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We have known for half a century that excess argon may be trapped in lava flows (especially underwater flows under high pressure), so much research in geochronology is devoted to improving the models.Today, more sensitive instrumentation and the aid of computer models allow geochronologists to identify 'excess' argon and calculate ages with far more precision than even a decade ago.Why did the fossilized wood give an age of 45,000 years, and how is this possible if the lava flow solidified millions of years ago? Snelling submitted two samples of wood to two independent laboratories for radiocarbon dating by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS).He argues that since the lab obtained 'finite ages' from organic-derived carbon, the fossilized wood cannot possible be tens of millions of years old.Despite their attempts to confirm this through scientific investigation, however, the claim remains ad hoc and unsubstantiated.
It is important to distinguish between "radiocarbon years" and "calendar years", because we know that the relative concentration of 14C does indeed change over time.Second, neither set of dates overlaps within uncertainty, as the sample age differs substantially from one lab to the other.Ages for the "other wood" samples differ by more than 8,000 years, meaning that Geochron measured more than twice the concentration of 14C in the same sample, compared to ANSTO's analysis.Their reasoning was simple and seemingly innocent: if indeed the Earth is old, then fossilized wood from an ancient lava flow should contain no radioactive carbon (14C) today and will not yield a finite age; if the Earth is young as we claim, however, then detectable 14C should be present in the fossilized wood and the K-Ar age of the basalt cannot be taken seriously. Andrew Snelling of Answers in Genesis is available for download from the Institute for Creation Research [Snelling, 2000. For example, 'model' K-Ar ages assume that all argon was expelled from the sample before molten rock cooled, starting the radiometric clock.If any argon was trapped in the mineral structure, however, then the rock will appear far older than it actually is.