Anyone has any info or links about supposed data from Mt. Saint Helens undermining radiometric dating?

This particular subject is not my forte. I imagine it’s lab error or data being misrepresented. I typically don’t let outlier events or studies undermine the multitude of other work that is consistent. But nonetheless I like to examine all data as time permits. I did already read through “no answers in Genesis” and from the links but wanted more info and sources.

A quick and dirty site search:

That may not be worth much, because some of the hits are in YEC comments to the article(s).

Another, only three hits, and the first one, “Monday Minute…”, looks promising:

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It was interesting and definitely poses contention with YEC but does not really cover the dating of sY Helens. But I’ll try the next few links as well.

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It is the nature of rhetoric. Every lawyer, politician, minister, and used car salesman “proves” whatever they want to prove gathering whatever evidence they can “interpret” to fit what they want you to believe.

That is the point of the scientific method, which doesn’t allow such a thing. We test an hypothesis. We do not seek to prove it.

So these YEC use a dating method in circumstances where scientists know it is not applicable in order to prop up the same kind of “proof” you can expect from car salesmen – blind to their own dishonesty.

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So no science then.

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Not on their behalf. It seems to me that what they want is a study that contains the words “ Mt. Helens, creationism rebuked, and ect…” but typically that’s not how studies work. Scientists are not trying to Isolate and addresses religious claims on specific subjects at specific areas” and so on. It seems be a “words of the gap” type argument.

Ultimately they don’t care anyways. I could post 1,000 articles and they will jut say fake science and quote and a verse. But each thing they brought up, like trees going through multiple strata and faulty dating all has lots of work done on them from it happening throughout the world. So all the answers are there.

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Notes from a geologist.
As lava rises in a vent, it inevitably picks up pieces of wall rock that solidified a long time ago. Indiscriminate sampling can thus include samples with recent and old rock. That is one way a sample can yield a incorrect age.
More to point (and contrary to YEC claims), there are ways of testing the assumptions made in dating. My favorite is the Hawaiian island chain, where the radiometric ages of islands/seamounts and distances between them can be used to calculate the spreading rate of the ocean crust over the hot spot - then compared to real-time satellite measurements of crustal movement. The observed and calculated values match!
Lots more in my own book: Friend of Science, Friend of Faith


Enjoyed your book! You did a great job of presenting the wonders of God’s creation. I had to buy a second copy after giving the first to my pastor. Someday I would love to see another book using similar approach but concentrating primarily on geology.

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Young and Stearley’s The Bible, Rocks, and Time focuses more specifically on geology and might be a good option.

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As guessed in the original post, lab error is part of the issue as well. If a dating method is known to have an error range of plus or minus one million years, for example, then making a big deal about newly erupted rock giving a date of 10,000 years is not appropriate. I do not immediately remember the specifics, but as I recall some of the fuss was based on using an inappropriate dating method following that pattern. Isotopes with long half-lives will take a while to build up enough decay products to measure accurately.

Maybe something like “The Grand Canyon” Monument to an Ancient Earth"? That book is an 11-author project focused on the conflicting geological claims of conventional and “flood” geology advocates. Full color with lots of professional photos and original illustrations.

Following on David Cambell’s comment - Young & Stearley’s book is a great resource for understanding dating and other geologic processes. Ralph Stearley is also one of the authors of the Grand Canyon book.


Gorgeous book (Grand Canyon: Monument), and easily accessible for the lay reader. My public library bought one at my request.

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I have a checked out copy from our library as well. I really should buy the thing since I’ve renewed it a few times already!

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And all proceeds go to the Solid Rock Lectures non-profit organization!

(mission: Removing stumbling blocks to faith in Christ through education on the scientific and biblical evidence for an ancient creation.)

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Bought one at the Houston Biologos meeting about 5 years ago. As you say, beautiful book. I thought about donating it to our church library, but afraid it would freak a few people out. It would probably get lost among all the Christian romance novels in the library, anyway. Sigh.

Sensitivity is definitely an issue. If they can’t accurately date rocks younger than 2 million years old it indicates to me a lack of sensitivity in their instruments. As an analogy, you can’t weigh a feather on bathroom scales but 50 lb rocks are no problem.

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Great analogy. I also sometimes also comment that if you use you car odometer to measure the distance to the next city, it works for the purpose, but if used to measure the length of your driveway, it will show it is either .1 miles or 0 miles in length, neither of which is correct.

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Mine nails it at 0.3. :grin: (Even adding a significant figure, if I could.)

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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