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Evolutionists can’t prove millions-of-years

Exposing the fatal flaw with radioactive dating

Today’s feedback from David G. of USA concerns radioactive dating, an issue that confuses and intimidates many people. It’s answered by CMI’s geologist Dr Tas Walker.

Photo by R. V. Gentry.zircons
Zircon crystals are used for radioactive dating analysis.

Hey, I know you guys go into extensive detail about your critics with helium diffusion rates, but I stumbled across a critic that I was wondering if you could deconstruct since I don’t seem to find them on your website. If you can’t, then it’s no big deal, but I guess I would like to know your response in this particular scenario. The YouTube video is done by Paulogia with a title: Helium Diffusion Rates in Zircon Crystals Prove a Young Earth—Creation Today Claims.

I would like to defend the gospel in such circumstances, but I’ll admit some of the information goes over my head. Anyway, God bless.

Hi David,

Thank you for writing.

I was able to find the video by searching YouTube with the information you included, and I had a look at it. As you would expect, it is full of misinformation, as would be expected from a self-confessed apostate. Here are a couple of things he said which are wrong.

“Radiometric dating is one of science’s most reliable fields for determining the age of ancient materials.”

It is not. The gold standard for determining the ages of rocks is field relationships, which establish their relative timing. The numbers from the radioactive dating are selected to fit with the relative dates. See How dating methods work, together with the Related Articles and Further Reading at the bottom. I have summarized this article under four points below. Note especially the real-life example given in that article, which demonstrates point 4 below.

Here are the points:

  1. No instrument can measure age.
  2. All dating methods are based on assumptions.
  3. You can get any age you like depending on the assumptions you make.
  4. Geologists do not accept ‘dates’ that don’t fit their expectations.

Make sure you understand these points. Understand from the article why they are true and what they mean. They are not difficult. If you understand these four points, then the arguments about dating will not “go over your head”.

These four points and the article How dating methods work demonstrate why this next statement of Paulogia is wrong:

He said that they just have to measure the ratio of parent isotopes to child isotopes to determine the age (assuming the decay rate is constant).

This sounds simple but it is wrong. It takes just a small amount of reflection to know why. Point 1 above covers it. They are not measuring age but isotopes. It is wrong because it is impossible to determine the age of a sample by measuring the value of a parameter in the present (as stated in the four points above). They must assume the value of the parameter when the sample formed in the past, otherwise they cannot do a calculation. Plus, they must assume the conditions from when the sample formed until it was tested. Specifically, they must assume there was no contamination, no metamorphic movements, no geological heating, no water infiltration, etc. These are all unknown and unprovable assumptions about the unobservable past. See Immeasurable Age.

The four points above also mean that the age calculated by the RATE project using the zircon crystals similarly has not actually proven the young age. The statement Helium Diffusion Rates in Zircon Crystals Prove a Young Earth is not correct. The experiment has exactly the same limitations. Evolutionists can’t prove the world is old by making measurements in the present. Neither can creationists scientifically prove the world is young. RATE has put forward a good experiment and a good case. They have described very interesting information. They have provided some strong evidence. However, it likewise is based on assumptions. What happens is that those who want the earth to be old will argue against the assumptions. The experiment won’t convince them. All disagreements about age come down to arguments about the unobserved and unobservable past.

Although we cannot prove the earth is young by making scientific measurements, there is a way to know the age of something. It is by the historical method. We know the date when the US was founded because people were present at the time, observed the events, and wrote the details down. It’s called history. This is what the Bible provides, a historical account. That is how we know the earth is about 6,000 years old. See Appendix B—The Forgotten Archbishop, How does the Bible teach 6,000 years? and 6,000 years of biblical history: Questions and answers.

I hope that is useful for you.

All the best to you in Jesus’ name,
Tas Walker

Geologist, writer, speaker

Published: 8 June 2024

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