Re: Isotope question

Glenn Morton (
Sun, 02 Jun 1996 17:51:20

Steve Fawl wrote on May 8

>Yes. The 1801 eruption is a well known YEC apologetic to show how K/Ar
>dating is wrong. I once attended a meeting at a local church where John
>Morris used this data to try to show how K/Ar dating was wrong. As it so
>happened I had a copy of the article with me and I gave it to John to
>read. After reading the article he said that he would no longer use the
>1801 eruption as an example of why K/Ar dating was wrong.

>The article shows that there is a relationship between water depth and
>Argon outgassing from volcanic rock. The study showed that lava deposited
>in deep water (as occured in the Hawaii 1801 eruption) could not release
>trapped Argon gas and would therefore produce K/Ar age dates that were
>too old. It was interesting to see the data. The authors took samples
>from various depths and dated them and it was easy to see that the rocks
>found near the surface dated young (essentially zero age) and as you
>moved into deeper water those rocks produced progressively older ages for
>the rock. The bottom line in the article was that the researchers warned
>against taking volcanic rock samples at depth and dating them using K/Ar
>dating since it could easily be shown that these rocks gave erroneous
>dates. I do not have the data, nor the paper with me, but I believe that
>this was the gist of the paper.

>What John Morris saw in the paper that dissuaded him of it's use was that
>the not all of the data was being reported by the YEC's (by him either,
>at the time) and therefore was not representative of the papers intent.
>It was clear to him after reading the paper that it had been
>misrepresented and he told me personally that he would not use it again.


I was looking at the archives the other day and saw your note. I don't
know when you went to that talk given by Morris. I went to a Back to
Genesis Seminar May 3-4 here in Dallas. I hate to disappoint you but John
used that example during the seminar. He also uses it in his 1994 book
The Young Earth, p. 55 Morris writes:

"Investigators have many times acquired anomalous dates by
the potassium-argon method as well as other methods. Consider
the tests run on historic lava flows in Hawaii. Rocks from the
Kaupelehu Flow, Hualalai Volcano, known to have erupted in 1800-
1801, were datedwith a variety of methods on several different
minerals and inclusions. Although too'young' to have produced
much radiogenic argon or helium, the rocks contained large
quantities of these gases dispersed throughout. THe article
reports 12 dates, ranging from 140 million years to 2.96 billion
years! The dates average 1.41 billion years! The authors go to
great lengths to try to explain them away, claiming primarily
that, as it rose, the magma brought with it older material from
deep inside the earth, but the authors are unable to explain how
the gases were retained, and why the different gases and minerals
give such different 'ages'"~John Morris, The Young Earth,
(Colorado Springs: Master Books, 1994), p. 55

He cites two articles to back up his claim. Funkhouser and Naughton
"Radiogenic Helium and Argon in Ultramafic Inclusions from Hawaii, Journal
of Geophysical Research 73:14 July 1968 pp 4601-4607

and C. S. Nobel, and J. J. Naughton, "Deep-Ocean Basalts: Inert Gas
Content and Uncertainties in Age Dating, Science 162:11 Oct 1968 pp

The second of these articles is the one you refer to as proving that deep
oceanic basalts do not release all of their argon. If your meeting with
John Morris was prior to 1994 then you had no effect.


Foundation,Fall and Flood