The assumption that the geologic column is a base from which to calibrate the C dates is not wise. With a half-life of only years, carbon dating has nothing to do with dating the geological ages! Whether by sloppiness or gross ignorance, Dr. Hovind is confusing the carbon "clock" with other radiometric "clocks. Being ancient, the C content has long since decayed away and that makes it useful in "zeroing" laboratory instruments.
It's just one of the tricks that have been used to make the work a little more precise. The entire geologic column is based on the assumption that evolution is true. Radiometric Dating and the Geological Time Scale: Circular Reasoning or Reliable Tools? Andrew MacRae deals with claims that the geologic column is just circular reasoning. Hovind would take the trouble to do a little reading from something other than creationist publications he would not make such an outrageous statement.
I believe he has confused the use of index fossils with evolution. One creationist editor, who is more mellow than his unfortunate statement suggests, phrased the argument thus: Unfortunately the geologists date the rocks as the paleontologists tell them to. Then the paleontologists use the geologists' dates as evidence for the age of the fossils!
That's just a game played by dishonest scientists! That passage might have come out of one of Henry Morris' books, except that Morris usually avoids crude slander. Hovind is not aware of the fact that by the broad outlines of the geologic column from Paleozoic times onward had been worked out by people who were mostly creationist geologists. The relative order of the strata was first determined by the principles of stratification. The principle of superposition was recognized as early as by Steno.
Reverend Benjamin Richardson and Reverend Joseph Townsend were a couple of early geologists involved in this work.
By Lyell's famous textbook, Principles of Geology, came out. The captain of the H. Beagle, a very strong Bible believer, made it a point to have a copy of Lyell's book for the ship's library. Obviously, even Lyell was not pushing evolution at the time.
Such was the age of the great creationist geologists! The principle of faunal succession in the geologic record was established by direct observation as early as by William Smith. By the 's Adam Sedgwick and Roderick Murchison established a correlation between the various types of fossils and the rock formations in the British Isles.
It was found that certain fossils, now referred to as index fossils, were restricted to a narrow zone of strata. Studies done on the European continent soon demonstrated the universal validity of index fossils.
That is, an index fossil corresponded to a very specific point in the geologic column. Once the worth of index fossils had been established on the basis of stratification studies, they could logically be used to extend the correlation of rock formations to other continents.
At this point in time they were simply a useful tool for correlating rock formations. One can hardly accuse these pioneers of evolutionary prejudice. Nearly a half-century would pass before Darwin's book, The Origin of Species, was published!
By then, the relative ages order of the geologic column had already been worked out in some detail. Radiometric dating would later confirm the relative ages of the strata and tie them to absolute dates. Far from being a rubber stamp, radiometric dating would go on to revolutionize our understanding of the Precambrian.
Thus, it became possible to date strata directly from index fossils. Note that evolution has nothing to do with how the index fossils are used to date strata! Any kind of object clearly restricted to a specific point in the geologic column would do just fine. If green dice were found only in the middle Ordovician strata, they would make excellent "index fossils.
Evolution, working in tandem with geologic ages, can explain why we have index fossils, but evolution is not needed to make the index fossils useful for dating strata. While we're on this subject, you might wish to know the odds of arranging the Precambrian era, the seven geologic periods of the Paleozoic Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Mississippian, Pennsylvanian, Permian , the three periods of the Mesozoic Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous , and the two periods of the Cenozoic Paleogene, Neogene or Tertiary, Quaternary in their proper order by pure chance.
Your chances are 6. And, when you consider that each period can also be divided into "upper, middle, and lower," the odds of arranging them in the correct order by pure chance become astronomical. Radiometric dating has passed that severe test!
It has correctly placed the Cambrian between the Precambrian and the Ordovician, the Ordovician between the Cambrian and the Silurian, the Silurian between the Ordovician and the Devonian, and so forth. See Topic A1 for claims of bad dates. Creationists, on the other hand, must explain to us how sediment and rock laid down in a mere year can yield such fantastic, orderly differences in radiometric ages.
This poses a fatal problem whether one believes in the accuracy of radiometric dating or not! One would think that the flood sediments gathered from the four corners of the old antediluvian world and their associated igneous rock formed during the flood would all register very little radiometric age.
At the very least we would expect random fluctuations if the radiometric methods were totally at sea. Why should the percentage of lead to uranium in zircon crystals the key to ordinary uranium-lead, radiometric dating depend on which geologic period they are found in? If most of the geologic column were created during Noah's flood, would it really matter whether a zircon crystal was found in Cambrian strata or Cretaceous strata, in Jurassic strata or Tertiary strata?
Noah's flood might just as easily deposit the same crystal in one place as another. Thus, we have a mystery.
Pressure has nothing to do with it, and zircon crystals all have about the same density as their total lead content is small. Just what is it that a Cambrian stratum has which a Cretaceous stratum lacks? What does the Jurassic strata have that the Tertiary strata do not? If rock type mattered then we would expect a zircon crystal's lead content to vary dramatically within the Cambrian or Cretaceous strata according to their local rock types.
No, that's not what we observe. How about neutrinos or cosmic rays? Neutrinos penetrate the earth so easily that they would affect all strata more or less equally, to the extent that they affect anything at all. Cosmic rays, on the other hand, don't penetrate that far into the earth to begin with, so we can rule them out.
The depth of burial, itself, has little to do with our mystery. In some parts of the world the Cretaceous is found deeper than is the Cambrian in other parts of the world.
The depth at which either is found can vary dramatically. In the Grand Canyon area the Cambrian lies beneath a huge column of strata; in California's Mojave Desert portions of the Cambrian are exposed at the surface. For the young-earth creationist, this is an unsolvable mystery, a mystery with parallels in each of the radiometric clocks used by geologists. The potassium-argon, rubidium-strontium, samarium-neodymium, luteium-hafnium, rhenium-osmium, thorium-lead, and the two uranium-lead dating methods all point to the same amazing fact.
The ratio between tiny amounts of radioactive elements and their decay products have this uncanny ability to determine which strata a rock will appear in! What is this magic ingredient that each of the geologic periods have which affects rocks and zircon crystals so? For those who believe that each of the geologic periods were laid down in days or weeks by Noah's flood, the mystery has no intelligent answer.
For the rest of us, the answer is as plain as daylight. The answer to our riddle is time. The Cambrian has simply been around a lot longer than the Cretaceous, and the radioactive uranium in its zircon crystals has had more time to decay into lead.
The same radioactive elements in different geologic periods will have decayed by different amounts. Even creationists realize that time is the only answer, but they give that answer a strange twist. They imagine that the radioactive elements decayed much faster in the past! Such claims are mere flights of fantasy with no basis in fact or theory see Topic R2.
For instance, there are many boundaries unconformities in the geologic strata that exhibit a sharp change in radiometric age.
Thus, zircons that are formed at about the same time in Noah's flood from intruded magma close to each side of an unconformity, if such quick formation were even possible would exhibit impossible differences in the decay of their uranium. Figure 2 explores an additional problem that pops up when one monkeys around with the radioactive decay rates. A few calculations will rule out a fast radioactive decay rate before Noah's flood, thus firming up our intuitive feeling.
Based on the present decay rate of U, the Cambrian period began about million years ago. Since then the amount of uranium has been reduced a bit to Had the decay rates remained high after the flood or in its later stages, the zircon crystals in the more recent strata the last strata laid down by Noah's flood would have "aged" considerably, which is not the case. Furthermore, the zircon crystals had to be created during Noah's flood in order to be "aged" according to the strata in which they were associated.
It is too much to assume that each one just happened to be deposited in the right strata. Therefore, at the time of Noah's flood the decay rate had to be at least fast enough to reduce the amount of uranium to If we generously take that minimum decay rate, with no thought of increasing it further as we look back into the past, we can calculate how much uranium had to be present years before Noah's flood when the earth was created, according to Dr. It turns out that the amount of uranium needed is 3.
In other words, if our entire solar system were made of uranium the quantity would not even begin to suffice. There is nothing like a few calculations to bring out the absurdity in creationist thinking! We may safely rule out the idea that the radioactive decay rates for uranium, and, by quantum mechanical implication, all others dwindled to their present values from high rates at creation time.
An initial U decay rate high enough to do creationists any good also leads to an absurd conclusion. They must now assume that the decay rates were low before Noah's flood, that they became phenomenally high during the start of Noah's flood, and that they dropped to normal after Noah's flood. Such tailor-made assumptions will impress only idiots and fanatics, and there is yet another problem worth mentioning.