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The divine comedy
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For over a hundred years, evolutionists have insisted that the earth is billions of years old, and have arrogantly dismissed any views contrary to this belief. However, the team of seven creation scientists have discovered incredible physical evidence that supports what the Bible says about the young age of the earth.
—RATE website[1]

Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth (RATE) was a project by creation pseudoscientists from the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) to study radiometric dating as applied to the age of the Earth. The results of the RATE team supposedly bring into question the accuracy of radiometric dating, attempt to show a young Earth, and support the reliability of the Bible.

RATE included John Baumgardner, Andrew A. Snelling, and Russell Humphreys, all of which have accredited degrees in their respective fields. Their study focus included Polonium halos, dating of Grand Canyon rocks, potassium-argon and argon-argon dating, helium diffusion in zircons, and Carbon 14 decay.

RATE's cherry picking and shoehorning of scientific data is matched only by their blatant disregard for legitimate scientific study and the scientific method. Their work has been largely discredited by a diverse number of physicists, engineers, geologists, and religious organizations.[2][3] For example, in Helium Diffusion Rates Support Accelerated Nuclear Decay, Humphreys et. al. state:

The high helium retention levels suggested to us and many other creationists that the helium simply had not had enough time to diffuse out of the zircons, and that recent accelerated nuclear decay had produced over a billion years worth of helium within only the last few thousand years, during Creation and/or the Flood. Such acceleration would reduce the radioisotopic time scale from megayears down to months.[4]

This and many other spurious claims were thoroughly discredited by Henke [2005-2010]:

By inaccurately modeling the helium diffusion rates in the zircons, making numerous invalid assumptions and assuming some unfounded miraculous increases in radioactive decay rates, Humphreys...concluded that the zircons are only "6,000 ± 2,000 years old."[5]

Furthermore, Loechelt [2009] states:

[Humphreys] challenges his critics that the burden lies with them to disprove his accelerated nuclear decay model. This assertion is false. Since I had previously demonstrated that an explanation consistent with the established position of the scientific community is possible, an equal if not greater burden lies with Humphreys to disprove that model, which he has not yet done. A good scientist should always give fair and open-minded consideration to all competing ideas, including those that are not his own. For Humphreys to dismiss my work, which was thoroughly documented in a 37 page technical paper (Loechelt, 2008c), with only three paragraphs of unsubstantiated rhetoric in a web article (Humphreys, 2008) demonstrates his lack of serious scholarship.[6]

External links[edit]


  1. Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth (RATE) at the Institute for Creation Research.
  2. Randy Isaac, Assessing the RATE Project. asa3.org, 2007. "Any portrayal of the RATE project as confirming scientific support for a young earth, contradicts the RATE project’s own admission of unresolved problems."
  3. Creation Science Exposed: Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth. oldearth.org. "The purpose of RATE was to find ways that radiometric dating can be discredited. Although they have made numerous claims, none of them have proven to be scientifically sound."
  4. Humphreys, et.al., Helium Diffusion Rates Support Accelerated Nuclear Decay. Institute for Creation Research, 2003.
  5. Kevin R. Henke, Dr. Humphreys' Young-Earth Helium Diffusion "Dates." Numerous Fallacies Based on Bad Assumptions and Questionable Data. talkorigins.org, 2010.
  6. Gary H. Loechelt, A Response to the RATE Team Regarding Helium Diffusion in Zircon. asa3.org, March 18, 2009.