RADIOMETRIC DATING ON TRIAL: HOW RELIABLE IS IT? PART 5

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Author: Tom Shipley

Witness #5, Jay Hall, M.S.

In Parts 1-4, we called atheist Roger Lewin, agnostic Richard Milton, and creationists Don Boys, Ph.D, and Marvin Lubenow as witnesses against the reliability of radiometric dating. We have seen that the whole radiometric basis of dating rocks and fossils is a towering house of cards.

Our next and final witness against the reliability of radiometric dating is Jay Hall, M.S, from his book, “Young Earth Science & the Dawn of a New World View.”

godinanutshell-jay-hall-young-earth-science

I am certain that most people who encounter evolutionists’ claims that rocks and fossils have been reliably dated at millions or billions of years take it for granted that these assertions are the reporting of objectively determined facts. After all, the people saying such things are scientists. And scientists are merely objective reporters of fact, right? Yet, nothing could be further from the truth.

These age-date assertions are interpretations based upon several extremely dubious  assumptions, among which are the assumption that 1) all of the “daughter” elements of tested samples (e.g., lead from uranium, or argon from radioactive potassium, etc.) are the product of nuclear decay, 2) that there has been no leaching in or out of parent or daughter elements over the course of untold years and 3) that the rates of radioactive decay of uranium and other radioactive elements are constant and invariable. Even many evolutionists have observed the doubtful nature of these claims. Both uranium and lead, for example, are extremely water soluble. Even rain causes extensive leaching. What would a worldwide flood do?

The third assumption, that the rates of radioactive decay are now and always have been constant throughout time, is regarded by many to be unquestionable, and evolutionists have claimed confidently and dogmatically that they are invariable. Yet, what is it that causes radioactive decay in the first place? And when have you ever heard an evolutionist ask this question? It is well known that the atomic forces within the atoms of radioactive elements are sufficient to prevent the escape of particles which constitute radioactive decay according to classical mechanics. The quantum wave function of particles is one explanation invoked by scientists to explain how radiation can happen. Another theory has to do with the imbalance in the molecular structure of radioactive elements in combination with the strengths and ranges of the strong and weak nuclear forces. Even if we assume one or a combination of these explanations to be correct, we can still ask, “Is that all there is to it?” Is there perhaps an external energy source that can interact with matter in such a way as to cause radioactive decay? Or can perhaps create additional instability to elements vulnerable to decay? I have had the suspicion for a long time that neutrino bombardment, especially solar neutrino production, is the primary source of the energy and catalyst of radioactivity, or at least a supplemental catalyst. It wasn’t until I read Jay Hall’s book that I learned that some researchers in the field are thinking along the same lines.

Jay Hall quotes Ian O’Neill at Discovery.com: on pg. 49-50 of Young Earth Science & the Dawn of a New World View

“…the decay rates of radioactive elements are changing. This is especially mysterious as we are talking about elements with ‘constant’ decay rates – these values aren’t supposed to change…This is the conclusion that researchers from Stanford and Purdue University have arrived at…The sun might be emitting a previously unknown particle [or neutrinos maybe] that is meddling with the decay rates of matter…researchers noticed the decay rates vary repeatedly every 33 days – a period of time that matches the rotational period of the core of the sun. The solar core is the source of solar neutrinos.”

That sounds like a good candidate for a “smoking gun” to me.

For the reader not acquainted with neutrinos, neutrinos are a “slippery” ghost-like subatomic particle that almost never interacts with other matter. They pass right through the entire diameter of the earth and the other planets without perturbing their constituent elements or being affected by the matter they are passing through. According to a Wikipedia article:

“Most neutrinos passing through the Earth emanate from the Sun. About 65 billion (6.5×1010) solar neutrinos per second pass through every square centimeter perpendicular to the direction of the Sun in the region of the Earth.”

Yet every once in a while, about one in a trillion times, a neutrino will in fact collide with an atom adding energy (and enabling particle escape, i.e., radiation?).

Hall continues:

“Evidence based upon tree rings indicates that the solar cycle was just 7 years in the Post-Ice Age era in contrast to the current cycle of 11 years. Could more solar activity imply more rapid radioactive decay rates in the past? If the sun affects radioactive decay rates and the solar cycle was more frequent in the past, could this imply that radioactive decay was faster in the past? This planet may actually be youthful and not billions of years old.”—pg. 50

Hall is a young earth creationist. Evolutionists claim that Hall and other creationists are biased against evolution and are making bogus claims. Let us, therefore, hear what William D. Stansfield, Ph.D., a prominent, highly respected and strident anti-creationist and evolutionist has to say on the subject of radiometric dating and the assumptions upon which radiometric dating is conducted. I used this quote in Part 4, but its significance bears repeating. (Besides, my mother raised me on the old proverb, “Repetition is the Father of Learning.”)

“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

Indeed, we do.

Note well that Stansfield acknowledges that it is an assumption that radioactive decay rates are invariable, and he acknowledges the contradictory age determinations gotten using different radioisotopes—to the tune of hundreds of millions of years. If Stansfield is referring to the tests I think he is, the discrepancies were actually over a billion years. What Stansfield is essentially saying is, “I acknowledge the extreme unreliability of radiometric dating to the tune of hundreds of millions of years but I choose to have faith in it, anyway.” We have seen in previous articles that the unreliability of radiometric dating actually extends to billions of years, and this is all a highly selective process anyway in which the scientists discard more results than they accept! So much for their belief in the reliability of radiometric dating!

Hall cites physicist H. C. Dudley:

“…induced changes in disintegration rates of 14 radionuclides [have been investigated], including C-14, Co-60, and Cs-137. The observed variations in the decay rates…were produced by changes in pressure, temperature, chemical state, electric potential, stress on monomolecular layers…These findings, together with complex and alternative disintegration modes, by which certain radionuclides decay ([e.g.] Cu-64, β-, β+ or electron capture) have led to the conclusion that…The decay ‘constant’ is now considered a variable.”—pg. 59, quote from The Morality of Nuclear Planning, pg. 53, emph. supp.

Hall also points out that the accepted decay rate of Samarium-146 has recently been changed from 103 ± 5 million years to 68 ± 7 million years and “ultrasonic cavitation of water increases thorium decay by a factor of ten thousand.”—pg. 59

And Again:

“Paul Renne et al wrote an interesting paper in Science, ‘Absolute Ages Aren’t Exactly.’ There are significant uncertainties in the decay rates of various isotopes. In fact, geochronologists and nuclear physicists often use different decay rates.”—pg. 63, Young Earth Science & the Dawn of a New World View

And this:

“…the decay rate of chlorine-36 increases as Earth approaches the sun…Such discrepancies might be explained if a neutrino somehow amplifies the decay rates…if solar neutrinos transferred a mere millionth of their energy to a decaying nucleus, that might have a big effect on the rate at which it breaks up…whatever process generated the flare in 2006 also caused a dip in neutrino flux, and a corresponding drop in radioactive decay rates…For example, a storm in 2008 was preceded by a spike in manganese-54 decay rates.” Pg. 65, Young Earth Science & the Dawn of a New World View, quoting The Economist

This should be sufficient to establish the point that the supposed invariability of radioactive decay rates is, in the final analysis, an article of faith contrary to the data on the part of evolutionists who need long ages to prop up failed evolutionary dogma and their religion of Naturalism. There is much more that could be cited in this regard. Henry Morris has also compiled a long list of such quotations from evolutionists in his book, That Their Words May be Used Against Them, subtitled, Quotes From Evolutionists Useful for Creationists.

Evolutionists cite radiometric dating results as the most important, and supposedly most reliable, dating technique of rocks and fossils. Upon radiometric dating, more than anything else, stands the evolutionists case for very ancient ages of rocks, fossils and the Earth itself. In this series, we have considered 1) empirical proof of the unreliability of radiometric dating in its use on lava rock of known ages, 2) the foundation of extremely unlikely assumptions upon which radiometric dating rests, and 3) empirical findings demonstrating that the radioactive decay rates themselves can be altered both in the laboratory and by natural forces and processes. All of these considerations add up to a proverbial mountain of evidence against the reliability of radiometric dating.

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Tom Shipley

About Tom Shipley

I am a former atheist and evolutionist during my college days; came to faith in Christ at the age of 20; regard my pro-creation activities as part of the work of the kingdom of God; believe that a very tough, strident and unapologetic stance against evolution is called for though I may soften my tone if and when Mark Armitage and David Coppedge, fired for their creationist beliefs, are given their jobs back. I am also a contributor for The Creation Club. Articles copyright Tom Shipley. All Rights Reserved.
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