Since , scientists have reckoned the ages of many old objects by measuring the amounts of radioactive carbon they contain. New research shows, however, that some estimates based on carbon may have erred by thousands of years. It is too soon to know whether the discovery will seriously upset the estimated dates of events like the arrival of human beings in the Western Hemisphere, scientists said. But it is already clear that the carbon method of dating will have to be recalibrated and corrected in some cases. They arrived at this conclusion by comparing age estimates obtained using two different methods - analysis of radioactive carbon in a sample and determination of the ratio of uranium to thorium in the sample. In some cases, the latter ratio appears to be a much more accurate gauge of age than the customary method of carbon dating, the scientists said. In principle, any material of plant or animal origin, including textiles, wood, bones and leather, can be dated by its content of carbon 14, a radioactive form of carbon in the environment that is incorporated by all living things.
The samples represented animals that lived at various times during the last 30, years. Alan Zindler, a professor of geology at Columbia University who is a member of the Lamont-Doherty research group, said age estimates using the carbon dating and uranium-thorium dating differed only slightly for the period from 9, years ago to the present.
One reason the group believes the uranium-thorium estimates to be more accurate than carbon dating is that they produce better matches between known changes in the Earth's orbit and changes in global glaciation. According to carbon dating of fossil animals and plants, the spreading and receding of great ice sheets lagged behind orbital changes by several thousand years, a delay that scientists found hard to explain.
But Dr. Richard G. Fairbanks, a member of the Lamont-Doherty group, said that if the dates of glaciation were determined using the uranium-thorium method, the delay - and the puzzle - disappeared.
The group theorizes that large errors in carbon dating result from fluctuations in the amount of carbon 14 in the air. Changes in the Earth's magnetic field would change the deflection of cosmic-ray particles streaming toward the Earth from the Sun.
Carbon 14 is thought to be mainly a product of bombardment of the atmosphere by cosmic rays, so cosmic ray intensity would affect the amount of carbon 14 in the environment at any given time.
Carbon dating is unreliable for objects older than about 30, years, but uranium-thorium dating may be possible for objects up to half a million years old, Dr. Zindler said. The method is less suitable, however, for land animals and plants than for marine organisms, because uranium is plentiful in sea water but less so in most soils.
But even if the method is limited to marine organisms, it will be extremely useful for deciphering the history of Earth's climate, ice, oceans and rocks, Dr.
Fairbanks said. View on timesmachine. TimesMachine is an exclusive benefit for home delivery and digital subscribers. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or ate them.
Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems; we are continuing to work to improve these archived versions. Dating Subject to Error But scientists have long recognized that carbon dating is subject to error because of a variety of factors, including contamination by outside sources of carbon. Various other attempts were made to date the volcanic rocks in the area. Over the years an age of 2.
After this was widely accepted, further studies of the rocks brought the radiometric age down to about 1. Such is the dating game. Are we suggesting that evolutionists are conspiring to massage the data to get what they want? No, not generally. It is simply that all observations must fit the prevailing paradigm.
We must remember that the past is not open to the normal processes of experimental science, that is, repeatable experiments in the present. A scientist cannot do experiments on events that happened in the past. Scientists do not measure the age of rocks, they measure isotope concentrations, and these can be measured extremely accurately.
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Those involved with unrecorded history gather information in the present and construct stories about the past. The level of proof demanded for such stories seems to be much less than for studies in the empirical sciences, such as physics, chemistry, molecular biology, physiology, etc.
Williams, an expert in the environmental fate of radioactive elements, identified 17 flaws in the isotope dating reported in just three widely respected seminal papers that supposedly established the age of the Earth at 4. The forms issued by radioisotope laboratories for submission with samples to be dated commonly ask how old the sample is expected to be. If the techniques were absolutely objective and reliable, such information would not be necessary.
If the long-age dating techniques were really objective means of finding the ages of rocks, they should work in situations where we know the age. Furthermore, different techniques should consistently agree with one another.
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The secular scientific literature lists many examples of excess argon causing dates of millions of years in rocks of known historical age. This is consistent with a young world-the argon has had too little time to escape. So data are again selected according to what the researcher already believes about the age of the rock.
Geologist Dr. Steve Austin sampled basalt from the base of the Grand Canyon strata and from the lava that spilled over the edge of the canyon. By evolutionary reckoning, the latter should be a billion years younger than the basalt from the bottom.
Standard laboratories analyzed the isotopes. The rubidium-strontium isochron technique suggested that the recent lava flow was Ma older than the basalts beneath the Grand Canyon-an impossibility. If the dating methods are an objective and reliable means of determining ages, they should agree.
If a chemist were measuring the sugar content of blood, all valid methods for the determination would give the same answer within the limits of experimental error. However, with radiometric dating, the different techniques often give quite different results.
In the study of the Grand Canyon rocks by Austin, different techniques gave different results. Techniques that give results that can be dismissed just because they don't agree with what we already believe cannot be considered objective. In Australia, some wood found the Tertiary basalt was clearly buried in the lava flow that formed the basalt, as can be seen from the charring. Isotope ratios or uraninite crystals from the Koongarra uranium body in the Northern Territory of Australia gave lead-lead isochron ages of Ma, plus or minus Ma.
The latter figures are significant because thorium-derived dates should be the more reliable, since thorium is less mobile than the uranium minerals that are the parents of the lead isotopes in lead-lead system. Carbon Dating in many cases seriously embarrasses evolutionists by giving ages that are much younger than those expected from their model of early history. A specimen older than 50, years should have too little 14 C to measure.
Laboratories that measure 14 C would like a source of organic material with zero 14 C to use as a blank to check that their lab procedures do not add 14 C. Coal is an obvious candidate because the youngest coal is supposed to be millions of years old, and most of it is supposed to be tens or hundreds of millions of years old.
Such old coal should be devoid of 14 C.
How accurate is radiocarbon dating?
It isn't. No source of coal has been found that completely lacks 14 C. It is an unsolved mystery to evolutionists as to why coal has 14 C in it, or wood supposedly millions of years old still has 14 C present, but it makes perfect sense in a creationist world view.
Of the methods that have been used to estimate the age of the Earth, 90 percent point to an age far less than the billions of years asserted by evolutionists. A few of them follow. Evidence for a rapid formation of geological strata, as in the biblical flood.
Some of the evidences are: lack of erosion between rock layers supposedly separated in age by many millions of years; lack of disturbance of rock strata by biological activity worms, roots, etc.
For more, see books by geologists Morris  and Austin.
ERRORS ARE FEARED IN CARBON DATING
Red blood cells and hemoglobin have been found in some unfossilized! But these could not last more than a few thousand years-certainly not the 65 Ma since the last dinosaurs lived, according to evolutionists.
The Earth's magnetic field has been decaying so fast that it looks like it is less than 10, years old. Rapid reversals during the flood year and fluctuations shortly after would have caused the field energy to drop even faster.
Radioactive decay releases helium into the atmosphere, but not much is escaping. This helium originally escaped from rocks. This happens quite fast, yet so much helium is still in some rocks that it has not had time to escape-certainly not billions of years.
A supernova is an explosion of a massive star-the explosion is so bright that it briefly outshines the rest of the galaxy. The supernova remnants SNRs should keep expanding for hundreds of thousands of years, according to physical equations. Yet there are no very old, widely expanded Stage 3 SNRs, and few moderately old Stage 1 ones in our galaxy, the Milky Way, or in its satellite galaxies, the Magellanic Clouds.
The moon is slowly receding for the Earth at about 4 centimeters 1. But even if the moon had started receding from being in contact with the Earth, it would have taken only 1. This gives a maximum age of the moon, not the actual age. This is far too young for evolutionists who claim the moon is 4.
Salt is entering the sea much faster than it is escaping. The sea is not nearly salty enough for this to have been happening for billions of years. Even granting generous assumptions to evolutionists, the sea could not be more than 62 Ma years old-far younger than the billions of years believed by the evolutionists.
Again, this indicates a maximum age, not the actual age. Russell Humphreys gives other processes inconsistent with billions of years in the pamphlet Evidence for a Young World. Creationists cannot prove the age of the Earth using a particular scientific method, any more than evolutionists can. They realize that all science is tentative because we do not have all the data, especially when dealing with the past. The atheistic evolutionist W.
Provine admitted:. In reality, all dating methods, including those that point to a young Earth, rely on ufireemblemheroestips.comovable assumptions. Creationists ultimately date the Earth historically using the chronology of the Bible.
Errors radiocarbon dating
This is because they believe that this is an accurate eyewitness account of world history, which bears the evidence within it that it is the Word of Go and therefore totally reliable and error-free. What the do the radiometric dates of millions of years mean, if they are not true ages? To answer this question, it is necessary to scrutinize further the experimental results from the various dating techniques, the interpretations made on the basis of the results and the assumptions underlying those interpretations.
The isochron dating technique was thought to be infallible because it supposedly covered the assumptions about starting conditions and closed systems. Zheng wrote:. This problem cannot be overlooked, especially in evaluating the numerical time scale. Similar questions can also arise in applying Sm-Nd [samarium-neodymium] and U-Pb [uranium-lead] isochron methods. Clearly, there are factors other than age responsible for the straight lines obtained from graphing isotope ratios.
Another currently popular dating method is the uranium-lead concordia technique. This effectively combines the two uranium-lead decay series into one diagram. Numerous models, or stories, have been developed to explain such data. Again, the stories are evaluated according to their own success in agreeing with the existing long ages belief system. Andrew Snelling has suggested that fractionation sorting of elements in the molten state in the Earth's mantle could be a significant factor in explaining the ratios of isotope concentrations which are interpreted as ages.
As long ago asNobel Prize nominee Melvin Cookprofessor of metallurgy at the University of Utah, pointed out evidence that lead isotope ratios, for example, may involve alteration by important factors other than radioactive decay. Thorium has a long half-life decays very slowly and is not easily moved out of the rock, so if the lead came from thorium decay, some thorium should still be there.
The concentrations of lead, lead, and lead suggest that the lead came about by neutron capture conversion of lead to lead to lead When the isotope concentrations are adjusted for such conversions, the ages calculated are reduced from some Ma to recent.
Other ore bodies seemed to show similar evidence. Cook recognized that the current understanding of nuclear physics did not seem to allow for such a conversion under normal conditions, but he presents evidence that such did happen, and even suggests how it could happen.
Physicist Dr. Robert Gentry has pointed out that the amount of helium and lead in zircons from deep bores is not consistent with an evolutionary age of 1, Ma for the granite rocks in which they are found. Furthermore, the amount of helium in zircons from hot rock is also much more consistent with a young Earth helium derives from the decay of radioactive elements.
The lead and helium results suggest that rates of radioactive decay may have been much higher in the recent past. Humphreys has suggested that this may have occurred during creation week and the flood. This would make things look much older than they really are when current rates of decay are applied to dating. Whatever caused such elevated rates of decay may also have been responsible for the lead isotope conversions claimed by Cook above.
Decaying radioactive particles in solid rock cause spherical zones of damage to the surrounding crystal structure.
A speck of radioactive element such as Uranium, for example, will leave a sphere of discoloration of characteristically different radius for each element it produces in its decay chain to lead Gentry has researched radiohalos for many years, and published his results in leading scientific journals. Some of the intermediate decay products-such as the polonium isotopes-have very short half-lives they decay quickly. For example, Po has a half-life of just 3 minutes. Curiously, rings formed by polonium decay are often found embedded in crystals without the parent uranium halos.
Now the polonium has to get into the rock before the rock solidifies, but it cannot derive a from a uranium speck in the solid rock, otherwise there would be a uranium halo. Either the polonium was created primordial, not derived from uraniumor there have been radical changes in decay rates in the past.
Gentry has addressed all attempts to criticize his work.
Jul 27, "A study out of Cornell University calls into question the standards associated with the carbon dating method used to date archaeological remains in the region of Israel. These findings lead to bigger questions about the radiocarbon dating process as a whole, which may have huge ramifications for how biblical events align with the timelines of the ancient world. May 31, The group theorizes that large errors in carbon dating result from fluctuations in the amount of carbon 14 in the air. Changes in the Earth's magnetic field would change the . Though radiocarbon dating is startlingly accurate for the most part, it has a few sizable flaws. The technology uses a series of mathematical calculations-the most recognizable of which is known as half-life-to estimate the age the organism stopped ingesting the isotope. Unfortunately, the amount of Carbon in the atmosphere has not been.
Whatever process was responsible for the halos could be a key also to understanding radiometric dating. There are many lines of evidence that the radiometric dates are not the objective evidence for an old Earth that many claim, and that the world is really only thousands of years old.
We don't have all the answers, but we do have the sure testimony of the Word of God to the true history of the world. Today, a stable carbon isotope, 13 Cis measured as an indication of the level of discrimination against 14 C. Radiation from atomic testing, like cosmic rays, causes the conversion of 14 N to 14 C. Tree ring dating dendrochronology has been used in an attempt to extend the calibration of the calibration of carbon dating earlier than historical records allow, but this depends on temporal placement of fragments of wood from long dead trees using carbon dating, assuming straight-line extrapolation backwards.
(1.) C14 dating is very accurate for wood used up to about 4, years ago. This is only because it is well calibrated with objects of known age. Example: wood found in a grave of known age by historically reliable documents is the standard for that time for the C14 content. This standard content of C14 can then be used for wood not associated. ERROR AND UNCERTAINTY IN RADIOCARBON MEASUREMENTS E Marian Scott1 Gordon T Cook2 Philip Naysmith2 ABSTRACT. All measurement is subject to error, which creates uncertainty. Every time that an analytical radiocarbon mea-surement is repeated under identical conditions on an identical sample (even if this were possible), a different result is. We will deal with carbon dating first and then with the other dating methods. How the carbon clock works. Carbon has unique properties that are essential for life on Earth. Familiar to us as the black substance in charred wood, as diamonds, and the graphite in "lead" pencils, carbon comes in several forms, or .
McDonald and R. Government Printing Office, Washington D. Musk ox muscle was dated at 24, years, but hair was dated at 17, years. Corrected dates bring the difference in age approximately within the life span of an ox.
With sloth cave dung, standard carbon dates of the lower layers suggested less than 2 pellets per year were produced by the sloths.
Correcting the dates increased the number to a more realistic 1. WoldeGabriel et al.