RATE research reveals remarkable results—a fatal blow to billions of years
This past weekend I had the privilege of attending the “Thousands ... Not Billions” conference where the results of the RATE (Radioisotopes and the age of the earth) project were presented. The RATE project (a joint research initiative between the Institute for Creation Research, and the Creation Research Society) has carefully investigated the method of radioisotope dating: a method that allegedly shows rocks to be millions or billions of years old. Of course, the biblical text indicates a much more recent creation—a fact confirmed by RATE researcher and Hebrew scholar Dr Steven Boyd. So it is exciting (but not surprising) that the RATE researchers have uncovered powerful evidence that supports a recent creation, and explains the radioisotope data within the biblical timescale.
We have known for some time that radiometric dating methods are unreliable. They often disagree between methods (this was quantified by RATE geologist Dr Steven Austin and Dr Andrew Snelling) and can produce vastly inflated age estimates for rocks that are known to be recently formed. However, RATE scientists have attempted to answer the question of why the radioisotope methods are giving the inflated ages. One of the profound results of the RATE research is the exciting evidence of accelerated nuclear decay in the past.
RATE physicist Dr Russ Humphreys reported on the measurements of helium diffusing (leaking) out of zircon crystals. The helium is produced by radioactive decay, but over time it can leak out of the crystals. If the zircons were billions of years, there should be very little helium left since it would have had plenty of time to diffuse away, yet there is still a tremendous amount of helium in the zircons—consistent with an age of about 6,000 years. The current amount of helium in the zircons, and the measured rate of helium diffusion show (1) that a lot of radioactive decay has happened (to produce so much helium) and (2) that it must have happened quickly in the recent past (otherwise the helium would have had time to escape).
Dr Andrew Snelling (Ph.D. in geology) reported on the topic of radiohalos (tiny spheres of discolored crystal produced by the decay of radioactive material at their center) and fission tracks. His research strongly indicates that uranium must have decayed much more quickly in the past—an independent confirmation of accelerated decay.
RATE researcher Dr Larry Vardiman (Ph.D. in atmospheric science) summarized the results and discussed possible avenues for future research. The technical results and data of the RATE research can be found in the newly-released book Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth volume II. Dr Don DeYoung (Ph.D. in physics) has written an easy-to-understand summary of the RATE research in a book for non-specialists entitled Thousands ... Not Billions.
It was very encouraging to see the excitement at this conference as the Bible was once again confirmed.