More Conflicting Evidence from Evolutionary Dating Techniques

From Issue: R&R – November 2011

The discovery of carbonaceous materials in extremely old rocks (as dated by evolutionary methods) has been used as evidence that Earth’s “early” atmosphere contained organic materials (i.e., microbes) billions of years ago. However, recent research using cutting edge technology casts significant doubt on that interpretation and adds further weight to the danger inherent in the assumptions that characterize evolutionary dating techniques.

Rocks from the Nuvvuagittuq Supracrustal Belt in Quebec, Canada are considered among the Earth’s oldest (Gronstal, 2011), and yet they contain carbon-based materials which are a result of the decay of living organisms. Recently, researchers from Carnegie Institution of Washington, Boston College, and the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. discovered that the carbon-based materials in those rocks are actually younger than the rocks in which they reside, according to evolutionary dating techniques (Papineau, et al., 2011). The researchers concluded that carbon must have seeped into the rocks later in history, instead of already being in the rocks when they first formed.

This research has significant implications. First, while the creation model predicts the rapid formation of many rocks through cataclysmic events (e.g., Creation and the Flood), some of which will, and some of which will not, have carboniferous materials present at their formation, the evolutionary model predicts long periods of time with slow, gradual change leading to the formation of rocks. Thus, if there ever were a period of millions or billions of years with only microbial life in the atmosphere, there should be an immense amount of such evidence in the fossil record. Evolutionists believed they had found such evidence with these rocks in Canada. However, this latest research nullifies that theory, and adds further weight to the fact that Earth’s atmospheric conditions have never been conducive to the spontaneous formation of life or its evolution.

Second, macroevolution is false, and the Earth is relatively young. However, evolutionists believe that long ages of time would allow for the gradual evolution of simple organisms into complex organisms, and evolutionary theory is based on that assertion. This research indicates, based on the evolutionists’ own model and erroneous dating techniques, that there is much less time available for the evolution of life from single-celled entities into complex life as we know it today; since life allegedly was not already in existence at the time of the formation of these rocks.

Finally, this research indicates that once again, uniformitarianism, a central tenet of evolutionary dating techniques, is unreliable and even unscientific—it simply does not follow from the empirical evidence. One of the foundational assumptions of uniformitarian geology and dating rocks is that the parent and daughter isotopes in a rock have not been altered by anything except radioactive decay. The fluidic transport of daughter elements into an existing rock would violate that assumption and cause significant error in the dating of that rock. The potential of daughter elements being carried into rocks by fluid transport over time is high, and that potential gets higher the older a rock is. If such fluidic transport happens regularly in the geologic column—and we have every reason to believe it does—evolutionary dating techniques will regularly yield ages of rocks that are inaccurate by millions and billions of years.

Of course, another interpretation of the evidence—one which evolutionary scientists would summarily dismiss without investigation—is that evolutionary dating techniques are inaccurate and regularly contradict one another. It is possible that the formation of the rocks and the carbon materials within them happened at the same time in a cataclysmic event that caused accelerated decay rates and the rapid formation of those rocks and their subsequent appearance of age. Evolutionary dating techniques simply cannot account for such a scenario because of the unobservable assumptions inherent in those techniques. Regardless, once again, it is the Creation model that is in keeping with the scientific evidence and needs no adjustment to be in line with empirical science. The evolutionary model simply does not pass the test. [NOTE: For an in depth study of evolutionary dating techniques and their erroneous assumptions, see DeYoung, 2005.]


DeYoung, Don (2005), Thousands…Not Billions (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).

Gronstal, Aaron (2011), “New Evidence Challenges Oldest Signs of Life,” NASA: Astrobiology, May 25,

Papineau, D., et al. (2011), “Young Poorly Crystalline Graphite in the > 3.8-Gyr-Old Nuvvuagittuq Banded Iron Formation,” Nature Geoscience, 4:376-379.


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