The Unreliability Of Evolutionary Dating Methods

By: Mark Tabata (Evangelist)

Many people in our world have been brainwashed to disbelieve in the Bible because of its’ teaching that the universe is relatively young (thousands of years old as opposed to billions).

Indeed, this teaching of Scripture can be demonstrated in both the genealogies of the Scriptures (for example, see Genesis 5; Matthew 1:1-18) and from the explicit teaching of Scripture that mankind has been on the Earth since its’ very beginning (cf. Mark 10:6; Romans 1:18-20).

Because the theory of Darwinian evolution has pervaded nearly every aspect of our culture, many have been taught that the Bible is unreliable, especially in areas pertaining to science.

Instead, evolutionists maintain that the universe is billions of years old, and they rely heavily on methods known as radiometric dating to try and sustain this claim. However, as we will see, these dating methods are highly unreliable!

First, let’s start by talking about what we mean by radiometric dating methods. What exactly are these, and how do they work?  

Radiometric dating methods have reference to measuring the time it takes for certain substances (parent elements) to decay back into their earlier substances (daughter elements).

For example, carbon-14 molecules are the combination of carbon and nitrogen.

It would take 5, 730 years for half of this substance to decay back to its’ basic carbon and nitrogen elements (so 5, 730 years is the “half-life” of carbon-14).

As such, when scientists are able to determine how long it takes for one substance to decay back into its’ earlier element, they are able to relatively “date” such substances.

Second, we begin to see serious problems with many different radiometric dating methods when we realize the assumptions upon which these methods are based.

Two scientists explain and illustrate:

“Many scientists have sworn by radiometric dating methods. But are these dates truly reliable? Actually, radiometric dating is based on some fragile assumptions. If the assumptions are false, the dating procedure is worthless. For radiometric dating to be accurate several critical factors must be known or be true: 1. We must know the quantity of radioactive elements which were in the rock when it was first formed. 2. The rate of radioactive decay must be constant over time. 3. The rocks being measured must be isolated from outside factors. These factors can be illustrated in the following way. Imagine yourself being a police investigator. You have discovered an abandoned car used in a robbery. To help identify the thief’s hideout, you need to figure how far the car had been driven. First, you measure the amount of gasoline in the tank right now. But to answer the question, you must also consider three other factors, each corresponding to the radiometric facts above: 1. How much gasoline was in the tank when it left the hideout? 2. What is the car’s fuel consumption rate in miles per gallon? 3. Does the tank have a fuel leak, or has any fuel been added since leaving the hideout? As the police investigator, you will likely have a hard time pinning down the distance to the thief’s hideout. Why? Because the information you need, especially questions 1) and 3), is likely impossible to know. Similarly, the accuracy of radiometric dating is questionable in these same three critical factors: 1. We must know the quantity of radioactive elements that were in the rock when it was first formed. BUT: It is impossible to know the quantity of radioactive elements in a rock when it was first formed, whether thousands, millions, or billions of years ago. We can only speculate. In most calculations, it is assumed that no daughter element was present when the rock formed, but there is no way to prove this. We also know from recently “created” rock from lava flow that this assumption is invalid. Sometimes the daughter element is already present. 2. The rate of radioactive decay must be constant over time. BUT: Current evidence suggests that radioactive decay is indeed constant, and is not affected by heat or pressure. However, decay rates have been examined for only about 100 years. Nuclear physicist Dr. Russell Humphreys demonstrates research known as radiohalo analysis that suggests that decay rates used to be faster….We have no assurance what the radioactive decay rates were thousands, and certainly not billions, of years ago. 3. The rocks being measured must be insulated from outside factors. BUT: Argon, one of the most measured radioactive elements, is a gas and can easily diffuse out of rock. Potassium and uranium (two other commonly measured elements) are easily dissolved in water. Water seeping through rock could easily dissolve away these elements, leading to inaccurate measurement. In reality, both parent and daughter elements migrate into the rocks from tectonic, metamorphic, and hydrologic forces. Geochronologists recognize this to be a serious and common problem with their dating method dogma.16”. (Joe White & Nicolas Comninellis, Darwin’s Demise: Why Evolution Can’t Take The Heat, 712-732 (Kindle Edition); Green Forest, AR; Master Books).

These radiometric dating methods are based upon assumptions which fundamentally invalidate them; yet they are heralded as the most reliable dating methods because they support evolutionary theory. What nonsense!

Third, it is evident that these dating methods are extremely unreliable; for the different dating methods provide different dates for the same specimens!

“In addition to the assumptions that are built into radiometric dating, another problem is that the different radiometric methods often drastically disagree with one another. On occasion, the same sample of rock can be dated by the different methods and the dates can differ by several hundred million years. Some rocks from Hawaii that were known to have formed about two hundred years ago rendered a date of 160 million to 3 billion years when dated by the potassium- argon method (Funkhouser and Naughton, 1968, p. 4601). Another time, the same basalt rock in Nigeria was given a date of 95 million years when dated by the potassium- argon method and 750 million years when dated by the uranium- helium method. But what can you expect from dating methods that are based on built- in assumptions? Anything is possible!” (Eric Lyons & Kyle Butt, The Dinosaur Delusion: Dismantling Evolution’s Most Cherished Icon, 1882-1888 (Kindle Edition); Montgomery, Alabama; Apologetics Press)

Fourth, let it be understood that these dating methods are shown to be inaccurate because they often date materials as “ancient” when they are known to be relatively young!

Scott Huse tells us:

“The fact that erroneous results can be and often are derived from these dating techniques has been experimentally verified. For example, living snails have been dated as being 2,300 years old by the carbon-14 method.16 Wood taken from growing trees has been dated by the carbon-14 method to be 10,000 years old.17 Hawaiian lava flows, which are known to be less than 200 years old, have been dated by the potassium-argon method at up to 3 billion years old!18”. (Scott Huse, The Collapse Of Evolution, 733 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Books)

We need to be aware that these inaccurate dating methods have been understood for decades to be inaccurate.

Nevertheless, many in the evolutionary community continue to spout them as the evidence that the universe is billions of years old to try and accommodate their pet theory and deceive the masses.

Meanwhile, the teaching of the Bible regarding this matter has been thrown under the bus, even though there are literally dozens of scientific evidences which document that the Earth is relatively young.

Indeed, these facts have been well-known for years; and the habit in the evolutionary community is to throw out any dates that could support the teaching of Creationism:

“Dates determined by radio-active decay may be off – not only by a few years, but by orders of magnitude. Man, instead of having walked the earth for 3.6 million years, may have been around for only a few thousand.” – Robert Gannon, Popular Science, “How Old Is It?” November 1979, p. 81.)

“If a C-14 date supports our theories, we put it in the main text. If it does not entirely contradict them, we put it in a footnote. And if it is completely ‘out-of-date,’ we just drop it.” – T. Save-Soderbergh and Ingrid U. Olsson,”C-14 Dating and Egyptian Chronology,” Radiocarbon Variations and Absolute Chronology, p. 35.)

“No one seriously proposes that all the determined [radiocarbon] dates are without error, but we do not know how many of them are in error – 25 percent? 50 percent? 75 percent? And we do not know which dates are in error, or by what amounts, or why.” – Charles B. Hunt, “Radiocarbon Dating in the Light of Stratigraphy and Weathering Processes,” Scientific Monthly, vol. 81, November 1955, p. 240.)

Beloved, please do not rest your faith in the false science of evolution.

Instead, rely on the proven and tried Word of God. The Son of God died to pay the price for your sins on the Cross of Calvary (1 Timothy 2:6).

He was buried, and arose again on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).

Will you not today repent of your sins (Luke 13:3), confess your faith in Him (1 Timothy 6;12), and be baptized into Christ (Mark 16:16)? Then you will receive the forgiveness of your sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; 22:16) and will be added to His church (Acts 2:47).

Why not turn to Him today?

Or if you are a child of God who has left the Lord through sin (2 Peter 2:20-22), will you not today repent of sin and pray to Him for forgiveness (Acts 8;22; 1 John 1:9)?

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

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