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

Message 1 of 114 (13855)
07-20-2002 11:05 AM

I'm pretty new to the evolution vs. creation debate, only having studied the subject for about four months and only having read a few books (Finding Darwin's God, Climbing Mount Improbable, Darwin's Black Box, and Tower of Babel) about the subject. At the moment, I am convinced that evolution is right and that the earth is far older than six thousand years old. However, I am interested in radiometric dating and if it is really as accurate as geologists claim it to be. I've read several articles at True.Origin.org and Answersingenesis.org about radiometric dating and they claim that it is unreliable, that different dating techniques give totally random dates when dating the same rock, that radioisotope dating is based on several assumptions, and that geologists have a fixed idea in their minds about how old a rock is from the strata it's found in, and if they date it radiometrically and the date is different from what they thought it would be, they just throw the rock away saying the date is meaningless. I have also read several articles talking about how accurate radiometric dating is, and how yes, the dates do agree. I am wondering if the creationists' claims are correct, or are they simply throwing blind attacks against modern geology?

I'm just another dude trying to figure out the truth. Help me out by having a big debate here.

Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by John, posted 07-20-2002 11:29 AM EvO-DuDe has not yet responded
 Message 3 by TrueCreation, posted 07-20-2002 1:17 PM EvO-DuDe has not yet responded
 Message 33 by Brad McFall, posted 10-05-2002 2:55 PM EvO-DuDe has not yet responded

Inactive Member

Message 4 of 114 (13859)
07-20-2002 3:15 PM

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.

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by edge, posted 07-20-2002 3:51 PM EvO-DuDe has not yet responded
 Message 6 by TrueCreation, posted 07-20-2002 4:52 PM EvO-DuDe has not yet responded

Inactive Member

Message 8 of 114 (13872)
07-20-2002 7:32 PM

I do not quite understand what you are saying, TrueCreation. Can you explain your theory in a easy-to-comprehend way?

" --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, 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. I also unfortunately am unaware of any systematic mechanism by which reliable dates may be obtained."

Okay, here's some evidence that contradicts a young earth: radiometric dating. Radioactive decay rates are pretty much constant. The decay rates do vary, but they only vary a very small percent, due to preasure, heat, enviornment, etc.
For the earth to be a mere 20,000-30,000 years old, the decay rates must have been insanely fast in the past. Give me some evidence that they were.
I do not doubt that many things that generally take a long time to form can be formed rapidly, for example fossils, strata, and petroleum, but the question is not that they can form rapidly, it is if they did. There is no way to prove that they were formed rapidly. Creationists must simply assume it.
Creationists claim that it is the evolutionists and geologists who make all the assumptions, but the creationists probably make twice as many. They assume that the radioactive decay rates were accelerated, they assume that all of the strata and the fossils were formed rapidly, they assume that the geological collumn was caused by a bunch of huge catastrophies. It's really pretty depressing.
Give me some evidence that the radioactive decay rates were much faster a long time ago.

(TrueCreation, I know this is off topic, but do you believe in Noah's Flood? If so, why?)

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by John, posted 07-20-2002 8:58 PM EvO-DuDe has responded

Inactive Member

Message 10 of 114 (13878)
07-20-2002 11:47 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by John
07-20-2002 8:58 PM

Originally posted by John:

Strata can be formed rapidly but it wouldn't and doesn't look like slowly formed strata.

Gosh. It sounds to me like those creationist websites are trying to decieve people by hiding this fact from them. Those creationist websites gave me the impression that rapidly formed strata and gradually formed strata were identical. 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?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by John, posted 07-20-2002 8:58 PM John has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by John, posted 07-21-2002 12:12 AM EvO-DuDe has not yet responded

Inactive Member

Message 13 of 114 (13883)
07-21-2002 10:40 AM

Yesterday, just for the heck of it,I watched a creationist video about the grand canyon. They claimed that almost every feature in the grand canyon shows that it was formed rapidly in a series of catastrohpies. They gave Mt. Saint Helen's as an example of how well-layered strata can be formed rapidly, and they claimed that the appearence of the grand canyon fits far better into the creationist's 'theory' than the modern geologists's theory. Were the creationists lying?

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Minnemooseus, posted 07-21-2002 6:30 PM EvO-DuDe has not yet responded
 Message 114 by sonicxp, posted 03-01-2004 7:22 AM EvO-DuDe has not yet responded

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

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