E-D: By the way, do you know if all of the strata and varves in the grand canyon appear to be rapidly formed strata (as claimed by creationists) or slowly formed strata?

J: I don't know, but I'd think that anything older than 6-10 thousand years would have to be assumed to have been rapidly formed. Except in old Earth creationism....


I know of no varves in the Grand Canyon. Unfortunately, this is a little understood geological feature and many times they have been misidentified. Creationists, of course have come to the logical(?) conclusion that they do not exist at all.

The strata of the Grand Canyon are generally of the slowly deposited type occurring on the continental shelf, from epeiric seas. The problem is that, indeed, some layers can be deposited quickly. Naturally, creationists have taken this to mean that ALL strata are deposited quickly, and we can ignore the amount of time between the layers, or the record of time that has been erased by erosional periods. They seem to ignore the fact that depositing a maajor formation such as the Entrada is different from forming a set of laminae related to a storm deposit. They also take glee in informing the geological community about rapidly deposited layers which elicits a chorus of yawns.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by John, posted 07-21-2002 12:12 AM John has not yet responded

  
edge
Member
Posts: 4569
From: Colorado, USA
Joined: 01-09-2002
Member Rating: 4.4


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

  
edge
Member
Posts: 4569
From: Colorado, USA
Joined: 01-09-2002
Member Rating: 4.4


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

  
edge
Member
Posts: 4569
From: Colorado, USA
Joined: 01-09-2002
Member Rating: 4.4


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:
 Message 31 by Joe Meert, posted 08-24-2002 7:42 AM edge has not yet responded

  
edge
Member
Posts: 4569
From: Colorado, USA
Joined: 01-09-2002
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 38 of 114 (28260)
01-01-2003 6:39 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by Percy
01-01-2003 4:43 PM


quote:
Originally posted by Percipient:
Perhaps Wmscott, TC or TB would like to comment on this?

--Percy


I don't know about them, but I'm speechless. It was entertaining, though...


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by Percy, posted 01-01-2003 4:43 PM Percy has not yet responded

  
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