On Radiometric Dating

I for one would be open to considering your point of view under one of two circumstances:

Option 1: If you could provide verifiable physical evidence for it that actually obeyed the rules.

I’m not talking about any kind of “naturalism” here – neither methodological nor otherwise. I am talking about the basic rules and principles of honest reporting and honest interpretation of accurate information. Science – or, more to the point, basic honesty – has rules. Rules that apply to the historical sciences as well as to the operational sciences. Rules that do not depend on one’s worldview, and that do not exclude the possibility of miracles or the existence of God. They are simply the rules of honest and accurate weights and measures (as the Bible demands: see Deuteronomy 25:13-16 for example). You can learn all about these rules by doing a physics degree.

You can not claim that it is a case of “same evidence, different interpretations” unless both interpretations obey these rules.

Option 2: If you were to admit that the evidence does not support your view but could provide a Biblical justification for believing that the evidence that we see in nature should be considered illusory, misleading or false.

I can respect YECs who adopt the Omphalos Hypothesis (or something along those lines) and admit that that is their position. But I can not respect YECs who claim that evidence supports their position when quite clearly it does not. Rejecting scientific evidence might be faith, but misrepresenting it is lying.

And what makes people’s minds up about science? Hands on experience. If you have ever worked with any branch of science or technology in situations where getting it wrong has real world consequences for which you are held responsible, it is simply unconscionable for you to tolerate any approach to science that does not adhere to professional standards of honesty, accuracy, technical rigour, and quality control.

I work as a software developer for a finance company. It may be a different discipline, but many of the basic standards of quality control are the same. (For what it’s worth, one of our senior QA engineers is a former geologist.) If my colleagues and I applied the standards of rigour and quality control that I see in YEC “science” to our work, we would bankrupt our clients and get the company sued out of its insurance. If, that is, we didn’t get fired for incompetence or professional misconduct first.

Neither “worldviews” nor “compromise” nor “evolutionism” nor “secularism” nor “rejecting the Bible” has anything to do with it.


To the contrary, we can and do claim “same evidence, different interpretations” in several threads here and YEC seems to hold up just fine. And yes I believe we are obeying your rules.

All interpretations aren’t equal though. The huge difference of course is consilience. Science has one explanation which covers all the evidence in a consilient consistent manner. YEC has multiple ad hoc explanations for each piece of evidence separately which often directly contradict one another. Science wins.


Well yes I know that you claim “same evidence, different interpretations.” But you do not stick to the rules. I’ve explained this in detail in my review of Answers in Genesis’s ten best evidences for a young earth.

As I said in my summary and conclusion:

Every single one of them — and in fact, every other claim of evidence for a young earth that I’ve ever seen — plays fast and loose with the basic rules and principles of how measurement works, some of them even to the extent of completely disregarding the role of measurement in determining the ages of rock strata altogether. Tiny samples with huge error bars are presented as “overwhelming” evidence for absurd new laws of fantasy physics that would have vaporised the earth if they had any basis in reality. The extent and significance of discrepancies in conventional dating methods is repeatedly blown up out of all proportion, with errors of just 20-30%, and results from techniques pushed to breaking point, being touted as evidence that all dating methods are consistently out by factors of up to a million. Isolated claims that were retracted a century ago are cited as evidence of pervasive systematic fraud in hundreds of thousands of peer reviewed studies right up to the present day. Despite their repeated denunciations of “uniformitarianism,” many of them are based on assumptions of constant rates that are totally out of touch with reality.

Precisely. @r_speir, consilience is one of the rules.

Any interpretation that challenges the scientific consensus must be consistent with itself, with the evidence, and with everything else about science that it is not attempting to challenge.


You do claim that. It’s not true though. YEC ignores huge amounts of evidence and most of the ‘rules’.


Like the discussion below, for instance? Is this your idea of a YEC holding up just fine?


On behalf of at least my own sanity, and that of the people who so patiently explained the misunderstandings that @r_speir had - please don’t get back into that!
That said, I definitely agree with the sentiment of your post


Your review breaks rules. It is biased. It is presumptuous because it asserts a ‘science’ that is not legitimate. Radiometric dating is not a science. It is a pseudoscience based on evolutionary bias.

Sorry, you aren’t going to win that one. Just about everything you have said about radiometric dating is wrong. I have even shown you multiple studies demonstrating that contamination is not a problem, and yet you still claim contamination is a problem:


This is a new method they invented to date young eruptions in order to save face and appear to keep the science legitimate. It is Ar-Ar dating. As long as they know the approximate dates of these eruptions beforehand, they can adjust what they need to in order to arrive at convincing ages.

That is absolutely false.

If you have to accuse scientists of faking their data then you really don’t have an argument.


While rubbing their hands together and with an evil, cackling laugh?


You are far too trusting of the flawed ‘science’ of radio dating. This will help explain the newly invented Ar-Ar scheme:

"The 40Ar/39Ar method only measures relative dates. In order for an age to be calculated by the 40Ar/39Ar technique, the J parameter must be determined by irradiating the unknown sample along with a sample of known age for a standard. Because this (primary) standard ultimately cannot be determined by 40Ar/39Ar, it must be first determined by another dating method." (emphasis mine)

We should be able to trust all dating techniques, including K-Ar if radiometric dating is so accurate as you seem to believe. The very fact that all samples and all techniques do not return similar ages is due to contamination. You should employ more scrutiny regarding the things you so quickly believe.

And here is further proof that radiometric dating is an elaborate scheme:

Notice the glaring gap in eruptions from approx 2000 years ago to 12.9 ka. Where are all the missing eruptions in that 10,000 year gap?

You are far too trusting. If you are a real scientist, this data should greatly concern you.

Did you even read the Wiki article? Those volcanoes listed are only major eruptions which rated at least 6 on the VEI scale.

This timeline of volcanism on Earth includes a list of major volcanic eruptions of approximately at least magnitude 6 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) or equivalent sulfur dioxide emission during the Quaternary period (from 2.58 Mya to the present).

We know of plenty of volcanos between 2K years ago and 13K years ago, just none big enough to make the list. I showed you a paper just a few days ago correlating volcanic eruptions with Lake Suigetsu varves ranging from 4K years ago to 150K years ago, remember?

Identification and correlation of visible tephras in the Lake Suigetsu SG06 sedimentary archive, Japan: chronostratigraphic markers for synchronising of east Asian/west Pacific palaeoclimatic records across the last 150 ka

To the surprise of absolutely no one you ignored the paper. :slightly_smiling_face:


Ar/Ar dating uses irradiation to convert 39K to 39Ar as a proxy for measuring K. Ar/Ar can and is used to directly measure the age of rocks.

Once again, you are wrong.

In that table are 187 measurements of age that all agree with one another. Those measurements are spread across 3 different methods, 3 different minerals, 6 different labs, and across 5 locations. The 3 different methods use different isotopes with different decay rates and different decay processes. THEY ALL AGREE.


The rebuttal to your argument is right in front of you and you are too blind to see it? Why does it take 187 measurements to get just a handful of dates? ANSWER: Radiometric dating does not work.

If contamination is not present, every sample date should confirm every other sample date. You are a victim of confirmation bias. Sorry, but the very thing you accuse YECs of, you yourself cannot overcome.

By the way, why the 10,000 year gap that I pointed out in the history of volcanic activity on the planet?

It took 187 measurements to get 187 dates.

They do.

Already explained by @Timothy_Horton above.


And every date is different, some by millions of years…!!!

Did you notice the +/- ? Do you understand how statistics works?

Are you really saying that radiometric dating doesn’t work because there is a possible 1% error in the measurements?


Look at the first 4 entries on the table. The first entry has 52 analyses with an error of 0.1. The third entry down has just 2 analyses with an error of 0.2. With just two analyses the error represents the actual spread of the 2 data points which would be 0.4 million years. That’s less than a 1% error rate. There are also entries with a single analyis with a low error rate.

I think we can let everyone here decide who is the trustworthy person in this discussion.