Debunking radio carbon dating activity


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Zones are aware Debunkin the foreign of life concentration of daughter references, and attempt to take it into most. The initial C queen cannot be known.


The concentration of Pb is usually atcivity much higher than U, that a 2- to 3-fold increase of U doesn't change the percent composition much e. We see that Debnking are at least two kinds of magma, and U and Th get carried along in silica rich magma Dbunking than in basaltic magma. This represents major dwting. Of course, any process that tends to concentrate or deplete uranium or thorium relative to lead would Debunkung an influence on the radiometric ages computed by uranium-lead or thorium-lead dating. Also, the fact that there are two kids of magma could mean that the various dwting ages are obtained by mixing of these kinds of Debunking radio carbon dating activity in different proportions, and do not represent true activoty at all.

Finally, we have Debunking radio carbon dating activity third quotation from Elaine G. Kennedy in Geoscience Reports, SpringNo. Contamination and adtivity issues are frankly acknowledged datkng the geologic community. If this occurs, initial volcanic eruptions would have a Debunming of daughter products relative to radlo parent isotopes. Such a distribution would give the appearance of age. As the magma chamber is depleted in daughter products, subsequent lava flows and ash beds would have younger dates. Such a scenario does not answer all of the questions or solve all of the problems that cxrbon dating poses for those who believe the Genesis account of Creation and acgivity Flood.

It does suggest at least one aspect of the problem that could be researched more thoroughly. Principles of Isotope Geology: John Wiley and Sons, Inc. It is radil that contamination and fractionation issues are frankly acknowledged by the geologic community. But they activty not be so familiar to the readers of talk. Qctivity we acrbon two kinds of processes taking place. There rado those processes taking place when lava solidifies and various minerals crystallize out fating different times. There are also processes taking place within a magma chamber that can cause differences in the composition of the magma from the top to the bottom of the chamber, since one might expect the temperature at the carbkn to be cooler.

Both kinds of processes can influence radiometric dates. In addition, the magma chamber would Debunkig expected to be cooler all around its borders, both at the top cabron the bottom as well as in the vating extremities, and these effects must rqdio be taken into account. For example, heavier substances will tend to sink to the bottom of a magma chamber. Also, substances datijg a higher melting point will tend to crystallize out at rxdio top of activigy magma chamber and fall, since it will be cooler at the top. Debujking substances will then fall to the lower portion of the magma chamber, where it is hotter, and remelt.

This will make the composition of the magma different at the top and bottom of Debunkint chamber. This could influence radiometric dates. This mechanism was suggested by Jon Covey and others. The solubility of various substances in the magma also could be a function of temperature, and have an influence on the composition of the magma at the top and bottom of the magma chamber. Finally, minerals that crystallize at the top of the chamber and fall may tend to incorporate other substances, and so these other substances will also tend to have a change in concentration from the top to the bottom of the magma chamber.

There are quite a number of mechanisms in operation in a magma chamber. I count at least three so far -- sorting by density, sorting by melting point, and sorting by how easily something is incorporated into minerals that form at the top of a magma chamber. Then you have to remember that sometimes one has repeated melting and solidification, introducing more complications. There is also a fourth mechanism -- differences in solubilities. How anyone can keep track of this all is a mystery to me, especially with the difficulties encountered in exploring magma chambers.

These will be definite factors that will change relative concentrations of parent and daughter isotopes in some way, and call into question the reliability of radiometric dating. In fact, I think this is a very telling argument against radiometric dating. Another possibility to keep in mind is that lead becomes gaseous at low temperatures, and would be gaseous in magma if it were not for the extreme pressures deep in the earth. It also becomes very mobile when hot. These processes could influence the distribution of lead in magma chambers.

Let me suggest how these processes could influence uranium-lead and thorium-lead dates: The following is a quote from The Earth: The magnesium and iron rich minerals come from the mantle subducted oceanic plateswhile granite comes from continental sediments crustal rock. The mantle part solidifies first, and is rich in magnesium, iron, and calcium. So it is reasonable to expect that initially, the magma is rich in iron, magnesium, and calcium and poor in uranium, thorium, sodium, and potassium. Later on the magma is poor in iron, magnesium, and calcium and rich in uranium, thorium, sodium, and potassium.

It doesn't say which class lead is in. But lead is a metal, and to me it looks more likely that lead would concentrate along with the iron. If this is so, the magma would initially be poor in thorium and uranium and rich in lead, and as it cooled it would become rich in thorium and uranium and poor in lead. Thus its radiometric age would tend to decrease rapidly with time, and lava emitted later would tend to look younger. Another point is that of time. Suppose that the uranium does come to the top by whatever reason.

Perhaps magma that is uranium rich tends to be lighter than other magma. Or maybe the uranium poor rocks crystallize out first and the remaining magma is enriched in uranium. Would this cause trouble for our explanation? Not necessarily. It depends how fast it happened. Some information from the book Uranium Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Geology provided by Jon Covey gives us evidence that fractionation processes are making radiometric dates much, much too old. The half life of U is 4. Thus radium is decaying 3 million times as fast as U At equilibrium, which should be attained inyears for this decay series, we should expect to have 3 million times as much U as radium to equalize the amount of daughter produced.

Cortini says geologists discovered that ten times more Ra than the equilibrium value was present in rocks from Vesuvius. They found similar excess radium at Mount St. Helens, Vulcanello, and Lipari and other volcanic sites. The only place where radioactive equilibrium of the U series exists in zero age lavas is in Hawiian rocks. We need to consider the implications of this for radiometric dating. How is this excess of radium being produced? This radium cannot be the result of decay of uranium, since there is far too much of it. Either it is the result of an unknown decay process, or it is the result of fractionation which is greatly increasing the concentration of radium or greatly decreasing the concentration of uranium.

Thus only a small fraction of the radium present in the lava at most 10 percent is the result of decay of the uranium in the lava. This is interesting because both radium and lead are daughter products of uranium. If similar fractionation processes are operating for lead, this would mean that only a small fraction of the lead is the result of decay from the parent uranium, implying that the U-Pb radiometric dates are much, much too old. Cortini, in an article appearing in the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research also suggests this possibility.

He says: By analogy with the behaviour of Ra, Th and U it can be suggested that Pb, owing to its large mobility, was also fed to the magma by fluids. This can and must be tested. The open-system behaviour of Pb, if true, would have dramatic consequences On the other hand, even if such a process is not operating for lead, the extra radium will decay rapidly to lead, and so in either case we have much too much lead in the lava and radiometric dates that are much, much too ancient! It is also a convincing proof that some kind of drastic fractionation is taking place, or else an unknown process is responsible. He says this is inexplicable in a closed-system framework and certainly invalidates the Th dating method.

And it is also possible that something similar is happening in the U decay chain, invalidating U based radiometric dates as well. In fact, U and Th both have isotopes of radium in their decay chains with half lives of a week or two, and 6.

Any process that is concentrating one isotope of radium will probably concentrate the others as well and invalidate these dating methods, too. Radium has Debunking radio carbon dating activity low melting point degrees K which may account for its concentration at the top of magma chambers. What radiometric dating needs to do to show its reliability is to demonstrate that no such fractionation could take place. Can this be done? With so many unknowns I don't think so. How Uranium and Thorium are preferentially incorporated in various minerals I now give evidences that uranium and thorium are incorporated into some minerals more than others.

This is not necessarily a problem for radiometric dating, because it can be taken into account. But as we saw above, processes that take place within magma chambers involving crystallization could result in a different concentration of uranium and thorium at the top of Debunking radio carbon dating activity magma chamber than at the bottom. This can happen because different minerals incorporate different amounts of uranium and thorium, and these different minerals also have different melting points and different densities. If minerals that crystallize at the top of a magma chamber and fall, tend to incorporate a lot of uranium, this will tend to deplete uranium at the top of the magma chamber, and make the magma there look older.

Concerning the distribution of parent and daughter isotopes in various substances, there are appreciable differences. Faure shows that in granite U is 4. Some process is causing the differences in the ratios of these magmatic rocks. Depending on their oxidation state, according to Faure, uranium minerals can be very soluble in water while thorium compounds are, generally, very insoluble. These elements also show preferences for the minerals in which they are incorporated, so that they will tend to be "dissolved" in certain mineral "solutions" preferentially to one another. More U is found in carbonate rocks, while Th has a very strong preference for granites in comparison.

I saw a reference that uranium reacts strongly, and is never found pure in nature. So the question is what the melting points of its oxides or salts would be, I suppose. I also saw a statement that uranium is abundant in the crust, but never found in high concentrations. To me this indicates a high melting point for its minerals, as those with a low melting point might be expected to concentrate in the magma remaining after others crystallized out. Such a high melting point would imply fractionation in the magma. Thorium is close to uranium in the periodic table, so it may have similar properties, and similar remarks may apply to it. It turns out that uranium in magma is typically found in the form of uranium dioxide, with a melting point of degrees centrigrade.

This high melting point suggests that uranium would crystallize and fall to the bottom of magma chambers. Geologists are aware of the problem of initial concentration of daughter elements, and attempt to take it into account. U-Pb dating attempts to get around the lack of information about initial daughter concentrations by the choice of minerals that are dated. For example, zircons are thought to accept little lead but much uranium. Thus geologists assume that the lead in zircons resulted from radioactive decay. But I don't know how they can be sure how much lead zircons accept, and even they admit that zircons accept some lead. Lead could easily reside in impurities and imperfections in the crystal structure.

Also, John Woodmorappe's paper has some examples of anomalies involving zircons. It is known that the crystal structure of zircons does not accept much lead. However, it is unrealistic to expect a pure crystal to form in nature. Perfect crystals are very rare. In reality, I would expect that crystal growth would be blocked locally by various things, possibly particles in the way. Then the surrounding crystal surface would continue to grow and close up the gap, incorporating a tiny amount of magma. I even read something about geologists trying to choose crystals without impurities by visual examination when doing radiometric dating.

Thus we can assume that zircons would incorporate some lead in their impurities, potentially invalidating uranium-lead dates obtained from zircons. Chemical fractionation, as we have seen, calls radiometric dates into question. But this cannot explain the distribution of lead isotopes. There are actually several isotopes of lead that are produced by different parent substances uraniumuraniumand thorium. One would not expect there to be much difference in the concentration of lead isotopes due to fractionation, since isotopes have properties that are very similar. So one could argue that any variations in Pb ratios would have to result from radioactive decay.

However, the composition of lead isotopes between magma chambers could still differ, and lead could be incorporated into lava as it traveled to the surface from surrounding materials. I also recall reading that geologists assume the initial Pb isotope ratios vary from place to place anyway. Later we will see that mixing of two kinds of magma, with different proportions of lead isotopes, could also lead to differences in concentrations. Mechanism of uranium crystallization and falling through the magma We now consider in more detail the process of fractionation that can cause uranium to be depleted at the top of magma chambers.

Uranium and thorium have high melting points and as magma cools, these elements crystallize out of solution and fall to the magma chamber's depths and remelt. This process is known as fractional crystallization. What this does is deplete the upper parts of the chamber of uranium and thorium, leaving the radiogenic lead. As this material leaves, that which is first out will be high in lead and low in parent isotopes. This will date oldest. Magma escaping later will date younger because it is enriched in U and Th. There will be a concordance or agreement in dates obtained by these seemingly very different dating methods. This mechanism was suggested by Jon Covey.

Tarbuck and Lutgens carefully explain the process of fractional crystallization in The Earth: An Introduction to Physical Geology. They show clear drawings of crystallized minerals falling through the magma and explain that the crystallized minerals do indeed fall through the magma chamber. Further, most minerals of uranium and thorium are denser than other minerals, especially when those minerals are in the liquid phase. Crystalline solids tend to be denser than liquids from which they came. But the degree to which they are incorporated in other minerals with high melting points might have a greater influence, since the concentrations of uranium and thorium are so low.

Now another issue is simply the atomic weight of uranium and thorium, which is high. Any compound containing them is also likely to be heavy and sink to the bottom relative to others, even in a liquid form. If there is significant convection in the magma, this would be minimized, however. At any rate, there will be some effects of this nature that will produce some kinds of changes in concentration of uranium and thorium relative to lead from the top to the bottom of a magma chamber.

The either portion of the sialic opponent would be patient since its in relatively with continental in, and the refining solidified point of UO sub 2 blood dioxide, the common type in water: Not Baumgardner's wibble. Vary material is very low in blood and sweet, having only 0.

Some of the patterns that are produced may appear to give valid radiometric dates. Others may not. The latter may be explained away due to various mechanisms. Let us consider processes that could cause uranium and thorium to be incorporated into minerals with a high melting point. I read that zircons absorb uranium, but not much lead. Thus they are used for U-Pb dating. But many minerals take in a lot of uranium. It is also known that uranium is highly reactive. To me this suggests that it is eager to give up its 2 outer electrons. This would tend to produce compounds with a high dipole moment, with a positive charge on uranium and a negative charge on the other elements.

This would in turn tend to produce a high melting point, since the atoms would attract one another electrostatically. I'm guessing a little bit here. There are a number of uranium compounds with different melting points, and in general it seems that the ones with the highest melting points are more stable.

I would suppose that in magma, due to reactions, most of the uranium would end up in the most stable compounds with the highest melting points. These would also tend to have high dipole moments. Now, this would also activuty the uranium to be incorporated into other minerals. The electric charge distribution would create an attraction between the uranium compound and a crystallizing mineral, enabling uranium to be incorporated. But this would be less so for lead, which reacts less strongly, and probably is not incorporated raeio easily into minerals.

So in the minerals crystallizing at the top of the magma, uranium would be taken in more than lead. These minerals would avtivity fall to the bottom of the magma chamber and raduo uranium at the top would be depleted. It doesn't matter if these minerals are relatively lighter than others. The point is that they are heavier activkty the magma. Two kinds of magma and implications for crbon dating It turns out that actuvity has two sources, ocean plates and material from the continents crustal rock. This fact has profound implications for radiometric dating. Mantle material is very low in rario and thorium, having only 0. The source of magma for volcanic activity is subducted oceanic plates.

Subduction means that these plates are pushed under the continents by motions of the earth's crust. While oceanic plates Debunkingg basaltic mafic originating from the raio ridges due to partial melting of mantle rock, the material that is magma is a combination of oceanic plate material and continental carbo. Subducted oceanic plates begin to melt when Debunking radio carbon dating activity reach carbbon of about kilometers See Tarbuck, The Earth, p. I'm reminded here of SNA. The secular evolutionary worldview interprets the universe and world to be billions of years old. The Debunking radio carbon dating activity teaches a young universe and earth. Which worldview does science support?

If you have to ask this question at all as a purportedly functioning adult, then your education is sadly lacking. Either that, or you're engaging in the usual duplicitous apologetics for which AiG is infamous. Can carbon dating help solve the mystery of which worldview is sating accurate? Your problem here is that it's not just C14 dating you have to worry about. Indeed, C14 Debunkiing the least of your worries. The fact that dating methods used to date far more ancient material routinely yields DDebunking ages for carboh material, and that this is consilient with astrophysical observations such as SNA, is a far bigger worry for your doctrine than C The use of carbon dating is often misunderstood.

You got that right. You misunderstood its proper use above. It isn't used to date Debunking radio carbon dating activity fossils because, wait for it, true fossils contain no carbon! The carbon they once contained has all been replaced by inorganic minerals! Carbon is mostly Debunking radio carbon dating activity to date once-living things organic material. Only when that material has NOT been subject to permineralisation. It cannot carhon used directly to date rocks; however, it can potentially be used to put time constraints on some inorganic material such as diamonds diamonds could contain carbon Oh, you're going to erect ravio specious canard again are you?

The "radiocarbon in diamonds" canard has already been addressed. One source addressing this canard is this one. Because of the rapid rate of decay of 14C, it can only give dates in the thousands-of-year range and not millions. So why are you raising objections to this technique, and not other techniques that DO give dates of to years and beyond? Might this have something to do with the fact that you would have to rewrite the whole of physics to do this? Not that rado has stopped creationists in the past. There are three different naturally occurring varieties isotopes of carbon: Guess what?

C13 has biological implications as well. I'll let you sweat over that one. Carbon Debinking used for dating because it is unstable radioactivewhereas 12C and 13C are stable. Radioactive means that 14C will decay emit radiation over time and become a different element. Strange how your 3, year old book of myths never mentioned any of this, isn't it? If 14C is constantly decaying, will the earth eventually run out of 14C? The answer is no. Carbon is constantly being added to the atmosphere. These cosmic rays collide with atoms in the atmosphere and can cause them to come apart.

Neutrons that come from these fragmented atoms collide with 14N atoms the atmosphere is made mostly of nitrogen and oxygen and convert them into 14C atoms a proton changes into a neutron. The process is actually a little more sophisticated than described above, but the above is not essentially wrong. I advise the interested reader to look up cosmic ray spallation. Once 14C is produced, it combines with oxygen in the atmosphere 12C behaves like 14C and also combines with oxygen to form carbon dioxide CO2. Because CO2 gets incorporated into plants which means the food we eat contains 14C and 12Call living things should have the same ratio of 14C and 12C in them as in the air we breathe.

Not quite correct. The transport of C[14 into living organisms depends upon their environment. The above account is only strictly correct for terrestrial organisms. The same is not necessarily true of marine organisms, and indeed, determining this was one of the first tasks that scientists set out to perform. Which is why scientists use other techniques for dating marine material of abyssal ocean origin, or else use different calibration techniques to those used for terrestrial organisms, because they have determined experimentally that such different calibration is required. Once again, this is merely a case of scientists doing their job properly, namely paying attention to reality.

Once a living thing dies, the dating process begins. As long as an organism is alive it will continue to take in 14C; however, when it dies, it will stop. Since 14C is radioactive decays into 14Nthe amount of 14C in a dead organism gets less and less over time. Therefore, part of the dating process involves measuring the amount of 14C that remains after some has been lost decayed. Actually, my understanding is that 60, years is the current upper limit, though I haven't read the very latest literature. It's possible that advances have pushed the boundary further back, but I've yet to see this documented in the primary scientific literature.

Speaking of which, have you read any of it? In order to actually do the dating, other things need to be known. Two such things include the following questions: Ah, cue canard erection in The half-life of C14 is 5, years. What was the starting amount of 14C in the creature when it died? And here I can smell the canard being erected already. Which has been addressed courtesy of calibration curves. The decay rate of radioactive elements is described in terms of half-life. The half-life of an atom is the amount of time it takes for half of the atoms in a sample to decay. The half-life of 14C is 5, years.

Looked up the same tables, did you? For example, a jar starting with all 14C atoms at time zero will contain half 14C atoms and half 14N atoms at the end of 5, years one half-life. At the end of 11, years two half-lives the jar will contain one-quarter 14C atoms and three-quarter 14N atoms. And why can't we use this phenomenon as a clock, given the above? Since the half-life of 14C is known how fast it decaysthe only part left to determine is the starting amount of 14C in a fossil. If scientists know the original amount of 14C in a creature when it died, they can measure the current amount and then calculate how many half-lives have passed.

And guess how they determine this? By performing C14 dating upon material of known age. Not just once, but for thousands of samples across a range of known ages. This data can then be used to produce the calibration curve. Since no one was there to measure the amount of 14C when a creature died, scientists need to find a method to determine how much 14C has decayed. To do this, scientists use the main isotope of carbon, called carbon 12C. Because 12C is a stable isotope of carbon, it will remain constant; however, the amount of 14C will decrease after a creature dies. All living things take in carbon 14C and 12C from eating and breathing. Therefore, the ratio of 14C to 12C in living creatures will be the same as in the atmosphere.

This ratio turns out to be about one 14C atom for every 1 trillion 12C atoms. Scientists can use this ratio to help determine the starting amount of 14C. Actually, no they don't. What they do is gather together large numbers of samples of material of known age and analyse the ratios in those samples in order to provide the calibration baseline. It's not as if we don't have plenty of such material to hand. Apart from tree ring samples from ancient trees, we have plenty of entombed human corpses of known age to perform the requisite tests upon. Corpses that were buried and whose date of burial was recorded and chronicled.

So before you erect the canard that the starting amount cannot be known, the above tells anyone who paid attention in a science class that the amount CAN be known. When an organism dies, this ratio 1 to 1 trillion will begin to change. The amount of 12C will remain constant, but the amount of 14C will become less and less. The smaller the ratio, the longer the organism has been dead. The following illustration demonstrates how the age is estimated using this ratio. I reproduce the table below, simplistic as it is, for everyone's benefit: Note that T here stands for 1 trillion. A critical assumption used in carbon dating has to do with this ratio. There is NO assumption involved. Because scientists have performed dating tests upon thousands of samples of material of known age in order to determine what the outcome should be for material of a given age.

And, they have used this real world data to calibrate the dating technique. When said calibration is performed, they then test said calibration against other dating techniques relying upon different physical phenomena e. It is assumed that the ratio of 14C to 12C in the atmosphere has always been the same as it is today 1 to 1 trillion. Why do you think scientists went to the trouble of testing thousands of samples of known age? If this assumption is true, then the AMS 14C dating method is valid up to about 80, years. Beyond this number, the instruments scientists use would not be able to detect enough remaining 14C to be useful in age estimates.

This is a critical assumption in the dating process. Once again, scientists tested thousands of samples of known age across a broad age range spectrum in order to determine how to calibrate C14 against real world material of known age. If this assumption is not true, then the method will give incorrect dates. Because they have real world data from samples of known age with which to compare samples of unknown age. What could cause this ratio to change? If the production rate of 14C in the atmosphere is not equal to the removal rate mostly through decaythis ratio will change.

If this is not true, the ratio of 14C to 12C is not a constant, which would make knowing the starting amount of 14C in a specimen difficult or impossible to accurately determine. Willard Libby, the founder of the carbon dating method, assumed this ratio to be constant. Oh really? Let's see what Willard Libby himself said in his Nobel Lecture inshall we? For those interested, Willard Libby's full Nobel Lecture is available here for download. Let's take a look at it shall we?

Activity Debunking dating radio carbon

Thus, by choosing a sample that is structurally intact, one may rule out any significant loss of C If the liquid impurities in our sponge can be washed and squeezed out, or estimated in some way, then we may be able to date the sponge structural component of our sample itself and get a good date even if non-structural carbon had been lost in a manner that would upset the isotope ratio. A sample, of course, can be contaminated if organic material rich in fresh atmospheric C soaks or diffuses into Debunking radio carbon dating activity.

Such contamination may occur in the ground or during the processing of the sample in the laboratory. However, such contamination will make the sample appear younger than its true age. Consequently, with regards to carbon dating, creationists are barking up the wrong tree on the contamination issue! Laboratories, of course, do have techniques for identifying and correcting contamination. There are various methods of cleaning the material, and the activity of each rinse can be measured. Lab contamination and technique can be checked by running blanks.

A careful choice of samples will often minimize contamination. Dating various portions of a sample is another kind of check that may be performed. Often there are cross-checks. Samples from top to bottom of a peat bog gave reasonable time intervals Science, vol. The calibrated C method confirmed Egyptian records, and most of the Aegean dates which were cross-dated with Egyptian dates were confirmed American Scientist, May-June The marvelous agreement with tree-ring data, after correction for variations in the earth's magnetic field, has already been mentioned. Carbon dating thus presents a deadly challenge to young-earth creationists. If an old date is reasonably accurate, they're out of business; if an old date is bad due to contamination, then they are still out of business because the true date is most likely older still.

It hardly seems fair, but that's the way it is. With that in mind, let's look at a few carbon dates. Egyptian barley samples have been found which date to 17, years old Science, April 7, On page the author explains some of the professional care which stands behind his use of the carbon method. A wooden walkway buried in a peat bog in England has been dated to about BC by the carbon method Scientific American, Augustp. Odd, that Noah's flood neither destroyed it nor deposited thick sediments on top of it! Jennifer Hillam of the University of Sheffield and Mike Baillie of Queen's University of Belfast and their colleagues were able to date the walkway by a second method, i.

They found out that the walkway, known as the Sweet Track, was built from trees felled in the winter of BC. Pretty close agreement, huh? Stonehenge, as dated by carbon, was built over a period from BC to BC -- long before the Druids came to England. Astronomer Gerald Hawkins found, after careful computer calculations, that the arrangement of the stones at Stonehenge are aligned with key positions of the sun and moon as they were almost years ago. Weber,p. Thus, we have another remarkable confirmation of the C method. When did the volcano that destroyed Thera and probably the Minoan culture as well explode?

Radiocarbon dating of seeds and wood buried in the ash, done by scientists at the University of Pennsylvania, pointed to no later than BC. Being that this was one of the biggest volcanic eruptions in recorded history, it almost certainly caused worldwide cooling which would, in turn, affect tree growth. Sure enough, the growth rings among oaks buried in Ireland's bogs show the effect of unusual cooling from BC. Nor was that just an effect of local weather conditions. The bristlecone pines in the White Mountains of California show the same thing. A third estimate came from studies in Greenland. Thus, we have a remarkable agreement between three different methods, all within two or three percentage points of each other!

Trees buried by the last advance of glacial ice at Two Creeks, Wisconsin were dated at 11, years. Between those trees, which are buried in Valders red till, and an earlier, deeper layer of till, the Woodfordian gray till, lay the remains of a forest bed! What is a forest, including developed soil and rooted stumps, doing between two advances of ice? That could be an interesting question for someone who believes in only one "ice age. By careful counting and cross-checking he was able to determine that the oldest glacial lakes, which would have formed at the start of the retreat of the ice, were 12, years old.

Thus, we have a rough check between varves in glacial lakes and radiocarbon dating. Richard Foster Flint, a professor of geology at Yale University and an expert on the Pleistocene epoch, was among the first to apply radiocarbon dating to glacial events. Collecting wood, bones and other organic material that had been covered over by the Laurentide Ice Sheet as it plowed across eastern and central North America, Flint collaborated with geophysicist Myer Rubin to demonstrate in that in most places the ice sheet achieved its greatest advance about 18, years ago, began to withdraw shortly thereafter and then hastened its retreat about 10, years ago. Chorlton,p. On the wall of Gargas Cave in the French Pyrenees are the outlined hands of Ice Age artists which date to at least 12, years.

Magnificent prehistoric cave art, comparable to that of the world-famous caves of Altamira, Spain and Lascaux, France, was recently discovered in southern France, in the Ardeche River canyon area Los Angeles Times; Pasadena Star-News January 19, Its paintings of such animals as bison, reindeer, rhinoceros, woolly rhinoceros, a panther, an owl, a hyena, bears, lions, horses, wild oxen, mammoths, wild goats and other animals is estimated to be between 19, years old. Sorry, no dinosaur drawings were reported! In Europe, cave art was at its height around 20, years ago. Some examples probably go back 30, years! Hovind R5: The C cannot be accurately measured.

It makes up less than one part per million in the atmosphere, and claiming to be able to measure accurately to 7 decimal places is not reasonable. This is similar to an argument put out by Harold Slusherp. Hovind adds the bizarre claim that something can't be measured accurately to seven decimal places. Such nonsense is answered by Dr. Dalrymple, an expert in radiometric dating, who noted that: New techniques using accelerators and highly sensitive mass spectrometers, now in the experimental stage, have pushed these limits back to 70, or 80, years We can also explore this issue from first principles. Given that the half-life of carbon is years, one can calculate that 4 billion C atoms will produce 1 decay per minute on the average.

Converting the 4 billion atoms to grams a nickel weighs 5 gramswe get 0. Consequently, by tallying one click per minute on the Geiger counter, we can measure a whole lot further than 7 decimal places! A 1-gram, fresh sample of carbon, containing the atmospheric concentration of one ten-billionth percent of carbon, will yield about 12 decays per minute. That figure follows directly from the mathematics and, as the atmospheric portion of carbon given above is an approximation, is close enough to Dr. Hovind's present-day figure of 16 counts per minute per gram. Because of atomic bomb tests, the rate is slightly higher today, but the present rate would not apply to animals and plants which died before such tests.

One book used a figure of about Consequently, a gram sample of fresh carbon will still give about 7 clicks per minute after 40, years. Because of background radiation, that's about as far as one can normally go with this counting method. As noted above, Dr. Dalrymple would extend that to 50, years in special laboratories. Once again, Dr. Hovind has relied on bad data. If you get your information from a creationist source, you'd better triple-check it! Errors get handed down in the creationist literature like the family jewels! Hovind R6: The shape of the curve of the line is based on too few real measurements to be reliable.

It's not clear to me what Dr. Hovind is talking about. If he is referring to the carbon decay curve then he has demonstrated, once again, his ignorance of radiometric dating. The decay curve is mathematically determined by the fact that every atom of carbon in a sample has the same chance of decaying during each second of time. That much is predicted by quantum mechanics, which is possibly the greatest of our modern, scientific revolutions. The random character of radioactive decay is a special case of the indeterminacy of quantum theory, as was pointed out in by George Gamow, Ronald Gurney and Edward Condon. They showed that a particle held inside the nucleus by a "potential barrier" may be able to "tunnel through" the barrier and emerge on the other side, since if the barrier is finite the wave function of the particle is not completely localized and there is a finite probability that the particle will be outside the nucleus.


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