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Evolutionists Can't Fill the Hexapod Gap


BY JEFFREY P. TOMKINS, PH.D. * | TUESDAY, JULY 31, 2018

Insects are ubiquitous on Earth. They fly through the air, live in trees, walk on or under the ground, and even live or hunt in water. Some are appreciated, some are not, but they are critical to the food chain. They pollinate plants, help recycle waste, and perform other important tasks. But they are problematic pests to the grand evolutionary story due to their rapid and diverse appearance in the fossil record, followed by a huge, inexplicable gap.1-3

Insects appear suddenly in the fossil record, fully formed and without ancestors. Tweet: Insects appear suddenly in the fossil record, fully formed and without ancestors.

Insects first appear about 385 million years ago, according to evolutionary dating. The earliest known insect, which appeared suddenly without any insect precursors, was a wingless creature that looked much like a modern silverfish. But after this initial appearance, there was allegedly an absence of insects in the sedimentary rocks for the next 60 million years.1-3 There was no sign of a single roach, grasshopper, or dragonfly. This huge evolutionary gap between 385 million and 325 million years ago is known among paleontologists as the hexapod gap.4

At the end of this gap, an enormous diversity of insects, including many kinds of flying insects, appears suddenly in the rock record with no ancestors. One evolutionary researcher recently stated:

There’s been quite a bit of mystery around how insects first arose, because for many millions of years you had nothing, and then just all of a sudden an explosion of insects.5

The huge problem is that all the evolutionary precursors to this explosion of insect diversity should be found in the hexapod gap, but according to evolutionists, “Tragically, fossils of stem-group hexapods remain elusive.”2

So, how have evolutionists tried to solve this hexapod gap conundrum? One popular hypothesis proposes that insect abundance and size were constrained by low oxygen levels in Earth’s atmosphere during the late Devonian geological period. The overall idea seemed to have some support based on a model of atmospheric oxygen over the past 570 million years developed by Yale geochemist Robert Berner in which he compared ratios of carbon and oxygen in ancient rocks and fossils.6 Based on this model, atmospheric oxygen that coincided with the start of the hexapod gap was lower than 15%. Modern atmospheric oxygen is about 21%. The low oxygen levels were thought to have somehow suppressed evolution of the hapless insects.

In a study published earlier this year, researchers updated the decade-old oxygen level model using more extensive carbon records.3 The new data showed that the dip in atmospheric oxygen during the late Devonian did not exist. One of the study’s coauthors, Stanford paleontologist Jonathan Payne, stated, “What this study shows is that environmental inhibition by low oxygen can be ruled out because it is not compatible with the most current data.”5 Evolutionary researchers are now back to square one in explaining the pestering hexapod gap and why insects show up suddenly in the fossil record fully diverse in all their various kinds with no evidence of evolution.

Insects were created by God according to their kind, fitting perfectly with the facts of science. Tweet: Insects were created by God according to their kind, fitting perfectly with the facts of science.

So, how do creationists make sense of these data if evolutionists can’t? As indicated in the Bible, about 4,500 years ago a global catastrophic flood rapidly buried billions of plants and animals now found worldwide as fossils in sedimentary rocks. The gap is readily explained by ground-dwelling, wingless insects inhabiting lower-altitude ecological zones being buried earlier in the Flood, while the winged insects and those inhabiting higher altitudes were buried later. The reason insect fossils appear suddenly and show no sign of having evolved is because they were created by God according to their kind, fitting perfectly with the facts of science.

References

Clapham, M. E. et al. 2016. Ancient origin of high taxonomic richness among insects. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 283 (1824): 20152476.
Engel, M. S. 2015. Insect evolution. Current Biology. 25 (19): R868–R872.
Schachat, S. R. et al. 2018. Phanerozoic pO2 and the early evolution of terrestrial animals. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 285 (1871): 20172631.
The subphylum Hexapoda, Greek for “six feet,” encompasses a majority of arthropod species, including insects.
Than, K. Insects took off when they evolved wings, Stanford researchers find. Stanford University news release. Posted on news.stanford.edu January 23, 2018, accessed May 10, 2018.
Berner, R. A. 2009. Phanerozoic atmospheric oxygen: New results using the GEOCARBSULF model. American Journal of Science. 309 (7): 603-606.
* Dr. Tomkins is Director of Life Sciences and earned his Ph.D. in genetics from Clemson University.

Quote of the Day

Revelation 22:17-19 King James Version (KJV)
17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

Quote of the Day

John 14 King James Version (KJV)
14 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

Quote of the Day

1 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Spiritual Quote of the day:


Matthew 11:28-29 King James Version (KJV)
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

How an atheist deliberately twists facts for the purpose of slandering a scientist!

A fellow DI'er posted a thread whose near sole purpose was to call an ICR geologist who has many peer reviewed research papers in both creation and non creation journals and has won several awards for his work in geology!

The thread is this: https://www.discussionist.com/101827527

As Paul Harvey used to say--and now for the rest of the story.

!. He accuses Dr Steve Austin of using the K-AR dating method (potassium 40-argon 40) dating method because it would be the most easily used to bet false results!

Now the truth! the K-Ar method of rock dating is the most widely used method of mineral dating due to K and Ar appearing in abundance in the earths crust! It is the most preferred method for volcanically formed rocks because it is assumed that all the argon 40 would have escaped while the rock was in a liquid state and thus all the argon in the rock sample will be fro decay of K40.

2. He then goes on and said a ten year old dactite from the Mount st. Helens dome should not give any age (if the dating method were reliable) and that if it does register is due to the terrible sloppiness of the physicists doing all the testing in not cleaning the machine properly!

Now the truth! Once again Austin being an accredited geologist- used the most common and preferred test for a rock formed from a volcano.

The rock sample is melted in a vacuum- so all possible contaminant gasses would have been sucked out oxygen, nitrogen, CO2, argon etc.) .

Now Ar40 contamination does not occur readily in nature as it requires high temperatures and high pressure to inject AR40 into the lattice matrix of a rock! This is why the labs are very careful to avoid contaminants prior to testing.

3. He does correctly state that with a half life of over 1 billion years and that 100,000 years is within the margin of error so a contaminant would still test the rock older but within the MOE.

Now the truth! When K40 decays to Ar40 it also decays to CA 40 and the ration is 89.1 to 10.9 with a very small MOE.

If ar 40 somehow got into the liquified sample after all gasses were flushed out- the ration of K40, CA 40, and AR40 would be far off. IOW if teh amount of ar40 ius out of balance with ca40 then contamination could be assumed. But these folks know how to keep things clean. This writer is just pulling assumptions to find a way to slander a decent man! He calls him completely and totally dishonest, but yet all his complaints confirm what ICR scientists has sh9own for many years--these methods are totally flawed as more non YEC scientists have found and reported in peer reviewed journals!

With a half life of supposedly over 1.2 billion years- scientists have to assume that that rock only liquified once! If they do not know how many times the sample had been involved in liquefaction due to volcanic activity the age is only a guess.

But a short article that explains K-AR dating:

mass spectrometer
by Tas Walker

One of the most widely used dating methods is the potassium-argon method, which has been applied to ‘dating’ rocks for decades, especially igneous rocks that have solidified from molten magma. The attraction of the method lies in the fact that one of the daughter elements is argon which is an inert gas. This means that the geologist can plausibly assume that all argon gas escapes from the molten magma while it is still liquid. He thinks this solves his problem of not knowing the initial quantity of the daughter element in the past and not being able to go back in time and make measurements. He assumes the initial argon content is zero.1

He assumes that any argon-40 that he measures in his rock sample must have been produced by the radioactive decay of potassium-40 since the time the rock solidified. He imagines that his radioactive hour glass sealed when the rock solidified, and his radioactive clock started running. And he hopes the rock has remained sealed until the time he collected his sample.

With these assumptions the geologist only needs to measure the relative amounts of potassium-40 and argon-40 in the rock at the present time to be able to calculate an age for the rock. Although it is a simple calculation the big question is whether his assumptions about the rock were correct.

How can the geologist know? He can’t.
If the rock actually contained some argon-40 when it solidified then the calculated age would be too old. On the other hand, if the rock was later disturbed by a geological upheaval and lost argon the age would be too young. How can the geologist know? He can’t.

What he does is check his calculated age with the ages produced by other dating methods. In other words, he checks to see if his calculated result falls into the range where he expects it to fall, given the geological situation of where he found his rock.. He always does this check because no dating method can be trusted on its own.

What happens if the results conflict? It’s simple; the geologist will change his assumed history for that rock.

For example, if the age is higher than he expected he will say that his rock contains ‘excess argon’ or ‘parentless argon’. By this he means that argon gas in his rock has come from the melting of some older rocks deep underground and contaminated his sample with a higher concentration of argon-40, which is why its age is too old.

This is a standard explanation and is essentially a new story about the past, different from the original story that explained how potassium-argon dating works. We could ask ourselves which of the details of this story have been observed.

It is a story about older rocks, melted rocks, solidified rocks and argon gas. It explains what each of these were doing deep inside the earth millions of years ago. The story explains that the behaviour of ‘excess argon’ (it even has a name) made the age too old. Too old compared with what? With the true age of the rock. But wasn’t that what the dating method was supposed to be measuring?

The problem is that although radiogenic argon and excess argon have different names they are exactly the same isotope—argon-40. It is impossible to distinguish between them experimentally. So, how do we work out how much excess argon we have? We can only calculate the amount of excess argon if we know the true age of the rock. But wasn’t that what we were trying to measure?

What happens when the age is too young? In this case the method is again salvaged by changing his assumptions about the past. Often a heating event is invoked to liberate the argon from the solid rock, although other assumptions are made as well.

What happens if the age falls into the range he expected? In this case the geologist assumes that everything went well, and he publishes his result as the crystallization age of the rock.

Democrats shown to be racist!

All that needs to be said to go after Hillary!

Why radio dating is flawed (part 2)

Rethinking Carbon-14 Dating: What Does It Really Tell Us about the Age of the Earth?
BY JAKE HEBERT, PH.D. * | FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013
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Evolutionists have long used the carbon-14, or radiocarbon, dating technique as a “hammer” to bludgeon Bible-believing Christians. A straightforward reading of the Bible describes a 6,000-year-old universe, and because some carbon-14 (14C) age estimates are multiple tens of thousands of years, many think that the radiocarbon method has soundly refuted the Bible’s historical accuracy.

However, these excessively long ages are easily explained within the biblical worldview, and 14C actually presents a serious problem for believers in an old earth. 14C has been detected in organic specimens (coal, wood, seashells, etc., containing carbon from formerly living organisms) that are supposedly hundreds of millions of years old—but no detectable 14C should be present in specimens that are even a little more than 100,000 years old! Nearly anyone can verify this for themselves using basic multiplication and division.

Radiocarbon Basics

Carbon comes in three “varieties” or isotopes: 12C, 13C, and 14C. Any carbon atom has six protons within its nucleus, but the different isotopes have different numbers of neutrons. In today’s world, only about one in a trillion carbon atoms is a 14C atom.

Cosmic rays (mainly high-energy protons) trigger a process in the atmosphere that changes atmospheric nitrogen into 14C. However, unlike the other two carbon isotopes, 14C is unstable and eventually decays back into nitrogen. The decay rate can be measured for a large number of these 14C atoms. Since this decay process slows as the number of 14C atoms decreases, it may be expressed best in terms of a half-life, which is the amount of time for half of any given sample of 14C to decay back into nitrogen. Thus, after one half-life, 50 percent of the original 14C atoms will remain. After two half-lives, 25 percent of the original 14C will remain, and so on. Today’s measured half-life of 14C is 5,730 years.

Because carbon is expected to be thoroughly mixed throughout the biosphere, atmosphere, and oceans, living organisms (which continually “take in” carbon throughout their lifetimes) are expected to have the same 14C/C ratio as the environment, or about one 14C atom per trillion carbon atoms. Once they die, however, organisms no longer take in new carbon, and the amount of 14C in their bodies begins to decrease.

In principle, this decay rate may be used to “date” the time since an organism’s death. But the calculated dates will only be accurate if the assumptions behind the method are correct.

Smallest Detectable Amount of Radiocarbon

Sensitive instruments called acceleration mass spectrometers (AMS) are used to count the 14C atoms within a sample of material. However, even the most sensitive AMS machines cannot detect fewer than one 14C atom per 100,000 trillion carbon atoms.1 Since the amount of 14C in a sample decreases with time, no radiocarbon at all should be detectable if the sample is sufficiently old.

The concentration of 14C (the number of 14C atoms per total number of carbon atoms) within a sample is indicated using a “percent of the 14C/C ratio in modern carbon,” or pMC notation. If a sample has one 14C atom per trillion carbon atoms, we would say that its concentration of 14C is 100 pMC, since this is 100 percent of the modern 14C/C ratio (one 14C atom per trillion carbon atoms). Likewise, one 14C atom per two trillion carbon atoms would be equivalent to 50 pMC.

Since one 14C atom per trillion carbon atoms is equivalent to 100 pMC, then one 14C atom per 100,000 trillion carbon atoms is equivalent to 100 pMC/100,000 = 0.001 pMC. No instrument on earth can detect 14C in a sample whose 14C/C ratio is less than 0.001 pMC.2

Assuming the initial value was 100 pMC, how much time will have transpired before the 14C/C ratio in a sample drops below 0.001 pMC?

One can estimate this time by dividing 100 pMC by 2 repeatedly until the resulting number drops below 0.001 pMC. We find that about 18 such halvings are required for the pMC value to drop below 0.001 (Figures 1 and 2). (We could “round up” the value of 0.0007 pMC at 17 half-lives to 0.001 pMC, but the 0.00038 pMC at 18 half-lives is definitely below the detection threshold.) Since each half-life is 5,730 years, this means that no 14C at all would be detectable in a specimen that is older than about 18 × 5,730 years = 103,140 years.

Dating Methods in Conflict

But researchers consistently detect 14C in samples thought to be tens of millions of years old. 14C has even been detected in diamonds, which some scientists claim are billions of years old! Radioisotope dating methods involving the heavier, longer-lived isotopes (methods such as uranium-lead, potassium-argon, etc.) are one of the main justifications that evolutionists use to argue for such vast ages. Because these radioisotope methods yield age estimates of many millions of years for igneous rocks, it is thought that sedimentary rocks are also millions of years old, as well as the organic remains found within them. Yet this assumption leads to a contradiction: If these organic samples really are many millions of years old, then they should be radiocarbon “dead.” But they aren’t!

Contamination?

Evolutionists have attempted to blame these surprising results on a number of mechanisms.3 They often invoke “contamination” that occurred either in situ (on site in the earth) or during the radiocarbon testing process itself. However, the consistency with which 14C is found in these samples makes it difficult to argue that such results are all the result of in situ contamination. Moreover, diamond is extremely resistant to “natural” contamination by external 14C atoms.

Furthermore, laboratories take great pains to keep contamination to a minimum, and researchers have found that, provided a sufficiently large testing sample is used (in the ballpark of 100 milligrams or so), the amount of such possible lab contamination is negligible compared to the 14C already present within the specimen.

Finally, although contamination can sometimes occur, it should not be assumed in a particular instance unless there are good reasons to believe that it has. And a radiocarbon result that contradicts old-earth dogma is not a good enough reason by itself to invoke contamination!

Assumptions…Assumptions

Instead of arbitrarily blaming these anomalous results on contamination, a far better (and more scientific) approach would be to question the correctness of the assumptions behind radioisotope dating methods.

One of these assumptions is that nuclear decay rates have always been constant. Although 14C decays fairly quickly, heavier isotopes (such as uranium-238) decay much more slowly. Because the present decay rates of these heavier isotopes are so small, the assumption that these rates have always been constant naturally leads to age estimates of millions and even billions of years.

Interestingly, however, some radioisotope methods tend to consistently yield younger age estimates than others, even when the techniques are used on the same rock units.4 Could this be a clue that radioisotope “clocks” might have “ticked” at different rates in the past, and that this variation in “ticking” is different for different radioisotopes?

If so, this would explain the discrepancy between the radiocarbon method and other radioisotope techniques. When today’s rates are used to calculate ages from certain radioisotope ratios, the results indicate that billions of years’ worth of nuclear decay of the heavier radioisotopes has occurred. But there is evidence that this decay occurred in accelerated “spurts,”5 which means the assumption that decay rates were always constant leads to age estimates that are much too high. This is the reason that 14C is still detectable in these “ancient” organic specimens—the specimens simply aren’t millions of years old! Furthermore, because the past variations in “ticking” were different for different radioisotopes, 14C did not experience as much accelerated decay as did the heavier radioisotopes. This is why the past episodes of accelerated decay did not completely eliminate the world’s 14C that existed before these episodes occurred.

Thus, although this is still an ongoing area of research,6 the presence of 14C within supposedly extremely “old” specimens is just one of several indicators of past accelerated nuclear decay.7

Why the High Radiocarbon Age Estimates?

Virtually all fossils found within sedimentary rocks are the remains of creatures that perished during the Genesis Flood about 4,500 years ago. Yet a skeptic might point out that the amounts of 14C found in these organic samples are smaller than what one might expect if they are only about 4,500 years old. And 4,500 years is less than one radiocarbon half-life, so from Figure 2 we might expect 4,500-year-old samples to have 14C/C concentrations greater than 50 pMC. Yet the 14C found within organic samples thought to date from the time of the Flood is generally only about 0.1 to 0.5 pMC. From Figure 1, a value of 0.098 ≈ 0.1 pMC corresponds to 10 half-lives, or about 57,000 years. Are these high radiocarbon “ages” a problem for the biblical worldview?

No. First, remember that no detectable 14C at all should be present within these samples if they really are millions of years old. Despite this apparent difficulty for the recent-creation view, this is, in fact, a much more serious problem for the old-earth view!

Second, such large calculated ages are based on the assumption that the 14C/C ratio has remained unchanged for tens of thousands of years.

A global flood like the one described in the Bible would invalidate this assumption. Creation scientists have estimated (based upon the amounts of organic matter thought to be contained within the sedimentary layers) that the carbon in the pre-Flood biosphere may have been 300 to 700 times greater than what is present in today’s world.8 Thus, the 14C/C ratio in the pre-Flood biosphere was hundreds of times smaller than today’s value.

A simple “thought experiment” illustrates why assuming a constant 14C/C ratio yields inflated radiocarbon ages. Suppose a time-traveling scientist journeys to the day before the Flood started (don’t worry; he’ll return before the Flood begins!) and radiocarbon-tests the remains of an animal that has just died. If the pre-Flood 14C/C ratio was 500 times smaller than today’s value, this would be equivalent to 100 pMC/500 = 0.2 pMC. This value of 0.2 pMC is very close to the value of 0.195 pMC found within Figure 1. About nine half-lives would have to elapse for a starting value of 100 pMC to decrease to 0.2 pMC. If the scientist did not realize that the pre-Flood 14C/C ratio was hundreds of times smaller than today’s value, he would calculate the animal’s age to be approximately 9 × 5,730 years = 51,570 years old—even though it had just died! Of course, he would realize that this age was nonsense, because he saw the fresh carcass. But if a scientist in the present did not have this firsthand knowledge and attempted to date the fossil remains of this very same animal (assuming it was fossilized during the Flood), he would conclude that the animal was 52,000—not 4,500—years old.

Thus, these “inflated” ages are not a problem for the biblical creationist, but the presence of detectable 14C in supposedly ancient organic specimens is a substantial problem for those who believe in an old earth.

References

In scientific notation, 100,000 trillion is 1017.
For technical details of the information in this article, see Baumgardner, J. 2005. Carbon-14 Evidence for a Recent Global Flood and a Young Earth. In Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth: Results of a Young-Earth Creationist Research Initiative. Vardiman, L., A. A. Snelling, and E. F. Chaffin, eds. San Diego, CA: Institute for Creation Research and Chino Valley, AZ: Creation Research Society, 587-630.
For example, evolutionists have attempted to explain that the 14C present in diamonds was caused by thermal neutrons within the earth’s interior. However, calculations show that this explanation doesn’t work (Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth: Results of a Young-Earth Creationist Research Initiative, 614-616).
Snelling, A. A. 2010. Radiometric Dating: Making Sense of the Patterns. Answers. 5 (1): 72-75.
See chapters 2, 3, 4, and 7 in Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth: Results of a Young-Earth Creationist Research Initiative.
One apparent problem with episodes of accelerated nuclear decay is the enormous amounts of heat that would be generated—heat that would seemingly be fatal to life on earth. Since an alteration of nuclear decay rates may have been a miracle, God could have supernaturally dissipated this excess heat, and one respected creation physicist has proposed a mechanism for this. See Russell Humphreys’ discussion in Vardiman, L., A. A. Snelling, and E. F. Chaffin, eds. 2000. Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth: A Young-Earth Creationist Research Initiative. San Diego, CA: Institute for Creation Research and Chino Valley, AZ: Creation Research Society, 369-373.
Creationists believe that this accelerated nuclear decay likely occurred early in the creation week and during the Flood. See Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth: A Young-Earth Creationist Research Initiative, and Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth: Results of a Young-Earth Creationist Research Initiative.
Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth: Results of a Young-Earth Creationist Research Initiative, 617-620.
* Dr. Hebert is Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Why radio dating is fatally flawed!!!

Most of these fatal fluctuations were found by non YEC scientists.

More Fluctuations Found in Isotopic Clocks
BY BRIAN THOMAS, M.S. * | FRIDAY, AUGUST 17, 2012

Age-dating a rock using its radioactive isotopes only works by assuming that the rate at which that "clock" ticks was constant in the past and essentially identical to that in the present. Not long ago, scientists discovered excess helium in crystals1 and "orphaned" polonium radiohalos,2 both of which imply that the decay rates of isotopes commonly used to date earth rocks were dramatically accelerated in the past. Even today, researchers are finding small but significant changes in isotope decay rates, and these add credibility to the idea that isotopic processes were once very different from today's processes.

One standard isotopic clock system uses decaying uranium isotopes. Uranium spontaneously and slowly decays to lead (Pb on the Periodic Table of Elements). Two different uranium isotopes, 235U and 238U, decay into lead at different rates. Geologists assume that the ratio between these is constant and known, giving a convenient shortcut to uranium dating, which only requires that the two uranium amounts be measured.

Of course, this shortcut age-dating method assumes that 238U and 235U have decayed at today's rates throughout the past. It also assumes that the relative amounts of the two have been constant. Physics Today editor Johanna Miller recently wrote, "Standard Pb-Pb dating protocol uses a 238U/235U ratio of 137.88 with zero uncertainty. But several recent studies have cast doubt on that number."3

Miller cited one experiment that found that the uranium ratio (the heavier 238U to lighter weight 235U) is not constant. The study authors wrote, "Our observations have a direct impact on the U-series and U-Th-Pb chronometers," meaning that dates "determined" by uranium decay will need revision.4

Yet another study reported natural variation in the uranium ratio. These authors suggested that natural processes separate the isotopes from one another and skew the ratio, thereby skewing the ages gained by the assumption that the ratio was constant. These authors wrote, "The discovery that 238U/235U varies in nature also has implications for the precision and accuracy of U-Pb dating. The total observed range in U isotope compositions would produce variations in 207Pb/206Pb ages of young U-bearing minerals of up to 3 Ma , and up to 2 Ma for minerals that are 3 billion years old."5

Two to three million years are not a huge part of three billion. So, adjusting already-published dates to reflect these new and larger error margins will not displace billion-year-old age assignments. However, if today's comparatively tame natural processes affect isotope ratios, then ancient and much more violent processes could have affected those ratios and rates much more, just as the helium in crystals and orphaned radiohalos imply.

Another isotope system used for dating, though more rarely than uranium, is that which occurs when a radioactive samarium isotope decays to the element neodymium. A 2012 Science report re-measured samarium's decay rate, finding that it occurs only about 66 percent as fast as "the currently used value" for age dating.6 This is a huge discrepancy! It means that all published samarium-dated rock ages need to be re-evaluated.

In addition, Purdue University just applied for a patent on a solar flare warning system that relies on ways in which the earth-sun relationship somehow alters nuclear decay rates. Purdue News reports that "Advance warning could allow satellite and power grid operators to take steps to minimize impact and astronauts to shield themselves from potentially lethal radiation emitted during solar storms."7 Their invention would rely on detecting changes in the rate of manganese 54 decaying to chromium 54. Researchers observed the decay rate changes occurring about a day prior to solar flares.

Even carbon dating is in hot water. Scientists typically use this method to age-date carbon-containing objects thought to be only tens of thousands of years old. The relevant radioactive carbon isotope (14C) decays so fast that it should no longer exist in earth materials that are a million or more years old.8 Recently, researchers measured elevated levels of 14C in correlated tree rings and attributed the spike to an unidentified "massive cosmic event."9 If natural processes did alter carbon isotope ratios, then why trust dates that assume the ratios were never altered?

Science shows that isotopic clocks are not all trustworthy.10 The isotope ratios and rates upon which they depend are variable, even on today's comparatively calm earth surface. During the tumultuous Flood, when immeasurable quantities of mantle material were ejected onto earth's surface and water potentially contaminated everything, isotopic clocks ticked much, much faster.11

References

Humphreys, D.R. 2005. Young Helium Diffusion Age of Zircons Supports Accelerated Nuclear Decay. In Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth: Results of a Young-Earth Creationist Research Initiative, Vol. 2. Vardiman, L. et al., eds. El Cajon, CA: Institute for Creation Research and Chino Valley, AZ: Creation Research Society.
Gentry, R.V. 1974. Radiohalos in a Radiochronological and Cosmolocial Perspective. Science. 184 (4132): 62-66.
Miller, J. 2012. Time to reset isotopic clocks? Physics Today. 65 (6): 20-21.
Stirling, C.H. et al. 2007. Low-temperature isotopic fractionation of uranium. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 264 (1): 208-225.
Weyer, S. et al. 2008. Natural fractionation of 238U/235U. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 72 (2): 345-359.
Kinoshita, N. et al. 2012. A Shorter 146Sm Half-Life Measured and Implications for 146Sm-142Nd Chronology in the Solar System. Science. 335 (6076): 1614-1617.
Venere, E. New system could predict solar flares, give advance warning. Purdue News. Posted on purdue.edu, August 13, 2012.
Despite this, 90 instances of C-14 in supposedly million-year-old earth materials were reviewed and 10 more were presented in Baumgardner, J.R. et al. 2003. Measurable 14C in Fossilized Organic Materials: Confirming the Young Earth Creation-Flood Model. In Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Creationism. R.L. Ivey, ed. Pittsburgh, PA: Creation Science Fellowship, Inc., 127-142.
Lovett, R. A. Mysterious radiation burst recorded in tree rings. Nature news. Posted on nature.com June 3, 2012, accessed August 10, 2012.
Austin, S.A. 2005. Do Radioisotope Clocks Need Repair? Testing the Assumptions of Isochron Dating Using K-Ar, Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, and Pb-Pb Isotopes. In Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth: Results of a Young-Earth Creationist Research Initiative, Vol. 2.Vardiman, L.et al., eds. El Cajon, CA: Institute for Creation Research and Chino Valley, AZ: Creation Research Society.
When heated to plasma, bare nuclei of rhenium radioisotopes decay a billion times faster than normal. See Bosch, F. et al. 1996. Observation of Bound-State β- Decay of Fully Ionized 187Re: 187Re- 187Os Cosmochronometry. Physical Review Letters. 77 (26): 5190-5193.
* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.
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