Carbon dating and creationism

Radiometric Dating and Creation Science

carbon dating and creationism

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. If you are talking to a creationist, you need to address the lies told by the anti- science propagandists. Here's how. Yeah, carbon dating doesn't always work. For some reason, which I have not yet figured out, at least one person per week has been asking me about the Carbon Radiometric Dating Technique.

The word radiometric as used in this article refers to the supposed use of the decay of radioactive chemical isotopes to supposedly measure the amount of time that has elapsed since an event occurred or a creature lived. Radiometric Dating Technologies are presented to the public by evolutionists as utterly reliable clocks for dating earth rocks or biological materials. There are more than 80 such technologies that are claimed to work.

Creation Worldview Ministries: Carbon Dating Technique Does Not Work!

Carbon is the best known of all these methods. Prior to looking at the many flaws in the Carbon Dating Technique, it should be noted that no radiometric technique is reliable. They all start with similar flaws, but Carbon has more than the rest. Many different processes of change may be used as clocks to measure time, but for such a clock or timer to be reliable it must meet the following six criteria.

Answers to Creationist Attacks on Carbon-14 Dating

The time units must be meaningful and readable. The timer must be sensitive enough to measure the interval in question. We must know when the timer was started. We must not only know when the timer was started, but what the reading on the timer was when it started. 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.

  • Radiometric Dating and Creation Science

Carbon is a radioactive isotope of Carbon. As they say on Star Trek, we are all carbon based units.

carbon dating and creationism

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. 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 ofyears. 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. 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 andcaused 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 thanyears old and perfectly in accord with it being only 6, years old. Carbon decays to a zero amount insupposed 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. Regardless of whether the method works or not, there is going to be a range of dates and not a specific date. Thus, the older a sample is the wider the uncertainty of the date. For dates that supposedly go back to ancient Egypt, these ranges might reach plus or minus years for a period supposedly only 3, years ago.

We have written records that are better than that. Different statistical models are used by different researchers. Using different statistical models for interpretation of the same data will produce different results. Just as different researchers use different calibration choices, they also use different statistical models.

These choices serve to further complicate the various dating methods.

carbon dating and creationism

This is common practice. All people start from their preconceived biases and prejustices. The fact is that for evolutionists science is no longer a search for truth; it is a search for the next grant. As stone and wood are being re-used from previous buildings to construct new buildings, the carbon in the wood will be elevated in the strata. This will cause a false Carbon date to be assigned to the higher strata.

This process might occur more than once for a specific piece of wood.

carbon dating and creationism

If wood from an old barn is used as an architectural decoration in another building; it might then be moved again to a third structure. 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.

How does carbon dating work? 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. 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? 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 - page 24 - the air. 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.

carbon dating and creationism

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. 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? 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.

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.

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. 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 - page 25 - as far back as ten thousand years ago, we find the atmosphere would not have had any C in it at all. 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.

carbon dating and creationism

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.

Radiometric Dating is Flawed!! Really?? How Old IS the Earth?

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 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. 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.