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New data collected by secular researchers has confirmed what creation scientists discovered decades ago—geologists’ assumptions about radioactive decay are not always correct.
However, a recent analysis using state-of-the-art equipment found that a basic assumption underlying one of these clock systems needs to be re-evaluated.
Gregory Brennecka of Arizona State University and colleagues measured the relative amounts of Uranium 238 to Uranium 235 from several samples taken from the large Allende meteorite, named for the village in Mexico near where it landed in 1969.
With the more sensitive instrument, they detected small differences in isotope ratios from different inclusions within the same meteorite..
The differing amounts of material that were found in separate samplings of the same meteorite were unexpected.
The current standard age assigned to the solar system of 4.6 billion years was determined by studying the Uranium-to-Lead decay systems in meteorites, which are assumed to have formed before the planets did.
This age was based on the belief that the rate of decay has been constant, and that Uranium 238 will be present in a known ratio to Uranium 235.
The varying quantities of these isotopes call into question the calculated age of the solar system, since “one of the equation’s assumptions — that certain kinds of uranium always appear in the same relative quantities in meteorites — is wrong.” CAIs are “calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions” found in the meteorite.
Though the measurements of these elements are very precise, the assumptions upon which their usefulness as a clock rests are questionable at best.
In a article on Brennecka’s findings, Gerald Wasserburg, emeritus professor of geology at Caltech, commented, “Everybody was sitting on this two-legged stool claiming it was very stable, but it turns out it’s not.” To be fair, however, it wasn’t “everybody” who claimed this.
For years, creation researchers have published ample data to refute the assumed reliability of nuclear decay clocks in general, as well as specifically for Lead.
For example, in 1979, John Woodmorappe catalogued scores of discordant dates “determined” by isotope decay systems, all published in secular literature.