U-Th dating gives inaccurate results for modern volcanic rocks (Talk.Origins)
- U-Th dating of volcanic rocks formed in historic times gives dates vastly older than their true age.
- Clementson, S. P., 1970, A critical examination of radioactive dating of rocks. Creation Research Society Quarterly 7 (Dec.): 137-141; citing Cherdyntsev, V. V., et al., Geological Institute Academy of Sciences, USSR, Earth Science Section, 172, p. 178. Cited in: Morris, Henry M., 1974. Scientific Creationism, Green Forest, AR: Master Books, p. 143.
CreationWiki response: (Talk.Origins quotes in blue)
First, dating techniques, like any tool, can be misused.
This seems to be Talk Origins favorite argument to explain away dating technique results that don't fit Uniformitarian geology. The accuracy of any measuring took can only objectively be checked by comparing it to a known sample. Talk Origins seems to be claiming that dating any rock of historically know age is misuse of the dating method. If that is the case then it is untestable since there is no way of comparing it to an objectively known sample.
This particular case could be an example, especially if xenoliths (older inclusions) are incorporated in the volcanic rocks.
Talk Origins is clearly missing the fact that these samples contradict the assumed initial condition of volcanic rocks according Uniformitarian geology. To be accurate radiometric dating requires that the rocks radiometric "clock" to rest when volcanic rocks forms. That fact that isotopic composition can be inherited from older rocks, tends to falsify this assumption.
Other examples of discordant dates among these claims show that a date alone does not invalidate the method; one must also consider how the method was applied.
Correct! it is not the dates, that invalidate the method, they just an interpretation of isotopic makeup of the rock, what this data does is to show that volcanic rocks do not tend to reset their radiometric "clock" on formation as assumed by Uniformitarian geology.
Second, there is a vast body of literature showing that the U-Th method does work. It would take more than one published counterexample to discredit it. And if that counterexample were a serious challenge to the method, there would be plenty of publications about it.
Not necessarily, its significance could have been missed simple because Uniformitarian geology sees no disagreeing radiometric data as problematic, but simple dismisses it as contamination or something else. Thus a Uniformitarian geologist would not sees it a challenge to the method at all.