Re: [asa] Denver RATE Conference (Thousands...Not Billions)_Part 6 & The End

From: Randy Isaac <>
Date: Thu Oct 11 2007 - 21:29:20 EDT

    In scanning over your report again, I noted the rather short discussion of "isochron discordances" at the RATE conference. Perhaps it is because neither Snelling nor Austin were there and this was their specialty. Nevertheless, the RATE VOl II technical report devotes 200 pages to this topic out of the 818 total, far more than any other single topic. They present voluminous data that is hard to sort out. All of the data presented, both through references and what appears to be their own results, yield ages in the 500-3,000 million year range with error bars and sigma values all duly reported. I spot-checked some sample data and couldn't find a "discordance" of greater than 15% between the tips of the error bars. Nevertheless, they conclude that the discrepancy is so great that the very method of radiodating is in question and that the actual dates are younger by 5 or more orders of magnitude. Do you recall if DeYoung gave any numbers in that section of the talk? Did he say how big the discrepancies are and did they have a quantitative solution that resolves them?
    You cited the Grand Canyon site where they took data from the Bass Rapids diabase sill. They also cite samples from Beartooth Pass in Wyoming, specifically "a single, multi-kilogram sample of Beartooth andesitic amphibolite" was collected in their effort to obtain concordant isochrons. They sent the samples for analysis to XRAL Laboratories in Ontario, Geochron Laboratories in Cambridge, MA, and a mass spectrometer at U of Colorado. The technical report seems to aim at being persuasive by simply overwhelming the reader with an avalanche of details.

    Neither the photo of the RATE project team nor the acknowledgments nor the list of authors includes Gary Parker or Lawrence Ford. Do either of them have scientific "credentials?"


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Received on Thu Oct 11 21:31:45 2007

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