Inaccurate Age Results from Zircon Dating

Many of those who believe in an ancient earth like to point to zircons as if they were conclusive proof of their views. Zircon dating is often trotted out by owlhoots who want to play the "Gotcha!" game, not realizing that zircon crystals have their own problems, such as the presence of carbon. Now some secular scientists are raising serious questions.

Zircon dating is frequently used by people who want to give evidence that the earth is very old.
Zircon in Jack Hills, Australia's Narre Gneiss Terrane
Image credit: NASA / GSFC / METI/ERSDAC / JAROS, and U.S. / Japan ASTER Science Team
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Detrital zircons contain traces of uranium and lead. Researches took some from a pile at the base of a slope and the results were surprising. In fact, the researchers are showing that assumptions (which always occur in radiometric dating) may be not only biased, but biases may appear that other scientists are unaware of. Kind of hard to get reliable indications of an old earth when the dating methods are fundamentally flawed.
Zircons are a gold standard for dating. They can yield ages that are statistically significant, but geologically meaningless.

How confident are geologists in the ages of formations they study? The story often told is that radiometric dating produces dates that are super-reliable, because lab rates of radioactive decay don’t lie. The part of the story not told, though, is that many sources of bias can creep in. What constitutes a good sample? How many samples must be collected to converge on a reliable date? How far and wide should samples be collected? What should the geologist do with anomalous samples? Does statistical convergence necessarily translate into geological convergence? Can ‘reliable’ statistical dates be way off?
To read the rest, click on "Detrital Zircons Can Give False Geological Ages".