So the results in Table 1 are staunchly defended by the laboratories as valid, indicating an ‘age’ of perhaps 44,000–45,500 years for the wood encased in the basalt retrieved from the drill core.
In stark contrast to the ‘age’ of the wood are the potassium-argon (K-AR) ‘ages’ of the basalt (see Table 2).
It is readily apparent that there are significant variations in the results, as evident in the calculated ‘ages’ of the outcrop 2 sample provided by each laboratory.
The problem of obtaining consistently ‘acceptable’ K-AR ‘ages’ is also highlighted by the observation that both outcrop and both drill core samples probably represent the same basalt flow in each respective location (hence the calculated average ‘ages’ in the last column of Table 2) While the quality and accuracy of the analytical work undertaken by all the laboratories involved is unquestionably respected, all the calculated ‘ages’ are mere interpretations based on unproven assumptions about constancy of radioactive decay rates, and on the geochemical behaviour of these elements (and their isotopes) in the unobservable past.
Neither laboratory was told exactly where the samples came from to ensure that there would be no resultant bias.
The radio-metric date are not unreliable in the sense that the results should be dismissed entirely.
Young Earth creationists can draw some very interesting conclusions from the data you present.
magazine has been continuously published since 1978, we are publishing some of the articles from the archives for historical interest, such as this.
For teaching and sharing purposes, readers are advised to supplement these historic articles with more up-to-date ones suggested in the Related Articles and Further Reading below. At top, is fossil wood in basalt that includes—from left to right—basalt, wood and siltstone.
The K-A ages provide another strong correlation of the odd phenomenon observed by the RATE Project.