[Fwd:More radiometric dating problems!]

Adrian Teo (AdrianTeo@mailhost.net)
Wed, 10 Dec 1997 09:52:21 -0800

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Here's one more from the YEC camp:
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From: Andrew Kulikovsky <anku@CELSIUSTECH.COM.AU>
Subject: [LABRI-L] more radiometric dating problems!
To: LABRI-L@LISTSERV.OKSTATE.EDU
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Andrew Snelling (a PhD geologist) recently published the results of a
study (Creation Ex Nihlo vol. 20 no. 1) on the application of
radiometric dating to the Crinum coal mine in central Queensland,
Australia.

When drilling, miners found pieces of wood 21 meters down entombed in a
basalt (hardened lava) flow. The wood was in 3 states: ash, charred and
in-tact. The came from trees that were still growing since an imprint of
a leaf was also discovered in the basalt. The local geological context
makes the basalt flow approx 30 million years old, if you accept the
standard model. Since the trees were entombed in the lava, they also
must be approx. 30 million years old. Also what apparently looked like
tree roots were found in the siltstone below the basalt, which suggests
the trees were rooted in the siltstone and thus growing on a land
surface that was then covered by basalt lava. The siltstone belongs to
the Permiam German Creek coal measures, conventionally believed to be
255 million years old.

Samples of the wood were collected and sent to Geochron Labs in the USA
and the ANS Lab at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology
Organisation (ANSTO) near Sydney. Neither lab was told exactly where the
samples came from to ensure there would be no resultant bias and both
labs use the Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) technique for
radiocarbon analyses which is supposedly more sensitive. Geochron is a
commercial company and ANSTO is a major research lab.

Basalt samples from the outcrop of the drill core were sent to the AMDEL
lab in Adelaide Australia and Geochron for K-Ar dating and basalt
samples from the drill core were also sent to Geochron.

The labs' staff (all PhD scientists) had no problem calculating
radiocarbon ages and when questioned were readily insistent that the
results were within the detection limits with one exception (although
the other lab did get a valid age from this sample), and therefore
provided quotable finite ages. They also pointed to the almost identical
delta C13 results which are consistent with carbon being organic carbon
from wood and indicating no possibility of contamination. The results
obtained indicated an age of around 44,000-45,000 years for the wood
encased in the basalt retrieved from the drill core.

However, the results from the K-Ar dating, which are also staunchly
defended by the lab staff (again PhD scientists), indicate an age of
around 45 million years.

So we have a couple of problems:
1. Dates of the basalt and the wood should be the same but they are
orders of magnitude apart.
2. If the basalt is 45 million years old as the geological context
and the radiometric dates suggest then so must the wood be 45 million
years old. However, it would not be possible to get a valid radiocarbon
age from wood that is this old.

So here we have another clear cut example of the unreliability of
radiometric dating methods. It also refutes the claims of some on this
list who insist that the various dating methods all agree and that the
error margins are comparatively small and that my previous examples were
from years ago and that radiometric dating practices and methods have
advanced so much since then.

It appears nothing has changed at all - radiometric dating is still
completely unreliable for determining absolute ages. So why believe
them?

cheers,
Andrew

--
Andrew S. Kulikovsky B.App.Sc(Hons) MACS
Software Engineer
CelsiusTech Australia
Module 6, Endeavour House,Technology Park,
The Levels, S.A. 5095
Phone : +61 8 8343 3837 (Direct)
Fax :   +61 8 8343 3778
Email : anku@celsiustech.com.au

"There's no gene for the human spirit."

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