Radiometric dating zircon crystals
The presupposition of naturalism and the assumption of uniformitarianism have been commonly combined and applied in the area of geology since the time of James Hutton.In 1795 Hutton wrote a book in which he said, “The past history of our globe must be explained by what can be seen to be happening now. No powers are to be employed that are not natural to the globe, no action to be admitted except those of which we know the principle”.One of these, known as the Law of Superposition, relating to sedimentary rock layers, states that lower layers are older than higher layers because the lower ones needed to be present before the higher ones could be deposited on top of them.The website of the University of California, Berkeley, says this about this law: “It should also be remembered that Steno’s law is a statement of relative time, not absolute time: two rock layers, in principle, could have formed millions of years apart or a few hours or days apart.Rather they were philosophical perspectives imposed on the interpretation of the data.One of the results of imposing this interpretative framework is that the evidence of many thick layers of rock and abundant erosion, that are so obvious in places like the Grand Canyon, have been interpreted as requiring millions of years to deposit and erode.
A consequence of this is that it forces an explanation of everything, including the origin of things, using only matter and observed natural processes—in other words, the laws of physics and chemistry.
Although Dr Payne asked during his talk how many people had a scientific or engineering background, I was unable, from the recording, to see the scope of the response but inferred that it was not universal.
Consequently, I have adopted an approach in this response that assumes that not everyone will have that background.
At the risk of making the response perhaps a bit longer than it might otherwise need to be and, perhaps, a bit more pedantic in places that it might otherwise need to be, this seemed like the most appropriate approach.
There is no intent with this approach to insult anyone’s knowledge or intelligence but simply to be thorough and comprehensive.
In an address in Adelaide, Australia, Dr Justin Payne, a lecturer within the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Adelaide, set out to ‘disprove’ objections to long-age radiometric dating including material from CMI.