Most people are not aware of the many processes that take place in lava before it erupts and as it solidifies, processes that can have a tremendous influence on daughter to parent ratios.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.
We hope our spotlight on Corfu’s paper will stimulate thinking along those lines.Most scientists today believe that life has existed on the earth for billions of years.Radiometric dating is largely done on rock that has formed from solidified lava.Lava (properly called magma before it erupts) fills large underground chambers called magma chambers.Here I want to concentrate on another source of error, namely, processes that take place within magma chambers.
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.
The paper is technical, so detailed evaluation of the contents should be left to geophysicists.
The following quotes give a sense of the kinds of problems Corfu discussed, and their implications.
The technique has been refined over the last century, but “discordances” (mismatches) remain.
That’s because there are two “isotopically distinct yet chemically identical” decay chains, F.
How many discordant dates are simply tossed and never published because they are “obviously wrong”? How often, if ever, do labs perform true blind tests, publishing results with no prior knowledge of the expected date, letting the sample speak for itself? The apparently minor discordances Corfu identified should be re-evaluated in light of what he said about assumptions and interpretations.