Four assumptions that underlie radiometric dating methods
The presupposition of naturalism and the assumption of uniformitarianism have been commonly combined and applied in the area of geology since the time of James Hutton.
In 1795 Hutton wrote a book in which he said, “The past history of our globe must be explained by what can be seen to be happening now. No powers are to be employed that are not natural to the globe, no action to be admitted except those of which we know the principle”.
At the request of one of those who attended Dr Payne’s address, physicist Dr Jim Mason, from Canada, reviewed the video plus all the material from the meeting and prepared the following detailed response.
Here in Canada we might wake up some morning to observe a metre of snow on the ground and that, currently, the snow is falling at a rate of 1 mm/hr.Naturalism/materialism is often coupled with the assumption of uniformitarianism, that is that natural processes have always gone on at the same rate as we see them happening today.This is, in fact, one of the three assumptions Dr Payne discusses with respect to radiometric dating and the only one of the three that he regards as being applicable.Rather they were philosophical perspectives imposed on the interpretation of the data.
One of the results of imposing this interpretative framework is that the evidence of many thick layers of rock and abundant erosion, that are so obvious in places like the Grand Canyon, have been interpreted as requiring millions of years to deposit and erode.
(More about this later.) What is often overlooked is that, underlying the assumptions, there are presuppositions that can have a profound impact on the assumptions and, therefore, the analyses and conclusions, even to the extent of precluding getting the correct answer.