Helens provides a rare opportunity for putting radioisotope dating to the test.The dome (Figure 1) sits like a small mountain (roughly 3/4 mile in length and 1000 feet high) directly over the volcanic vent, which is at the south end of the huge horseshoe-shaped crater blasted out of the mountain by the May 18, 1980 eruption.A Summary of the Million Dollar RATE Research Project (Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth) Introduction: Rocks and fossils do not come with dates on them.In fact, the very concept of strata representing long ages does not come from the rock strata themselves.
Dacite lava is too thick to flow very far, so it simply piled up around the vent forming the mountain-like dome, which now sits as a plug over the volcanic orifice.
Because radiometric dating utterly refutes their biblical interpretations, young-Earth creationists (YECs) are desperate to undermine the reality of these methods. Steve Austin and his associates at the Institute for Creation 'Research' (ICR) collected a dacite sample from Mt. Helens, Washington State, USA, which probably erupted in 1986 AD. then ineffectively separated the sample into several mineral and glass 'fractions', submitted the dacite and its 'fractions' for potassium 40-argon 40 (K-Ar) dating, and subsequently used the bogus results to inappropriately attack the K-Ar method.
Austin's conclusions on this project are summarized at the ICR website.
Considering that the half-life of potassium-40 (40K) is fairly long (1,250 million years, Mc Dougall and Harrison, 1999, p.
9), the K-Ar method cannot be used to date samples that are much younger than 6,000 years old (Dalrymple, 1991, p. A few thousand years are not enough time for 40Ar to accumulate in a sample at high enough concentrations to be detected and quantified.