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No. 10: Spring 1980

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The nuclear threat: bad dates

Woodmorappe has assembled an impressive and disconcerting collection of anomalous radiometric dates. Over 300 serious discrepancies are tabulated and backed by some 445 references from the scientific literature. To remove triviali-ties, only dates that were "wrong" by 20% or more were included. This criterion insured that the anomalous dates were off by one or more geological periods. To enhance his case, Woodmorappe excluded data for such troublesome minerals as K-feldspar, which have unreliable records. The surviving discordances will certainly disturb anyone who has long accepted radioactive dating as the near-final word in geochronology.

The lengthy text accompanying the table delves into the geological problems posed by the tabulated anomalies, primarily the severe distortions implied in the supposedly well-established geological time scale. Many attempts have been made to explain away these discrepancies, usually by asserting that the system must have been "open"; that is, contamination and/or removal of materials occurred. But a far more serious situation exists: the reluctance of researchers to publish radiometric dates that fly in the face of expectations. Data selection and rejection are epidemic. Some authors admit tossing out wild points; others say nothing.

(Woodmorappe, John; "Radiometric Geochronology Reappraised," Creation Research Society Quarterly, 16:102, 1979.)

From Science Frontiers #10, Spring 1980. 1980-2000 William R. Corliss