[pp. 341-342]

"In addition to all the difficulties encountered in these methods, they have been of limited usefulness because of the extreme rarity of uranium and thorium minerals, especially in fossiliferous rocks. Consequently, much attention has been given in the past decade to the development of methods involving the radioactive isotopes of the alkali metals, rubidium and potassium. These are much more common, and the potassium minerals especially are commonly found in sedimentary rocks.

One of the main workers in the development of the rubidium-strontium method has been Dr. Otto Hahn. The main question about the method has been the lack of agreement concerning the disintegration rate of rubidium. Hahn says:

'For this method, however, a knowledge of the transformation rate of rubidium into strontium is necessary. The final decision regarding the half-life has yet to be made.'

[Otto Hahn: 'Radioactive Methods,' Scientific Monthly, Vol. 82, May 1956, p. 261]

..Ahrens, another leading worker in this field, gives a list of different determinations of the half-life of rubidium as made by various scientists, showing a variation all the way from 48 to 120 billion years.... [L. H. Ahrens: Physics & Chemistry of the Earth (New York, McGraw-Hill, 1956, p. 54)]

..A further limitation is the very small amount of strontium present and the fact that much of this may be non-radiogenic. [Hahn, op. cit., p. 262] "


[pp. 342-343]

"Potassium was proved about ten years ago to decay by two different processes into calcium and the gas argon. Because of the wide incidence of potassium minerals in sedimentary rocks, this has seemed to be a potentially very fruitful geochronologic device. Again, there are serious difficulties, however. As Wetherill says:

'The two principal problems have been the uncertainties in the radioactive decay constants of potassium and in the ability of minerals to retain the argon produced by this decay.'

[G. W. Wetherill: 'Radioactivity of Potassium and Geologic Time,' Science, Vol. 126, September 20, 1957, p. 545]

...Although the decay rates are still a matter of considerable uncertainty, the more serious problem is that of argon loss. Potassium is found mainly in feldspars and micas, and it is believed, on the basis of comparative age measurements with other methods, that the feldspars in general must have lost about half of their radiogenic argon through emanation from the mineral...

..Wetherill admits:

'In view of the fact that fairly low retentivities sometimes occur even in the case of mica, measurement of the potassium-argon age of a mica does not give a completely trustworthy value of the age.'

[Ibid., p. 549]

...Thus, as we examine one by one the various radioactivity methods for measuring geologic age we find that each encounters many serious problems in... [its] ...use - enough to cast grave doubt on the... [reliability] ...of any age computed from it. The potassium-calcium method is even less reliable than the potassium-argon method, owing to the fact that radiogenic calcium (of atomic weight 40) is impossible to distinguish from other calcium 40 which is commonly found present in potassium minerals. Hahn says:

'Unfortunately, calcium 40 is the most frequent partner of the regular mixed element calcium. Therefore, only in very old potassium minerals, nearly completely free of calcium, is it possible to find through extremely accurate mass spectroscopy the very small shift in the isotope ratio of calcium, and thus use the activity of the potassium for age determination.' "

[Otto Hahn, op. cit., p. 261]

[Dr. Don R. Patton]:

"Notice the statement by Joan Engels in the Journal of Geology, [Vol. 79, p. 609] talking about the Potassium/Argon method... [She] says, 'It is now well known K-Ar ages obtained from different minerals in a single rock may be strikingly discordant.'

In other words, they do not agree. Likewise, we notice statement in Science Magazine recently regarding lavas from a volcano in Hawaii. And we're told that 'The radiogenic argon and the helium contents of three basalts erupted into the deep ocean from an active volcano (Kilauea) have been measured. Ages calculated from these measurements increase with sample depth...

[Now this is one eruption, one formation. But the ages increase with sample depth. It erupted and ran over the edge into the ocean]

up to 22 million years for lavas deduced to be recent. is possible to deduce that these lavas are very young, probably less than 200 years old. The samples, in fact, may be very recent...'

[C. S. Nobel & J. J. Naughton, Dept. of Chem, Hawaiian Inst. of Geophysics, Vol. 162, p. 265]

Now, it increases with sample depth. We also know that pressures increase with sample depth. They're actually measuring the argon which is rather abundant in the earth's atmosphere. If that atmospheric argon is incorporated into the rock, then obviously, it's going to skew the ages. They're assuming it all came from radioactive decay, but if it is included from the atmosphere, then it throws it off. But the fact [is] that it increases with sample depth and so does the atmospheric argon because of greater pressures. The further down you get, the more pressure, the more argon is going to be forced into the rock, so the 'greater age.' ... We can see what's happening here. You're just incorporating atmospheric argon into the sample and you're not producing a dependable date at all....


[Dr. Andrew Snelling, Associated Professor of Geology at *ICR, states, Impact Brochure of the *ICR #307, Jan 1999, "'Excess Argon': The 'Achilles' Heel' of Potassium_Argon and Argon-Argon 'Dating' of Volcanic Rocks"

*Institute For Creation Research, El Cajon, Ca. 92021]:

'''For more than three decades potassium-argon (K-Ar) and argon-argon (Ar-Ar) dating of rocks has been crucial in underpinning the billions of years for Earth history claimed by evolutionists. Critical to these dating methods is the assumption that there was no radiogenic argon (Ar 40) in the rocks (e.g., basalt) when they formed, which is usually stated as self-evident. Dalrymple argues strongly:

The K-Ar method is the only decay scheme that can be used with little or no concern for the initial presence of the daughter isotope. This is because Ar 40 is an inert gas that does not combine chemically with any other element and so escapes easily from rocks when they are heated. Thus, while a rock is molten, the Ar 40 formed by the decay of K40 escapes from the liquid.1

However, this dogmatic statement is inconsistent with even Dalrymple's own work 25 years earlier on 26 historic, subaerial lava flows, 20% of which he found had non-zero concentrations of Ar40* (or excess argon) in violation of this key assumption of the K-Ar dating method.2 The historically dated flows and their 'ages' were:

Hualalai basalt, Hawaii (AD 1800-1801) 1.6+/- Ma; 1.41+/-0.08Ma
Mt Etna basalt, Sicily (122 BC) 0.25+/-0.08 Ma
Mt Etna basalt, Sicily (AD 1972) 0.35+/-0.14 Ma
Mt Lassen plagioclase, California (AD 1915) 0.11+/-0.03 Ma
Sunset Crater basalt, Arizona (AD 1064-1065) 0.27+/-0.09 Ma; 0.25+/-0.15 Ma
Far from being rare, there are numerous reported examples of excess Ar 40 in recent or young volcanic rocks producing excessively old K-Ar 'ages':3
Akka Water Fall flow, Hawaii (Pleistocene) 32.3+/-7.2 Ma
Kilauea Iki basalt, Hawaii (AD 1959) 8.5+/-6.8 Ma
Mt Stromboli, Italy, volcanic bomb (Sept 23, 1963) 2.4+/-2 Ma
Mt Etna basalt, Sicily (May 1964) 0.7+/-0.01 Ma
Medicine Lake Highlands obsidian, Glass Mountains, California (<500 years old) 12.6+/- 4.5 Ma
Hualailai basalt, Hawaii (AD 1800-1801) 22.8+/-16.5 Ma
Rangitoto basalt, Auckland, NZ (<800 years old) 0.15+/-0.47 Ma
Alkali basalt plug, Benue, Nigeria (<30 Ma) 95 Ma
Olivine basalt, Nathan Hills, Victoria Land, Antarctica (<0.3 Ma) 18.0+/-0.7 Ma
Anorthoclase in volcanic bomb, Mt Erebus, Antarctica (1984) 0.64+/-0.03 Ma
Kilauea basalt, Hawaii (<200 years old) 21+/- Ma
Kilauea basalt, Hawaii (<1,000 years old) 42.9+/-4.2 Ma; 30.3+/-3.3 Ma
East Pacific Rise basalt (<1 Ma) 690+/- Ma
Seamount basalt, near East Pacific Rise (<2.5 Ma) 580+/-10 Ma; 700+/- 150 Ma
East Pacific Rise basalt (<0.6 Ma) 24.2+/- 1.0 Ma

Other studies have also reported measurements of excess Ar 40 in lavas.4 The June 30, 1954 andesite flow from Mt. Ngauruhoe, New Zealand, has yielded 'ages' up to 3.5+/-0.2 Ma due to excess Ar 40.5 Austin investigated the 1986 dacite lava flow from the post-October 26, 1980, lava dome within the Mount St. Helens crater, which yielded a 0.35+/-0.05 Ma whole-rock K-Ar model 'age' due to excess Ar 40. 6Concentrates of constituent minerals yielded 'ages' up to 2.8+/-0.6 Ma (pyroxene ultra-concentrate).

Investigators also have found that excess Ar 40 is trapped in the minerals within lava flows. 7 Several instances have been reported of phenocrysts with K-AR 'ages' 1-7 millions years greater than that of the whole rock, and one K-AR 'date' on olivine phenocrysts in a recent (<13,000 year old) basalt was greater than 110 Ma.8 Laboratory experiments have tested the solubility of argon in synthetic basalt melts and their constituent minerals, with olivine retaining 0.34 ppm Ar 40. 9 It was concluded that the argon is held primarily in lattice vacancy defects within the minerals.

The obvious conclusion most investigators have reached is that the excess Ar 40 had to be present in the molten lavas when extruded, which then did not completely degas as they cooled, the excess Ar 40 becoming trapped in constituent minerals and the rock fabrics themselves. However, from whence comes the excess Ar 40, that is, Ar 40 which cannot be attributed to atmospheric argon or in situ radioactive decay of K? It is not simply 'magmatic' argon. Funkhouser and Naughton found that the excess AR 40 in the 1800-1801 Hualalai flow, Hawaii, resided in fluid and gaseous inclusions in olivine, plagioclase, and pyroxene in ultramafic xenoliths in the basalt, and was sufficient to yield 'ages' of 2.6 Ma to 2960 Ma. 10 Thus, since the ultramafic xenoliths and the basaltic magmas came from the mantle, the excess Ar 40 must initially reside there, to be transported to the earth's surface in the magmas.

Many recent studies confirm the mantle source of excess Ar 40. Hawaiian volcanism is typically cited as resulting from a mantle plume, most investigators now conceding that excess Ar 40 in the lavas, including those from the active Loihi and Kilauea volcanoes, is indicative of the mantle source area from which the magmas came. Considerable excess Ar 40 measured in ultramafic mantle xenoliths from Kerguelen Archipelago in the southern Indian Ocean like wise is regarded as the mantle source signature of hotspot volcanism. 11 Indeed, data from single vesicles in mid-ocean ridge basalt samples dredged from the North Atlantic suggest the excess Ar 40 in the upper mantle may be almost double previous estimates, that is, almost 150 times more than the atmospheric content (relative to Ar 36). 12 Another study on the same samples indicates the upper mantle content of Ar 40 could be even ten times higher.13

Further confirmation comes from diamonds, which form in the mantle and are carried by explosive volcanism into the upper crust and to the surface. When Zashu et al. obtained a K-AR isochron 'age' of 6.0+/-0.3 Ga for 10 Zaire diamonds, it was obvious excess AR 40 was responsible, because the diamonds could not be older than the earth itself.14 These same diamonds produce Ar40*/Ar39 'age' spectra yielding a ~5.7 Ga isochron. 15 It was concluded that the AR 40 is an excess component which has no age significance and is found in tiny inclusions of mantle-derived fluid.

All this evidence clearly shows that excess AR 40 is ubiquitous in volcanic rocks, and that the excess AR 40 was inherited from the mantle source areas of the magmas. This is not only true for recent and young volcanics, but for ancient volcanics such as the Middle Proterozoic Cardenas Basalt of eastern Grand Canyon. 16 In the mantle, this AR 40 predominantly represents primordial argon that is not derived from in situ radioactive decay of K40 and thus has no age significance.

In conclusion, the fact that all the primordial argon has not been released yet from the earth's deep interior is consistent with a young Earth. Also, when samples of volcanic rocks are analyzed from K-Ar and Ar-AR 'dating.' the investigators can never really be sure therefore that whatever Ar 40 is in the rocks is from in situ radioactive decay of K 40 since their formation, or whether some or all of it came from the mantle with the magmas. This could even be the case when the K-Ar and Ar-AR analyses yield 'dates' compatible with other radioisotopic 'dating' systems and/or with fossil 'dating' based on evolutionary assumptions. Furthermore, there would be noway of knowing, because the Ar 40 from radioactive decay of K 40 cannot be distinguished analytically from primordial Ar 40 not from radioactive decay, except of course by external assumptions about the ages of the rocks. Thus all K-Ar and Ar-AR 'dates' of volcanic rocks are questionable, as well as fossil 'dates' calibrated by them."


1. G.B. Dalrymple, The Age of the Earth (1991, Stanford, Ca, Stanford University Press), p. 91.

2. G.B. Dalrymple, "Ar40*/AR 36 Analyses of Historic Lava Flows," Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 6 (1969): pp. 47-55.

3. For the original sources of these data, see the references in A.A. Snelling, "The Cause of Anomalous Potassium_Argon 'Ages' for Recent Andesite Flows at Mt. Ngauruhoe, New Zealand, and the Implications of Potassium-Argon 'Dating'," R.E. Walsh, ed., Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Creationism (1998, Pittsburgh, PA, Creation Science Fellowship), pp. 503-525.

4. Ibid.

5. Ibid.

6. S.A. Austin, "Excess Argon within Mineral Concentrates from the New Dacite Lava Dome at Mount St. Helens Volcano," Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal, 10 (1996): pp. 335-343

7. A.W. Laughlin, J. Poths, H.A. Healey, S. Reneau and G. WoldeGabriel, "Dating of Quaternary Basalts Using the Cosmogenic He 3 and C14 Methods with Implications for Excess AR 40, Geology, 22 (1994): pp. 135-138. D.B. Patterson, M. Honda and I. McDougall, "Noble Gases in Mafic Phenocrysts and Xenoliths from New Zealand, " Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 58 (1994): pp. 4411-4427. J. Poths, H. Healey and S.W. Laughlin, "Ubiquitous Excess Argon in Very Young Basalts," Geological Society of America Abstracts With Programs, 25 (1993): p. A-462.

8. P.E. Damon, A.W. Laughlin and J.K. Precious, "Problem of Excess Argon-40 in Volcanic Rocks," in Radioactive Dating Methods and Low-Level Counting (1967, Vienna, International Atomic Energy Agency), pp. 463-481.

9. C.L. Broadhurst, J.J. Drake, B.E. Habee and T.J. Benatowicz, "Solubility and Partitioning of Ar in Anorthite, Diopside, Forsterite, Spinel, and Synthetic Basaltic Liquids," Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 54 (1990): pp. 299-309. C.L. Broadhurst, M.J. Drake, B.E. Hagee and T.J. Benatowicz, "Solubility and Partitioning of Ne, Ar, Kr and Xe in Minerals and Synthetic Basaltic Melts," Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 56 (1992): pp. 709-723.

10. J.G. Funkhouser and J.J. Naughton, "Radiogenic Helium and Argon in Ultramafic Inclusions from Hawaii,' Journal of Geophysical Research, 73 (1968): pp. 4601-4607.

11. P.J. Valbracht, M. Honda, T. Matsumoto, N. Mattielli, I. McDougall, R. Ragettlis and D. Weis, "Helium, Neon and Argon Isotope Systematics in Kerguelen Ultramafic Xenoliths: Implications for Mantle Source Signatures," Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 138 (1996): pp. 29-38.

12. M. Moreira, J. Kunz and C. Allegre, "Rare Gas Systematics in Popping Rock: Isotopic and Elemental Compositions in the Upper Mantle," Science, 279 (1998): pp. 1178-1181.

13. P. Burnard, D. Graham and G. Turner, "Vesicle-Specific Noble Gas Analyses of 'Popping Rock': Implications for Primordial Noble Gases in the Earth," Science, 276 (1997): pp. 568-571.

14. S. Zashu, M. Ozima and O. Nitoh, "K-Ar Isochron Dating of Zaire Cubic Diamonds," Nature, 323 (1986): pp. 710-712.

15. M. Ozima, S. Zashu, Y. Takigami and G. Turner, "Origin of the Anomalous Ar40*-Ar36 Age of Zaire Cubic Diamonds: Excess Ar 40 in Pristine Mantle Fluids," Nature, 337 (1989): pp. 226-229.

16. S.A. Austin and A.A. Snelling, "Discordant Potassium_Argon Model and Isochron 'Ages' for Cardenas Basalt (Middle Proterozoic) and Associated Diabase of Eastern Grand Canyon, Arizona," in R.E. Walsh, Ed., Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Creationism (1998, Pittsburgh, PA, Creation Science Fellowship), pp. 35-51.

Note: "Ma" represents a million years (Mega-annum); "Ga" represents a billion years (Giga-annum). '''

[Dr. Andrew Snelling, Associated Professor of Geology at *ICR, states, Impact Brochure of the *ICR #309, Mar 1999, "Potassium-Argon and Argon-Argon Dating of Crustal Rocks and the Problem of Excess Argon"

'''According to the assumptions foundational to potassium-argon (K-Ar) and argon-argon (Ar-Ar) dating of rocks, there should not be any daughter radiogenic argon (Ar 40*) in rocks when they form. When measured, all Ar 40 in a rock is assumed to have been produced by in situ radioactive decay of K40 within the rock since it formed. However, it is well established that volcanic rocks (e.g. basalt) contain excess Ar 40, that is, Ar 40 which cannot be attributed to either atmospheric contamination or in situ radioactive decay of K40. 1 This excess Ar40* represents primordial Ar carried from source areas in the earth's mantle by the parent magmas, is inherited by the resultant volcanic rocks, and thus has no age significance.

However, are all other rocks in the earth's crust also susceptible to 'contamination' by excess Ar 40 emanating from the mantle? If so, then the K-Ar and AR-Ar 'dating' of crustal rocks would be similarly questionable.

When muscovite (a common mineral in crustal rocks) is heated to 740 degrees-860 degrees C under high Ar pressures for periods of 3 to 10.5 hours it absorbs significant quantities of Ar, producing K-Ar 'ages' of up to 5 billion years, and the Absorbed Ar is indistinguishable from radiogenic argon (AR 40).2 In other experiments muscovite was synthesized from a colloidal gel under similar temperatures and Ar pressures, the resultant muscovite retaining up to 0.5 wt% Ar at 640 degrees C and a vapor pressure of 4,000 atmospheres.3 This is approximately 2,500 times as much Ar as is found in natural muscovite. Thus under certain conditions Ar can be incorporated into minerals which are supposed to exclude Ar when they crystallize.

Patterson et al envisage noble gases from the mantle (and the atmosphere) migrating and circulating through the crust, so there should be evidence of excess Ar 40 in crustal rocks.4 Noble gases in CO2-rich natural gas wells confirm such migration and circulation - the isotopic signatures clearly indicate a mantle origin for the noble gases, including amounts of excess Ar 40 in some CO2-rich natural gas wells exceeding those in mantle-derived mid-ocean ridge basalts, strongly implying that excess Ar40* in crustal rocks and their constituent minerals could well be the norm rather than the exception.

Dalrymbple, referring to metamorphism and melting of rocks in the crust, has commented: 'If the rock is heated or melted at some later time, then some or all the Ar40* may escape and the K-Ar clock is partially or totally reset.'6 Thus Ar 40 escapes to migrate in the crust to be incorporated in other minerals as excess Ar40*, just as Ar40* degassing from the mantle does. Excess Ar40* has been recorded in many minerals (some with essentially no K40) in crustal rocks - quartz, plagioclase, pyroxene, hornblende, biotite, olovine, beryl, cordierite, tourmaline, albite, and spodumene.7 The Ar-Ar method has also been used to confirm the presence of excess Ar40* in feldspars and pyroxenes.8 In a recent study 128 Ar isotopic analyses were obtained from ten profiles across biotite grains in high-grade metamorphic rocks, and apparent Ar-Ar 'ages' within individual grains ranged from 161 Ma-514 Ma.9 This cannot be solely due to radiogenic build-up of Ar40*, but due to incorporation by diffusion of excess Ar40* from an external source, namely, Ar40* from the mantle and other crustal rocks and minerals. Indeed, a well-defined law has been calculated for Ar40* diffusion from hornblende in a gabbro due to heating. Excess Ar40*, which accumulated locally in the intergranular regions of the gabbro, reached partial pressures in some places of at least 10squared Atm.

This crustal migration of Ar40* is known to cause grave problems in regional geochronology studies. For example, in the Middle Proterozoic Musgrave Block (northern South Australia), a wide scatter of K-Ar mineral 'ages' was found, ranging from 343 Ma to 4493 Ma due to inherited (excess) Ar40*, so no meaningful interpretation could be drawn from the rocks.11 Of the diabase dikes which gave anomalous 'ages,' it was concluded that the basic magmas probably formed in or passed through zones containing a high partial pressure of Ar 40, permitting inclusion of the gas in the crystallizing minerals. Likewise, when Ar 'dating' was attempted on Proterozoic granulite-facies rocks in the Fraser Range (western Australia) and Wtrangways Range (central Australia), it was found that garnet, sapphirine, and quartz contained excess Ar40* that rendered the Ar dating useless because of 'ages' higher than expected.12 The excess Ar40* was probably incorporated at the time of the formation of the minerals, and calculations suggested a partial pressure of ~0.1 atm Ar in the Proterozoic lower crust of Australia, which extends over half the continent.

An Ar-Ar 'dating' study of high-grade metamorphic rocks in the Broken Hill region (New South Wales) found widely distributed excess Ar40*.13 Plagioclase and hornblende were most affected, step heating Ar-AR 'age' spectra yielding results up to 9,588Ga. Such unacceptable 'ages' were produced by excess Ar40* release, usually at 350-650 degrees C and/or 930-1380 degrees C, suggesting excess Ar40* is held in sites within respective mineral lattices with different heating requirements for it release. Thus at crustal temperatures, which are less than 930 degrees C, some excess Ar 40 will always be retained in those trapping sites in minerals where it is 'held' more tightly. A viable interpretation of these Broken Hill data was only produced because assumptions were made about the age of the rocks and of a presumed subsequent heating event (based on Pb-Pb and Rb-Sr dating), when it is conjectured that accumulated Ar40* was released from minerals causing a significant regional Ar partial pressure of -3 x 10 to the fourth power atm.

Domains within the mantle and crust have been identified and the interaction between them described, all of which is relevant to the migration and circulation of Ar (and thus excess Ar40*) from the lower mantle through the crust.14 The six domains are physically distinct units which exhibit wide differences in average physical and chemical properties, as well as structure and tectonic behavior. They are the lower mantle (below 670km), upper mantle, continental mantle lithosphere, oceanic crust, the latter four constituting the earth's crust. Each is a distinct geochemical reservoir.

A steady-state upper mantle model has been proposed for mass transfer of rare gases, including Ar.15 Rare gases in the upper mantle are derived from mixing of rare gases from the lower mantle, subducted rare gases, and radiogenic nuclides produced in situ. Assuming a 4.5 Ga earth, it is claimed, 'The lower mantle is assumed to have evolved isotopically approximately as a closed system with the in situ decay of I129, Pu244, U238, Th232 and K40 adding to the complement of initial rare gases.' Thus some of the Ar40* must be primordial (not derived from radioactive K40), but how much is unknown. It is also claimed that K40 decay in the upper mantle further increases the radiogenic Ar40* there by a factor of ~3 compared with the lower mantle, but this also presupposes a 4.5Ga earth and doesn't allow for primordial Ar40 already in the upper mantle. The bulk of the Ar40* in the lower and upper mantles could be primordial, but there is no way of knowing, as primordial Ar40 is indistinguishable from Ar40*.

Because it is known that excess Ar40* is carried from the mantle by plumes of mafic magmas up into the earth's crust, it is equally likely that much of the excess AR40 in crustal rocks could be primordial Ar40. Thus, we have no way of knowing if any of the Ar40* measured in crustal rocks has any age significance. Additional to the primordial Ar40 from the mantle is Ar40* released from minerals and rocks during diagenesis and metamorphism, so that there is continual migration and circulation of both primordial Ar40 and Ar40* in the crust which is reflected in their presence in Co2-rich natural gases. Therefore, when samples of crustal rocks are analyzed for K-Ar and Ar-Ar 'dating,' one can never be sure that whatever Ar40* is in the rocks is from in situ radioactive decay of K40 since their formation, or if some or all of it came from the mantle or from other crustal rocks and minerals. Thus all K-AR and Ar-AR 'dates' of crustal rocks are questionable, as well as fossil 'dates' calibrated by them.


1. A. A. Snelling, " 'Excess Argon': The 'Achilles' Heel' of Potassium-Argon and Argon-Argon 'dating' of Volcanic Rocks" (1999, El Cajon, CA, Institute for Creation Research Impact, #307), pp. i-iv.

2. T. B. Karpinskaya, I. A. Ostrovskiy and L. L. Shanin, 'Synthetic Introduction of Argon into Mica at High Pressures and Temperatures," Isu Akad Nauk S.S.S.R. Geology Series, 8 (1961): pp. 87-89.

3. T. B. Karpinskaya, "Synthesis of Argon Muscovite," International Geology Review, 9 (1967): pp. 1493-1495.

4. D. B. Patterson, M. Honda and I. JcDougall, "The Noble Gas Cycle Through Subduction Systems," in Research School of Earth Sciences Annual Report 1992 (1993, Canberra, Australia, Australian National University), pp. 104-106.

5. T. Staudacher, "Upper Mantle Origian of Harding County Well Gases," Nature, 325 (1987): pp. 605-607. C. J. BAllentine, "Resolving the Mantle He/Ne and Crustal Ne21/Ne22 in Well Gases," Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 96 (1989): pp. 119-133. P. Burnard, D. Graham and G. Turner, "Vesicle-Specific Noble Gas Analyses of 'Popping Rock': Implications for Primordial Noble Gases in the Earth," Science, 279 (1998): pp. 1178-1181.

6. G. B. Dalrymple, The Age of the Earth (1991), Stanford, CA, Stanford University Press), p. 91.

7. J. G. Funkhouser, I. L. Barnes and J. J. Naughton, "Problems in the Dating of Volcanic Rocks by the Potassium-Argon Method," Bulletin of Volcanology, 29 (1966): pp. 709-717. A. W. Laughlin, :Excess Radiogenic Argon in Pegmatite Minerals," Journal of Geophysical Research, 74 (1969): pp. 6684-6690.

8. M. A. Lanphere and B. B. Dalrymple, "Identification of Excess Ar40* by the Ar40*/Ar39 Age Spectrum Technique," Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 12 (1976): pp. 359-372.

9. C. S. Pickles, S. P. Kelley, S. M. Reddy and J. Wheeler, "Determination of High Spatial Resolution Argon Isotope Variations in Metamorphic Biotites," Geochemica et Cosmochimica Acta, 61 (1997): pp. 3809-3833.

10. T. M. Harrison and I. McDougall, "Investigations of an Intrusive Contact, Northwest Nelson, New Zealand - II. Diffusion of Radiogenic and Excess Ar40* in Hornblende Revealed by Ar40*/Ar39 Age Spectrum Analysis," Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 44 (1980): pp. 2005-2020.

11. A. W. Webb, "Geochronology of the Musgrave Block," Mineral Resources Review, South Australia, 155 (1985): pp. 23-27.

12. A. K. Baksi and A. F. Wildon, "An Attempt at Argon Dating of Two Granulite-Facies Terranes," Chemical Geology, 30 (1980): pp. 109-120.

13. T. M. Harrison and I. McDougall, "Excess Ar40* in Metamorphic Rocks from Broken Hill, New South Wales: Implications for Ar40*/Ar39 Age Spectra and the Thermal History of the Region," Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 55 (1981): pp. 123-149.

14. B. Harte and C. J. Hawkesworth, "Mantle Domains and Mantle xenoliths," in Kimberlites and Related Rocks, Proceedings of the Fourth International Kimberlite Conference (1896, Sydney, Geological Society of Australia Special Publication No. 14), Vol. 2, pp. 649-686.

15. D. Porcelli and G. J. Wasseerrg, "Transfer of Helium, Neon, Argon, and Xenon Through a Steady-State Upper Mantle," Geochimca et Cosmochimica Acta, 59 (1995): pp. 4921-4937.

Notes: "Ma" represents a million years (Mega-annum); "Ga" represents a billion years (Giga-annum).

That portion of elemental Ar40* derived from radioactive decay is denoted by Ar40*. The remainder has no radiogenic source. The two are identical.'''

*Institute For Creation Research, El Cajon, Ca. 92021]:



[pp. 370-371]

"This tool [of radiocarbon dating] has become quite widely used and [falsely] accepted in recent years and is important to our study since it professes [falsely] to supply absolute dates for events within the past 30 or 40 thousand years. This of course covers the apparent periods of Biblical history, as well as more recent dates, and so bears directly upon the question of the Flood and other related events...

...The formation of radiocarbon (that is, Carbon 14, the radioactive isotope of ordinary carbon) from cosmic radiation was first discovered, however, by Serge Korff, an authority on cosmic rays. Describing the Carbon 14 dating method which has resulted, Korff says:

'Cosmic ray neutrons, produced as secondary particles in the atmosphere by the original radiation, are captured by nitrogen nuclei to form the radioactive isotope of carbon, the isotope of mass 14. This isotope has a long half-life, something over 5500 years. By the application of some very well thought-out techniques, Libby and his colleagues have actually not only identified the radiocarbon in nature, but have also made quantitative estimates thereof. Since this carbon in the atmosphere mostly becomes attached to oxygen to form carbon dioxide, and since the carbon dioxide is ingested by plants and animals and is incorporated in their biological structures, and further, since this process stops at the time of death of the specimen [when the specimen ceases to ingest any further carbon dioxide], the percentage of radiocarbon among the normal carbon atoms in its system can [supposedly] be used to establish the date at which the specimen stops metabolizing.'

[Serge A. Korff: 'The Origin and Implications of the Cosmic Radiation," American Scientist, Vol. 45, September 1957, p. 298]

It is presumed that today's rate of absorption of carbon 14 into the atmosphere via cosmic radiation has remained constant throughout the presumed millions of years of the earth's existence. So a plant when it was alive would reflect the proportion of C14 to normative carbon at the particular time of its existence, later times to have an ever increasing proportion of C14 as reflected in the dead organic matter of those times. Therefore, the higher the percentage of C14 to normal carbon in the fossil remains will indicate a younger age in which that living matter once lived according to evolutionists/uniformitarianists.


[pp. 371-374]

...There is no doubt that this [carbon dating method] constitutes a very ingenious and powerful dating tool, provided only that the inherent assumptions are valid. Kulp lists the assumptions as follows:

'There are two basic assumptions in the carbon 14 method. One is that the carbon 14 concentration in the carbon dioxide cycle is constant. The other is that the cosmic ray flux has been essentially constant - at least on a scale of centuries.'

[J. L. Kulp: 'The Carbon 14 Method of Age Determination,' Scientific Monthly, Vol. 75, November 1952, p. 261]

...To which we might add the assumption of the constancy of the rate of decay of the carbon 14 atoms, the assumption that dead organic matter is not later altered with respect to its carbon content by any biologic or other activity, the assumption that the carbon dioxide content of the ocean and atmosphere has been constant with time, the assumption that the huge reservoir of oceanic carbon has not changed in size during the period of applicability of the method, and the assumption that the rate of formation and the rate of decay of radiocarbon atoms have been in equilibrium throughout the period of applicability [which has been proven false]. Every one of these assumptions is highly questionable in the context of the events of Creation and the Deluge.

But it is [falsely] maintained [by evolutionists] that the method has been verified beyond any question by numerous correlations with known dates. Here an observation by Libby himself is interesting and in point:

'The first shock Dr. Arnold and I had was that our advisors informed us that history [of mankind's civilizations] extended back only 5000 years. We had thought initially that we would be able to get samples all along the curve back to 30,000 years, put the points in, and then our work would be finished. You read books and find statements that such and such a society or archaeological site is 20,000 years old. We learned rather abruptly that these numbers, these ancient ages, are not known; in fact, it is at about the time of the first dynasty in Egypt that the last historical date of any real certainty has been established.'

[W. F. Libby: 'Radiocarbon Dating,' American Scientist, Vol. 44, January 1956, p. 107]

It is obvious, therefore, that any genuine correlation of the radiocarbon method with definite historical chronologies is limited only to some time after the Flood and Dispersion. The major assumptions in the method are evidently valid for this period, but this does not prove their validity for more ancient times, the periods in which we would infer that the assumptions are very likely wrong and therefore the dating also wrong.

Attempts to apply the carbon 14 method to earlier datings have, in fact, been called in serious question by [evolutionary] geologists for entirely different reasons than our own...

[One reason of which is that the carbon dating method conflicts with their own falsely established geological time scale and must be rejected because it refutes their false agenda of evolution]:

...Charles B. Hunt, who is recent president of the American Geological Institute, has cautioned:

'In order that a technique or discipline may be useful in scientific work, its limits must be known and understood, but the limits of usefulness of the radiocarbon age determinations are not yet known or understood. No one seriously proposes that all the determined dates are without error, but we do not know how many of them are in error - 25%? 50%? 75%? And we do not know which dates are in error, or by what amounts, or why.'

[Charles B. Hunt: 'Radiocarbon Dating in the Light of Stratigraphy and Weathering Processes,' Scientific Monthly, Vol. 81, November 1955, p. 240]

...Hunt emphasizes particularly the danger of contamination of the sample by external sources of carbon, especially in damp locations.

[Evolutionist and geologist]...Dr. Ernst Antevs, has sharply criticized the radiocarbon method...[because it contradicts his estimated dates for the glacial period which are based on his highly suspect varved clay calculations. But his point about the unreliability of the Carbon 14 dating method are nevertheless well taken]:

'In appraising C 14 dates, it is essential always to discriminate between the C 14 age and the [so called] actual age of the sample. [Notice his determination to present his own unverifiable method as actual] The laboratory analysis determines only the amount of radioactive carbon present... However, the laboratory analysis does not determine whether the radioactive carbon is all original or is in part secondary, intrusive [added later], or whether the amount has been altered in still other irregular ways besides by natural decay.'

[Ernst Antevs: 'Geological Tests of the Varve and Radiocarbon Chronologies,' Journal of Geology, March 1957, p. 129]

A conference on radiocarbon dating held in October, 1956, resulted in the following conclusions about the reliability of the method:

'Local variation, especially in shells, can be highly significant. Possible variations in the size of the exchange reservoir under glacial climates are unimportant. The most significant problem is that of biological alteration of materials in the soil. This effect grows more serious with greater age. To produce an error of 50 per cent in the age of a 10,000 year old specimen would require the replacement of more than 25 per cent of the carbon atoms. For a 40,000-year-old sample, the figure is only 5 per cent, while an error of 5000 years can be produced by about 1 per cent of modern materials. Much more must be done on chemical purification of samples.'

[F. Johnson, J. R. Arnold, and R. F. Flint: 'Radiocarbon Dating,' Science, vol. 125, February 8, 1957, p. 240]

..The problem of atmospheric contamination by fossil fuels has also come in for some consideration, since the burning of coal and oil during the past century and more has added measurably to the amount of carbon dioxide in the carbon style...

..This means that the standard figures as to present content of carbon dioxide in the exchange reservoir of carbon, on which radiocarbon age calculations are based, are incorrect with respect to conditions under which older specimens were formed and have since been decaying. Although this might be corrected approximately by modifying the standard to one before the Industrial Revolution, the following caution is also in order:

'Since completion of the present list, a careful study has been made of a series of samples of known age. It was found that the activity of radiocarbon in the atmosphere was going up and down even before the Industrial Revolution.'

[H. deVries and H. T. Watervolk: 'Groningen Radiocarbon Dates III,' Science, Vol. 128, December 19, p. 1551]

[Dr. Don R. Patton, op. cit., Tape #1]:

"Probably the radiometric dating system that receives the most attention is radiocarbon, though it's probably less significant for evolution/creation controversy than any other because it covers such a short period. Nevertheless, there are clear indications regarding radiocarbon. There are serious problems and without going into the particulars... Notice [a quotation] from Robert Lee from the Anthropological Journal of Canada, in 1981 [Vol. 19, no. 3, p. 9]. He says, 'The troubles of the radiocarbon dating method are undeniably deep and serious. Despite 35 years of technological refinement and better under-standing, the underlying assumptions have been strongly challenged...

[Now, this is not a matter of contamination or something that happens to be added. This is the underlying assumption, the basic mechanics of the system.]

[He says:] It should be no surprise, then, that fully half of the dates are rejected.

[Now that's the authority that uses it - that believes in it, at least to a degree. You chuck at least half of them. And I have found from my experience that that's a conservative estimate. For example, [Marvin Lubenow] in his book, BONES OF CONTENTION has about three chapters on the dating controversy that involved the skull 1470 - 'course not dating the skull [itself], but the layer above it, the volcanic tuff... [He] points out that the dates they got were way off. The ones they got later they assumed were correct but they later found [that they] wouldn't fit with the evolutionary theory and so they redated and re-redated. They dated 41 times. And we're talking about the scientists at Cambridge University, supposed to be the most accurate in the world. They chucked the first 40 efforts, and kept the 41st... Well, that's not a scientifically dependable process, you're just getting what you assume to be so to start with. And so we understand that [Lubenow] goes on to say:

'The wonder is, surely, that the remaining half come out to be accepted. There are gross discrepancies, the chronology is uneven and relative, and the accepted dates are actually selected dates.'

Now that's the truth. It's not that this is what the evidence demands, but it's what they pick out of a wide range that sorts what they assumed to be the case to start with.

We've done some radio carbon down at Glen Rose [Tx] in the area where I've been working in recent years. There is wood in the formations supposed to be 110 [million] years old. But this wood fragment from that formation dated by radiocarbon at UCLA at 890 years - less than a thousand - in a layer supposed to be... ...110 million. Just a little bit down... about 100 yards from that, in an area that we'd excavated, where we'd taken the overburden off, we got to another carbonized stick. [We] dated it at the UCLA carbon 14 lab and this dated at 12,890. Not too far away from the same formation: 890. That's a huge difference! All in a layer supposed to be 110 million?... We've excavated two dinosaurs from that area... dated at UCLA radiocarbon lab... at 19,000 years - in a layer supposed to be 110 million? We've dated now 19 different dinosaurs, not supposed to be any radiocarbon at all in dinosaur bones - they've been extinct for about 65 million years we're told; and carbon 14 plays out in a few thousand years: 30, 40, 50, 80 some might say. Well, we found it in all of the dinosaurs we've dated - all 19. The ages rate from 10,000 all the way up to 30,000 and everything in between. Obviously, something is seriously wrong...

We notice a statement reported in SCIENCE [Vol. 150, p. 1490] on an international conference of 145 experts in this field. And they say... 'Throughout the conference, emphasis was placed on the fact that laboratories do not measure ages, they measure sample activities. The connection between activity and age is made through a set of assumptions. of the main assumptions of C14 dating is that the atmospheric radiocarbon level has held steady over the age-range to which the method applies.'

In other words, we got the same amount of carbon 14 now than we had when this 'critter' died that we're trying to date. However, we have seen clear indications that that is not a valid assumption as we see the ages varying drastically. We know that's not the case in fact because the level of C14 has been measured to be increasing. It was thought to be at equilibrium.... If we use the analogy of the faucet pouring water into a tube that for the sake of illustration we'll assume to be infinitely high. As this column of water increases, then the weight of water would increase and would force the water out faster at the bottom. Now, when the rate of flow at the bottom increases to the point where it equals the rate of formation of the entrance at the top, then we have the level remaining constant. It would stay the same. If you have as much water flowing into a lavatory as flowing out then the level is going to stay the same. We have measured and found that... the C14 in the atmosphere is 30% short of equilibrium. Now this has been done at UCLA and a number of other places and by [Lubenow] himself. Lubenow's original work for which he won the Nobel prize determined that it would take less than 30,000 years to reach a state of equilibrium. However, it's 30% short. Now, this is not a linear process, it's an exponential process - it slows down as it approaches equilibrium. And you can calculate how long it would take to reach the present level. And it comes out to be something less than 8,000 years... That certainly fits the picture of the creationist and the young age of the earth much better than the evolutionist. If it only takes 30,000 years to get to equilibrium and its not there, I think we can see very clearly what the straight forward facts indicate. And when you calculate how long it would take to get to where we are, and we see a few thousand years, then obviously there's good reason from radiocarbon to say the earth is [only] a few thousand years old. You must make a number of assumptions contrary to what we observe in order to get it to come out old...

Now, we can.... [make] assumptions that rates remain constant and that the observations we make hold true over a few thousands of years. And that process is really scientifically more valid... than... [if these rates were to be assumed as remaining constant] over billions of years. And when we do... [assume a constant rate over a short period of time] with a number of indicators we see a very clear indication of a young age for the earth."

[Compare a quotation from Dr. Patton's notes]:

"[H. E. Suess, UCLA] "...presented the latest determinations... as adduced from the current activity of dendrochronologically dated growth rings of the Californian bristle cone pine. ...The carbon14 concentration... and indicate[d] that the concentration increases.."

[H. E. Suess, UCLA, 'Symposium Organized By International Atomic Energy Authority, Science, Vol. 157, p. 726]

[Therefore, the content of carbon 14 in organic matter is still on the increase - not having reached equilibrium yet which takes an estimated 30,000 years - testimony to a young earth!]


[pp. 374-376]

"Prior to the Flood, it is highly probable that the ratio of ordinary carbon to radiocarbon in the atmosphere was much higher than at present, mainly because of the global semi-tropical climate and the vast amounts of plant life found around the world. This effect would have been augmented by the smaller amount of carbon sustained in the ocean then than now, since the oceans were smaller and the land areas larger before the Flood. And it is possible that it would be still further augmented by the shielding effect of the thermal... ...canopy, which would have inhibited the formation of radiocarbon in the high atmosphere. All of these factors would have reduced the ratio of radiocarbon to ordinary carbon to a much smaller fraction than now obtains.

Another possible effect of the... ...canopy is very interesting. In addition to the formation of Carbon 14 from nitrogen in the atmosphere by cosmic-ray neutrons, these neutrons also react with deuterium (heavy hydrogen, the hydrogen isotope in heavy water), which would undoubtedly have been present in substantial amounts in such a canopy, to form tritium, a still heavier isotope of hydrogen. Tritium is unstable and decays rapidly by beta decay to an isotope of helium, He 3. But it turns out that there is too much He 3 in the atmosphere to be accounted for by this process operating at present rates during geologic time. The cosmic ray authority, Korff, suggests the following solution of the problem:

'There are two factors which would tend to increase the amount of tritium. One of these is that the intensity of cosmic radiation, and hence the rate of production of neutrons might have been higher at some time in the geologic past... The second possibility invoking action in the past assumes that at a time when the earth was warmer the atmosphere contained much more water vapor, and (the process of generating tritium from deuterium) might have been operating at a much higher rate than at present.'

[Serge A. Korff: 'Effects of the Cosmic Radiation on Terrestrial Isotope Distribution,' Transactions, American Geophysical Union, vol. 35, February 1954, p. 105]

The... ...canopy thus not only provides an explanation for the present excess of atmospheric Helium 3 but also implies that the proportion of cosmic ray neutrons reacting with nitrogen to form radiocarbon would be smaller by the amount reacting thus with the hydrogen. This factor combines with the others mentioned to assure that the per cent of radiocarbon in the carbon dioxide of the antediluvian atmosphere must have been much smaller than at present. Therefore the radioactivity of living organisms ingesting this carbon dioxide would have been much smaller than that of organisms living at present.

Thus, antediluvian organic matter probably would now have little or no radioactivity if preserved as fossils, even though they may actually have been buried by the Flood only a few thousand years ago. Although present radiocarbon activity seems to indicate measurements which detect radioactivities from matter perhaps as much as 70,000 years old, such indications are based upon the assumption of uniformity. This stricture is considered quite serious by Dr. G. N. Plass, who is a specialist in investigations dealing with atmospheric carbon dioxide:

'All calculations of radiocarbon dates have been made on the assumption that the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide has remained constant. If the theory presented here of carbon dioxide variations in the atmosphere is correct, then the reduced carbon dioxide amount at the time time of the last glaciation means that all radiocarbon dates for events before the recession of the glaciers are in question.'

[Gilbert N. Plass: 'Carbon Dioxide and the Climate.' American Scientist, Vol. 44, July 1956, p. 314]


[pp. 376-378]

"With respect to plants and animals living after the Flood, the loss of the earth's canopy would tend to increase the per cent concentration of Carbon 14 in the carbon dioxide of the atmosphere, since the rate of formation of Carbon 14 atoms would be accelerated by the loss of the canopy. On the other hand, the influx of carbon into the atmosphere from the intense volcanism during and after the Deluge period must have greatly augmented the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere and oceans as well, probably more than offsetting the increase in C-14, at least for some time.

Furthermore, the equilibrium condition between generation and decay of radiocarbon, which has to be assumed in making any age calculation by this method, would obviously not be applicable for quite a long time after the Deluge. Although there quite probably was a marked increase in rate of formation of Carbon 14 atoms at the time of the Deluge due to the greater effectiveness of the cosmic radiation in this process after the precipitation of the... ...canopy, it would necessarily have taken many years for the total amount of radiocarbon to have built up a reservoir of such size that the numbers of atoms being created and dissipated were equal. And this would mean that organisms living in these early years and centuries after the Flood would have received a proportionately smaller amount of radiocarbon into their systems than those living in later times. Especially in the few hundred years immediately after the Flood, during the time when mixing of the atmospheric, oceanic, and biologic carbon was first being accomplished, would this be true. In his definitive book on the subject, Libby says:

'If one were to imagine that the cosmic radiation had been turned off until a short while ago, the enormous amount of radiocarbon necessary to the equilibrium state would not have been manufactured and the specific radioactivity of living matter would be much less than the rate of production calculated from neutron intensity.'

[W. F. Libby: Radiocarbon Dating (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1955)]

The obvious conclusion is that plants and animals living in the early centuries after the Flood would have much less radioactivity than would be assumed on the basis of present rates and therefore would appear to be older than they are.

The specific radioactivity increased as time went on, approaching the present equilibrium rates. That is why radiocarbon dates for the last four thousand years seem to show a generally good correlation with historically verified chronology, although there are many discrepancies and a large margin of error the farther back in time comparisons are made. But for earlier dates, the specific radioactivity in the terrestrial environment becomes progressively smaller as one goes back in time. Therefore, when material older than, say, about four thousand years is analyzed now for radiocarbon, it would certainly be found that the activity was low and, if the age were then calculated on the basis of present equilibrium conditions and rates, it would necessarily be measured to be too old, with the amount of error increasing progressively with the age of the material.

Therefore, the Deluge and associated events adequately explain the data from Carbon 14 studies, accounting for the agreement with historically dated recent events but at the same time indicating that the earlier unverified datings must be too high, as one would infer from the Biblical records.

Consequently, all of the more important of the data from radioactivity methods of geochronometry harmonize perfectly with the Biblical records and inferences associated with the Creation and the Flood. Space does not warrant discussion of all the methods that have been used or suggested, but only those which have been considered the most important and best established. It would be possible by similar analyses to show the essential harmony of the data from these other subsidiary methods (e.g., the ionium method, the varve chronologies, thermoluminescence, etc.) with the Biblically established facts of genuine recent Creation and universal Deluge.

These events must be dated only some few thousands of years ago according to the Bible, and the evidence that has been brought against this testimony has now been shown rather to harmonize quite satisfactorily with it. In fact, it would seem highly probable that no method of geochronometry could be devised that would permit determination of dates earlier than the Flood, since all such processes, whether geological or meteorological, would almost certainly have been profoundly disturbed and altered by the events of that global cataclysm. The Scriptural description is that 'the world that then was, being overflowed with water perished' (II Peter 3:6), and the context shows that this statement comprises the geological earth and the atmospheric heavens! The only possible way in which men can know the age of the earth is by means of divine revelation!"