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.
[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]
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.
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: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: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.