Tag Archives: Ar40/Ar39

Radiometric Dating: The Novarupta-Katmai Eruption of 1912: Support for Millions and Billions of Years?

Dear hijas,

millions and billions

As we’ve detailed in several previous posts, the Judeo-Christian Scriptures provide no place for even a hint of “millions and billions of years”. What we do find and what our Scriptures do provide are genealogical records that result in thousands of years of history, not millions and billions. As we allow Scripture to interpret Scripture, we look at the Creation days in Genesis 1, with their self-evident reference to normal, 24-hour days, and see this confirmed in Exodus 20:11 and 31:17. We look at Romans 1:20 that “since the creation of the world His (God’s) invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly¬†seen…” and realize that those doing the ‘seeing’ must be humans and that they were there since the beginning of creation (Mark 10:6).

We understand that the Biblical picture of Creation-fall-redemption-renewal, and geologically, Creation-Flood-Ice Age-Present is built upon the premise that the earth and cosmos are only thousands of years old and utterly falls into theological confusion, chaos, and inconsistency if built upon the premise that the earth and cosmos are billions and millions of years old.very good

When we come to radiometric dating and the decay of parent isotope into daughter isotope we must understand that it is the dominant method used as evidence supporting secular models of earth history and a 4.55 billion year old age for the earth (Radiometric dating involves measuring the ratio of a radioactive isotope to its decay product. The older a rock, the more decay product it should contain). As no observers were present over these millions and billions of years, assumptions are used to extrapolate today’s observed rate backwards into the supposedly long ago past.

When we come to what we ‘can’ observe in the present and to what humans have observed in our not so distant past, we find numerous problems and anomalies with the radiometric dating method. One of those was the Novarupta volcano eruption of June 6-8 1912. Also called Novarupta-Katmai, in Alaska’s peninsula chain, it was one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history, the largest since Krakatoa in 1883, and 30 times larger than the Mt. St. Helen’s blast of 1980.


Novarupta-Katmai formed a dome after June 8, 1912, and it is this dome that was subsequently radiometrically dated. Since we have recorded human history that this dome is just over a 100 years old, we should be able to confirm this with radiometric dating, shouldn’t we? Several attempts over the years since the dome first formed have been made to do just that, but the results are not what were expected. When using the Ar40/Ar39 radiometric dating method on a sample (deemed to have its “argon clock” set to zero) of the Novarupta dome formed in 1912, it gave dates as high as 5.5 million years old and an integrated age estimate of 2.36 million years old. Can you see the problem here? If the Ar/Ar method were reliable, then this sample would have been below the detection limit levels of Ar*. It should have given an age that couldn’t be detected because the sample was young (formed in 1912).

What we discover (and Novarupta-Katmai is not the only example) is that dates obtained from rocks of known age provide the best samples for demonstrating the method’s unreliability. What should that tell us about the results from dating rocks of ‘unknown’ age?

It should tell us that the Word of God is surer and more trustworthy than fallen, unregenerate man’s attempts to explain his origins and the age of things apart from God’s spoken and recorded directives in Scripture.

With love,

Dear ol’ Dad

Vaya con Dios mis hijas