One watch that keeps geologic time, or many that don’t?

According to Chuck Roche:

The process of determining the age of rocks from the decay of their radioactive elements has been in widespread use for over half a century. There are over forty such techniques, each using a different radioactive element or a different way of measuring them. It has become increasingly clear that these radiometric dating techniques agree with each other and as a whole, present a coherent picture in which the earth was created billions of years ago. Many are completely unaware of the great number of independent, laboratory measurements that have shown these methods to be consistent.

But according to John K. Reed:

Most of the public thinks that radiometric dating is the one infallible clock. But scientists recognisze that is not true and so they rely instead of combinations of fallible, malleable methods. Then they argue that the timescale is more certain because of independent overlapping lines of evidence. But do they overlap each other like shingles, forming an impenetrable seal, or like a house of cards? This need for many clocks tells us an important truth: there is not one single infallible chronometer. Would you rather have one watch that kept time or a dozen that didn’t?…

Furthermore, if the various clocks used by stratigraphers all worked as claimed, then they would all agree. It is clear that they do not. Different radiometric methods yield different ages. Dates of rocks of known ages are incorrect. Palaeontologists discard radiometric dates that contradict fossil assemblages. And no one thinks that these disagreements pose serious problems—they just ‘know’ that their template is correct.

Quote sources

  1. Roche, C. (2004). Non-Science in Dating the Earth. New England Skeptical Society. Available http://www.theness.com/index.php/non-science-in-dating-the-earth/. Last accessed 28th Feb 2015.
  2. Reed, J.K. (2013). Rocks Aren’t Clocks: A Critique of the Geological Timescale. Creation Book Publishers, Powder Springs, pp. 112-113
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