Re: [asa] RATE's Radioactive Thorium Plot (was Ancient Universe)

From: Randy Isaac <>
Date: Sun May 20 2007 - 20:21:49 EDT

Good analysis, Steve. Thank you. The RATE team appears to have struggled with allocating the amount of accelerated decay. Many wanted all the acceleration to be allocated to the first three days of creation to avoid the problems of radiation damage to organisms. But too much of the evidence for massive amounts of radiation damage was in or above layers of fossil-bearing sediment.

The other twist is that only the heavier elements have the accelerated decay. Carbon-14 is exempt because in Baumgardner's work, the trace amounts of C-14 in diamond are used to determine an effective age of 50,000 years. He has some rather extraordinary assumptions to get that number down to 5-10,000 and if there were any accelerated decay, the problem would be worse. So the solution is simple--accelerated decay depends on nuclear weight.

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Steven M Smith
  To: ;
  Sent: Friday, May 18, 2007 6:15 PM
  Subject: [asa] RATE's Radioactive Thorium Plot (was Ancient Universe)

  Apologies for the late response on this thread. I am about a week behind in reading posts on the ASA list.

  On Sunday, May 13, 2007, Robert Schneider asked ...
>> Has the RATE team come up with a graph plotting the rate
>> of decrease of radioactive thorium? Enquiring minds want to
>> know. (With apologies to The Vicar--but I'm a Lay Reader.)

  On Monday, May 14 2007, Randy Isaac replied ...
> The RATE Vol. II report has five entries for thorium in its
> index. Four of those pertain to references that have the word
> thorium in the title of the article. The other simply mentions
> that where thorium radiohaloes are found, they are far
> outnumbered by uranium radiohaloes. I could not find a
> reference to thorium in their chapter on isochron discordances.

  Although I have not read the RATE Vol. II report, I was asked by a friend to read and comment on RATE's summary book for the layman reader -- "Thousands ... not Billions." The thorium graph that you want to see was NOT in that book either. However, from the information given in this book we can easily construct a general graph that illustrates the increase in decay rates for any of the long lived radioisotopes (V-50, Nd-144, Hf-174, Pt-192, In-115, Gd-152, Te-123, Pt-190, La-138, Sm-147. Rb-87, Re-187, Lu-176, Th-232, U-238, K-40, or U-235).

  Because of the limitations of my email account and the ASA archives, I am going to briefly describe how to construct the graph. On a piece of paper draw a vertical line for our X axis. Label the bottom as 0 and the top of the line as 4.65 billion years. Title this X axis "Apparent Radioisotope Age". RATE admits that today's Apparent Radioisotope Age of the Earth is actually about 4.65 billion years.

  Now from 0 on the X axis draw a horizontal line to the right for our Y axis. Label the left end of the line 0 and the right end as 6,000 years. Title this Y axis "RATE Determined Age". RATE also determined that the true age of the Earth is only about 6,000 years. ("One principle agreed on by all the RATE members is that the earth is young, on the order of 6,000 years old. This is not simply a working hypothesis to be tested as to whether it is true or false. Instead, it is a basic conclusion drawn from the biblical record of creation as written by the only One who was present, God himself." p. 174).

  In The Beginning, both our Apparent Radioisotope Age and our RATE Determined Age would be 0. So for our graph, plot a point at the origin.

  On page 138 of "Thousands ... not Billions", Don DeYoung tells us: "The RATE research concludes that the primary explanation for the large amount of daughter products now present in the earth's rocks are two periods of highly accelerated nuclear decay, with about 90 percent of the total occurring during the early part of creation week ... " Earlier in the book, we are told that this burst of accelerated nuclear decay probably took place on Days 1 & 2 of Creation. This gives us our second point on the graph. On Day 2 (or about 0.005 years on the "RATE Determined Age" Y axis) plot a point at about 4.1 billion years for the "Apparent Radioisotope Age".

  Using a rounded figure of 1,500 years between Creation and the Flood and the rest of DeYoung's statement ("... and the remainder during the year of the Genesis flood.") we can finish our graph. For a RATE Determined Age of 1,500 years plot another point at 4.1 billion years for the Apparent Radioisotope Age. (The actual age would be 4.1 billion plus 1,500 years but that just rounds to 4.1 B.Y. on our graph). Then because of the second burst of decay, in RATE year 1,501 we can put a point at 4.65 billion years for the Apparent Radioisotope Age. Finally our last point is plotted at 6,000 years for RATE and 4.65 billion years for the "Apparent Radioisotope Age".

  When finished you should have a graph with 2 stair steps. For those you want to know how this fits in the Geologic Time Scale, label the first step as Precambrian and the second step as "Paleozoic, Mesozoic, Cenozoic combined". The guts of your graph should look something like this ... (unless web formatting destroys my 'artwork').
  __________|"Paleozoic, Mesozoic, Cenozoic combined
  | Precambrian

  And that's it. That is the main conclusion drawn by the RATE team from their $1.25 million project.

  (Blame me and not my employer for these statements.)
  Steven M. Smith, Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey
  Box 25046, M.S. 973, DFC, Denver, CO 80225
  Office: (303)236-1192, Fax: (303)236-3200
  -USGS Nat'l Geochem. Database NURE HSSR Web Site-

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Received on Sun May 20 20:22:41 2007

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