Age of the Earth

The Failure of Radio Isotope Dating

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The Failure of Radio Isotope Dating

How old is the earth? Billions of years or just thousands of years? You can't know the answer to this question UNLESS you have reliable sources of information, and radioisotope dating IS NOT reliable. Why? Because it has never been calibrated.

The idea that the earth is billions of years old is based on two things:

1. Evolution requires billions of years - The probabilities of random actions and mutations resulting in proteins forming and life evolving are so astronomically low that they takes billions of years to overcome. If the earth is not billions of years old, then there was not sufficient time for evolution to happen. (BTW, even billions of years is not mathematically sufficient. But it's the best evolutionists can do.) So it is VERY IMPORTANT for the earth to be billions of years old.

2. There is only one supposed "clock" that operates over long time spans - Radioactive half-lives extend into billions of years. This means that for uranium 238 (U238) for example, it takes 4.47 billions years for half of the uranium 238 to decay away. So if you know how much U238 there was to start with, and you measure how much is left, you can supposedly determine how old it is. (U238 and its daughter isotopes are used extensively for radiometric dating.)

But There Are Problems

There are a lot of unknowns such as knowing the beginning amount of U238, as well as knowing what happened to the U238 in the past. Did something happen that changed the rate of decay? Has there been contamination or leaching? Were there some decay products present to start with, and how much?

Calibrating radioisotope dating - Those who use radioisotope dating claim it has been highly calibrated. What they are are talking about is that the instruments used to measure radioactive materials and their decay products have been calibrated. We are very good, and very accurate at measuring what is presently in a material. BUT, that does not give us the age of the material. It just tells us what elements exist in the material. The process of using that data to determine an age has not been calibrated. Here's an example:

radio dating calibration

Let's suppose I drive my car for three hours, and the computer display on the dash tells me I averaged 60 mph. How far did I travel? The assumption is 180 miles. But, that's based on the assumption nothing has changed since the manufacturer made the car. In my case my car has larger tires than the manufacturer recommends. Speedometers work by counting the tire rotation. With the bigger tires, when my speedometer said 60 mph, I was actually going 65 mph. So in this experiment I would have traveled 195 miles. How did I determine there was an error in my odometer display? I measured how fast my car was traveling against a known standard. Every so often highways have speedometer check sections. These typically are five mile long sections of highway with accurate mile markers. I timed how long it took me to drive the five miles doing 60 mph (on my speedometer) and saw that it took 277 seconds (4.6 minutes) instead of five minutes. I covered the five miles quicker than I should have, and this told me how much I needed to adjust (in my mind) what my speedometer displayed in order to know my actual speed.

What did I do? I compared my car with a known standard. Has this ever been done for radioisotope dating? No. At least not "officially." The data is just converted to years and the answer accepted as true. In other words, radioisotope dating is accepted without any calibration (as long as the age it gives is acceptable to evolutionary thinking). If it supports evolution, don't ask questions. However, tests have been done using radioisotope dating on rocks of known ages. That's the proper way to calibrate a dating method. The results are that the measured dates are much older than the actual age of the rocks. In other words, radioisotope dating FAILS calibration tests. But, for the purpose of evolution, it is still assumed to give accurate results. Why? Because it is the only dating method with results that can be manipulated to support evolution.

Here Are Some Examples of Calibration Failure

  • Hualalai Basalt - K-AR date: 1,600,000 years -- actual age: 200 years
  • Hualalai Basalt - K-AR date: 1,400,000 years -- actual age: 200 years
  • Mt. Etna Basalt - K-AR date: 250,000 years -- actual age: 2120 years
  • Mt. Etna Basalt - K-AR date: 350,000 years -- actual age: 2120 years
  • Mt Ngauruhoe Basalt - K-AR date: 3,500,000 years -- actual age: 60 years
  • Mt. St. Helens - K-AR date: 350,000 years -- actual age: 10 years
  • Mt. St. Helens - K-AR date: 2,800,000 years -- actual age: 10 years

While there are nearly 40 dating methods that show the earth to be young, there is only one used to show the earth is old... radioisotope dating. And radio isotope dating has never been calibrated to prove its accuracy over long ages. Show me the calibration reports demonstrating radioisotope dating is accurate. There are none.

While the process of measuring radio isotopes and their decay products is calibrated and very accurate, the methods that use radio isotope dating have never been calibrated and can never be calibrated as accurate.

More Information

Dating Methods (AIG Book Chapter)

Radio-Dating in Rubble (CMI Article)

"Radio-Dating in Rubble" Article Ignores Data (CMI article)


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