The fatal flaw with radioactive dating methods
Most scientists today believe that life has existed on the earth for billions of years.
This belief in long ages for the earth and the existence of life is derived largely from radiometric dating.
Such a large variety of igneous rocks exists that it is logical to assume an equally large variety of magmas must also exist.
However, geologists have found that various eruptive stages of the same volcano often extrude lavas exhibiting somewhat different mineral compositions, particularly if an extensive period of time separated the eruptions.
Such processes can cause the daughter product to be enriched relative to the parent, which would make the rock look older, or cause the parent to be enriched relative to the daughter, which would make the rock look younger.
This calls the whole radiometric dating scheme into serious question.
But at the same time, it will be enriched in the elements contained in the later forming minerals, namely sodium and potassium.
55-57, (1987), gives us an idea of the tremendous complexity of the processes that occur when magma solidifies.To me it has been a real eye opener to see all the processes that are taking place and their potential influence on radiometric dating.Radiometric dating is largely done on rock that has formed from solidified lava.Evidence of this type led them to look into the possibility that a single magma might produce rocks of varying mineral content. Bowen discovered that as magma cools in the laboratory, certain minerals crystallize first.
A pioneering investigation into the crystallization of magma was carried out by N. At successively lower temperature, other minerals begin to crystallize as shown in Figure 3.6.Lava erupting earlier would come from the top of the magma chamber, and lava erupting later would come from lower down.