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Author Topic:   Validity of Radiometric Dating
JonF
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Message 6 of 200 (730330)
06-27-2014 11:37 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by RAZD
06-27-2014 9:52 AM


Re: bump for another Faith thread to discuss radiometric dating
Brief responses to Faith's individual errors, references on request:

Assumption: Whatever portion you are able to get and analyze should tell you about the age of the whole

Samples are carefully selected to be representative, and it's common to take multiple samples from separated parts of the same formation. But whether the age is taken to be the age of the rock formation or the age of that portion of the rock, it's an age that rebuts your YE claims.

Assumption: How much of either atom was already present at the origin of the substance

The amount of parent isotope present at the origin of the substance is irrelevant and does not appear in the calculation. The amount of daughter product present at the origin of the substance is key. But nobody assumes anything. We use other available information.

E.g. for U-Pb dating of zircons We know (and the RATE group acknowledges) that it is physically impossible for any significant amount of lead to be incorporated into a zircon at formation without major changes to the fundamental laws of physics, 'cause the lead atoms just can't fit. Any significant amount of lead in a zircon is due to decay of uranium or thorium in that zircon after it formed.

Or Ar-Ar dating: it detects whether there was argon in the sample when it formed and can often produce a valid date anyway. The samples from the Vesuvius eruption in 79 AD, mentioned above, contained argon when they were formed but the method corrected for it.

Or the isochron method, which requires multiple samples from the same source, which produces the amount of daughter product at formation as a byproduct of the analysis. Very useful in cases where we are sure there was daughter product present when the sample was formed.

What exactly the origin of a substance is supposed to be. When it came out of the volcano? When it was laid down in the strata?

The date produced is the time at which the sample cooled to the point (the "closure temperature") where the parent and daughter products were no longer mobile but rather were crystallized. What happened before that does not affect the method. For lava the date is very shortly after it came out of the volcano. For sedimentary rocks (rarely dated, but it's sometimes done) the date is when the "glue" that holds the grains together was formed.

Assumption: Any errors you find can just be discarded. What exactly is an error anyway and how would you know?

Errors can be and are found, results they are never discarded without objective and specified reasons. The most widely used methods are what Dalrymple calls "age-diagnostic". That is, they produce both an age and a diagnosis of how reliable that age is. U-Pb concordia-discordia dating compares two independently derived ages for the same sample. Isochron dating produces a straight line for good dates and scattered points for bad dates. Ar-Ar dating also does multiple measurements of the same sample while it is slowly heated to vaporization, and the results produce a flat "plateau" on an appropriate diagram if the age is valid.

Replication/testing: Too much slippage for this to be reliable from one testing lab to another. You really have only whatever result you are willing to accept, that fits with your other assumptions about time etc.

You sure do love to make stuff up and claim it's fact! no, just ain't so. Dating labs are constantly calibrating their equipment against recognized standards, and constantly exchange samples to make sure that similar analyses by different labs produce the same results. There's no "slippage", whatever that may be, between labs. E.g as of 1998 one of the common standards, the For example, the Fish Canyon sanidine, had been analyzed 380 times by different labs and many times since then. Or the University of Waikato lab participated in a five-lab twelve-sample 14C dating test which produced:

The maximum difference between labs in that test was about 1%.

Conclusion:...

The only possible conclusion from that mish-mosh is that you don't have a scintilla of a clue about how radiometric dating, and science in general, is performed.

And with all that you left out one of the standard creationist lies about radiometric dating!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by RAZD, posted 06-27-2014 9:52 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
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JonF
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Posts: 6159
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 1.5


(2)
Message 7 of 200 (730331)
06-27-2014 11:38 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Faith
06-27-2014 11:08 AM


Re: bump for another Faith thread to discuss radiometric dating
Not interested in discussing this right now.

Obviously. But you brought it up. Should we leave your many errors uncorrected, even though you'll never accept the corrections? Truth is true no matter how much you resist it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Faith, posted 06-27-2014 11:08 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Faith, posted 06-27-2014 11:50 AM JonF has responded

  
JonF
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Posts: 6159
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 1.5


(2)
Message 24 of 200 (730350)
06-27-2014 1:17 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Faith
06-27-2014 11:50 AM


Re: bump for another Faith thread to discuss radiometric dating
If the earth really is only 6000 years old, and there was a worldwide Flood about 4300 years ago, what would that do to your dating methods? (Since the majority of the methods can only measure enormous time spans)

Without a major change in the fundamental laws of Physics, there would be no effect.

Many radiometric and non-radiometric methods, aside from the obvious carbon-14 method, are useful for historic ages. Ar-Ar has been used to date the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD (although that was somewhat of a tour-de-force and is unlikely to be repeated. U-Th disequilibrium dating is useful for about 10,000 years to 500,000 years. Fission track deating is good for about 20,000 yearts to several billion years. Thermoluminescence (which is not radiometric) is good for about 300 to 100,000 years ago. Racemization (again not radiometric) covers about 5,000 to 1,000,00 years. Electron Spin Resonance (again not radiometric) covers from a "few thousand" to a million years.

Edited by JonF, : No reason given.


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JonF
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Posts: 6159
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 26 of 200 (730352)
06-27-2014 1:19 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Faith
06-27-2014 12:07 PM


Re: bump for another Faith thread to discuss radiometric dating
I'd really like to know. If you're all assuming millions and billions of years and most of the dating methods are for measuring such enormous time spans, but the earth really is only 6000 years old, what kinds of results would you expect to get from your methods?

We'd get too little signal (accumulated daughter product) to make a determination. Note that I pointed out above that daughter product present at formation doesn't fool most methods.


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JonF
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Posts: 6159
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 27 of 200 (730353)
06-27-2014 1:20 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Faith
06-27-2014 12:15 PM


Re: bump for another Faith thread to discuss radiometric dating
Say volcanism really only began on the planet at the time of the Flood. What kinds of readings would you get from your methods?

As already explained by RAZD, we would get "less than whatever the minimum detectable age of the particular method is". {ABE} For example, if we were using U-Th disequilibrium, we would get "less than 10,000 years". If we were using fission track dating, we would get "less than 20,000 years".

Edited by JonF, : No reason given.

Edited by JonF, : No reason given.


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JonF
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Posts: 6159
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 1.5


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Message 29 of 200 (730355)
06-27-2014 1:25 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by JonF
06-27-2014 11:37 AM


Faith's many errors
Brief responses to Faith's individual errors, references on request:
Assumption: Whatever portion you are able to get and analyze should tell you about the age of the whole

Samples are carefully selected to be representative, and it's common to take multiple samples from separated parts of the same formation. But whether the age is taken to be the age of the rock formation or the age of that portion of the rock, it's an age that rebuts your YE claims.

Assumption: How much of either atom was already present at the origin of the substance

The amount of parent isotope present at the origin of the substance is irrelevant and does not appear in the calculation. The amount of daughter product present at the origin of the substance is key. But nobody assumes anything. We use other available information.

E.g. for U-Pb dating of zircons We know (and the RATE group acknowledges) that it is physically impossible for any significant amount of lead to be incorporated into a zircon at formation without major changes to the fundamental laws of physics, 'cause the lead atoms just can't fit. Any significant amount of lead in a zircon is due to decay of uranium or thorium in that zircon after it formed.

Or Ar-Ar dating: it detects whether there was argon in the sample when it formed and can often produce a valid date anyway. The samples from the Vesuvius eruption in 79 AD, mentioned above, contained argon when they were formed but the method corrected for it.

Or the isochron method, which requires multiple samples from the same source, which produces the amount of daughter product at formation as a byproduct of the analysis. Very useful in cases where we are sure there was daughter product present when the sample was formed.

What exactly the origin of a substance is supposed to be. When it came out of the volcano? When it was laid down in the strata?

The date produced is the time at which the sample cooled to the point (the "closure temperature") where the parent and daughter products were no longer mobile but rather were crystallized. What happened before that does not affect the method. For lava the date is very shortly after it came out of the volcano. For sedimentary rocks (rarely dated, but it's sometimes done) the date is when the "glue" that holds the grains together was formed.

Assumption: Any errors you find can just be discarded. What exactly is an error anyway and how would you know?

Errors can be and are found, results they are never discarded without objective and specified reasons. The most widely used methods are what Dalrymple calls "age-diagnostic". That is, they produce both an age and a diagnosis of how reliable that age is. U-Pb concordia-discordia dating compares two independently derived ages for the same sample. Isochron dating produces a straight line for good dates and scattered points for bad dates. Ar-Ar dating also does multiple measurements of the same sample while it is slowly heated to vaporization, and the results produce a flat "plateau" on an appropriate diagram if the age is valid.

Replication/testing: Too much slippage for this to be reliable from one testing lab to another. You really have only whatever result you are willing to accept, that fits with your other assumptions about time etc.

You sure do love to make stuff up and claim it's fact! no, just ain't so. Dating labs are constantly calibrating their equipment against recognized standards, and constantly exchange samples to make sure that similar analyses by different labs produce the same results. There's no "slippage", whatever that may be, between labs. E.g as of 1998 one of the common standards, the For example, the Fish Canyon sanidine, had been analyzed 380 times by different labs and many times since then. Or the University of Waikato lab participated in a five-lab twelve-sample 14C dating test which produced:

The maximum difference between labs in that test was about 1%.

Conclusion:...

The only possible conclusion from that mish-mosh is that you don't have a scintilla of a clue about how radiometric dating, and science in general, is performed.

And with all that you left out one of the standard creationist lies about radiometric dating!

As expected, no comment on her many errors in describing radiometric dating.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by JonF, posted 06-27-2014 11:37 AM JonF has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by Faith, posted 06-27-2014 1:31 PM JonF has responded

  
JonF
Member
Posts: 6159
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 32 of 200 (730358)
06-27-2014 1:30 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by Faith
06-27-2014 1:27 PM


Re: bump for another Faith thread to discuss radiometric dating
But this has been said a million times already.

And refute a million and one times.

Edited by JonF, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by Faith, posted 06-27-2014 1:27 PM Faith has not yet responded

  
JonF
Member
Posts: 6159
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 1.5


(1)
Message 36 of 200 (730362)
06-27-2014 1:35 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by Faith
06-27-2014 1:30 PM


Re: bump for another Faith thread to discuss radiometric dating
There is NO room for uncertainty in those common presentations.

There is uncertainty, they just don't present it for simplicity. No date is published without error ranges produced by standard and well understood means. But the error range of any valid date (and invalid dates get published on purpose sometimes, to point out possible pitfalls) is small compared to the date. In radiometric dating, an uncertainy range of ±5% is a very big one, and uncertainty ranges under 1% are common in U-Pb dating.

There is no uncertainty whatsoever outside the loony bin (absent major changes in fundamental physics that would have destroyed all life) that the ages scientists have founn are sufficiently valid to destroy YEC.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by Faith, posted 06-27-2014 1:30 PM Faith has not yet responded

  
JonF
Member
Posts: 6159
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 1.5


(1)
Message 37 of 200 (730363)
06-27-2014 1:37 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by Faith
06-27-2014 1:31 PM


Re: Faith's many errors
I just rattled off that post not caring whether any of it was true or not if you want to know.

So you admit you don't care about truth.

It was really just a bunch of vague questions I had in mind

Which have now been answered, and if you want more detail I'll gladly provide it. Do you acknowledge that your questions have been answered?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by Faith, posted 06-27-2014 1:31 PM Faith has not yet responded

  
JonF
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Posts: 6159
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 1.5


(1)
Message 39 of 200 (730365)
06-27-2014 1:42 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by Faith
06-27-2014 1:30 PM


Re: bump for another Faith thread to discuss radiometric dating
Amazing though how many Wikipedia and other general articles just rattle off a bunch of mystifying conclusions about this or that, say the KT boundary for an example without even touching on the particular phenomena involved. It's all millions of years this and assumed events that.

Oh, and, that illustrates why using non-technical sources for technical issues is fraught with peril. Technical sources go into the supporting data and analyses in great detail. Some non-technical sources are good but you need some expertise to be able to figure out which ones. The already mentioned Radiometric Dating: A Christian Perspective (writen by an evangelical Christian and published by an evangelical Christian organization) is good. Ancient Earth, Ancient Skies: The Age of Earth and its Cosmic Surroundings is easy to follow and very good. The Age of the Earth is great but gets pretty technical at points.

{ABE} Bet a million dollars you haven't even looked at a Wikipedia article on radiometric dating. E.g. see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiometric_dating and teh many articles it references.

Edited by JonF, : No reason given.


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 Message 33 by Faith, posted 06-27-2014 1:30 PM Faith has not yet responded

  
JonF
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Posts: 6159
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 1.5


(1)
Message 41 of 200 (730367)
06-27-2014 1:47 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by RAZD
06-27-2014 1:43 PM


Re: bump for another Faith thread to discuss radiometric dating
An even better reference is Radiometric Ages of Some Early Archean and Related Rocks of the North Atlantic Craton, which gives more results and is in statigraphic order, demonstrating how well the "deeper is older" rule works.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by RAZD, posted 06-27-2014 1:43 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
JonF
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Posts: 6159
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 1.5


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Message 43 of 200 (730372)
06-27-2014 2:59 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by Faith
06-27-2014 2:07 PM


Re: bump for another Faith thread to discuss radiometric dating
Well, those are facts, close enough for laymen. Someone made an editorial decision about what is and is not important, and they probably made the right one. They're not going to reproduce the entire paper; you can go look at it if you want.

Including the relatively minuscule uncertainties isn't going to change the fact that it happened 66-ish million years ago. Even if the uncertainties are unusually large, say 5%, it doesn't matter if it was 62.7 million years ago or 69.3 million years ago or any time in between. YEC is disproven by any of those.

You won't understand, but another fact is that there are hundreds of thousands of radiometric dates. If some of them are wrong YEC is disproven. If many of them are wrong YEC is disproven. If 99.99% of them are wrong YEC is disproven. YEC is only possible if all of them, every single one, is wrong. And the only way that can be is a fundamental systemic factor, such as the Rate ggroup's Accelerated Nuclear Decay (AND). Alas, that one fails for the same reasons the vapor canopy fails; it's not possible without fundamental changes to the laws of physics, or flat-out miracles.


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 Message 42 by Faith, posted 06-27-2014 2:07 PM Faith has responded

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JonF
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Posts: 6159
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 66 of 200 (733336)
07-16-2014 11:58 AM
Reply to: Message 65 by mram10
07-16-2014 11:31 AM


Re: why wiki may be a poor source
If you have questions, we will be glad to answer them. If you are interested in learning the basics of radiometric dating, a very good place to start is Radiometric Dating: A Christian Perspective (Dr. Weins is an evangelical Christian). In case you are interested, at least one widely used radiometric method has been "calibrated" against history, the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD: Precise dating of the destruction of Pompeii proves argon-argon method can reliably date rocks as young as 2,000 years (press release) or 40Ar/39Ar Dating into the Historical Realm: Calibration Against Pliny the Younger (technical paper, free registration required to get full text).

Edited by JonF, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 65 by mram10, posted 07-16-2014 11:31 AM mram10 has responded

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JonF
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Posts: 6159
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 1.5


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Message 80 of 200 (733431)
07-17-2014 7:49 AM
Reply to: Message 72 by mram10
07-17-2014 12:17 AM


Re: why wiki may be a poor source
I have not read that book,

It's an article.

but have spent a lot of time studying RMD

So far the evidence indicates otherwise. You seem to be a garden-variety ignorant creationist of the same stripe we've seen so many times. I'm open to new evidence on that score.

As for K-Ar, I have a tough time with any dating methods that range starts at 1mil years for accuracy

K-Ar dating is seldom used anymore, there are much better methods. (It's hard to find a lab to do it at all). Such as the Ar-Ar method used in the paper to which I referred you. But there is no reason to suspect that K-Ar is invalid. Oh, and K-Ar is usable for ages around 100,000 years and has occasionally been used for ages as young as 10,000 years. Yep, you're a serious student of radiometric dating alright.

I trust observation and do not care for assumptions that I cannot verify

There are no unverified assumptions in radiometric dating, other than the assumption that there is a universe external to us that we can study. I bet you can't come up with a valid example of an unverified assumption.

Radiometric dating and all your "historical" science is based on observation. Of traces left by past events.

I am very interested in the RATE team that is working these issues now

Oh, we have a real expert here. The RATE team is not working these issues now, they shut down almost a decade ago, having achieved their goal of providing sciency-sounding gobbledygook for the ignorant. If you are really interested in the RATE work, read Assessing the RATE Project and RATE (Radioactivity and the Age of The Earth): Analysis and Evaluation of Radiometric Dating (not books, and written by evangelical Christians with relevant expertise).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by mram10, posted 07-17-2014 12:17 AM mram10 has acknowledged this reply

  
JonF
Member
Posts: 6159
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 1.5


(1)
Message 81 of 200 (733432)
07-17-2014 8:10 AM
Reply to: Message 74 by mram10
07-17-2014 12:31 AM


Re: why wiki may be a poor source
1. I have been reading about helium dating of rocks from 0-12000 ft in new mexico done by the RATE team. The article mentioned the uranium alpha particles becoming helium levels were different than originally thought, thus making the age based on helium dating, younger. It was the first I had heard of this, so I am seeking more info.

The short version is that there is a perfectly valid explanation for the results within mainstream science, and there is good reason to doubt the validity of the three low-temperature data points on which Humphreys' "theory" hangs. For the long version see RATE (Radioactivity and the Age of The Earth): Analysis and Evaluation of Radiometric Dating under "Helium Diffusion in Zircons", especially the second-to-last item in "Gary's explanations of Helium in Zircons for Talk Rational's discussion forum about Evolution and Origins in 2010".

2. I also have questions about the assumptions you listed (rate been a constant, etc). Again, I read a study by the same RATE team, that I need to link, stating ideas to the contrary. I need to read more, but it did raise a red flag.
Again, thank you for the info and the way it was presented. I will keep learning

The constancy of radioactive decay has been widely studied both experimentally and theoretically. We understand it very well. It's been constant for much longer than the age of the Earth.Good summaries and pointers to further reading can be found at The Constancy of Constants and The Constancy of Constants, Part 2, both by eminent physicist Steve Carlip.

The RATE team proposed miraculous accelerated nuclear decay (AND) in the past. Many Christians have theological problems with this sort of ad-hoc assumption. But there are serious scientific problems with the proposal, such as melting the surface of the Earth and killing all life (except, perhaps, for a few thermophilic bacteria) twice over with heat and radiation. the RATE team acknowledged these minor issues in 2005 and hoped that future work would provide a solution. Wanna guess at how much work they've done on it since then?

I started a thread here, Heat and radiation destroy claims of accelerated nuclear decay, with references and detailed discussion of what the RATE team wrote about the problem and what I found out about it through research. It's a page or so and I suggest you read it.


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