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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

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987