Lisle Oct 27, Geology , Origins , Physics. We are told that scientists use a technique called radiometric dating to measure the age of rocks. We are also told that this method very reliably and consistently yields ages of millions to billions of years, thereby establishing beyond question that the earth is immensely old - a concept known as deep time. This apparently contradicts the biblical record in which we read that God created in six days, with Adam being made on the sixth day. From the listed genealogies, the creation of the universe happened about years ago. Has science therefore disproved the Bible? Is radiometric dating a reliable method for estimating the age of something?
This article will answer several of the most common creationist attacks on carbon dating, using the question-answer format that has proved so useful to lecturers and debaters. Answer: Cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere are constantly converting the isotope nitrogen N into carbon C or radiocarbon.
Living organisms are constantly incorporating this C into their bodies along with other carbon isotopes. When the organisms die, they stop incorporating new C, and the old C starts to decay back into N by emitting beta particles.
The older an organism's remains are, the less beta radiation it emits because its C is steadily dwindling at a predictable rate. So, if we measure the rate of beta decay in an organic sample, we can calculate how old the sample is. C decays with a half-life of 5, years.
Description Many people believe that carbon dating has proven the Biblical timeline is not scientifically valid. It supposedly dates some material beyond 6, years. Because the theory of evolution requires millions of years to be viable, a young earth position is in direct opposition to that theory. Radiocarbon dating can easily establish that humans have been on the earth for over twenty thousand years, at least twice as long as creationists are willing to allow. Therefore it should come as no surprise that creationists at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) have been trying desperately to discredit this method for years. Willard Libby invented the carbon dating technique in the early s. The amount of carbon 14 in the atmosphere today is about%. It is assumed there would be the same amount found in living plants or animals since the plants breath CO? and animals eat the plants.
Question: Kieth and Anderson radiocarbon-dated the shell of a living freshwater mussel and obtained an age of over two thousand years. ICR creationists claim that this discredits C dating. How do you reply? Answer: It does discredit the C dating of freshwater mussels, but that's about all. Kieth and Anderson show considerable evidence that the mussels acquired much of their carbon from the limestone of the waters they lived in and from some very old humus as well.
Carbon from these sources is very low in C because these sources are so old and have not been mixed with fresh carbon from. Thus, a freshly killed mussel has far less C than a freshly killed something else, which is why the C dating method makes freshwater mussels seem older than they really are.
When dating wood there is no such problem because wood gets its carbon straight from the air, complete with a full dose of C The creationists who quote Kieth and Anderson never tell you this, however.
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Question: A sample that is more than fifty thousand years old shouldn't have any measurable C Coal, oil, and natural gas are supposed to be millions of years old; yet creationists say that some of them contain measurable amounts of C, enough to give them C ages in the tens of thousands of years.
How do you explain this? Answer: Very simply. Radiocarbon dating doesn't work well on objects much older than twenty thousand years, because such objects have so little C left that their beta radiation is swamped out by the background radiation of cosmic rays and potassium K decay.
Does Carbon Dating Prove Millions of Years?
Younger objects can easily be dated, because they still emit plenty of beta radiation, enough to be measured after the background radiation has been subtracted out of the total beta radiation.
However, in either case, the background beta radiation has to be compensated for, and, in the older objects, the amount of C they have left is less than the margin of error in measuring background radiation. As Hurley points out:. Without rather special developmental work, it is not generally practicable to measure ages in excess of about twenty thousand years, because the radioactivity of the carbon becomes so slight that it is difficult to get an accurate measurement above background radiation.
Cosmic rays form beta radiation all the time; this is the radiation that turns N to C in the first place. K decay also forms plenty of beta radiation. Stearns, Carroll, and Clark point out that ". This radiation cannot be totally eliminated from the laboratory, so one could probably get a "radiocarbon" date of fifty thousand years from a pure carbon-free piece of tin.
However, you now know why this fact doesn't at all invalidate radiocarbon dates of objects younger than twenty thousand years and is certainly no evidence for the notion that coals and oils might be no older than fifty thousand years.
Question: Creationists such as Cook claim that cosmic radiation is now forming C in the atmosphere about one and one-third times faster than it is decaying. If we extrapolate backwards in time with the proper equations, we find that the earlier the historical period, the less C the atmosphere had. If we extrapolate. If they are right, this means all C ages greater than two or three thousand years need to be lowered drastically and that the earth can be no older than ten thousand years.
Answer: Yes, Cook is right that C is forming today faster than it's decaying. However, the amount of C has not been rising steadily as Cook maintains; instead, it has fluctuated up and down over the past ten thousand years. How do we know this? From radiocarbon dates taken from bristlecone pines.
There are two ways of dating wood from bristlecone pines: one can count rings or one can radiocarbon-date the wood. Since the tree ring counts have reliably dated some specimens of wood all the way back to BC, one can check out the C dates against the tree-ring-count dates. Admittedly, this old wood comes from trees that have been dead for hundreds of years, but you don't have to have an 8,year-old bristlecone pine tree alive today to validly determine that sort of date.
It is easy to correlate the inner rings of a younger living tree with the outer rings of an older dead tree.
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The correlation is possible because, in the Southwest region of the United States, the widths of tree rings vary from year to year with the rainfall, and trees all over the Southwest have the same pattern of variations. When experts compare the tree-ring dates with the C dates, they find that radiocarbon ages before BC are really too young-not too old as Cook maintains. For example, pieces of wood that date at about BC by tree-ring counts date at only BC by regular C dating and BC by Cook's creationist revision of C dating as we see in the article, "Dating, Relative and Absolute," in the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Evolutionists have long used the carbon, or radiocarbon, dating technique as a "hammer" to bludgeon Bible-believing Christians. A straightforward reading of the Bible describes a 6,year-old BY: JAKE HEBERT, PH.D. Why Do Scientists Trust Flawed Methods? If Carbon dating works shouldn't it verify the ages of these mummies, organs, wheat, and other items? But it doesn't. The radiometric dates usually vary wildly from the known dates. Coal seams are made of carbon-based material, namely: coal! The evolutionists usually date them at (sic) "hundreds of millions of years" old. It is retained as part of our archive on Creation magazine, but for a current summary of CMI's view on carbon dating, the reader is referred to Chapter 4, What .
So, despite creationist claims, C before three thousand years ago was decaying faster than it was being formed and C dating errs on the side of making objects from before BC look too youngnot too old.
Question: But don't trees sometimes produce more than one growth ring per year? Wouldn't that spoil the tree-ring count? Answer: If anything, the tree-ring sequence suffers far more from missing rings than from double rings. This means that the tree-ring dates would be slightly too young, not too old. Of course, some species of tree tend to produce two or more growth rings per year. But other species produce scarcely any extra rings. Most of the tree-ring sequence is based on the bristlecone pine.
This tree rarely produces even a trace of an extra ring; on the contrary, a typical bristlecone pine has up to 5 percent of its rings missing. Concerning the sequence of rings derived from the bristlecone pine, Ferguson says:. In certain species of conifers, especially those at lower elevations or in southern latitudes, one season's growth increment may be composed of two or more flushes of growth, each of which may strongly resemble an annual ring.
In the growth-ring analyses of approximately one thousand trees in the White Mountains, we have, in fact, found no more than three or four occurrences of even incipient multiple growth layers. In years of severe drought, a bristlecone pine may fail to grow a complete ring all the way around its perimeter; we may find the ring if we bore into the tree from one angle, but not from another.
Hence at least some of the missing rings can be found. Even so, the missing rings are a far more serious problem than any double rings. Other species of trees corroborate the work that Ferguson did with bristlecone pines. Before his work, the tree-ring sequence of the sequoias had been worked out back to BC.
The archaeological ring sequence had been worked out back to 59 BC. The limber pine sequence had been worked out back to 25 BC. The radiocarbon dates and tree-ring dates of these other trees agree with those Ferguson got from the bristlecone pine.
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But even if he had had no other trees with which to work except the bristlecone pines, that evidence alone would have allowed him to determine the tree-ring chronology back to BC. See Renfrew for more details.
So, creationists who complain about double rings in their attempts to disprove C dating are actually grasping at straws. If the Flood of Noah occurred around BC, as some creationists claim, then all the bristlecone pines would have to be less than five thousand years old.
This would mean that eighty-two hundred years worth of tree rings had to form in five thousand years, which would mean that one-third of all the bristlecone pine rings would have to be extra rings.
Creationists are forced into accepting such outlandish conclusions as these in order to jam the facts of nature into the time frame upon which their "scientific" creation model is based. Question: Creationist Thomas G.
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Barnes has claimed that the earth's magnetic field is decaying exponentially with a half-life of fourteen hundred years. Not only does he consider this proof that the earth can be no older than ten thousand years but he also points out that a greater magnetic strength in the past would reduce C dates.
Now if the magnetic field several thousand years ago was indeed many times stronger than it is today, there would have been less cosmic radiation entering the atmosphere back then and less C would have been produced.
Therefore, any C dates taken from objects of that time period would be too high. How do you answer him? Answer: Like Cook, Barnes looks at only part of the evidence. What he ignores is the great body of archaeological and geological data showing that the strength of the magnetic field has been fluctuating up and down for thousands of years and that it has reversed polarity many times in the geological past.
So, when Barnes extrapolates ten thousand years into the past, he concludes that the magnetic field was nineteen times stronger in BC than it is today, when, actually, it was only half as intense then as now. This means that radiocarbon ages of objects from that time period will be too young, just as we saw from the bristlecone pine evidence.
Question: But how does one know that the magnetic field has fluctuated and reversed polarity? Aren't these just excuses scientists give in order to neutralize Barnes's claims? Answer: The evidence for fluctuations and reversals of the magnetic field is quite solid.
Bucha, a Czech geophysicist, has used archaeological artifacts made of baked clay to determine the strength of the earth's magnetic field when they were manufactured.
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He found that the earth's magnetic field was 1. See Bailey, Renfrew, and Encyclopedia Britannica for details. In other words, it rose in intensity from 0. Even before the bristlecone pine calibration of C dating was worked out by Ferguson, Bucha predicted that this change in the magnetic field would make radiocarbon dates too young. Research has even identified precisely where radioisotope dating went wrong.
See the articles below for more information on the pitfalls of these dating methods. Radioactive isotopes are commonly portrayed as providing rock-solid evidence that the earth is billions of years old. Since such isotopes are thought to decay at consistent rates over time, the assumption is that simple measurements can lead to reliable ages. But new discoveries of rate fluctuations continue to challenge the reliability of radioisotope decay rates in general-and thus, the reliability of vast ages seemingly derived from radioisotope dating.
The discovery of fresh blood in a spectacular mosquito fossil strongly contradicts its own "scientific" age assignment of 46 million years.
What dating method did scientists use, and did it really generate reliable results? For about a century, radioactive decay rates have been heralded as steady and stable processes that can be reliably used to help measure how old rocks are. They helped underpin belief in vast ages and had largely gone unchallenged.
Many scientists rely on the assumption that radioactive elements decay at constant, undisturbed rates and therefore can be used as reliable clocks to measure the ages of rocks and artifacts. Most estimates of the age of the earth are founded on this assumption. However, new observations have found that those nuclear decay rates actually fluctuate based on solar activity.
And the evening and the morning were the first day. Polonium radiohalos remain "a very tiny mystery.
The field of radiocarbon dating has become a technical one far removed from the naive simplicity which characterized its initial introduction by Libby in the late 's. It is, therefore, not surprising that many misconceptions about what radiocarbon can or cannot do and what it has or has not shown are prevalent among creationists and evolutionists - lay people as well as scientists not directly involved in this field.
In the following article, some of the most common misunderstandings regarding radiocarbon dating are addressed, and corrective, up-to-date scientific creationist thought is provided where appropriate. The presence of measurable radiocarbon in fossil wood supposedly tens and hundreds of millions of years old has been well-documented. Skip to main content. Recent research surprises those who study coral reefs, especially those who assume that they grow slowly.
Which is more trustworthy: carbon dating or reliable eyewitnesses?
Mar 20, It does not "upset" data obtained by C dating it confirms C dating! Hovind goes on to show that he knows absolutely nothing about the science of Carbon Dating. He says "Although this technique looks good at first, carbon dating rests on two simple assumptions. Jan 02, Young earth creationism is the counterpart of old earth creationism (OEC), which says that the earth is about billion years old, based on the geologic timescale, carbon dating, and other common dating methods. Variations of old earth creationism include progressive creationism, the day-age theory, the gap theory, and theistic evolution. Oct 27, One of the few radiometric dating methods that gives consistently reliable results when tested on objects of known age is carbon dating. But carbon dating confirms the biblical timescale of thousands of years. It never gives age estimates of billions or even millions of years - even on things evolutionists believe to be very old like coal and diamonds. Carbon dating of dinosaur remains .
In this episode, Dr. Jim Johnson investigates What About Radioisotope Clocks? But ICR scientists have carefully examined their claims and found flaws and holes The presence of carbon C in specimens that are supposedly millions of years old is a serious problem for believers in an old earth. A straightforward reading of the Bible describes a 6,year-old We offered four reasons why radioisotope dating Russell Humphreys reported that helium diffusion from zircons in borehole GT-2 at Fenton Since such isotopes are thought to decay at consistent rates over time, the assumption Three geologists have reported what they called the first "successful" direct dating of dinosaur bone.
Will this new radioisotope dating or radiodating technique solve the problems that plagued older A trio of geologists has published what they called the first successful direct dating of dinosaur bone. They used a new laser technique to measure radioisotopes in the bone, yielding an age of millions Most estimates For a Radioactive Decay Rates Not Stable. They helped underpin belief in vast ages and