30 Years Later, the Lessons from Mount St. Helens
Young-Earth Creationist 'Dating' of a Mt. The Failure of Austin and Swenson to Recognize Obviously Ancient Minerals. Because radiometric dating utterly refutes their biblical interpretations, swint creationists YECs are desperate to undermine the reality of these methods. As part carbo their efforts, YEC Dr. Steve Austin and his associates at the Institute for Creation 'Research' ICR collected a carbon dating mount saint helens sample from Mt.
Cagbon, Washington State, USA, which probably erupted in AD. Austin's conclusions on this project are summarized at the ICR website. The 'research' efforts of Austin and his colleagues and their 'expertise' in radiometric dating have been widely criticized, including by Joe Meert also hereKaren Bartelt and company and myself at No Answers in Genesis and in my web debate hepens Dr. David Plaisted at Tim Thompson's 'A Radiometric Dating Resource List' also here.
Austin rarely responds to his critics. However, non-geologist YECs, such as MD Keith Swenson at Is the Lava Dome at Mt. Helens Really a Million Years Old? Although Swenson accompanied Austin on a trip to Mt. Helens, there is no indication from his writings that Swenson is familiar with igneous petrology, geochronology or even geology in general. Considering that the half-life of potassium 40K is fairly long 1, million years, McDougall and Harrison,p.
A few thousand years are not enough time for 40Ar to accumulate in a sample at high enough concentrations to be detected and quantified. Furthermore, many geochronology laboratories do not have the expensive state-of-the-art equipment to accurately measure argon in samples that are only a few million years old.
Specifically, the laboratory personnel that performed the K-Ar dating for Austin et al. With less advanced equipment, 'memory effects' can be a problem with very young samples Dalrymple,p. That is, very tiny amounts of argon contaminants from previous analyses may remain within the equipment, which precludes accurate dates for very young samples. For older samples, which contain more 40Ar, the contamination is diluted and has insignificant effects. Considering the statements at the Geochron website and the lowest age limitations of the K-Ar method, why did Austin submit a recently erupted dacite to this carbon dating mount saint helens and expect a reliable answer???
Contrary to Swenson's uninformed claim that ' Dr Austin carefully designed the research to counter all possible objections', Austin clearly demonstrated his inexperience in geochronology when he wasted a lot of money using the K-Ar method on the wrong type of samples. Austin's results on the Mt. Helens dacite, which are also listed by Swensonare shown in the following table: Notice that only one of Austin's dates is above the lower dating limit of approximately 2 million years established by Geochron Laboratories.
However, rather than dealing with this issue and critically evaluating Austin's other procedures including the unacceptable mineral and glass impurities in his 'fractions'YECs loudly proclaim that the results are discrepant with the Daating eruption. They then proceed to assault the validity of the K-Ar method.
That is, rather than rejecting Austin's bogus 'message,' YECs unfairly attack the K-Ar 'messenger. Considering that the dacite probably erupted carbon dating mount saint helens AD, Austin should have known that at least some of the samples would have given dates that were younger than 2 million carbon dating mount saint helens old and that Geochron Laboratories could not have provided reliable answers.
Therefore, it's carbon dating mount saint helens surprising that some of Austin's dates, such as the result for the amphiboles, etc. Without properly referencing Bartelt et al. This is the old YEC 'only eyewitnesses can provide accurate histories' scam. Obviously, Swenson, like many YECs, fails to realize that carbon dating mount saint helens can successfully unravel past events without witnessing them. Forensic scientists frequently send hleens to prison without eyewitness testimony.
To be exact, the recent hideous actions of the Washington DC area USA sniper s illustrate how unreliable eyewitnesses can be and how important forensic science is in solving crimes and stopping killers. In contrast to Austin et al. Also see Radiometric Dating and the Geologic Time Scale: Circular Reasoning or Reliable Tools? WHAT CAUSED THE 'OLD' DATES? As mentioned above, we already know that Austin's application of carbon dating mount saint helens K-Ar method to this dacite sample was flawed from the beginning.
Nevertheless, what are some possible causes of Austin's old dates? Of course, some YECs might argue that God, for whatever reason, simply zapped some 40Ar into the various minerals carbon dating mount saint helens the 'Creation Week' about 6, years ago. Obviously, this suggestion has absolutely no scientific support or merit. Helenz ideas are flights of fantasy and not scientific hypotheses. Not even Austin endorses these untestable claims in his essay.
Other YECs might argue miunt some of the minerals in the dacite began to grow sometime over the past 6, years. However, without resorting to unproven miracles to speed up the decay rate of 40K, YECs still have the problem of explaining how all of that 40Ar could form in only 6, years. Using science, there are at least three hypotheses that may be purposed to explain why Austin obtained 'dates' ofto 2. Any or all of these hypotheses are possible.
Austin strongly argues that steps were taken carbom his laboratory to protect the samples from contamination and that xenoliths foreign saibthypothesis 3 were removed from the samples before analysis. He also claims that microscopes were used to scan for 'foreign particles' xenocrysts? Of course, he and his assistants may have missed many of the xenocrysts if they were small. Austin clearly ignores the possibility of contamination in the mass spectrometer hypothesis 2 and the possibility that the phenocrysts in his samples may be much older than the AD eruption hypothesis 3.
Austin simply assumes that the first explanation is correct and then he proceeds to use the 'presence' of 'excess argon' in his samples to question the reliability of all K-Ar dates on other rocks and minerals.