Short notes on radiocarbon dating
Consider this—if a specimen is older than 50,000 years, it has been calculated, it would have such a small amount of C that for practical purposes it would show an ‘infinite’ radiocarbon age. Readers are referred to this article for other interesting conclusions about these dates.
So it was expected that most deposits such as coal, gas, petrified trees, etc. In fact, of 15,000 dates in the journal to 1968, only three were classed ‘un-dateable’—most were of the sort which should have been in this category. [Editor’s note: The graph below was reproduced from a sketch in the original magazine.
This is especially remarkable with samples of coal and gas supposedly produced in the carboniferous 100 million years ago! Note that the data presented does not necessarily endorse a particular age for the Earth, but reveals a pattern We see, then, that far from being an embarrassment to the creationist who believes in a young Earth, the radiocarbon method of dating—when fully understood in accordance with modern atmospheric data—gives powerful support to his position.
Some examples of dates which contradict orthodox (evolutionary) views: , pub. “One little bit doesn’t make a difference.” It’s a good job CMI didn’t think like that.
The article is in straightforward language and the non-technical reader could profitably work through it.
, we find that this ration is the same if we sample a leaf from a tree, or a part of your body.
Obviously this only works for things which once contained carbon—it can’t be used to date rocks and minerals, for example. We obviously need to know this to be able to work out at what point the ‘clock’ began to tick.
We’ve seen that it would have been the same as in the atmosphere at the time the specimen died. Do scientists assume that it was the same as it is now? It is well known that the industrial revolution, with its burning of huge masses of coal, etc.
What methods do they use and how do these methods work?It is assumed that the ratio has been constant for a very long time before the industrial revolution. (For on it hangs the whole validity of the system.) Why did W. Libby, the brilliant discoverer of this system, assume this?Libby knew that C was entering and leaving the atmosphere (and hence the carbon cycle).Imagine the same tank, this time it is not yet full and the top tap is flowing more quickly than the bottom one is leaking out—this gives you a way of measuring how long ago the whole system was ‘switched on’ and it also tells you that that can’t have been too long ago (see diagram above).Libby knew that if these figures were correct, it would mean that the atmosphere was young, so he dismissed the results as being due to experimental error!
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Imagine a tank with water flowing in at a certain rate, and flowing out again at the same rate (see diagram below). If you saw it for the first time, you wouldn’t be able to work out how old it was—how long it had been since it was ‘switched on’.