During 17 so-called dome-building eruptions, from 18 October 1980 to 26 October 1986, thick pasty lava oozed out of the volcanic vent like toothpaste from a tube.1 Dacite lava is too thick to flow very far, so it simply piled up around the vent, forming the mountain-like dome, which now plugs the volcanic orifice.
This challenges those who promote the faith of radioisotope dating, especially when it contradicts the clear eyewitness chronology of the Word of God.
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The lava dome at Mount St Helens is not a million years old!
At the time of the test, it was only about 10 years old. How then can we accept radiometric-dating results on rocks of unknown age?
It is clear that radioisotope dating is not the ‘gold standard’ of dating methods, or ‘proof’ for millions of years of Earth history.
When the method is tested on rocks of known age, it fails miserably.It is based on the fact that potassium-40 (an isotope or ‘variety’ of the element potassium) spontaneously ‘decays’ into argon-40 (an isotope of the element argon).2 This process proceeds very slowly at a known rate, having a half-life for potassium-40 of 1.3 billion years.1 In other words, 1.0 g of potassium-40 would, in 1.3 billion years, theoretically decay to the point that only 0.5 g was left.Contrary to what is generally believed, it is not just a matter of measuring the amount of potassium-40 and argon-40 in a volcanic rock sample of unknown age, and calculating a date.Radioisotope dating conveys an aura of reliability both to the general public and professional scientists. In most people’s minds it is the best ‘proof’ for millions of years of Earth history. In August of 1993, with geologist Dr Steven Austin and others from the Institute for Creation Research, I climbed into the crater of Mount St Helens to view the lava dome. The lava dome at Mount St Helens provides a rare opportunity for putting radioisotope dating to the test.Actually, the present lava dome at Mount St Helens is the third dome to form since the 1980 eruption, the previous two having been blasted away by the subsequent eruptions.