Contradictions in old-earth dating methods

radiometric dating grand canyon The story is often wrongly presented that there are no holes in the old-earth radiometric dating data. That’s because the contradictions are cleverly concealed by those reporting the data. Consider the textbook examples given in this article.

If scientific theories are incorrect, then we should expect random and inconsistent results. I have seen claims from proponents of an ancient cosmos that the old-earth data is “insanely consistent.”

At first, this may be threatening to six-day creationists who want to believe Scripture’s explanation of history over man’s.  Bad theories have a way of revealing themselves by the contradictions they produce, and if there are no contradictions in the old-earth data, then that means they might be true, right?

The standard claim is the “science” underlying radiometric dating is sound, and it simply tells us how old the earth is. It as if the resulting data were an independent observer. It is as if the geologists say “We don’t pretend to know how old the earth is at all. We simply do the math and run the numbers, and the answers are clear: very old.”


This claim simply isn’t true. The proof that it is wrong is in the contradicting answers the equations produce.

The “scientific” assumptions that the old-earth dating techniques use are actually founded upon an erroneous presupposition: that the cosmos is old. Geologists have to assume an old cosmos because they weren’t there to see what really happened. Since they reject the Bible’s claims, they have come up with their own.

Then, they solve the radiometric dating equations based on that assumption. The assumptions control the output.

Unsurprisingly, the equations produce numbers that are consistent with the starting assumptions. For example, here’s a quote from an isotope geoscience college-level textbook (Faure and Mensing, Isotopes: Principles and Applications, 3rd Ed., p.499). This is regarding the Thorium-230/232 dating method:

“The assumptions on which the 230-Th method of dating is based were originally articulated by Goldberg and Koide (1962):

1. The 230/232-Th activity ratio in the water mass adjacent to the sediment has remained constant during the last several hundred thousand years.”

Science works like this: general equations are derived, and a hypothesis is used to give us a set of assumptions that are used to simplify the equation.

If the controlling assumptions are false, the results are meaningless because the equation no longer applies. The general equation has been reduced to a simpler form based on the starting assumptions. If the assumptions are wrong, then the simplified equation is describing Situation A when reality has presented us with Situation B.

In the quoted text above, the authors spell out the assumption for this particular dating method: the oceans are several hundred thousands of years old. This is just one example of many. If they are wrong, then the results they get will be meaningless. If the oceans are only six thousand years old, then the data produced by the equation is incoherent.

When geologists come up with contradictory results, they rarely come right out and say that; it would be too easy for laymen to read and understand. That is why they are veiled behind jargon that is meant to be deciphered by only the academic priesthood.

Now, consider the following, and you be the judge.


Sometimes, scientists relabel the contradictions they document as “fortuitous.” This is a jargon word meant to obscure the problem their investigations have unearthed. When two different methods give contradictory results (“ages”), they sometimes resolve the issue by labeling one as “fortuitous.”

One author explains that “even rather good linear arrays of whole-rock samples may be fortuitous isochrons which define quite meaningless geological ages. A good instance of this is given by the Makalu granite for which precise U-Pb ages of 24.0 +/- 0.4 and 21.9 +/- 0.2 million years showed that a 92.7 +/- 9.4 million years ‘isochron’ from the same granite represented an accidental linear array.” [Bowen, Isotopes in Earth Sciences, p.151]

That seems dense, but all he is saying is that someone dated a rock that (somehow) looked older than it really was. “It just looks like it is 90 million years old. Even though that’s what the radiometric dating technique says, we know it can’t be true. It’s too young–based on our theories!”

Here’s another example from a 1979 paper:

“One [rock] gives an apparent age of about 490 million years, and another about 90 million years. This scatter [in the data] can be interpreted in several ways, and no unique interpretation can be made at this time. Our preferred interpretation is that [the rocks] are all [hypothesized to be about 500 million years old] and that [these samples that give scattered results] have been more or less reset [by hypothesized volcanic activity 100 million years ago]. Thus, the crude alignment of the five samples along a 335-million-year isochron is fortuitous.” [p. C-6,]

In this example, two rocks gave contradicting ages. Though they look to be a certain age based on the data (335 million years old), the authors prefer their version of geologic history, which says the rocks should be 500 million years old. So, they label the measured data which produced “ages” of 335 million years old as accidental instead of changing their version of history.


Another device employed is to label the isotope amounts measured as being an “excess,” as in “there isn’t supposed to be that much there!” From a textbook:

“These investigators reported K-Ar dates ranging from 3.8 to 10 billion years old for samples [of various rocks from the same area]. Since the age of the earth was already known to be 4.5 billion years, Gerling and his associates concluded that [certain rocks] yielding K-Ar dates of 10 billion years old contain excess Argon-40.” [Faure and Mensing, Isotopes: Principles and Applications, pp. 119-120.]

Contrasting the “excess argon” problem given to volcanic rocks on the earth, one scientist tells of “argon loss” for the moon rocks. Two different methods, helium and argon, gave consistent ages (2.5 billion years old), but the scientist said “the concordance of He and Ar ages must be fortuitous” in favor of the 4.5 billion years result given by another method (rubidium-strontium isochrons). [Same book.]

The moon rocks posed similar problems, giving a wide array of ages depending on the method used to measure them. Moon rock sample 10017 was dated 20 times using around 10 different methods that gave a range of possible ages from less than 250 million years up to 4.67 billion years. The age chosen was based on the assumed age of planet earth.


There are contradictions between different dating methods. When the data contradict, the results judged to be more accurate are those in line with the prevailing theories of geological history at the time.

Not only that, but the geologists have a natural defense strategy built in to help them out. The strategy appears to lend their theories credibility.

If you constructed an equation intended to predict the trajectory of a rocket into outer space, you could test the equation by launching a rocket. If the equation is right, then the rocket’s trajectory will line up with the predicted one. But if the rocket veers off course, you know that something is missing in the equation. So, you go back to the drawing board.

This is very important and has practical, life-and-death implications. Just ask NASA astronauts.

With old-earth equations, though, there is no testing the results in the same rigorous, undeniable way as in the rocket example. We can’t just induce a volcanic reaction and observe rocks cooling for 4 billion years so that we can compare their elemental content against our measurements.

“If this rock is really 4 billion years old,” they would say, “like our equations predict, then after we observe these new rocks cool for the next 4 billion years and measure their isotope ratios they ought to come pretty close to the ones we measured today. If that’s the case, then we know our equations are accurate and we can use them with confidence.”

They do no have this missing but crucial information, and yet they still use the equations with confidence. Would a scientist announce in a research paper that he has discovered some new physical property that’s predictable with equations before actually running some laboratory tests to verify his claims?

So where does this undeserved confidence come from? The answer is simple, but you will never find it printed in the academic literature: faith.

Geological history is based on fossils found in rock layers. Fossils found in different rock layers are assumed to be a certain age based on the theory of evolution.

Next to a picture of the so-called geologic time scale from a layman’s book titled Grand Canyon Geology, we read: “Today we use as a frame of reference a geologic time scale, developed over a period of more than a hundred years by geologists working together to correlate rock layers with similar fossils and age characteristics. This relative time scale is linked to specific radiometric dates in order to give absolute ages to both the rocks and the events which shaped them.”

The theory of evolution is steeped in faith, not science. The theory of evolution is false, which means the controlling assumptions underlying radiometric dating are false. Consequently, the results are contradictory. These contradictions are disguised with puffed-up jargon to throw layman investigators off the trail.

The lesson? The contradictions are hiding in plain sight, and the academic community is not very forthright about it. The contradictions, nevertheless, are buried in the official literature.

Hidden behind paywalls that cost ~$40 per article.

And there are thousands of articles.

To conceal their problems, the so-called geological scientists obscure the contradictions with elaborate evasions. It will take a long time to comb through these garbage heaps we call “scientific journals” that are full of this nonsense. They have been funded by billions of taxpayer dollars extracted for more than a hundred years by a program of systematic theft. The result is chaos in the brickyard.

All those excess bricks probably just need to be scraped into the landfill. It’ll be cheaper to start over. As post-millennial Christians, time and history are on our side. They are not for the naysayers.


2 responses to “Contradictions in old-earth dating methods

  1. Pingback: Christians theologians: slaves to men | Rebuild Your Biblical Worldview

  2. Pingback: Christian theologians: slaves to men | Rebuild Your Biblical Worldview

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