Educate Yourself: Tip for Students #3

Remember that textbooks only give you a highly-biased fraction of the story. Often evidence for evolution that seems very compelling completely collapses on closer examination.  Make use of resources such as the website.  Virtually all the questions or objections you will encounter in the classroom have already been addressed extensively.

 Case Study: Radiometric Dating

Biology textbooks often touch on radiometric dating methods (carbon dating, uranium-lead, etc.) and claim that these prove that the earth is billions of years old.  Sadly, many people accept the claims at face value because they sound so mathematical and precise.  Once, I was invited by a high-school Bible club to do presentations on creation to one of the club members’ grade 12 biology class.  Because I thought radiometric dating was such a dull topic, I did not address it until the last presentation.  I was very surprised to find that the radiometric dating presentation evoked more questions than any other.  It was as if the evolutionist students and teachers had assumed radiometric dating was irrefutable, and when I challenged it, it really startled them and shook their faith. So, don’t be afraid to challenge radiometric dating claims. Creationist physicists and geologists have done extensive research into radiometric dating, and, like the other evidences presented in textbooks, this ends up being very compatible with the creationist view.  For example, 

-       Carbon-14 (the radioactive kind) decays relatively quickly, so that any material older than at most a few hundred thousand years old should have no measurable carbon-14.  However, virtually all fossils do.  Carbon-14 has even been found in diamonds, thought to be billions of years old.  The presence of radioactive carbon in these specimens is totally consistent with the Biblical timescale of thousands of years, but certainly inconsistent with the supposed billions of years of evolution.

-       Rock specimens of known (young) ages still give radiometric dates in the hundred thousands or millions of years range, such as the 50-year-old rock samples from Mt. Ngauruhoe that were radiometrically dated to be over a million years old.  This sort of thing doesn’t really inspire confidence in the millions-of-years dates claimed for rocks whose actual ages we don’t know!

Extra Credit: When introducing new evidence not presented in textbooks, be as prepared as possible.  Make your point quickly and clearly.  Since the teacher will probably not be aware of creationist research that contradicts the textbook’s claims, you might also bring a copy of the article or book and offer to leave it with the teacher.   (Some teachers will have the time and inclination to read the material and some won’t, but at least you’ll demonstrate that you’re well prepared. And hopefully other students will be interested even if the teacher isn’t.) 


See also:

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