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.
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 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. 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: 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. 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.
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 young , not too old. But don't trees sometimes produce more than one growth ring per year? Wouldn't that spoil the tree-ring count? 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. 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. 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? Like Cook, Barnes looks at only part of the evidence.
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It has a half life or decay rate of 5, years, and after half lives, it becomes too small to measure. We can only use radiocarbon dating to date items several thousand years old.
Answers to Creationist Attacks on Carbon-14 Dating
They found radiocarbon when none could be present if the earth were millions of years old. Rocks, minerals, and fossils cannot be dated accurately by any known scientific method, including radiometric techniques.
When we read that a fossil is millions or billions of years old, these are merely beliefs or opinions and not based on science. Another absurdity is that living snails were aged at 27, years old by radiometric dating methods. The timer must run at a uniform rate. The timer must not have been disturbed or reset. It must be one continuous event. None of the known Radiometric Dating Technologies met these six criteria. Libby at the University of Chicago in Recent, that is, for an evolutionist. Carbon is a radioactive isotope of Carbon. As they say on Star Trek, we are all carbon based units.
Then, in another 5, years, a second decay period would occur, leaving one quarter of a pound. The process would continue, halving the amount left every 5, years until, theoretically, nothing remained of the original pound. This bombardment causes a nuclear reaction to take place. The Carbon produced by this process is then converted into carbon dioxide, just as normal Carbon becomes carbon dioxide. The Carbon Dioxide is then utilized by plants during their normal metabolism.
Animals and humans who eat these plants take the Carbon into their systems just as they would Carbon Dioxide. After death, the Carbon would decay and the ratio of the two isotopes would change. Evolutionists then claim to determine the amount of time since the death of the organism by measuring the current ratio. The lower the amount of Carbon, the longer it has been since death occurred. The theoretical limit of the usefulness of Carbon dating would only be 50, years.
This would be the amount of time it would take for nine half-lives, and after that there would not be enough left to measure accurately.
Professor Timothy H. Heaton
There is no instrument on earth that can detect Carbon in a specimen that is supposedly older than 18 half-lives. This amounts to a calculated age of , years. There are, however, many false assumptions that must be made in order to derive Carbon dates and the knowledge of these false assumptions demonstrates the uselessness in this other-wise supposedly useful method. First, one must assume that the decay rate of Carbon has remained constant and not varied over the years.
Library: Radio-Carbon Dating Proves a Young Earth
This is an unwarranted assumption. There is ample evidence to prove that quite the opposite is true.
Experiments done with the radioactive isotopes of Uranium and Iron have shown that rates not only do vary, but can, in fact, be altered by changing the environment surrounding the samples. Second, there is the assumption that the formation of Carbon has been constant throughout the years. This, too, is a totally unwarranted view for two reasons. The Industrial Revolution caused a significant increase in the amount of Carbon in the atmosphere through the burning of coal.
In addition, the initiation of atomic bomb testing on July 16, , and the subsequent above ground testing between and , caused a rise in neutrons which in turn increased Carbon concentrations around the world. In a similar way, solar cosmic radiation fluctuates and would cause a fluctuation in the amount Carbon being produced at any one time. Volcanoes produce large amounts of Carbon Dioxide which do not contain initial amounts of Carbon Third, the assumption is made that the concentrations of Carbon and Carbon have remained constant in the atmosphere. Besides the aforementioned items, the amount of cosmic radiation in the past, and in particular the amount reaching the atmosphere, may have been dramatically different.
If one were to believe the Bible, the earth was surrounded by a layer of water vapor between Creation and the Flood. If this water vapor did exist in the past, then it would have effectively shielded the atmosphere from much of the cosmic radiation. This shielding would have drastically reduced the amount of Carbon produced.
In high school biology courses they often teach about the inevitable failures of closed systems by taking an aquarium and placing snails, plants and a bowl of water inside; then sealing the aquarium so that no air may get in or out. The idea is that snails produce carbon dioxide which is utilized by the plants, the plants produce oxygen which utilized by the snails.
In theory the cycle will continue indefinitely. In like manner, there is really no such thing as a closed system in nature. In nature, all systems are open regardless of what evolutionists say in protest. Even a sealed aquarium has sunlight, X-rays, Gamma Rays, ultra-violet light, etc. Thus, this assumption is false. Sixth, there are differences in the Phenotype and Genotype of plants and animals which can cause significant variation in the amount of C found in the body of a specific organism.
As no two people have exactly the same DNA, individual plants and animals vary in their physical and genetic makeup.
These variations cause individual organisms to absorb or reject Carbon at different rates. Seventh, the amount of Carbon in the atmosphere is increasing significantly at this time. A substantial body of scientific research exists to show that Carbon is not in a state of equilibrium; rather the production rate is significantly higher than the decay rate. This fact drives us to two highly significant points. First, the earth must be young, less than , years old and perfectly in accord with it being only 6, years old. Thus, while the Carbon Dating Technique is thought to have a useful upper limit reaching out to 50, years it may be seen that the method is based on many false assumptions.
Carbon decays to a zero amount in , supposed years after its production. It is incapable of yielding dates in the millions of years. Therefore, it is labeled a short term radiometric dating technique. This is not the end, but merely the start of a long list of things that demonstrate the total uselessness of the Carbon method.
What are the other considerations that must be factored into the Carbon method and which demonstrate that it is useless? Wood and stone from one structure may have been moved and reused in a later structure in a higher stratum. This was a common practice in the ancient world. As one nation conquered another nation; the stone, wood and precious metals of one culture would be acquired and used by the next. The architecture of the dome was stolen from the Christian Church of the Holy Sepulchre and marble columns were removed from previously built Byzantine churches to construct the building.
Thus the published dates often fail to show the true range of dates obtained and this obscures the failings of the Carbon method. Carbon years differ from calendar years because they are dependent on varying amounts of Carbon in the atmosphere. Tree-ring dendrochronology is used to supposedly convert Carbon to calendar years. The curves are, however, constantly being revised and different calibration curves are used which yields widely different results depending upon the choices made by the researcher.