And why did it date granite samples at about 6000 years old? In our article Age of the earth: 101 evidences for a young age of the earth and the universe we include the RATE results as one of those evidences (Items 59, 60, and 61).
To me, given that this date agrees with Scripture (and for other reasons), it would seem that this dating method is valid and does give true dates. The introduction to that article entitled "Can science prove the age of the earth?
A serious problem here is that all 140 crystals from the same rock unit gave statistically valid information about that rock unit.
No statistician could ever condone a method which selected one value and discarded all the other 139. They found what might have been the world’s oldest rock crystals, but unfortunately they were too old!
There has been considerable controversy over the RATE results and the underlying assumptions have been questioned.
Various RATE scientists have responded and defended the RATE work (see e.g.
When talking about this I don't say such and such an evidence proves the earth is young. "..only response that came from the chief of the division responsible for isotope dating at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization was the question, ‘Do you have a better dating method?
’ / I said ‘No’, and he appeared to be satisfied that if there are no better methods of dating, then these are good enough." Yup, and NASA launches satellites into space using a water pistol. comment, as I recall (it's a 76 page document that I couldn't memorize), RATE did do some diffusion rate testing using zircon, helium, and heated pressure/vacuum chambers, so they actually have some measures of what the real diffusion rate is.
And if we assume that, why was helium diffusion dating performed by the RATE team? As I previously said, I agree that the RATE work provides strong evidence that the earth is young.
Second, it is impossible to tell, from the isotope information alone, when the dates are right and when they are wrong.
When I presented this and similar criticisms of isotope dating to a gathering of the Lucas Heights Scientific Society (Sydney, Australia) in 1989, the only response that came from the chief of the division responsible for isotope dating at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization was the question, ‘Do you have a better dating method?
magazine has been continuously published since 1978, we are publishing some of the articles from the archives for historical interest, such as this.
For teaching and sharing purposes, readers are advised to supplement these historic articles with more up-to-date ones suggested in the Related Articles and Further Reading below. One crystal showed a U/U date of 4.3 billion years, and the authors therefore claimed it to be the oldest rock crystal yet discovered.