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For the other radioactive “clocks,” it is assumed that by analyzing multiple samples of a rock body, or unit, today it is possible to determine how much of the daughter isotopes (lead, strontium, or neodymium) were present when the rock formed (via the so-called isochron technique, which is still based on unproven assumptions 2 and 3).Yet lava flows that have occurred in the present have been tested soon after they erupted, and they invariably contained much more argon-40 than expected.1 For example, when a sample of the lava in the Mt. Helens crater (that had been observed to form and cool in 1986) ( age yield incorrect old potassium-argon ages due to the extra argon-40 that they inherited from the erupting volcanoes, then ancient lava flows of unknown ages could likewise have inherited extra argon-40 and yield excessively old ages.Part 1 (in the previous issue) explained how scientists observe unstable atoms changing into stable atoms in the present.Part 2 explains how scientists run into problems when they make assumptions about what happened .There are similar problems with the other radioactive “clocks.” For example, consider the dating of Grand Canyon’s basalts (rocks formed by lava cooling at the earth’s surface).We find places on the North Rim where volcanoes erupted after the Canyon was formed, sending lavas cascading over the walls and down into the Canyon.
So geologists have assumed these radioactive decay rates have been constant for billions of years.Most people think that radioactive dating has proven the earth is billions of years old.Yet this view is based on a misunderstanding of how radiometric dating works.One solution is that both the recent and early lava flows inherited the same rubidium-strontium chemistry—not age—from the same source, deep in the earth’s upper mantle.
This source already had both rubidium and strontium.
To make matters even worse for the claimed reliability of these radiometric dating methods, these same basalts that flowed from the top of the Canyon yield a samarium-neodymium age of about 916 million years,5 and a uranium-lead age of about 2.6 billion years!