Stef Hareema (YEC Engineer) Argues Radiometric Dating is not Necessary for Fossil Fuel Discovery

In a context in which layers are modified, flipped, bent, broken and so on, even the (contested) step of assigning consecutive numbers to layers is not simple: how do we decide, reliably, which layers are prior? Usually through checking with radiometric dating, I imagine, though of course on all matters geology I defer to @faded_Glory


Sorry, but that is not “putting in any t value in your equation that yields relative ages.”

A day is still a day even if you express it as 86400 seconds. And 4.5 billion years is still 4.5 billion years even if you express it as 2.66 \times 10^{60} Planck units.

Seriously, this is measurement 101. I shouldn’t have to explain this to someone with three levels of university calculus.


Well @GutsickGibbon @faded_Glory, it seems they’ve interviewed David McQueen from ICR about economic geology and it allegedly proving a young earth in their recent video.

I’m no expert in petroleum geology but I can offer some comments. First, he repeated a claim he made on facebook, and I’m not sure why he should be considered an authority:

"not a pound of zinc…not an ounce of gold …not a cubic foot of natural gas …not a barrel of oil …not a ton of coal …has ever been found through the systematic application of traditional evolutionary geology "

This claim is unequovically false, once again shown by one of OP’s references:

Before the deadline to relinquish the blocks, Mobil conducted a study of 61 oil samples provided by the principal operators in the area. Using biomarkers in the oil samples, reinterpreted sequence stratigraphy and proprietary kinetic parameters, Mobil geologists performed BPSM, which predicted that most of the Miocene source rock in the area of interest would be within the present-day oil window and would be currently generating hydrocarbons. Use of the model resulted in major oil discoveries by Mobil and its partner Unocal in the deepwater Makassar Straits, with some wells producing 10,000 bbl/d [1,600 m3 /d] of oil from areas previously considered nonprospective. The study also changed the way the industry views deepwater deltaic petroleum systems worldwide. (my emphasis)

Those who wish to deny that absolute ages were needed for this basin model would be wise to consult this source, as well as the figure in the first reference. Timing of events is directly tied to absolute ages, meaning all basin models factor in absolute age in their model building phase. Quote:

“Basin modeling requires first of all a well-designed geologic time framework. The conceptual model constructed at key well locations must define the time stratigraphic sequence of events, i.e., time spans during which either deposition, erosion, or nondeposition has occurred. This means that the physical sequence of layers (as depth or thickness) from wells or seismic sections must be converted into an uninterrupted sequence of events with absolute ages for each event boundary.” (my emphasis)

In other words, for a basin model to work the layers need absolute ages assigned to them. It’s one of the fundamental parts of their construction. Thus, when a basin model makes predictions that succeed, absolute dating is one of the variables that went into making those successful predictions. So their “expert” on oil and gas has made unequivocally false statements about a simple reality of oil exploration since the 70s. Basin Modeling, based on deep time reconstructions, have made discoveries of thousands of barrels of oil from this one area alone; an area that non-historical techniques considered to be not worth the effort. Not sure why this guy is supposed to be taken as an authority on anything when the literature emphatically contradicts him.

It gets worse though. He also thinks oil is partially pre-flood animal blood, or human blood. Thats…nuts.

In any case, around the 1:02:00 mark, they ask McQueen about basin modeling. His explanation is simply that basin analysis that is relied on by oil companies is primarily focused on finding new potential traps with geophysical studies and imaging techniques, in order to predict if the traps will contain oil. Of course, the structure of a trap and other physical factors are important in predicting if it would ever contain/retain useful oil. But he pretty much outright says age is completely irrelevant for this kind of basin analysis, including their predictions.

However, take a look at the reference cited in this post. It claims:

”The absolute age of each layer in the basin and petroleum system model is an important parameter for determining the timing of the processes that generate, move and trap petroleum.”

The same reference goes on to say:

”Modeling the petroleum potential of a basin requires reconstruction of the temperature over geologic time and across the basin.**”

It should be obvious that in order to model the temperature history of a basin over time, age of the rocks cannot be irrelevant! The same reference once again shows how age is important in the next statement:

“The modeler must then analyze the present day geometric model to describe the deposition chronology and physical properties of the basin fill materials and to identify post depositional processes—an undertaking that will enable reconstruction of the basin and its layers and fluids throughout geologic time. This analysis establishes a basin history that is subdivided into an uninterrupted series of stratigraphic events of specified age and duration. These events are summarized in a petroleum system events chart (next page). Each event represents a span of time during which deposition, nondeposition or erosion occurred. This summary describes the chronology of the geologic elements in a petroleum system. Syn- and post depositional episodes of folding, faulting, salt tectonics, igneous intrusion, diagenetic alteration and hydrothermal activity can be included to explain the model. Determining the timing of trap formation and of the remaining processes—generation, migration and accumulation of hydrocarbons—is one of the main goals of BPSM.

So, one of the primary goals of basin modeling is determining the timing of trap formation and the processes which migrate oil into traps. The timing is an important variable for generating predictions about the present distribution and quality of hydrocarbon in the basin. If a model predicts traps only formed well after source rocks stopped producing hydrocarbons, then they likely won’t contain oil and it would not be worth drilling into them, even if their physical structure looked ideal for sealing oil. This is why the predictions of basin modeling are just as tied to the timing of events and age of the rocks in a basin as the structural properties of that basin. Basin modeling absolutely is not only about analyzing the structure of a basin through geophysical means and making predictions from physical properties. Of course, because timing is a crucial goal of basin modeling, the age of the rocks must be crucial to modeling the timing and sequence of events in the basin, and thus crucial to deriving the predictions from that basin model. The literature is explicit that the absolute age of the rocks is, in fact, crucial for this kind of basin analysis, flatly contradicting McQueen. Given his religious worldview cannot tolerate the idea that deep time might have economic utility, the denial is understandable, but it just is not supported by the literature or by professionals here.

The others in the stream simply dismissed basin modeling with “assumptions”. And I mean…yeah, there are assumptions, but again as this post details, those assumptions can be tested by their predictions, and said “assumption-laden” models of deep time history have led to the discovery of massive oil fields. Mobil did just that, using Basin Modeling to predict that a previously non-prospective area would in fact be very productive. That isn’t just pure structural geology. It was heavily linked with the history of that basin. And the predictions from it worked wonderfully.

The rest was a lot of already done to death stuff about soft tissue, the RATE project, and the associated heat problems. He seems to admit there is no current solution to the heat issue, but suggests maybe someone can work out how oceanic circulation could make that go away. The problem is that it has already been done by John Baumgardner, the founder of CPT, and he’s concluded it must have been a miracle because circulation doesn’t work. Ditto for the change of decay rates, which the stream says could be a natural byproduct of CPT, at least for the flood related episode. None of the RATE team agree to my knowledge, and instead attribute it to the direct adjusting of decay rates by God.

Note: Edits were for reformatting. I’m picky about my wording lol


What is “evolutionary geology”? How does it differ from regular old run of the mill geology? Is he referring to the use of index fossils in establishing a formation’s age?

Probably anything that isn’t strict biblical catastrophism. And he’s absolutely incorrect, since basin modeling has led to the discovery massive oil reserves. He said he’s been making his claim for over 40 years. I feel sorry for ICRs students if that’s true.


How can any geologist begin to unravel the stratigraphy and structure of the Overthrust Belt without geochemistry, paleontology, radiometric and paleomagnetic data?

Try to work up multiple stacks of stratigraphic fragments, overturned beds and folds, stacked thrust faults, horsts and graben using sparse well control and noisy seismic.

Integrated exploration tools and approaches have lead to considerable success in these fields, in some cases drilling through preCambrian metamorphic rocks into productive Cretaceous sediments.

Without dating methods, exploration would be like caving without a light.


“Evolutionary” is YEC-speak for “anything and everything about science that I don’t like.”


You are using the wrong kind of conversion so you seem to have a basic misunderstanding. But we can say all that is beside the point anyway.

Since oil is said to be a biogenic byproduct, and since oil does not take millions of years to form, and since oil is found in strata laid down during the Noahic Flood year, and since radiometric dates imposed on sedimentary rock are bogus anyway, then my hypothetical 1 - 13 attribution may really only identify a convenient chronological ordering of sedimentary strata, and that will work just fine in the overall analysis, so long as all equations comport.

Despite the confidence of your assertion, I’m going to accept the word of professionals in the field.


Excellent post, thank you.


You mean like measurements and evidence?

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If you’ve done so much maths, how come you don’t know that the t in that equation isn’t a constant?