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Claim CD010:

Radiometric dating gives unreliable results.

Source:

Brown, Walt, 1995. In the Beginning: Compelling evidence for creation and the Flood. Phoenix, AZ: Center for Scientific Creation, p. 24.

Response:

  1. Independent measurements, using different and independent radiometric techniques, give consistent results (Dalrymple 2000; Lindsay 1999; Meert 2000). Such results cannot be explained either by chance or by a systematic error in decay rate assumptions.

  2. Radiometric dates are consistent with several nonradiometric dating methods. For example:

    • The Hawaiian archipelago was formed by the Pacific ocean plate moving over a hot spot at a slow but observable rate. Radiometric dates of the islands are consistent with the order and rate of their being positioned over the hot spot (Rubin 2001).

    • Radiometric dating is consistent with Milankovitch cycles, which depend only on astronomical factors such as precession of the earth's tilt and orbital eccentricity (Hilgen et al. 1997).

    • Radiometric dating is consistent with the luminescence dating method (Thompson n.d.; Thorne et al. 1999).

    • Radiometric dating gives results consistent with relative dating methods such as "deeper is older" (Lindsay 2000).

  3. The creationist claim that radiometric dates are inconsistent rest on a relatively few examples. Creationists ignore the vast majority of radiometric dates showing consistent results (e.g., Harland et al. 1990).

Links:

Thompson, Tim, 2003. A radiometric dating resource list. http://www.tim-thompson.com/radiometric.html

Wiens, Roger C., 1994, 2002. Radiometric dating: A Christian perspective. http://www.asa3.org/ASA/resources/Wiens.html

References:

  1. Dalrymple, G. Brent, 2000. Radiometric dating does work! Some examples and a critique of a failed creationist strategy. Reports of the National Center for Science Education 20(3): 14-17. http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/rncse_content/vol20/6061_radiometeric_dating_does_work_12_30_1899.asp
  2. Harland, W. B., R. L. Armstrong, A. V. Cox, L. E. Craig, A. G. Smith, and D. G. Smith, 1990. A Geologic Time Scale 1989. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  3. Hilgen, F. J., W. Krijgsman, C. G. Langereis and L. J. Lourens, 1997. Breakthrough made in dating of the geological record. EOS 78(28): 285,288-289. http://www.agu.org/sci_soc/eos96336.html
  4. Lindsay, Don, 1999. Are radioactive dating methods consistent with each other? http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/crater_chain.html
  5. Lindsay, Don, 2000. Are radioactive dating methods consistent with the deeper-is-older rule? http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/confirm.html
  6. Meert, Joe, 2000. Consistent radiometric dates. http://gondwanaresearch.com/radiomet.htm
  7. Rubin, Ken, 2001. The formation of the Hawaiian Islands. http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/GG/HCV/haw_formation.html
  8. Thompson, Tim, n.d. Luminescence and radiometric dating. http://www.tim-thompson.com/luminescence.html
  9. Thorne, A. et al., 1999. Australia's oldest human remains: Age of the Lake Mungo 3 skeleton. Journal of Human Evolution 36(6): 591-612.

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