I could have selected many more examples but then this would have turned into a book rather than the intended short paper. In the Cretaceous Period, a large meteorite struck the earth at a location near the present town of Manson, Iowa. The heat of the impact melted some of the feldspar crystals in the granitic rocks of the impact zone, thereby resetting their internal radiometric clocks. The impact also created shocked quartz crystals that were blasted into the air and subsequently fell to the west into the inland sea that occupied much of central North America at that time.
Today this shocked quartz is found in South Dakota, Colorado, and Nebraska in a thin layer the Crow Creek Member within a thick rock formation known as the Pierre Shale. The Pierre Shale, which is divided into identifiable sedimentary beds called members, also contains abundant fossils of numerous species of ammonites, ancestors of the chambered nautilus. The fossils, when combined with geologic mapping, allow the various exposed sections of the Pierre Shale to be pieced together in their proper relative positions to form a complete composite section Figure 1.
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The Pierre Shale also contains volcanic ash that was erupted from volcanoes and then fell into the sea, where it was preserved as thin beds. There are three important things to note about these results. First, each age is based on numerous measurements; laboratory errors, had there been any, would be readily apparent.
St. Helens used in drive to prove biblical creation with science
Second, ages were measured on two very different minerals, sanidine and biotite, from several of the ash beds. Third, the radiometric ages agree, within analytical error, with the relative positions of the dated ash beds as determined by the geologic mapping and the fossil assemblages; that is, the ages get older from top to bottom as they should. Finally, the inferred age of the shocked quartz, as determined from the age of the melted feldspar in the Manson impact structure Meteorites, most of which are fragments of asteroids, are very interesting objects to study because they provide important evidence about the age, composition, and history of the early solar system.
There are many types of meteorites. Some are from primitive asteroids whose material is little modified since they formed from the early solar nebula. Others are from larger asteroids that got hot enough to melt and send lava flows to the surface. A few are even from the Moon and Mars. The most primitive type of meteorites are called chondrites, because they contain little spheres of olivine crystals known as chondrules.
Because of their importance, meteorites have been extensively dated radiometrically; the vast majority appear to be 4. Some meteorites, because of their mineralogy, can be dated by more than one radiometric dating technique, which provides scientists with a powerful check of the validity of the results. The results from three meteorites are shown in Table 1.
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Many more, plus a discussion of the different types of meteorites and their origins, can be found in Dalrymple There are 3 important things to know about the ages in Table 1. The first is that each meteorite was dated by more than one laboratory — Allende by 2 laboratories, Guarena by 2 laboratories, and St Severin by four laboratories. This pretty much eliminates any significant laboratory biases or any major analytical mistakes. The second thing is that some of the results have been repeated using the same technique, which is another check against analytical errors. The third is that all three meteorites were dated by more than one method — two methods each for Allende and Guarena, and four methods for St Severin.
This is extremely powerful verification of the validity of both the theory and practice of radiometric dating. In the case of St Severin, for example, we have 4 different natural clocks actually 5, for the Pb-Pb method involves 2 different radioactive uranium isotopes , each running at a different rate and each using elements that respond to chemical and physical conditions in much different ways.
And yet, they all give the same result to within a few percent. Is this a remarkable coincidence? Scientists have concluded that it is not; it is instead a consequence of the fact that radiometric dating actually works and works quite well. Creationists who wants to dispute the conclusion that primitive meteorites, and therefore the solar system, are about 4.
One of the most exciting and important scientific findings in decades was the discovery that a large asteroid, about 10 kilometers diameter, struck the earth at the end of the Cretaceous Period. The collision threw many tons of debris into the atmosphere and possibly led to the extinction of the dinosaurs and many other life forms. The fallout from this enormous impact, including shocked quartz and high concentrations of the element iridium, has been found in sedimentary rocks at more than locations worldwide at the precise stratigraphic location of the Cretaceous-Tertiary K-T boundary Alvarez and Asaro ; Alvarez We now know that the impact site is located on the Yucatan Peninsula.
Measuring the age of this impact event independently of the stratigraphic evidence is an obvious test for radiometric methods, and a number of scientists in laboratories around the world set to work. In addition to shocked quartz grains and high concentrations of iridium, the K-T impact produced tektites, which are small glass spherules that form from rock that is instantaneously melted by a large impact.
The K-T tektites were ejected into the atmosphere and deposited some distance away. Tektites are easily recognizable and form in no other way, so the discovery of a sedimentary bed the Beloc Formation in Haiti that contained tektites and that, from fossil evidence, coincided with the K-T boundary provided an obvious candidate for dating. Scientists from the US Geological Survey were the first to obtain radiometric ages for the tektites and laboratories in Berkeley, Stanford, Canada, and France soon followed suit.
The results from all of the laboratories were remarkably consistent with the measured ages ranging only from Mineral concentrates from the dacite which formed in give K-Ar 'ages 'from 0. These 'ages 'are, of course, preposterous. The fundamental dating assumption 'no radiogenic argon was present when the rock formed ' is questioned by these data.
Instead, data from this Mount St. Helens dacite argue that significant 'excess argon 'was present when the lava solidified in Phenocrysts of orthopyroxene, hornblende and plagioclase are interpreted to have occluded argon within their mineral structures deep in the magma chamber and to have retained this argon after emplacement and solidification of the dacite. Orthopyroxene retains the most argon, followed by hornblende, and finally, plagioclase. The lava dome at Mount St. Helens dates very much older than its true age because phenocryst minerals inherit argon from the magma. The study of this Mount St.
The error on which this study is based is discussed here as part of a larger discussion debunking creationist attacks on dating methodology.. So religious legislators and school board members around the country have latched onto intelligent design as a palatable vehicle for undermining evolution in the curriculum.
Most attention has focused on votes to require the teaching of intelligent design in Dover, Pa. Both initiatives have been challenged in court, but similar campaigns are under way in at least 15 other states. A biblical analysis of hard data If biblical creationism and intelligent design are at opposite poles of the anti-evolution argument, then Lloyd Anderson and a small number of others like him, popularizing the hypotheses of geologist Steven A. Austin and physicist D. Russell Humphreys, are the vanguard of a modern-day campaign to split the difference.
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Tall and forbiddingly learned, Lloyd Anderson can — and frequently does, his wife complains — discourse at length on pyroclastic flows, steam explosion pits, laminate stratification and the event horizons of dense gravity fields. If you wish, he could probably do so in ancient Greek or Hebrew, both of which he reads.
When you look at Mount St. Helens, Step Canyon, feet deep, is the long gouge trailing down from the mouth of the crater. According to the emerging philosophy, the canyons took just five months to form, illustrating, Anderson says, that magnificent formations like the lava-carved Grand Coulee about miles to the east and even the Grand Canyon could have been formed virtually overnight by a catastrophic event.
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Anderson says he could marshal any number of scientific arguments to prove that the biblical global flood happened as it is described in Genesis, from inaccuracies in radiocarbon dating to gaps in the fossil record to superfine stratification of sedimentary layers around Mount St. But scientific young-Earth creationism is a special case. Geologists insist that it is just as wrongheaded as old-school blind-faith creationism, but they do so with a touch of grudging respect. It is bad because it ignores the scientific method in interpreting them.
They start with their conclusion — that God created the Earth in six days — and then look for the proof.
To Mike Clynne, a stratigrapher for the U. Geological Survey — he maps volcanoes — the young-Earth creationists make another fatal error, in how they think of time and scale. The geologic record proves that Mount St.