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Because of such contamination, the less than 50-year-old lava flows at Mt.
Ngauruhoe, New Zealand (), yield a rubidium-strontium “age” of 133 million years, a samarium-neodymium “age” of 197 million years, and a uranium-lead “age” of 3.908 billion years!
Yet the same uranium decay also produced abundant helium, but only 6,000 years worth of that helium was found to have leaked out of the tiny crystals. Not Billions (Master Books, Green Forest, Arkansas, 2005), pages 65–78.
This means that the uranium must have decayed very rapidly over the same 6,000 years that the helium was leaking. The assumptions on which the radioactive dating is based are not only unprovable but plagued with problems.
When we look at sand in an hourglass, we can estimate how much time has passed based on the amount of sand that has fallen to the bottom.
Radioactive rocks offer a similar “clock.” Radioactive atoms, such as uranium (the parent isotopes), decay into stable atoms, such as lead (the daughter isotopes), at a measurable rate.
8 Physicists have carefully measured the radioactive decay rates of parent radioisotopes in laboratories over the last 100 or so years and have found them to be essentially constant (within the measurement error margins).
However, this is an enormous extrapolation of seven orders of magnitude back through immense spans of unobserved time without any concrete proof that such an extrapolation is credible.
We find places on the North Rim where volcanoes erupted after the Canyon was formed, sending lavas cascading over the walls and down into the Canyon.
Obviously, these eruptions took place very recently, after the Canyon’s layers were deposited ().
The rate of uranium decay must have been at least 250,000 times faster than today’s measured rate! As this article has illustrated, rocks may have inherited parent and daughter isotopes from their sources, or they may have been contaminated when they moved through other rocks to their current locations.
Or inflowing water may have mixed isotopes into the rocks.