I have or observed many articles about fossils that assume that millions and millions of years have taken place after the fossils were laid to rest so to speak. Yet, there is rarely or never any documentation or record of when or how these fossils records were measured against a standard of dating, which dating process was used, where it was done and what assumptions were made in regard to the fossil records.
There are so many examples of this that it would be hard to qualify how often this happens. Even while reading blog posts in this site, I discover claims of fossil records that are exactly a million years old, without any scientific or mathematical probability associated with the claim.
This is not scientific or mathematically accurate, for the simple reason that’s it’s not mathematically possible to know that any fossil is exactly 400 or 300 or 200 million years old. Any time the date is mentioned, mostly as an anecdote, it essentially presents false and questionable data.
The problem with this kind of science and reasoning is that is similar to a declaration by fiat, similar to how parents name their children or a nation declares that a currency this is worth less than a penny is of extraordinary value. But this is simply not scientific. It’s not mathematical. We know that none of use lived 400 million years ago. That’s obvious, it seems, to most. But some scientists and scientific populists, act as though they really did live 400 years ago, and really did see these fossils when they were alive.
Some of the worst perpetrators of this kind of fallacy are publications like the National Geographic, who use their power of naming dates as though they had the power to declare any piece of paper worth hundreds of dollars. It would be nice or worth a lot of “money” if it were true. But it’s nothing more than people who think they are kind making a supposed scientific claim from their relative throne that claims to be real science. It’s not.
Whenever someone throws out millions or even billions of years in regard to a fossil record, without anything regarding how that date was arrived at, it’s best to just let it pass as something that is akin to wishful thinking, or someone who hopes that they are not found out. Most people who spout millions and billions of years probably don’t know where the figure came from or the mathematical probability or certainty that is attached to the figure.
Let’s hope that we can all come to our senses in regard to carbon dating and spouting off about our millions of years so that our fantastical carbon dating figures don’t outpace our carbon footprint at out most favorite fast food joint.
Here is a primer on radiometric dating, including the potential flaws associated with the dating method:
Radiometric dating is based on the fact that radioactive isotopes decay to form isotopes of different elements. The starting isotope is called the parent and the end-product is called the daughter. The time it takes for one half of the parent atoms to decay to the daughter atoms is called the half-life. If certain things are known, it is possible to calculate the amount of time since the parent isotope began to decay.
For example, if you began with 1 gram of carbon-14, after 5,730 years you would be left with 0.50 g and only 0.25 g after 11,460 years. So far so good. If that were the only factors involved in radiometric dating, it would not be worth discussing whether or not it’s accurate.
The problem is that radiometric may not give us a true age, even though it is commonly called an absolute age, is that it is based on several crucial assumptions:
Here they are:
First, the rate of radioactive decay is known and has been constant since the rock formed.
Second, there has been no loss or gain of the parent or daughter isotopes from the rock.
And third, the amounts of parent and daughter isotopes present when the rock formed are known.
The problem with the first assumption is that since we can’t test rocks or meteors in outer space, there is not way to prove that the decay rate was not different at some point in the past. Scientists who claim a constant rate might as well also claim to be able to test each rock or meteor when it was formed in outer space. It’s simply an inference that may or may not be accurate. What about today? Are the decay rates stable today? Yes, they are. They are not largely affected by external conditions like change in temperature or air pressure. But unfortunately, that does not always mean that the rate has always been constant. On the other hand, if you think that you are God or are actually a tree or a rock, you might be able add some insight to the argument.
Why might we think that the rate of decay might not be the same? An accelerated rate is found in zircon crystals, found in granite that contains radioactive uranium-238, which decays into lead over time. As the uranium decays, helium is produced in the crystals. Helium escapes from the crystals at a known, measurable rate. If those rocks were over a billion years old, as evolutionists claim, the helium should have leaked out of the rock. The presence of lots of helium in the crystals is evidence in support of a young earth.
Has there been any loss or gain of the isotopes in rocks? The problem is that this assumption does not take into account the impact of weathering by surface and ground waters and the diffusion of gases. It is impossible to know to what degree the parent and daughter products have been added to or removed from the rocks over the alleged millions or billions of years.
The third assumption does not take into account the fact that isotopes can be inherited from the source areas of magmas and/or from surrounding rocks as the magmas pass through the mantle and crust of the earth. Many geologists make efforts to eliminate errors, but the fact that rocks of known recent age give dates of millions, and even billions, of years supports the claim that radiometric dating cannot provide accurate “absolute” dates. Also, samples taken a few feet apart can give ages that differ by many hundreds of millions of years.
An example of this is that rock samples taken below the layer of other rocks in the Grand Canyon (Cardenas Basalt) have been tested using radiometric dating that shows they are younger, or not as old as the rocks that are in the layer above. Volcanic rocks near the top of the canyon showed a radiometric date of 1.34 billion years. Rocks in the lower layer showed a date of 1.07 billion years. Isochrons from rocks were used for the dating the rocks using the radiometric dating process. There is an obvious problem with this dating mechanism. The problem is not with radiometric dating. The problem is with scientists who claim that there is no discordant data when using the method, when there obviously is. Why would scientists do that? Because they have a vested interest in believing in an old earth, despite evidence to the contrary.
I would be commenting any further on this conversation thread. Hope everyone learned something.