How to lie about radiometric dating, evolution, and even nuclear physics


Revelation TV’s favourite “creation scientist” Grady McMurtry has featured heavily in the station’s holiday schedule in a series of programmes in which he claims to be able to debunk evolution. Paul Braterman’s blog provides an eloquent and expert deconstruction of the psuedoscience which is the stock in trade of creationists like Grady McMurtry.

Primate's Progress

Have you heard the one about the live snail with a carbon-14 age of 3000 years? Or the lava erupted in 1800 in Hawaii with a potassium-argon age in the millions? It’s all true, true I tell you. But does this signify a major problem with radiometric dating?

Spoiler: no.

I don’t know who first dug up these examples, but they were popularised by the creationist comic-book writer Jack Chick, in a publication called “Big Daddy”. The first page, available here if you’re lucky (the links to Chick Publications only seem to work at random), shows a well-primed creationist student arguing with a singularly ill-informed biology professor. The professor has been leading such a sheltered life that he’s never met these creationist arguments before. And he doesn’t understand anything about evolution or dating of rocks or embryology or indeed anything else. Surprise! the student wins! A skilled cartoonist, Jack Chick manages…

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