Author: Tom Shipley
WITNESS #4: Richard Lubenow
In Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 we called atheist Roger Lewin, agnostic Richard Milton, and creationist Don Boys Ph.D., as witnesses against the reliability of radiometric dating. Our next witness is MARVIN L. LUBENOW.
In Lubenow’s book, “Bones of Contention,” (not to be confused with the book of the same title by Roger Lewin which we looked at in Part 1), Lubenow relates a common scenario illustrating the pervasive subterfuge routinely indulged in by evolutionists. Lubenow relates that he was attending a debate between renowned creationist Henry Morris and evolutionist Dr. Peter J. Wyllie. Before the debate, Lubenow had an opportunity to speak with Dr. Wyllie. Lubenow asked Wyllie a question about “what appeared to be a serious flaw in the basic assumptions of radiometric dating methods.” Wyllie answered Lubenow, “You may have noticed that I did not go into that in my book.” Wyllie told Lubenow that radiometric dating methods were not his area of expertise.
Given this admission by Wyllie, what happened during the debate is nothing short of astonishing. Lubenow notes:
“During the debate, I was amazed that Wyllie’s entire argument against creation and for evolution was based on the alleged evidence provided by the radiometric dating methods for the age of the earth and its various strata.”!—emph. supp. pg. 273-274
This irrationality is standard fare from evolutionists. Whether radiometric dating is or is not Wyllie’s “area of expertise,” an evolutionist with a doctorate degree, taking it upon himself to debate a creationist of Henry Morris’ stature, must certainly have been aware of the things creationists, including Henry Morris, have said about the fallacies of radiometric dating. In taking it upon himself to debate Morris, Wyllie was saying in essence that he had studied the things Morris has written and believed he had knowledgeable, compelling rebuttals.
As far as modern creationism is concerned, Henry Morris may be regarded as the father of us all. Morris’ book, The Genesis Flood, was the catalyst that ignited the modern creationist movement and was first published in 1961, complete with a very erudite treatment of the problems and unsupported presuppositions at the foundation of radiometric dating (see The Genesis Flood, pgs. 332-379). It is not as if this issue has not been circulating for a very long time now. Wyllie’s professed “lack of expertise” in radiometric dating notwithstanding, permit me the skepticism of suggesting that this “lack of expertise” is a cloak concealing the fact that evolutionists such as Wyllie simply have no rational, compelling answer to Morris or other creationist scientists regarding radiometric dating. Their use of radiometric dating as “proof of ancient ages in the range of millions and billions of years” is all bluff and bluster, subterfuge, and not science at all.
The problems with radiometric dating, both technical and theoretical, have been well understood by evolutionists even prior to the publication of The Genesis Flood–pretty much since radiometric dating was first used, and Morris quotes a good number of evolutionists liberally verifying this, such as Henry Faul, Dr. L. T. Aldrich, R. L. Stanton, etc. Evolutionists have simply ignored the problems (in public) of radiometric dating and discreetly kept them out of public view. Worse yet, evolutionists have knowingly trumpeted radiometric dating as unassailable “proof” of ancient ages of rocks, fossils and the earth, while being fully conscious of the profound problems associated with radiometric dating.
Consider what William D. Stansfield, Ph.D., a prominent, highly respected evolutionist and strident anti-creationist has to say on the subject of radiometric dating and the assumptions upon which radiometric dating is conducted:
“If we assume that (1) a rock contained no Pb-206 [lead] when it was formed, (2) all Pb-206 now in the rock was produced by radioactive decay of U-238 (uranium), (3) the rate of decay has been constant, (4) there has been no differential leaching by water of either element, and (5) no U-238 has been transported into the rock from another source, then we might expect our estimate of age to be fairly accurate. Each assumption is a potential variable, the magnitude of which can seldom be ascertained…
“It is obvious that radiometric techniques may not be the absolute dating methods that they are claimed to be. Age estimates on a given geological stratum by different radiometric methods are often quite different (SOMETIMES BY HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF YEARS). There is no absolutely reliable long-term radiological ‘clock.’ The uncertainties inherent in radiometric dating are disturbing to geologists and evolutionists, but their overall interpretation supports the concept of a long history of geological evolution. The flaws in radiometric dating methods are considered by creationists to be sufficient justification for denying their use as evidence against the young earth theory.”—The Science of Evolution, pg. 83-84, emph. supp.
Lubenow continues on to note the results of radiometric dating performed by creationist, Dr. Andrew Snelling, of the RATE project:
“An amazing situation develops when rocks that were seen to solidify by humans in historic times are then dated by radiometric means…
“This illustration comes from one of New Zealand’s most active volcanoes, Mount Ngauruhoe…
“A project was begun to compare the eyewitness dates of the lava flows with the dates obtained by radiometric dating of those very same rocks. Rock samples were taken from the hardened lava flows of the most recent eruptions, specifically the eruptions on 11 February 1949; 4 June 1954; 30 June 1954; 14 July 1954; and 19 February 1975. These most recent lava flows were clearly visible and easily identified. All of the volcanic rock samples were from twenty-five to fifty-one years old. (emph. supp.)
“A total of thirteen samples from these eruptions were sent for whole-rock potassium-argon dating to the Geochron Laboratories, Cambridge, Massachusetts, one of the most respected commercial dating laboratories in the world…
“The laboratory was not given any specific information regarding the source of the rock samples, nor were they given any information as to the expected age of the samples (emph. supp.). The samples were described only as probably very young…
“Four were dated at ‘less than 270,000 years old,’ one was dated at ‘less than 290,000 years old,’ one was dated at ‘800,000 years old,’ three were dated at ‘one million years old,’ one was dated at ‘1.2 million years old,’ and the last one was dated at ‘3.5 million years old.’ All were said to have a margin of error of about 20 percent in either direction.”—pg. 278-279
Yet again, we have demonstrable, empirical proof that there is something seriously wrong, not only in the logistics, but conceptually with the whole process of radiometric dating. It is clear to me, even if it is not to Dr. Wyllie, that both the processes of radioactive decay and its effects are not understood to this day.
Another very significant aspect of this procedure of the RATE project that deserves attention is that the samples were submitted to the laboratory BLIND (as it should be), that is to say the laboratory technicians were not subjected to the influence of the submitters expectations of the age of the samples. One of the most basic procedures of scientific investigation is the “blind test” or even better the “double-blind” process. Yet this almost never occurs in such testing. For example, I noted in Part 1 of this series that the KBS Tuff of Richard Leakey fame containing the famous skull 1470 was subjected to 41 separate and discordant age determinations ranging from 900,000 years of age to 223 million years of age! The technicians were fully aware from whom the samples were coming, and what Leakey’s expectations were. Leakey picked the date that suited his purposes and discarded the other 40 discrepant results!!! What kind of “science” is that? Needless to say, nobody involved alerted the public about the 40 discarded results. The public news reports were full of “the” radiometric dating result (singular) that Richard Leakey was looking for. Voila!-Leakey’s theory about the age of the skull was “confirmed.” Make no mistake about it, this kind of stacked deck approach is standard fare in the evolution fraud.
Consider this excerpt from Wikipedia regarding double blind scientific testing:
“A blind or blinded experiment is an experiment in which information about the test that might lead to bias in the results is concealed from the tester, the subject, or both until after the test. Bias may be intentional or unconscious. If both tester and subject are blinded, the trial is a double-blind experiment.
“Blind testing is used wherever items are to be compared without influences from testers’ preferences or expectations, for example in clinical trials to evaluate the effectiveness of medicinal drugs and procedures without placebo or nocebo effect, observer bias, or conscious deception; and comparative testing of commercial products to objectively assess user preferences without being influenced by branding and other properties not being tested.
“Blinding can be imposed on researchers, technicians, subjects, and funders. The opposite of a blind trial is an open trial. Blind experiments are an important tool of the scientific method, in many fields of research—medicine, psychology and the social sciences, natural sciences such as physics and biology, applied sciences such as market research, and many others. In some disciplines, such as medicinal drug testing, blind experiments are considered essential.”
Yet this is NOT the way radiometric testing is done, as attested by geologist Don Patton in his video presentation, “Scientific Age of the Earth”. In virtually all cases of radiometric “dating” both the field scientists submitting the samples and the laboratory technicians know everything there is to know about the sample and the range of expected results. (See also this exposé of the institutionalized cheating performed by radioisotope laboratories by Mark Armitage). In fact, you cannot even get the laboratories to accept your sample unless you tell them the expected age range first on the forms that accompany the sample. Dates that do not conform to the expected results range are discarded as erroneous aberrations, “contaminated” samples (which is probably almost always true), or blamed on sloppy testing by lab technicians!!! This is the very opposite of the scientific double-blind method and is absolutely scandalous!
Is such a procedural approach true science? Such a methodology strikes me as agenda-based manipulation of data! No laboratory conducting such tests should have any information whatsoever about the sample they are testing other than what they can see with their eyes. In most cases, public money pays for these tests and the taxpaying public deserves solid assurance that the scientists operating in the public’s name and on the public’s dime are operating in an unbiased and objective manner. As things are now, this is far from reality.
Our next witness in Part 5 will be Jay Hall, from his book, “Young Earth Science & the Dawn of a New World View.”