The Problem of Time

The Evolution Handbook pages 160-166

"The origin of life can be viewed properly only in the perspective of an almost inconceivable extent of time."— *Harold Blum, Time’s Arrow and Evolution, p. 151.

"It is no secret that evolutionists worship at the shrine of time. There is little difference between the evolutionist saying ‘time did it’ and the Creationist saying ‘God did it.’ Time and chance is a two-headed deity. Much scientific effort has been expended in an attempt to show that eons of time are available for evolution."—Randy Wysong, The Creation-Evolution Controversy (1976), p. 137.

       *G. Wald, in "The Origin of Life," in the book, Physics and Chemistry of Life, says "Does time perform miracles?"

"An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going."—*Francis Crick, Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature (1981), p. 88.

"The belief that species are immutable [unchangeable] productions was almost unavoidable as long as the history of the world was thought to be of short duration."—*Charles Darwin, Origin of the Species (conclusion to second edition).

"His [Joly’s] suggestion of varying rate of disintegration of uranium at various geological periods would, if correct, set aside all possibilities of age calculation by radioactive methods."—*A.F. Kovarik, "Calculating the Age of Minerals from Radioactivity Data and Principles," in Bulletin 80 of the National Research Council, June 1931, p. 107.

TWENTY DATING METHODS—We have looked at the basic assumptions relied on by the radio-dating experts; now let us examine the primary dating methods.

Here are the first twenty of them:

(1) Uranium-lead dating

(2) Thorium-lead dating

(3) Lead 210 dating

(4) Helium dating

(5) Rubidium-strontium dating

(6) Potassium-argon dating

(7) Potassium-calcium dating

(8) Strata and fossil dating, as it relates to radio-dating, will be briefly considered; although we will discuss rock strata dating in much more detail in chapters 12 and 14 (Fossils and Strata and Effects of the Flood).In addition, there are three dating methods used to date ancient plant and animal remains

:(9) Radiocarbon (carbon 14) dating

(10) Amino acid decomposition dating

(11) Racemization datingLastly, we will briefly overview several other supposed "dating methods" which, although not expected to provide much accuracy in dating, are still used in an attempt to postulate long ages for earth’s history:

(12) Astronomical dating

(13) Paleomagnetic dating has gained prominence in the past few decades. Because this present chapter is already quite long, we planned to fully deal with paleomagnetic dating in chapter 20 of this paperback; but, for lack of space, the greater portion of that material will be found in chapter 26 on our website

.(14) Varve dating

(15) Tree ring dating

(16) Buried forest strata dating

(17) Peat dating(18) Reef dating

(19) Thermoluminescence dating

(20) Stalactite dating

20 Dating Methods:

1—URANIUM-LEAD DATING—Because of similarities in method and problems with uranium and thorium dating, we will frequently refer to both under the category of uranium dating.

Three main types of uranium/thorium dating are included here:(1) Uranium 238 decays to lead 206, with a half-life of 4.5 billion years.(2) Uranium 235 decays to lead 207, with a half-life of 0.7 billion years.

(3) Thorium 232 decays to lead 208, with a half-life of 14.1 billion years.

"Why do the radioactive ages of lava beds, laid down within a few weeks of each other, differ by millions of years?"—*Glen R. Morton, Electromagnetics and the Appearance of Age.

"The two uranium-lead ages often differ from each other markedly, and the thorium-lead age on the same mineral is almost always drastically lower than either of the others."—*L.T. Aldrich, "Measurement of Radioactive Ages of Rocks," in Science, May 18, 1956, p. 872.

"Sunset Crater, an Arizona Volcano, is known from tree-ring dating to be about 1000 years old. But potassium-argon put it at over 200,000 years [*G.B. Dalrymple, ‘40 Ar/36 Ar Analyses of Historical Lava Flows,’ Earth and Planetary Science Letters 6, 1969, pp. 47-55].

"For the volcanic island of Rangitoto in New Zealand, potassium-argon dated the lava flows as 145,000 to 465,000 years old, but the journal of the Geochemical Society noted that ‘the radiocarbon, geological and botanical evidence unequivocally shows that it was active and was probably built during the last 1000 years.’ In fact, wood buried underneath its lava has been carbon-dated as less than 350 years old [*Ian McDougall, *H.A.

Polach, and *J.J. Stipp, ‘Excess Radiogenic Argon in Young Subaerial Basalts from Auckland Volcanic Field, New Zealand,’ Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, December 1969, pp. 1485, 1499].

"Even the lava dome of Mount St. Helens [produced in 1980] has been radiometrically dated at 2.8 million years [H.M. Morris, ‘Radiometric Dating,’ Back to Genesis, 1997]."—James Perloff, Tornado in a Junkyard (1999), p. 146.

"It may come as a shock to some, but fewer than 50 percent of the radiocarbon dates from geological and archaeological samples in northeastern North America have been adopted as ‘acceptable’ by investigators."—*J. Ogden III, "The Use and Abuse of Radiocarbon," in Annals of the New York Academy of Science, Vol. 288, 1977, pp. 167-173.

The underlying assumptions about radiocarbon dating:

(1) Atmospheric carbon: For the past several million years, the air around us had the same amount of atmospheric carbon that it now has.

(2) Oceanic carbon: During that time, the very large amount of oceanic carbon has not changed in size.

(3) Cosmic rays: Cosmic rays from outer space have reached the earth in the same amounts in the past as now.

(4) Balance of rates: Both the rate of formation and rate of decay of carbon 14 have always in the past remained in balance.

(5) Decay rates: The decay rate of carbon 14 has never changed.

(6) No contamination: Nothing has ever contaminated any specimen containing carbon 14.

(7) No seepage: No seepage of water or other factor has brought additional carbon 14 to the sample since death occurred.

(8) Amount of carbon 14 at death: The fraction of carbon 14, which the living thing possessed at death, is known today.

(9) Carbon 14 half-life: The half-life of carbon 14 has been accurately determined.

(10) Atmospheric nitrogen: Nitrogen is the precursor to Carbon 14, so the amount of nitrogen in the atmosphere must have always been constant.

(11) Instrumentation and analysis: The instrumentation is precise, working properly, and analytic methods are always carefully done.

(12) Uniform results: The technique always yields the same results on the same sample or related samples that are obviously part of the same larger sample.

(13) Earth’s magnetic field: Earth’s magnetic field was the same in the past as it is today.

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