A Problem with Science
Radiometric Dating

A Problem with Science

The problem with much of the science today is that it just is not science. Scientific claims are supposed to rest on the notion that experiments conducted under substantially identical conditions should yield the same results. But who is checking, as it turns out, nobody. Until very recently there has been no systematic process that reviewed the results of “scientific” studies.

Case in point is the age of the Earth. The oldest rocks ever dated were zircons (rock crystals) recovered from Jack’s Hill in Western Australia. In 1986, the journal Nature, which is the world’s leading scientific journal, announced that that the crystals were dated at 4.3 billion years old. Since then you have no doubt heard that the Earth is approximately 4.3 billion years old. But there were many problems with the methods used to date this sample that just were not reported.

The researchers removed 140 samples for testing. They subjected the samples to two different types of radiometric testing. Radiometric testing looks at unstable, (radioactive), elements in the sample. Unstable elements will decay over time into separate elements. Scientists know the current rate of decay of these elements, and by making certain assumptions, they calculate the age of the sample. The assumptions that they make are problematic from a scientific point of view because they cannot be verified. (There are many articles written about this topic.) In this case, they used two different tests, U/U and U/Th. Each test looks at the decay of two distinct elements into lead and compares the ratios. The results were far from convincing.

Out of the 140 samples, 139 of them resulted in data that was not conclusive. On the 140th sample, it was dated 4.3 billion years old by the U/U test and “undatable” by the U/Th test. Would scientists typically rely on data like this, no, no way. Any unbiased scientist would be forced to admit that the contradictory results render the 4.3 billion year age unreliable. But the researchers reached their conclusion by simply ignoring all of this conflicting data! So what happened, how did this get published in the most prestigious science journal in the world?

What we are seeing is the result of scientific prejudices. Thomas Kuhn, physicist and science philosopher, discussed this in his book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Normally science is conducted with a framework of assumptions that Creationists call a worldview, secular scientists call it a paradigm. In this case, the paradigm was that the Earth was very old. Therefore any evidence that supports their worldview, no matter how flawed, is immediately accepted and endorsed.

My point is just this: when you hear of a broad sweeping or unbelievable “scientific” discovery that seems to contradict the Bible, don’t believe it. The Bible is the ultimate source of truth and therefore any “discovery” that would contradict it is undoubtedly erroneous. We should measure the reliability of scientific discoveries against the unassailable truth of the Bible. Advancements in scientific knowledge will ultimately confirm what it says in the Bible. God created in the world in six 24 hour days, we can believe it.

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