How accurate is Carbon 14 dating?

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by john6:63, May 7, 2003.

  1. john6:63

    john6:63
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Messages:
    886
    Likes Received:
    0
    A geologist buddy of mine said while in college they Carbon dated a apple that was millions of years old.

    Every living thing takes in and expels Carbon 14 while it is alive. When the organism dies, the infusion is suspended and the level is reduced according to the decay, known as half-life. The amount of carbon 14 in the organism is measured or calculated and then compared to the presumed static level the organism maintain while alive; this comparison then tells us the relative age of the organism.

    The problem is that this age is based upon an assumption that an organism that lived thousands of years previous, of which there are no modern species to compare or develop a specific level of Carbon 14 from an environment we know nothing about. With this being said the problem is that to assume a level of Carbon 14 in an organism requires a precise determination of environment levels of the same. To presume a certain level of Carbon 14 in an organism is to know the amount of Carbon 14 in the air and environment. Scientists conducting this Carbon 14 dating assume that the amount in the environment hasn’t changed, but science has stated that the earth has undergone massive changes in the earth, ice ages…etc, but then again according to scientists the environment never changes.

    Well which is right? Science is confusing huh? No wonder evolution science taught in school can confuse a kid into thinking we evolved. Man ‘ol man.
     
  2. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/Ed.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2002
    Messages:
    15,715
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'll be around shortly to comment.
    Right now i need to get out my Chick Comic
    collection and research the matter [​IMG]
     
  3. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
  4. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/Ed.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2002
    Messages:
    15,715
    Likes Received:
    0
    Helen: "Although I am a YEC, I think you have misunderstood a few things, John6:63 -- "

    Thank you, Sister Helen.
    Back in 1989 I read an intersting proof
    from a Rabbi that proved from the Torah
    that the universe was in access of
    15 Billion years old. Well back then
    some scientists only thought the universe
    was 9 Billion years old. But now they
    teach it is more like 12 Billion years
    old. It may be that someday the
    "some sientists" will teach that the
    universe is 15 Billion years old, just
    like the Rabbi got from the Torah
    (much like our Old Testament).

    Of course, i didn't save the argument :(

    The Jews do date their calendar from
    the creation of Adam by G-d. The
    Jewish year 5763 started in Sept 2002
    on our calendar. So God created Adam
    some 5763 years ago. I believe this
    to be true.

    \o/ Praise Jesus \o/
     
  5. john6:63

    john6:63
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Messages:
    886
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks comments Helen and Edifier.
     
  6. The Galatian

    The Galatian
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    9,687
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here's an article on one way to calibrate C14 processes on an absolute scale.

    http://www.accuracyingenesis.com/varves.html

    It should be noted that there are many ways to get erroneous readings for C14. Clam shells, for example, get most of the carbon in their shells from geological sources, and thus would give a very ancient date. Only material which derived its carbon from atmospheric sources, or organisms that had done so recently would be accurately datable.
     
  7. Peter101

    Peter101
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Messages:
    518
    Likes Received:
    0
    &gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;To presume a certain level of Carbon 14 in
    an organism is to know the amount of Carbon 14 in the air and environment.
    Scientists conducting this Carbon 14 dating assume that the amount in the
    environment hasn’t changed, ....&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;


    No, the above is not correct. It was true 40 years ago, that the assumption was made that the amount of C-14 in the environment was constant.....and to a rough approximation that is true. but the present methods of C-14 correct for the fact that the amount in the environment has not been precisely the same over time. The first link that Helen gives contains good information. The second link to her own web site, references bad information from Trevor Major who makes the same mistake as shown above.
     
  8. john6:63

    john6:63
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Messages:
    886
    Likes Received:
    0
    Science says that the environment has changed…hence we hear of massive changes in the earth, ice ages, catastrophic events that killed the dinosaurs, etc., but the environment never changed according to the same scientists.

    So who’s telling the truth? I find it amazing how some can’t see the ‘circular reasoning” within science. Someone is lying.
    :confused:
     
  9. Meatros

    Meatros
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2003
    Messages:
    414
    Likes Received:
    0
    Which scientists say this?
     
  10. The Galatian

    The Galatian
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    9,687
    Likes Received:
    0
    Environments are always changing somewhere. The small number of "living fossils" are evidence that unchanging environments are rather uncommon, over millions of years.

    What scientists say environments are unchanging?
     
  11. john6:63

    john6:63
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Messages:
    886
    Likes Received:
    0
    The same scientist who developed Carbon 14 dating. :eek:

    Please re-read and comprehend my above post I started out with. (as stated from above) “To presume a certain level of Carbon 14 in an organism is to know the amount of Carbon 14 in the air and environment. Scientists conducting this Carbon 14 dating assume that the amount in the environment hasn’t changed, but science has stated that the earth has undergone massive changes in the earth, ice ages…etc, but then again according to scientists the environment never changes.”

    As was stated the same scientist that clamed that in order to properly date a fossil using the Carbon 14 process they had to assume the amount of Carbon in the environment “hasn’t” changed, BUT those same scientist say that the environment “HAS” changed due to ice age, dinosaurs extinction…etc…etc.. which IS TRUE. This affects the Carbon in the environment. Therefore Carbon 14 dating discredited their “old world” assumption.

    The replies have stated that the process of carbon 14 dating has now changed. And why not, we cant have science contradicting itself now can we?

    It’s amazing how I have to defend our religion on a Baptist message board!
     
  12. UTEOTW

    UTEOTW
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2002
    Messages:
    4,087
    Likes Received:
    0
    There have have replies that explain this. At one time the amount of C14 in the atmosphere was assumed to be constant, which was not a bad assumption. But to make it more accurate, the level is now calibrated using items of known age to give the exact level of C14 at a given time. Using the calibration, we know the level of C14 and do not have to make assumptions. How is it calibrated? One example. Take very old trees. The rings give you the age of the tree. By dating each ring you can calibrate the C14 level at that time. If you had followed Helen's secong link, I assume you would have been given some of the problems with this. The problems, simply, are along the lines of how do you know you are counting every ring and how do you know that the rings are always annual. But think of it this way... Using the tree rings, for example, you can go back at least a few thousand years. What difference does it make if you are off 50 or 100 years out of a few thousand years counting rings? You can still show that the C14 level has been rather constant in that time period. I, personally, am not aware of methods to calibrate earlier than that. But, C14 is produced in the atmosphere by the action of cosmic rays. So one method you could try to use to discredit C14 dating would be if you could show evidence that there have been large variations in the long term rate of cosmic rays hitting the atmosphere in the past but not in the time since we have calibration methods.
     
  13. UTEOTW

    UTEOTW
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2002
    Messages:
    4,087
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not fixing contradictions, just making it more accurate.

    Is it a contradiction that a modern atomic clock reads a difference in time than an old watch that you suddenly finds reads, say, two minutes slow every few days? No. And it is not a contradiction to improve the accuracy of a measurement. Unless you can show that the corrections made significant enough changes in the measurement to render the previous measurements useless and conclusions drawn from them incorrect.
     
  14. john6:63

    john6:63
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Messages:
    886
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is there a logical explanation why a geologist friend of mine carbon dated a fresh apple from a local supermarket during college and found it to be millions of years old?

    Man, that science project was all goofed up….huh? Somebody misinterpreted some data somewhere. :(

    But science is starting to make sense. Scientists prove other scientists wrong quite often….so their “theory” is supported until another scientists proves him to be wrong. I’m starting to get the hang of this science stuff now. [​IMG]
     
  15. UTEOTW

    UTEOTW
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2002
    Messages:
    4,087
    Likes Received:
    0
    As it has already been pointed out to you, including by people on your side, no one credible would say such a thing because C14 dating is only good to about 50,000 years. You could not get a date even in the hundreds of thousands of years, much less millions of years, from carbon dating. The statement has absolutely no meaning. This story has holes.

    You do not seem to have a very good impression of science. May I ask specifically why?
     
  16. UTEOTW

    UTEOTW
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2002
    Messages:
    4,087
    Likes Received:
    0
    john6:63

    Just some friendly advice. Throwing around personal insults, charges of lying and a bad attitude are not very convincing and do not give a good first impression.
     
  17. john6:63

    john6:63
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Messages:
    886
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's why. They're to wishy washy with their theories.
     
  18. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd hardly call that wishy washy. If science wasn't willing to change their views based on new evidence, we'd still be bloodletting, living with a flat earth, and believing that the earth is the center of the universe.
     
  19. Peter101

    Peter101
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Messages:
    518
    Likes Received:
    0
    &gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;Is there a logical explanation why a geologist friend of mine carbon dated a fresh apple from a local supermarket during college and found it to be millions of years old?

    Man, that science project was all goofed up….huh? Somebody misinterpreted some data somewhere.&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;

    Yes, there is a logical explanation. The way you describe it, the "dating" was done by a college student with little or no experience in radiocarbon dating. He and you underestimate the very substantial knowledge and experience that is necessary to perform this dating method. Not only is a great deal of experience required, but a substantial investment in equipment is also required. Radiocarbon dating is not done in college laboratories but in specialized laboratories set up at great expense just for that purpose. There are many, many pitfalls in store for anyone who tries it on a low budget and without the proper training. I suspect that something like that happened in the case you relate. It is beyond the skill of even a bright college student, unless they are willing to devote months to setting up a laboratory and unless they have a substantial budget. It cannot be done on the fly. So the problem is a basic lack of understanding on your part, rather than some problem with the science.
     
  20. Peter101

    Peter101
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Messages:
    518
    Likes Received:
    0
    &gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;As was stated the same scientist that clamed that in order to properly date a fossil using the Carbon 14 process they had to assume the amount of Carbon in the environment “hasn’t” changed, BUT those same scientist say that the environment “HAS” changed due to ice age, dinosaurs extinction…etc…etc.. which IS TRUE. This affects the Carbon in the environment. Therefore Carbon 14 dating discredited their “old world” assumption.&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;

    Again the problem is with your lack of understanding of what you read, rather than a problem with the science. When you say the environment has changed or has not changed, that is a very broad statement that has so little detail it is useless. When some details are provided, the problem vanishes. Many environmental changes would not affect the C-14 dating method at all. The most significant change which would affect the C-14 method is the cosmic ray flux, which affects the amount of C-14 produced. But the cosmic ray flux is not connected to the entire range of possible environmental changes, such as snowfall, temperature etc. So be careful about assuming that this or that environmental change will affect the C-14 dating method. That ain't necessarily true. The contradiction exists only in your own mind because you don't know enough about the method.
     

Share This Page

Loading...