[Marvin L. Lubenow states, (Impact periodical #244, October 1993 issue, in article entitled, 'The Dating Gap')]:

"Evolution places severe demands upon fossils used to support it. A fossil in an evolutionary sequence must have both the proper morphology (shape) to fit that sequence and an appropriate date to justify its position in that sequence. Since the morphology of a fossil cannot be changed, it is obvious that the dating is the more subjective element of the two items. Yet, accurate dating of fossils is so essential that the scientific respectability of evolution is contingent upon fossils having appropriate dates.

Popular presentations of human evolution show a rather smooth transition of fossils leading to modern humans. The impression given is that the dating of the individual fossils in that sequence is accurate enough to establish human evolution as a fact. However, because of severe dating problems which are seldom mentioned, this alleged sequence cannot be maintained. To present the fossil evidence as a relatively smooth transition leading to modern humans is akin to intellectual dishonesty.

It is impossible to give an evolutionary sequence to the human fossils because there is a coverage gap involving the dating methods which evolutionists believe are the most reliable - radiocarbon and potassium-argon (K-Ar). This gap is from about 40,000ya (years ago) to about 200,000 ya on the evolutionist's time scale. It covers roughly the period known as the Middle Stone Age (MSA). This coverage gap lies beyond what is considered the effective range for radiocarbon and prior to what is considered the effective range for potassium-argon. This problem period may be even larger because: (1) some dating authorities believe that the effective range for K-Ar doesn't begin until about 400,000 ya, and (2) many of the older fossils are found at sites that lack the volcanic rocks necessary for K-Ar dating and hence cannot be dated by this method at all.

Although young-earth creationists challenge the legitimacy of all of the dates obtained by the long-term radiometric methods, even evolutionists are beginning to admit that this dating gap presents a problem for them. However, the real seriousness of this problem seems to elude them, even when they occasionally refer to it in their writings.

In the past 15 years, the major focus of human evolution has shifted from the origin of all humans to the origin of modern humans, and the very time during which modern humans are alleged to have evolved from their [supposed] more primitive human ancestors is the period covered by this gap. At least 406 human-fossil individuals are placed by evolutionists in this 40,000-to-200,000-time-period gap and hence are questionably dated.

The inability of the radiocarbon and the K-Ar methods to cover this time period explains why many alternate dating methods have been devised to attempt to give coverage in this area. However, these alternative methods have serious problems of their own.

Of the 84 anatomically modern Homo sapiens fossil individuals dated by evolutionists beyond 40,000 years, 59 of them (70%) fall into this 40,000-to 200,000-year gap. (Anatomically modern Homo sapiens fossils that are dated more recently than 40,000 years of age are not of great significance for evolutionary purposes and are not under consideration here.)

There are four Neanderthal fossil individuals that are dated more recently than 40,000 years. They are the Amud I and Shukbah remains from Israel and the Saint-Cesaire and Arcy-sur-Cure remains from France. All other Neanderthal remains, some 300 fossil individuals, or approximately 98.6% of all of the Neanderthals, fall into the period covered by this gap. (It is well known that another reason why many of the Neanderthal fossils are poorly dated is because they were found long before the importance of documenting fossils in their geological context was fully appreciated).

The relatively new fossil category created by evolutionists, the 'archaic Homo sapiens' category, contains at least 64 fossil individuals.

Twenty-eight of them (44%) fall within this time gap. Nineteen of the 222 Homo erectus fossil individuals (9% of the total) likewise fall into this time gap. In all, 406 human-fossil individuals which evolutionists feel are crucial in documenting the evolution of modern humans fall into the gap between radiocarbon and K-Ar dating and hence have uncertain ages.

Creationists have noted an interesting pattern in evolutionist writings regarding the dating of fossils. Shortcomings of a dating method in current use are not generally acknowledged by evolutionists. Only when they feel they have devised a better method for a specific time period, do they publicly admit the weaknesses of the method they had been using previously. The result is that the public assumes the dating methods used at any given time are adequate, whereas the dating specialists working with those methods know that this is not necessarily the case.

The latest illustration of not admitting the uncertainties of older dating methods until newer ones have been developed centers around a new method proposed for dating human fossils in this 40,000-to-200,000-year time period. This new method, announced in the journal, Science, involves racemization of amino acids in ostrich eggshell. The amino-acid method was developed some time ago for dating bone material at archaeological sites. Because bone is porous, it is subject to ground-water leaching. Hence, the method fell into disfavor because it gave questionable dates. However, because ostrich eggshell is thought to be a rather closed system, it is claimed that items found in association with it can be dated more accurately by the amino-acid-racemization method.

The admissions now being made about the dating methods that have been previously used by evolutionists to cover this time period are particularly interesting. These admissions have profound implications for human evolution. In the Science article on ostrich-eggshell dating, the authors state that many of the dates assigned to human fossils in this 40,000-to-200,000-year period based on the older methods were only 'provisional,' and that all such dating is 'uncertain.' These are remarkable admissions.

Anyone familiar with the paleoanthropological literature knows that this is not way most of the dates for fossil discoveries in that time period have been presented. This time period is critical for human evolution, and evolutionists have consistently claimed a degree of certainty in their dating which now appears to be unjustified.

The author does not wish to imply that the ostrich-eggshell-dating method is a legitimate one. The point is that, for evolutionists to claim they now have a 'better' method for dating human fossils discovered in the future does not correct the inaccurate dates of human fossils that were discovered in the past. The dating flaws of the past cannot be rectified because: (1) many of those fossil sites have been destroyed or altered, so that reconstruction to allow for redating of fossils after the fact is not possible; and (2) to find ostrich eggshell that can be shown to have been in unquestioned association with those previously discovered fossils is virtually impossible.

The uncertainty of fossil dates in the Middle Stone Age is just the tip of the iceberg. For evolutionists, the problem is far more serious, but few are willing to acknowledge it. William Howells (Harvard University) states that the dating problems involve the entire Middle Pleistocene (100,000 to 700,000 yr, according to evolutionists). This would involve many more fossils than just those in the middle Stone Age. Howells writes: 'It cannot be too strongly emphasized how much uncertainty attaches to placement of all but a few of the fossils, absolutely or relatively, especially for the Middle Pleistocene.' Creationists recognize that the problem is far greater than even Howells suggests. But it is refreshing to know that some evolutionists are speaking frankly about the dating problems involving the human fossils.

Human evolution demands precise dating of the relevant fossils. Evolutionists now admit that the dates for the human fossils in the significant Middle Stone Age period and elsewhere are uncertain. It means that there is no such thing as a legitimate evolutionary fossil sequence leading to modern humans. It also means that evolutionists cannot make accurate statements regarding the origin of modern humans based on fossils discovered thus far. Their continuing to do so reveals that their statements are based on a belief system, not on the practice of a rigorous science."

[pp. 362-366]

"There is still the claim to be faced that the radioactivity age-estimates agree in general with the geological ages assigned to the strata on the basis of paleontology and stratigraphy. That is, the [so called] 'absolute ages' deduced from radioactivity measurements for various positions in the geologic time scale fall into proper position, is that strata deemed young on the basis of paleontology give young radioactivity ages, paleontologically old strata yield higher ages, etc. On this basis, a scale of absolute time has been worked up for the entire geologic column and, in various forms, has been published in many, many books and periodicals. For example, Arthur Holmes, probably the most prolific of all writers and workers in this field, said long ago in the famous National Research Council symposium on geochronology:

'In attempting to build up a time scale it is clear that we have to steer a difficult course through a maze of data of very variable quality, guided in some places by atomic weight evidence, in others by series of accordant ratios, but in far too many by a subjective weighing of probabilities. Nevertheless, although only a few points can be fixed with precision into the geological column, and the total assemblage of data is too confused to permit detailed accuracy, it is remarkable how consistently the most probable ratio for each of the various suites falls into its proper place and order as judged by geological age.'

[Arthur Holmes, in The Age of the Earth, Adolph Knopf, Editor, Bulletin 80, National Research Council, 1931, p. 431]

A major reason for the supposed concordance between the radioactivity and paleontological time scales is evident from this remarkable quotation: the time estimates which agree with the pre-judged proper order are accepted, the others are rejected! The latter are supposed to have been altered in some way since deposition and therefore unacceptable, the criterion for postulating alteration being this lack of agreement...

...But it will be objected that the above was written almost thirty years ago; great masses of data have been accumulated since then from radioactive minerals from all parts of the world and all parts of the geologic column. Listen, then, to the recent words of Adolph Knopf (who was also editor of the symposium cited above) in a recent review of the data:

'An urgent task for geology is to determine, in years, the length of the eras, periods, and '''ages''' (time spans of the stages) and, eventually of the zones. Not a single one of them - eras, periods, and ages, let alone zones - has yet been determined This statement is possible surprising in view of the fact that almost any modern writer can produce a geologic timetable that gives precise datings and lengths of the eras and systems and even of some of the smaller subdivisions... These figures have been obtained in various remarkable ways. Ultimately, however, they are tied to three dates based on atomic disintegration: 60 million years, the age of the pitchblende at Central City, Colorado; 220 million years, the age of the pitchblende at St. Joachimstal, Bohemia; and 440 million years, the age of the uranium-bearing shale at Gullhogen, Sweden. The age of the Swedish shale is the only one of these that is paleontologically controlled... All other absolute ages have been derived from the three radioactive tie points by interpolation based on thicknesses of strata or by '''reasoned guesses''' ...'

[Adolph Knopf: 'Measuring Geologic Time,' Scientific Monthly, Vol. 85, November 1957, p. 227]

Now, herein is a marvelous thing! Consider what science has proved! All the world of learning and scholarship has been driven to accept the fact of universal evolution as the basic principle and philosophy controlling everything, despite the testimony of both Scripture and the demonstrated truths of energy conservation and degradation, because of the supposed overwhelming weight of scientific evidence. When one goes to the geneticist to see such evidence, he is shown only micromutations and is directed to the geologist for evidence of historical evolution on the broader scale. The geologist then points to a series of time-rock units, which has been erected on the assumption of organic evolution, despite the evidence of many exceptions and contradictions in the series, and which even at best still contains essentially the same gaps that the genetic evidence shows. Although most of these rocks show evidence of rapid, catastrophic formation, he maintains that radioactivity has provided him with a scale of absolute time that proves that they are in the proper order and that the times are so immense as to provide for all the statistical improbabilities that evolution demands. And when we inquire into the nature of the radioactive evidence that proves such wonderful things, we learn that out of the hundreds and hundreds of such measurements that have been made on rocks from every geological age and from all parts of the world, after winnowing out all those with discordant ratios, with anomalous amounts of component elements, or that disagree with the paleontological dating, there are are three (three!) that form the basis of the time-scale and that all others are interpolated therefrom by '''reasoned guesses,''' based mainly on relative thicknesses of strata.

And of these three datings, only one is considered adequately dated paleontologically. That one, the Cambrian shales of Sweden containing nodules of uranium called '''koln,''' has long been the pride and joy of geochronologists. But it also is highly questionable. Knopf says:

'The isotopic composition of the radiogenic lead in the kolm was determined by Nier, in 1939, and yielded the very disconcerting result that the age, based on Lead 206-Uranium 238, is 380 million years, whereas that based on Lead 207-Lead 206 is 770 million years. Now Nier, it must be recalled, regarded the figure given by the Lead 207-Lead 206 ratio as being the least subject to error and hence the most reliable. For the kolm, however, the figure 770 million years was clearly too large.'

[Knopf, op. cit., p. 234]

However, instead of rejecting this as discordant, the discrepancies have been compromised and the age recorded as 440 million years, on the assumption that some of the radon gas formed as one stage in the decay series had escaped, thus causing too small an amount of radiogenic lead to be produced...


...More recent measurements on this material, by J. C. Cobbz and J. L. Kulp, indicate that 'preliminary measurements of radon leakage show room-temperature radon loss to be of an order of magnitude less than that needed to explain the discordance'

[J. C. Cobb and J. L. Kulp, 'Age of the Swedish Kolm,' Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, Vol. 68, DEC. 1957, p. 1711]

...Note that there is no proof that this was actually the case; it merely was an assumption which provided a means of reconciling the discrepancy and arriving at an age that seemed appropriate for the paleontological stratum in which the mineral was found.

And this date, deduced by so devious and questionable an analysis, is considered the best and most reliable of all the hundreds and perhaps thousands of dates that have been obtained from the radioactivity measurements on the earth's post-Precambrian strata!

Still more recently, Henry Faul concludes that only the Colorado pitchblende is at all acceptable:

'Of the five points on which Holmes based his time scale, only one (Laramide) can be included now. The stratigraphically unimpeachable '''Swedish Kolm''' from the alum shale does not present a closed system, and all attempts to establish an age for it have failed. The stratigraphic limits on Holmes' remaining three points are too vague to make them useful.'

[Henry Faul: '''Geologic Time Scale,''' Bulletin, Geological Society of America, Vol. 71, May 1960, p. 640]

With regard to the device of interpolating dates for other geologic horizons from thicknesses of strata, Knopf says:

'As long ago as 1936 the conclusion had been reached by Twenhofel [the outstanding authority on sedimentation] that estimates of time based on thicknesses of strata '''are hardly worth the paper they are written on,''' and he presents detailed evidence in support of this revolutionary concept.'

[Knopf, op. cit., p. 228]

Thus, the general inadequacy of the radioactivity geochronometric data for paleontologic dating is indicated by Teichert:

'The literature contains few age determinations (perhaps no more than one) on syngenetic radionuclides from paleontologically defined stratigraphic units, and almost all radioactive age determinations are made on igneous, hydrothermally introduced, or secondarily transported minerals that cannot as a rule be referred to a precisely defined place in the stratigraphic succession. At present, no coherent picture of the history of the earth could be built on the basis of radioactive datings.'

[Curt Teichert: 'Some Biostratigraphical Concepts,' Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, Vol. 69, January 1958, p. 102]

Henry Faul says: 'When we now attempt to construct a time scale by reasonable interpolation between these points, it becomes obvious that the available data are still too few, too poor, and internally inconsistent'

[Henry Faul, Op. Cit., p. 642]

... 'It is very likely that '''primordial lead,''' or the lead that was made with all the other elements at the time of nucleogenesis, was well mixed. When the earth's crust was formed, the primordial lead was frozen into rocks that also contained uranium and thorium in various ratios to lead.'

[Henry Faul: Nuclear Geology (New York, John Wiley & Sons, 1954), p. 297]

Therefore, it would be expected that those radioactive minerals found in the rocks of the shields and other Pre-Cambrian formations would yield many different age values, though in general most of them would be very high. This exactly what is found.

With regard to the sedimentary strata, as well as the igneous intrusions found in them, together with the other fossiliferous volcanic rocks, these we believe were largely formed during the Deluge, as outlined in the preceding chapter. The materials for these rocks were derived from the primitive crustal rocks in large part, although there must undoubtedly have been a primitive soil created as well to support the first life-forms, and these materials also were eroded and redistributed by the flood waters. Mixing of radiogenic and nonradiogenic isotopes must have been even more intensive during the Flood period than during the Creation period.

As a general rule, those radioactive minerals nearest the surface would be subject to the greatest degree of mixing during the Flood, since they would have been those first eroded by the torrential rains and swollen streams. This would have had the effect of 'diluting' the radiogenic component of such minerals, making those near the surface appear to be relatively 'younger' than whose further below the surface. Furthermore, both during and after the Deluge, those minerals nearer the surface and in the lighter, less consolidated sediments, would be much more likely to lose their gaseous components (e.g., argon from the potassium minerals, radon and helium from the uranium) than those in the denser, deeper rocks. This, too, would have the effect of making the radioactive minerals in the surface rocks appear to be younger than those below. Obviously, with all the intense mixing involved, the inferred orders would represent only rough trends rather than inviolable rules, and this is exactly the state of things encountered in the present strata.

Also, there are many radioactive minerals found in the igneous intrusions in the sedimentary strata, which we have inferred to be associated with outpourings from the 'fountains of the great deep' during the Flood. These radioactive minerals would also, in general, contain smaller relative amounts of radiogenic elements because of the greater mixing and diffusive action associated with the intrusion and would therefore, when deposited, read 'younger' ages than those in the... [so called] ...true Pre-Cambrian strata.

Further discussion of other aspects of the radioactivity age estimates does not appear necessary here. The important features of these data are all now seen to be explainable in terms of the phenomena and activity associated with the Creation and the Deluge. It is not at all necessary to interpret them as teaching the immense ages hitherto inferred therefrom. In fact the gross and entirely unwarranted assumptions on which they are based (especially uniformity and denial of any true creation), in contrast to the sound basis in Holy Scripture upon which the assumptions in our interpretation are based, justify the assertion that the latter is actually much better oriented scientifically than the former."




[ pp. 344-346]

"...The Bible quite plainly and irrefutably teaches the fact of a 'grown' Creation - one with an 'apparent age' of some sort, analogous to the 'apparent age' of a mature Adam at the first instant of his existence...

..The uniqueness of Adam and Eve's creation... emphasized in the New Testament: 'For Adam was first formed, then Eve' (I Tim. 2:13), '...for the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man' (I Cor. 11:8). Similarly, most of the Biblical miracles stress true creative activity, in which the time factor is immensely compressed: for example, the transformation of water into wine (John 2:10), creation of 'apparent age' in other words...

..This Creation must have included all the chemical elements already organized in all the organic and inorganic chemical compounds and mixtures necessary to support the processes of the earth and of life on the earth. These processes include the phenomena of radioactivity. It is perhaps possible [but not Biblical] that only the parent elements of the radioactivity decay chains were originally created, but it is eminently more harmonious with the whole concept of a complete [Biblical] Creation to say that all the elements of the chain were also created simultaneously, most likely in a state of radioactive equilibrium.

This means that, with each mineral containing a radioactive element, there were also at the original Creation all of the daughter elements in the decay series, including some of the final stable end-product. Such a concept is undoubtedly shocking to the mind of a consistent uniformitarian, but there is nothing impossible or unreasonable about it. In fact, short of denying the existence of any Creator or original Creation at all, one must logically come to some place in the long chain of secondary causes where something was created. If so, that something, at the instant of its creation, must have had an 'appearance of age.' And the only way we could then determine its 'true age' would be through divine revelation. An 'apparent age' might of course be deduced for that something on the basis of any processes of change which were observed in connection with it, but this would not be the true age.

And this is exactly the situation we find in connection with these radioactive elements and with many other geochronometers. It is eminently reasonable and consistent with the basically efficient and beneficent character of God, as well as with His revelation concerning the fact, that He would have created the entire universe as a complete, operational, functioning mechanism. The grossly cruel and wasteful processes of an almost interminable [wearisomely protracted] evolution leading up to man's arrival as its goal, as usually envisioned by uniformitarians, (or at least by theistic uniformitarians), are on the other hand utterly inconsistent with the character and wisdom of God! It is therefore not ridiculous after all, but perfectly reasonable, to suppose that the radiogenic elements, like all other elements, were created directly by God.

The obvious question then arises as to whether the 'apparent ages' of the minerals so created, as indicated by the relative amounts of 'parent' and 'daughter' elements contained therein, would all be diverse from each other or whether they would all exhibit some consistent value; and if the latter, what value of apparent age might be implied.

In the absence of specific revelation, it seems impossible to decide this question with finality. However, it is more satisfying teleologically, [i.e., to explain everything from a designed rather than from an evolved standpoint] and therefore more reasonable, to infer that all these primeval clocks, since they were 'wound up' at the same time, were also set to 'read' the same time. Whatever this 'setting' was, we may call it the 'apparent age' of the earth, but the 'true age' of the earth can only be known by means of divine revelation. [which today is limited to the Bible]"

[pp. 354-355]

"We conclude, therefore, that a time measurement based on the principle of radioactive decay is in itself quite inconclusive. It is, in the first place, quite reasonable to believe that both parent and daughter elements in each radioactive chain were created at the beginning, probably in 'equilibrium' amounts. The amount of originally created radiogenic end-product in each chain is uncertain; it is likely, however, that homologous amounts were created in all such minerals so that all such elements would, when created, give an 'appearance' of the same degree of maturity or of age. Furthermore, the intense environmental radiation present in the upper atmosphere could well have resulted in much higher decay rates for the radioactive elements at one or more times in the past.

Thus, by the end of the Creation period, each radioactive mineral would very likely contain a sizeable amount of its radiogenic daughter, though actually but a few days old! Again, at the time of the Deluge, it seems reasonable that the increased radioactivity in the environment would have speeded up all decay processes by some unknown amount. Therefore, even in the relatively rare cases where the radioactive mineral was not disturbed excessively during the intense geologic upheavals of the Creation and Deluge periods, the relative amounts of parent and daughter elements would still be entirely incapable of yielding a valid record of true age, since neither the original amount of radiogenic material nor the changes in past decay rates can now be determined. The only thing reasonable certain is that the present decay rate and present amount of daughter element, if applied in a uniformitarian computation, must result in an age-estimate immensely too great!"




[ pp. 359-362]

"Someone may object that it has been proved that the disintegration rate of uranium has never changed during past geologic time, since the size of the so-called 'pleochroic halos' is the same in strata of all ages. These halos are spherical zones of discoloration produced in rocks around radioactive nuclei by the ionizing powers of the alpha particles emitted from the nucleus. The distance to which these particles can penetrate before they are stopped depends on their energy of emission, and this in turn is believed to control the normal rate of decay, high rates corresponding to large ranges.

The range of the alpha-particles depends, however, not only on the decay rate of the radioactive nucleus but also upon the nature of the material in which it is enclosed, the denser the material, the shorter the range. For this reason, this particular argument is usually limited only to the halos surrounding nuclei of uranium or thorium in a matrix of mica. The argument goes that, for this type of halo, the radius is always the same, and therefore that the disintegration rate must always have been the same...

...In view of... ...observations made by a very careful scientist, it appears that the oft-reiterated claim about the constancy of the radius may be invalid. Therefore, there remains no actual evidence that the decay rates may not have been different at some time or times in the past than they are at present...

'The extent of the halos around the inclusions [foreign radioactive minerals within a rock] varies over a wide range, even with the same nuclear material in the same matrix, but all sizes fall into definite groups. My measurements are, in microns, 5, 7, 10, 17, 20, 23, 27, and 33. Joly's figures correspond with these except he does not include the smaller sizes and does include 39 (38-40) which I have not run across. Halos sometimes show two, or even three definite rings or zones, indicating the presence of more than one radioactive element, each with its own specific alpha-ray path.'

[Roy M. Allen: 'The Evaluation of Radioactive Evidence on the Age of the Earth,' Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation December 1952) p. 18]

...According to our hypothesis, all rocks are of essentially the same age, so that the fact that pleochroic halos have about the same radius in all of them is exactly what would be expected. They were all formed at about the same time; therefore, the same decay rates, whether constant or changing, have continually occurred in all of them. Furthermore, it seems unlikely that even a substantial increase in the decay rate would cause any measurable change in the halo radius. The latter is determined mainly by the extremely short-lived elements in the decay chain, for these have the longer ranges. It does not seem necessary to conclude that an acceleration of the first stage in the decay process - the expulsion of helium atoms from the uranium nucleus would thereby accelerate all other stages in the chain individually. But even if it did, the increase in alpha particle range corresponding to increase in expulsion energies becomes vanishingly small as the energies increase, and this factor would prevent any very substantial increase in the radius...

...We conclude that a statistical constancy of the halo radii in rocks of various 'ages' proves nothing about the decay rates.' "




[ pp. 380-381]

"It is interesting that radioactivity age calculations made on meteorites are similarly very contradictory.

By examining the helium content of several meteorites, Paneth arrives at ages ranging from 60 million to 7 billion years... Reexamining the evidence, Bauer arrives at a common age of about 60 million years for the meteorites and also for the age of the universe.'

[D. Ter Haar: 'The Age of the Universe,' Scientific Monthly, Vol. 77, October 1953, p. 177]

It has been difficult for astronomers and geologists to accept such a 'small' age for the meteorites in terms of any of the classical theories of the origin of the solar system. More recent and much more subtle calculations have been invoked 'reconcile' the discrepancy.

'When that is done, the age of stony meteorites since solidification is found the result is about 4.6 thousand million years.'

[G. P. Kuiper, op. cit., p. 15]

Thus, merely by changing the method of calculation, one can increase the age of a meteorite from 60 to 4600 million years! The latter calculation was made by the potassium-argon method, the first by the helium isotope method. [Both methods of which are not substantiated as reliable in the first place]