Evolution Handbook

Chapter 6c:

Inaccurate Dating Methods

Why the non-historical Dating Techniques are not Reliable 


12—ASTRONOMICAL DATING—The speed of light is also used as a "dating method." The time required for light to travel to us from distant stars and galaxies is generally given in the millions of light-years. If such time spans are correct, then one would expect those light sources (the stars the light came from) to be millions of years old.

But to a great degree, these long ages of time for dating starlight are based on the redshift theory and on the Einsteinian theory of the nature of space, both of which have been seriously questioned.

(1) Redshift Theory. Several of the very serious weaknesses of the redshift theory, which requires speeding stars, immense distances, and an expanding universe, were discussed in chapter 2, Big Bang and Stellar Evolution.

More reasonable explanations of the spectral redshift, which fit astronomical facts better, would eliminate the expanding universe theory and bring the stars much closer to us.

(2) Einstein’s Theory. Albert Einstein theorized that the speed of light is the only constant (186,000 miles [299,274 km] per second) and that everything else is relative to it. Theoretical effects of that theory are little short of astounding (people that become almost infinite in length if they travel too fast, time that stops, etc.).

But there are a number of scientists who do not believe Einstein was correct. They believe in a Euclidean universe which has normal time, energy, and matter in it. The velocity of light would not then be a constant.

One important implication of the Euclidean viewpoint would be that the time required for light to travel from a star to the earth would be greatly reduced. This is highly significant.

13—PALEOMAGNETIC DATING—Because paleomagnetic dating is such a new field, and is so intricately associated with seafloor spreading and plate tectonics, which has taken the geological world by storm since the 1960s, it deserves special discussion and far too much space for this present chapter. Within the past 25 years, paleomagnetic dating has become a significant method of trying to prove long ages for earth’s history. There are serious flaws in paleomagnetic dating, one of which is that K/A (potassium-argon) dating is heavily relied on. (Due to a lack of space, the data in chapter 20, Paleomagnetism, has been almost entirely removed from this paperback; go to our website).

14—VARVE DATING—There are sedimentary clays that are known as varved deposits. These clays are banded sediments, with each band generally quite thin. The color of each band will vary from light to dark. Evolutionists arbitrarily interpret each varve as being exactly—no more and no less—equal to one year! On this basis, they count the "varves" and attempt to work out "varve chronologies."

In reality, any brief flooding discharge into a lake will cause a varve, which is a settling out of finer particles. *Thornbury, a major geology writer, discussed the problems in that theory (*W.D. Thornbury, Principles of Geomorphology, p. 404).

Pebbles, plants, insects, and dead animals have been found embedded in varves. How could a dead fish rest on the bottom of a lake for two hundred years without rotting while slowly accumulating sediments gradually covered and fossilized it? This does not occur in modern lakes, and it would not have happened anciently.

15—TREE RING DATING—The giant sequoias (Sequoia gigantea) of the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, along with the bristlecone pines of Arizona and California, are the oldest living things on earth.

Nothing can kill a mature sequoia, with the exception of man and his saws. Yet no sequoias are older than 4000 years of age. They date back to the time of the Flood, and no further.

The bristlecone pines of the White Mountains in California and nearby Arizona are said to be somewhat older. But research by Walter Lammerts, a plant scientist, has disclosed that the bristlecone pine routinely stops growth during the dry summer and when both spring and fall are rainy (which is common). It produces two rings a year. Thus, the giant redwoods (Sequoia gigantea) are with certainty the oldest living thing, not the bristlecone pine.

For more information on this, see chapter 4, Age of the Earth.

16—BURIED FOREST STRATA DATING—Buried trees are to be found in the sedimentary deposits. Some are horizontal, others diagonal, and many are vertical. This topic will be discussed in more detail in two later chapters (Fossils and Strata and Effects of the Flood). Because these vertical trees are at times found above and below one another, evolutionists assume that here is another way to prove long ages. Outstanding examples are to be found in Amethyst Mountain and Specimen Ridge in the northwestern part of Yellowstone National Park. Fifteen to eighteen successive levels of buried trees are to be found there. This could be the result of local floods occurring over a period of many centuries (although such floods never today wash over these mountains). The Genesis Flood—a worldwide inundation that covered everything would more easily explain these tree levels. As it rose, it successively laid down trees, plants, and animals, covered them over with sediment, and then repeated the operation again and again. A dead tree would rot; it would not remain vertical while long ages of strata gradually covered it!

17—PEAT DATING—Peat moss is any of a group of pale-green mosses, genus Sphagnum. They grow in swamps and are the major source of peat. Peat is made up of deposits of this decomposed plant matter found in what were once swamps. It is found in bogs and similar poorly drained areas. The residue of these mosses is sold as mulch under the names of "peat moss" or "sphagnum moss." Peat is not only used as a plant covering (mulch), but is also burned as a fuel.

Scientists have worked out the theory that peat forms at the rate of about one-fifth inch per century, or one foot in 6000 years. Thus, evolutionists use peat bogs to help support the theory that long ages were required to form peat bogs. But research evidence contradicts the theorized uniform rate of peat moss formation. Here are several examples:

"More than a century ago . . peat farmers said that the rate [of peat formation] was about 2½ inches [6.35 cm] per year. A large number of embarrassing finds soon supported the experience of the peat farmers:

"Elephant bones found under a few inches or feet of peat in America are still dated in terms of many thousands of years. In some places in Scotland old Roman roads were covered with peat to a depth of eight feet [24.38 dm], but one could hardly argue for an age of 48,000 years for such work by human beings.

"Other finds included datable metal objects found at great depths in peat. In Abbeville, France, a boat loaded with Roman bricks was found in the lowest tier of peat. In the Somme Valley, beech stumps up to four feet in height were found covered by peat before they had decayed."—Erich A. von Fange, "Time Upside Down," in Creation Research Society Quarterly, June 1974, p. 17.

18—REEF DATING—During his five-year voyage on the Beagle (1831-1836), *Charles Darwin first learned about coral reefs. Sailors and explorers were well-acquainted with them, but no one knew how they got there. *Darwin developed a theory that coral reefs gradually grew higher as the oceans filled over millions of years; and later, in 1842, he wrote a book about it.

Coral, which makes the reefs, only lives within a couple hundred feet of sea level; yet remains of coral are to be found deep in the ocean. Therefore, at some past time the oceans rose. According to *Darwin’s uniformitarian theory, oceans have risen at a slow, steady rate for millions of years.

What actually happened was a filling of the oceans, during the Flood as the rains fell, and shortly afterward as mountain building took place. The up-raised continents flooded the ocean basins with yet more water. (See chapter 14, Effects of the Flood for more on this.)

19—THERMOLUMINESCENCE DATING—A little-known method of dating is thermoluminescence dating, but it is one that has also failed to meet expectations. Speaking of Ban Chiang pottery dating from southeastern Asia, we are told:

"The Ban Chiang painted pottery, thought on the basis of thermoluminescence dates to be more than 6000 years old, is now found by radiocarbon dating to be no older than the first millennium B.C."—Quoted in News Notes, Creation Research Society Quarterly, June 1977, p. 70.

20—STALACTITE FORMATION—In almost every country there are limestone caverns. Water running through limestone dissolves some of the mineral. As it prepares to drip from cracks in the ceiling, some of the water evaporates and leaves a mineral deposit. The result is dripstone. As it grows longer, it becomes stalactites. Dripping onto the ground, more formations are built up, called stalagmites. (Memory device: "c" comes before "g," and stalactites come before and result in stalagmites; therefore stalactites are on top, stalagmites are on the floor.)

Stalactites are the long conical formations that hang down from the ceiling of caves. They are often cited as a proof of the earth’s great age. But that is not correct, There is evidence that stalactites can form fairly rapidly. Dr. Ken Ham tells of a cave in Queensland, Australia that, because it is a comparatively dry cave with little moisture, ought to have an especially slow stalactite growth. It is known that, in the 1890s as a means of recreation, men destroyed the stalactites within that cave with shotgun blasts. By the 1980s, the stalactites had already made six inches [15.24 cm] of new growth.

A London subway tunnel that has not been used since 1945, when it was an air-raid shelter, was opened again 33 years later in 1978. In his book, In the Minds of Men (p. 336), Ian Taylor shows a picture of the 24-inch [61 cm] stalactites that had developed in that brief space of time.

Over a dozen other examples of lengthy stalactites that developed within a matter of a decade or less could have been described. But the above illustrations should suffice. Neither stalactites nor stalagmites are evidence that the earth is millions of years old, and the standard scientific measurement applied to them (one inch [2.54 cm] equals a thousand years) is totally inaccurate.

SUMMARY—In this chapter, we have learned that the various methods used to date materials, supposedly older than a few thousand years, are notoriously unreliable. This fact should be kept in mind.


The 6-inch Craseonycteris thonglongyal bat weighs only 0.06 ounce. Yet it has all the multiplied thousands of specialized organs that every mammal has. How can this be? Evolution could not produce it.

The blackpoll warbler weighs only three-quarters of an ounce; yet twice each year it flies 2,400 miles [3862 km] non-stop for 4 days and nights. These little birds spend the summer in Alaska and then, in the fall, on one day they all know to begin flying eastward. Arriving in New England, they head out over the ocean for a non-stop journey. Climbing high in the air, and quickly becoming separated from one another, they climb higher and higher in the sky. Although they want to go to South America, they begin by heading toward Africa. Climbing to 20,000 feet [6096 m] in the sky, they head off. How can each bird keep warm at such a high altitude? There is very little oxygen for it to breath, and it is so much harder to fly when its tiny wings must beat against that thin atmosphere. Yet and on it goes, with nothing to guide it but a trackless ocean below and sun, stars, and frequently overcast sky overhead. At a certain point, the little bird encounters a wind which does not blow at a lower altitude. It is blowing toward South America. Immediately, the little bird turns and goes in that direction. It had no maps, and no one ever instructed it as to the direction it should take. Well, you say, it may have taken the trip before. No, this might be one of this year’s new crop of birds which hatched only a few months before in Alaska. And its parents never told it what it was to do. Now, alone, separated from all the other birds, it keeps flying. It cannot stop to rest, eat, or drink. It dares not land on the water; for it will drown. The following spring, the little bird will once again fly to Alaska.

Many other examples could be cited. One is a bronze bird in New Zealand which abandons its young and flies off. In March, when strong enough to fly, they follow after, taking the same route: first 1250 miles over open sea to northern Australia; then to Papua, New Guinea; then the grueling distance to the Bismarck Archipelago—a migration of 4000 miles from New Zealand where they hatched not long before.

Specialized features enable the bat to fly, yet all those features had to be placed there together in the beginning. Its pelvic girdle is rotated 180o to that of other mammals. That means it is backwards to yours and mine. The knees bend opposite to ours also. This ideal for bats, but an impossible stuation for evolutionary theory to explain. The pelvis, legs, knees, and feet of a bat are structured so that they can sleep, while hanging upside down at night from rocks and trees.

Young bats have special infantile teeth with inside tooth hooks on them. These allow the immature bats to hold into the thick hair on their mother’s shoulders. without those juvenile teeth, few bats would survive to adulthood. It would be equally hazardous to the bat race if the babies lacked the awareness to grip the fur with their teeth.

The radar abilities of bats surpasses man’s copy of it. In a darkened room with fine wires strung across it, bats fly about and never touch them. This is called "echolocation," but the bat was never taught the word.

A true bird, the oilbird, also uses radar to fly in and out of caves. So do porpoises and whales, but theirs is called "sonar" instead of "radar."




1 - What is the oldest species of tree in the world?

2 - Why are evolutionists so afraid to tell the public that their theories and dating techniques do not agree with scientific facts?

3 - There are five factors that render inaccurate the results of uranium or thorium dating. List three of them.

4 - List three of the four reasons why a worldwide Flood would have ruined the clocks in radiodating results.

5 - Why are evolutionists so concerned to try to make radiodating conclusions agree with the 19th-century theoretical dates applied to sedimentary strata?

6 - List five of the thirteen radiocarbon assumptions which you consider to be the most flawed, and most likely to produce inaccurate carbon-14 test results.

7 - How can we know that a dating technique is accurate if there is no way to verify a particular date?

8 - Why should anyone think that a radiodating method has any possible accuracy, when all its dates are wildly different from one another, and with every other dating technique—even on the same tested substance?

9 - Is a scientific method "scientific" which cannot be verified by other data or duplicated by alternate tests?

10 - Summarize five of the most significant of the seventeen major problems in radiocarbon dating.

11 - Twelve methods for figuring out the date of ancient materials are listed near the beginning of this chapter. Write a brief report on one of them, and why it does not accurately date.

12- List three of the reasons why racemic amino acid dating is so inaccurate.

13 - Why is the evolutionary varve theory not true?

14 - In view of the facts given in this chapter, which of the twenty dating methods discussed in this chapter can be reliably used?

15 - Why is it that ancient records of total solar eclipses are the most accurate way of dating ancient events?