Carbon dating lava
It is well known that argon, which is a gas, diffuses easily through rock, and there is no way of knowing whether that may have happened in any given case.Errors are particularly bad with the K-Ar (potassium-argon) method. Joan Engels wrote: It is now well known that K-Ar ages obtained from different minerals in a single rock may be strikingly discordant.3 Skull 1470 In 1972 Richard Leakey found a skull, near Lake Rudolf in Kenya, that he said was “virtually indistinguishable” from that of a modern human.Reasons given usually involved detrital intrusion, leakage or leaching of some of the isotopes in the sample, and sometimes the initial isotopic content of the sample.For K-Ar dates, it’s easy to blame argon loss if the reported age is too short, or argon absorption if it’s too long.They covered “expected” ages ranging from 1 to 600 million years.In almost every case of a discrepancy, the fossil dates were accepted as correct. Woodmorappe quoted one researcher as saying: In general, dates in the ‘correct ball park’ are assumed to be correct and are published, but those in disagreement with other data are seldom published nor are discrepancies fully explained.2 When these reports did discuss the possible causes of errors, they used words such as “possibly,” “perhaps,” “probably,” “may have been,” etc.
Of course, the fossil dates depend on the assumption of evolution.
Nontechnical readers can skip the box-figures, however, without losing much.
Experimental Errors The methods that give ancient ages produce almost as many “wrong” answers as “right” ones.
The second broad category is sometimes called “heavy-metal dating,” and includes Uranium-Thorium-Lead, Rubidium-Strontium, and Potassium- Argon systems.
These are the methods that are commonly used on inorganic samples such as rocks, and that often give extremely long ages-millions or billions of years.
And, of course, the public doesn’t usually hear of these wrong answers.