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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2007
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Claim CD020:

The use of radiometric dating in geology involves a very selective acceptance of data. Most discrepant dates are not published. This selective reporting may account for consistencies in the data; internal consistencies, mineral-pair concordances, and agreement between differing dating methods may be illusory.


Woodmorappe, John, 1979. Radiometric geochronology reappraised. Creation Research Society Quarterly 16(2): 102-129.
Woodmorappe, John. 1999. The Mythology of Modern Dating Methods. El Cajon, CA: ICR.


  1. Geologists cannot be selective about choosing results because measurements typically cost hundreds of dollars per sample. To date multiple samples and choose a concordant set from among them would require throwing out about $100,000 worth of data if dating methods gave chance results (Henke n.d.).

  2. As creationists are fond of pointing out, radiometric dating is complicated by geological processes such as metamorphism and weathering, which can interfere with the assumptions that the dating methods use. As creationists do not point out, though, geologists know this. They examine the geological context of where their samples came from to determine whether a technique is likely to be valid, and they experiment with different techniques on different minerals subjected to different conditions to determine which combinations of techniques, minerals, and conditions are valid and which are not. Many so-called discordant dates are results from such experiments dishonestly portrayed as ordinary field measurements.

    All measurement techniques, from rulers to neutrino detectors, are invalid in some contexts. That does not make them invalid in all contexts. Woodmorappe and others who cite discordant radiometric dates are claiming that the method is entirely useless because it does not apply to some contexts.

  3. The factors that one must consider when doing radiometric dating were ignored by Woodmorappe. He ignored geological context and well-known limitations of dating methods. His analysis is further flawed because


Schimmrich, Steven H., 1998. Geochronology kata John Woodmorappe.


  1. Henke, Kevin R., n.d. How can Woodmorappe sell us a bill of goods if he doesn't know the costs?

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created 2003-8-2, modified 2004-9-8