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A university student asks his professor some questions about radiodating. His questions are more interesting than the answers. This is science vs. evolution—a Creation-Evolution Encyclopedia, brought to you by Creation Science Facts.

This material is excerpted from the book, DATING OF TIME IN EVOLUTION.
An asterisk ( * ) by a name indicates that person is not known to be a creationist. Of over 4,000 quotations in the books this Encyclopedia is based on, only 164 statements are by creationists.

You will have a better understanding of the following statements by scientists if you will also read the web page, Dating of Time in Evolution.

Instructor: Today, we first want to consider how long ages made possible the development of evolutionary life forms.

Student: But prof, long ages is not evolution. Dirt in a mud puddle can sit there thousands of years and still not turn into a frog.

Instructor: Time is seemingly magical; given enough of it, all kinds of things can cause themselves to come into being.

Student: But prof, if gravel cannot make itself into an animal in a year, how could it do it in a million years? The animal would be dead before it got alive.

Instructor: The secret of evolutionary success is the great amount of time we think there was. Anything can happen if given enough time.

Student: But prof, the more time that passes, the less likelihood it will produce anything. In fact, the longer the time, the greater the decay. Long ages cannot prove evolution, and it cannot produce evolution. It takes something besides time, and scientists cannot find it.

Instructor: Well, let us now turn our attention to the ways we can date ancient rocks with remarkable exactness. A principal way is through radioactive decay chains, such as the uranium-to-lead chain. These systems enable us to date ancient things.

Student: But prof, each chain must be a closed system, so nothing can contaminate any of the parents or daughter products while they are decaying. But, in nature, this never happens.

Instructor: For example, the fact that the parents came before the daughter products helps us have certainty of our test results.

Student: But prof, that is an assumption. There is evidence that daughters existed at the same time, and may have corrupted those results.

Instructor: In addition, we theorize that the decay rate has never changed.

Student: That is also an assumption. Scientists have found factors which do change the decay rates, such as pressure, heat, and chemical contamination.

Instructor: One thing we are sure of is that uranium always finally changes into lead. That fact helps us establish the length of the cycle; all we have to do is measure how much lead is there—and we can estimate how long it took to produce that lead.

Student: But prof, different lead could originally have been mixed in with the uranium. Also part of the uranium and its daughter products could have leached out over a period of time. Such things as dripping water could cause much of this contamination and leaching.

Instructor: We are able to carefully analyze the ratio of uranium to lead. This greatly helps us arrive at accurate dates.

Student: But there are several different types of lead, and only certain types are produced by uranium decay. Researchers rarely analyze the lead to see what type it is. Contaminating lead can greatly skew the test results.

Instructor: Then there is potassium-argon dating. This is a highly valuable means of obtaining test results. Potassium-argon dating is crucial to the dating of fossil-bearing rocks, so it is important that we have confidence in it.

Student: But prof, argon 40 is an unstable gas, and quickly leaks off into the atmosphere. How could the amount of argon 40 in a test sample prove anything?

Instructor: Potassium-calcium dating is another way to date organic materials, such as fossils.

Student: But prof, there are so many different types of calcium, and only one type (calcium 40) is a daughter product of potassium breakdown. Yet researchers rarely, if ever, analyze the type of calcium that is in the test sample.

Instructor: So those are some of the radioactive decay chains we use to accurately date ancient materials.

Student: But prof, what about that test of moon rocks, in which every possible type of theoretical test was applied—and the test results yielded age spreads between 2 million to 28 billion years! I can estimate my grandmother's age better than that.

Instructor: Fortunately, evolutionary theory teaches "uniformitarianism;" that is, no crises have ever occurred on the planet. Life has been humdrum for billions of years.

Student: But prof, all about us we see evidences of a past gigantic Flood. Such a catastrophe would have thrown all the rock-dating clocks off! It would have produced massive fluid, chemical, and radioactive contamination, not to mention the immense pressures applied to everything.

Instructor: Students, I believe we had better postpone tomorrow's class. I need to go home and study.


Forward to the first major topic in the next series: THE PRIMITIVE ENVIRONENT, which provides scientific facts showing it would be impossible for life to originate by itself.