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Carbon 14 dating

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Administrator2, Mar 13, 2002.

  1. Administrator2

    Administrator2 New Member

    Jun 30, 2000
    Likes Received:
    [Administrator: This has come from another thread. As a general rule we request that posts are not comprised of a cut and paste from another site. We prefer discussion among the participants here with referencing or shorter quotes from outside sources. Thank you.]


  2. Administrator2

    Administrator2 New Member

    Jun 30, 2000
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    There are several mistakes of fact in the quoted text posted by
    Tulpje. I will take the last portion of his post first. The following
    is what Tulpje posted:
    Sdve-Svderbergh's remarks were not made at a Nobel Symposium as
    claimed above. I have studied how this particular quote has "evolved"
    on the Internet and in fact have created a web page devoted to it, as
    an example of how creationists distort quotations without bothering to
    check them out before repeating them. The web page that discusses the
    distortion and evolution of this particular quote is at the following


    At the above link, I discuss how the quote went through 3 generations
    on Creationist sites with substantial changes in each generation.

    Going on to another point in the post, the following quote appears:

    The above claim is simply false. Recent research has not raised
    serious questions about the assumptions which are the basis of radio-
    carbon dating. In fact, it has been known for many years that
    calibrations must be done to account for the fact that the amount
    of radioactive carbon has not been entirely constant with time. These
    calibrations and correction factors have been in place for several
    decades and everyone knows it. I note also that the author of this
    quote did not give a reference for his claim that "recent research"
    has raised doubts on these issues.

    The author of the quote mentions a number of other potential problems
    which must be taken into account in C-14 dating but these are well
    known to workers in the field and are easily dealt with. In other
    words the potential problems mentioned are not as formidable as
    the author implies. In fact, most of them have been effectively
    dealt with and recognized more than 40 years ago.

  3. Administrator2

    Administrator2 New Member

    Jun 30, 2000
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    Three points

    (1) No geology professor would make the claim that C-14 dated the earth
    4.5 Ga. You should take better notes.

    (2) Andrew Snelling (of Answers in Genesis) claims that a piece of
    'wood' obtained from a Triassic sandstone yielded a C-14 age that was
    much too young for it to be a Triassic deposit. In doing so, he claims
    to have invalidated the C-14 dating method and the old earth time scale.

    Intrigued, I decided to pursue this matter in a bit more detail. I
    wrote to the head of Geochron Labs Radiocarbon group (Dr. Cherkinsky)
    who responded to my inquiry with the following e-mail:
    When Snelling was asked about this he seemed puzzled that an iron
    concretion could give a radiocarbon age. This is not at all uncommon
    and a cursory look at the literature would have given Snelling something
    to think about when he noticed the iron present in the sample. The
    first is Snellings description of the 'wood' impregnated with silica and
    hematite. Hematite is an iron oxide (rust essentially). Snelling
    adamantly maintains that the sample is wood from the Hawkesbury
    Formation Indeed, carbonized wood and plant matter is reported from the
    Hawkesbury Formation, but Snelling provides no detailed description of
    possible subsequent alteration---with the exception of the 'impregnated'
    sentence above. However, this alteration is probably the key to the
    'dilemma'. It likely explains why Geochron labs identified it as an
    iron concretion with structures resembling wood. The replacement of
    wood by iron and silica would give it just that appearance. This
    alteration immediately calls into question the use of C-14 dating on the
    sample. There have been studies on iron concretions and 'dating' of
    them. For example Bird et al. (1994, The Carbon Isotope Composition of
    Organic matter occluded in iron nodules; Chem Geol, 114) states:
    Interestingly, the sample run in that study gave d13C values typical of
    organic material (as in the Snelling study) and the iron concretion also
    gave radiocarbon dates due to contamination. For example, nodules in
    the Bird et al. (1994) study gave d13C= -24 0/00. In this study (from
    a different area of Australia), the nodules gave C-14 ages between
    7470-1960 14C (before 1950). So, despite Snelling's incredulity about
    how one obtains an age from iron concretions, the answer is with some
    contamination. Therefore, although Snelling claims that cleaning would
    remove all possible contaminants, the paper by Bird et al. (1994) shows
    that this is not the case for iron concretions because they do not
    remove microbial contamination as clearly demonstrated by the study.

    Furthermore, it is this microbial contamination that is responsible for
    the 'apparent age' of the sample. Snelling admits (in his article)
    that the sample was altered (silica and iron-rich), the radiocarbon lab
    manager-- whose specialty is C-14 dating of woody material-- states that
    the sample appears to be a concretion and a study that shows quite
    clearly how such samples can give 'dates' through contamination. Thus,
    Snelling'w work does not refute C-14, but instead shows its use in
    dating microbial contamination.

    (3)The notion that C-14 dates are routinely (and uncritically) tossed
    smacks of other accusations made on this board with respect to other
    methods. Can you provide real
    evidence that C-14 dates are routinely tossed out?