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Carbon 14 - A Serious Problem For Old Earthers


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#21 oliver

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 10:01 AM

The ratio of C12 to C14 at the moment of death is the same for every living thing, but the carbon-14 decays and is not replaced. The carbon-14 decays (with its half-life of 5,700 years) while the amount of C12 remains constant in the sample. So by comparing the ratio of C12 to C14, we can tell how long ago it died.

We can tell how long ago it died provided that:
1. there has been no artificial change in the amount of C14 in the sample
2. the rate of addition of C14 to the atmosphere has remained constant
3. there has been no change in the rate of radioactive decay since the death of the organism being dated
4. there is still some C14 left to be measured

The half-life is short, limiting its effectiveness to items that are about 50,000 yrs old or younger. Obviously, this short time frame certainly poses no problem for old earthrs since it would be ridiculous to use it to age something so far beyond its scope.

Of course it's not ridiculous. It's called a control. If you date something that is too old to give a result you should get no C14, and therefore an indication of a date of >50,000 (assuming 1-3 above). If you do get a result, then
1. the sample is not as old as was thought
2. it has been contaminated
3. the dating method is invalid

Raciocarbon dating, like most things, is effective in certain situations and ineffective in others. Honest researchers know these limitations and avoid them, creationists know these limitations and purposely age things where the results are certain to be unreliable in the hopes of fooling their crowd into thinking the method is unreliable.

For example, radiocarbon dating is for dating organic things that should not be older than about 50,000 yrs. So if someone tries to date something like a 65 million year old dinosaur "bone" or millions of years old petrified "wood" they are either extremely stupid or they have an agenda to decieve others about the accuracy of this dating method. Its like claiming laptops do not work then proving it by throwing one in a lake and trying to use it. Laptops (and radiocarbon dating) work just fine in certain situations but not in others.

The test is a control on the dating method. Creationists expect fossil wood and dinoaur bone to give a result, because we believe them to be 4500 years old. The test results bear that out.

This dating method is calibrated by tree ring data and blind tested all the time. It has proven accurate and reliable.

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That assumes that tree ring data is fully valid. What creationists do is a test and the method fails under your assumptions; under YEC assumptions it is vindicated subject to a need to adjust for changes in the decay rate.

#22 Guest_loveslife_*

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 12:57 AM

We can tell how long ago it died provided that:
1. there has been no artificial change in the amount of C14 in the sample
2. the rate of addition of C14 to the atmosphere has remained constant
3. there has been no change in the rate of radioactive decay since the death of the organism being dated
4. there is still some C14 left to be measured

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1. agreed.
2. disagree. Such things are taken into account. Remember, this method is tested and calibrated against things with known ages.
3. agree.
4. Bear in mind it is the ratio of c12 and c14, not the presence of c14. You may note that they are ever so willing to mention the presence of c14, but they remain silent about c12.

Of course it's not ridiculous.  It's called a control.  If you date something that is too old to give a result you should get no C14, and therefore an indication of a date of >50,000

I disagree. Something older than 50k yrs could have plenty of c14. Even so, thats a lot of half-lives and thus, unreliable.

(assuming 1-3 above).  If you do get a result, then
1. the sample is not as old as was thought
2. it has been contaminated
3. the dating method is invalid

And it is invariably #2. For example, fossils are often treated with an organic substance that will test positive for c14.

The test is a control on the dating method.  Creationists expect fossil wood and dinoaur bone to give a result, because we believe them to be 4500 years old.  The test results bear that out.

Its not a control.
Creationists merely want it to fail, so they "test" it in situations where it is well understood that it should fail.

That assumes that tree ring data is fully valid.

You dont trust tree rings now? Your power of denial is impressive.

#23 CTD

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 02:43 AM

I disagree. Something older than 50k yrs could have plenty of c14. Even so, thats a lot of half-lives and thus, unreliable.

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As this assertion actually involves the topic of this thread, perhaps you'd care to back it up?

#24 falcone

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 03:35 AM

As this assertion actually involves the topic of this thread, perhaps you'd care to back it up?

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How can he, when you believe that there's nothing that old in the first place?

#25 CTD

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 12:24 PM

How can he, when you believe that there's nothing that old in the first place?

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As I have stated before, my belief does not alter reality.

#26 Guest_loveslife_*

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 06:45 PM

I disagree. Something older than 50k yrs could have plenty of c14. Even so, thats a lot of half-lives and thus, unreliable.

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As this assertion actually involves the topic of this thread, perhaps you'd care to back it up?

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For the sake of argument, lets say something organic sat for 10 half lives (10 x 5730 = 57300 years).
Which means, its total number of C14 molecules were halved ten times.
Which means it should have 1/1024 of its orginal amount of C14.
Which means that for every million molecules of C14 it had originally, it should have roughly 1000 C14 molecules still in it.

Incidentally, AMS radiocarbon dating can count individual C14 molecules, even if there was only one it could be detected. C14 is also generated in the atmosphere so the odds of a single molecule contaminating an ancient substance and getting the anti-evolutionists all excited is to be expected. Honest people don't carbon date things millions of years old - its pointless and it proves nothing.

#27 oliver

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 07:28 PM

For the sake of argument, lets say something organic sat for 10 half lives (10 x 5730 = 57300 years).
Which means, its total number of C14 molecules were halved ten times.
Which means it should have 1/1024 of its orginal amount of C14.
Which means that for every million molecules of C14 it had originally, it should have roughly 1000 C14 molecules still in it.

Incidentally, AMS radiocarbon dating can count individual C14 molecules, even if there was only one it could be detected. C14 is also generated in the atmosphere so the odds of a single molecule contaminating an ancient substance and getting the anti-evolutionists all excited is to be expected.

You seem to be highly confused.

C14 is constantly decaying, and it is obtained from the atmosphere. A dead organism has ceased to take in air and so has ceased to renew its store of C14. From that point on the ratio of C14 to C12 in that organism will constantly decline until it reaches zero.

A dead organism does not take in new C14, so provided a specimen is handled correctly, there should be no significant contamination by C14 from the current atmosphere.

The limit on dating at around 50000 years may be an artefact of physical limitations of counting C14 atoms; according to what you are saying, new techniques ought to be able to extend that limit somewhat because the atoms can be counted individually.

Honest people don't carbon date things millions of years old - its pointless and it proves nothing.

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The point of running a dating test is to find out how old something is. You seem to be saying that the dating test is only intended as decoration for a decision we have already made. If it doesn't agree with what we have decided it ought to say, we will discard it. Is that it?

#28 Guest_loveslife_*

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 09:09 PM

The point of running a dating test is to find out how old something is.  You seem to be saying that the dating test is only intended as decoration for a decision we have already made.  If it doesn't agree with what we have decided it ought to say, we will discard it.  Is that it?

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Its intended for organic things so you think it should be tested on rocks.
Its intended for ~50k things or younger so you think it should be tested on things millions of years old.
I'm sorry that you cannot tell the difference between a rock and a piece of wood. I'm sorry that you cannot tell the difference from a thousand and a million.
There's really no reason for me to continue this discussion. A typical 6yr old can understand this concept easily, but you can't.
I pray to God that you are just being intentionally obtuse, because if you really cannot understand this....*shudders*

#29 oliver

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 01:55 AM

Its intended for organic things so you think it should be tested on rocks.

Rocks tend not to contain carbon.
Diamonds are all carbon and are supposedly millions to billions of years old. They should contain no C14 at all (if they were all C14 in the beginning they would have ceased to exist by now). However, they do contain it.

Coal was supposedly laid down 300 million years ago and is certainly organic. It should contain no C14 after such a long time. It does contain it.

Its intended for ~50k things or younger so you think it should be tested on things millions of years old.

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Since there should be nothing in existence older than 6000 years, that should be fine. We expect coal to contain C14, since it was laid down in the flood. It does.

#30 Adam Nagy

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 06:27 AM

C-14 exposes the blind faith of old earth uniformitarianism. They will say anything like it must have been contaminated (however it is that diamonds would get contaminated) or the equipment can't handle those types of dates, and blah blah blah, before they would dare stop and think; Hey, maybe our whole idea is wrong?

Radiometric dating is still such a cloistered pseudoscience. A system of thought that evades most scrutiny. The assumptions and bad dates are so successfully covered up by the esoteric ramblings of those who have put their faith in it.

I believe the short term C-14 dating can be useful but the C-14 found in diamonds, coal and basically anything that is tested should be a clue but a wave of the hand and an esoteric excuse and the world believes...

#31 Paul5388

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 08:39 PM

Being somewhat familiar with laboratory equipment, let me make a few observations.

Radiometric dating is very kin to quality control. The known constituents are tested and there is a determination of the quantity found in a particular sample. The only data needed is what element/compound is being sought and the approximate level of that constituent. Standardization is done by using the appropriate equipment with the capability of measuring accurately at that level, i.e. whether it's ppm, or percent.

Macro amounts are never considered in the analysis, mainly because it's out of the range of the element/compound of interest, i.e the amount of Di and Tri-Propylene Glycol in a sample of Propylene Glycol, since all three are produced in the initial reaction.

Sloppy techniques usually aren't tolerated very long in a laboratory, regardless of what is being analyzed.

Part of the C14 problem is certainly the amount that is present when intake is ceased. Of course, there are ways to skew the initial quantity. For example, in the last 100 years or so, artificially carbonated beverages have been consumed at ever increasing rates. Atmospheric CO2 is used for the carbonation, so there may be much more C14 being consumed than normal. One might be dead for quite some time before the level of C14 is down to what is accepted as an original quantity.

The increased production of CO2 actually began in the 1800s, during the industrial revolution, with its ever increasing use of coal in production processes. Since the oxidation products of carbonaceous materials always includes CO2, even wood fires for heating and cooking would cause a fluctuation in available CO2. Therefore, the assumption of a constant amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is wishful thinking. In fact, I seem to remember ancient amber having something approaching 30% O2 trapped in it, which is far from what is found now.

The average human body of 70 kg contains 16 kg of carbon. Where that carbon came from is pure speculation, since some of it could have come from 100 year old wine, 100 year eggs or the carbonates in very hard water. :lol:

#32 Arch

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 08:42 PM

C-14 exposes the blind faith of old earth uniformitarianism. They will say anything like it must have been contaminated (however it is that diamonds would get contaminated) or the equipment can't handle those types of dates, and blah blah blah, before they would dare stop and think; Hey, maybe our whole idea is wrong?

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I'm sure that possibility has been considered Adam. Which is why it has been doubled checked against other sources, such as tree rings and other dating methods.

Regards,

Arch.

#33 Adam Nagy

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 08:50 PM

I'm sure that possibility has been considered Adam. Which is why it has been doubled checked against other sources, such as tree rings and other dating methods.

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How would tree rings help diamonds that date only thousands of years old when they're really supposed to be millions?

#34 Arch

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 09:12 PM

How would tree rings help diamonds that date only thousands of years old when they're really supposed to be millions?

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Sorry Adam I'm not sure I understand your question.

You could probably use carbon-14 dating to guess at the age of trees, but (from what I've read on this forum) it's only accurate to ~50,000 years. Why would you want to use the same method on diamonds? You'd use another method I think. Possibly Potassium-argon dating?

You can find a small list of dating methods here:

Wikipedia -Absolute dating

Regards,

Arch.

#35 Adam Nagy

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 06:22 AM

You could probably use carbon-14 dating to guess at the age of trees, but (from what I've read on this forum) it's only accurate to ~50,000 years. Why would you want to use the same method on diamonds? You'd use another method I think. Possibly Potassium-argon dating?

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Now you just asked the right question. You see Arch, when things are dated, in the paradigm of the evolutionist, the dating methods are wrangled first and foremost on the assumption of what is expected. Is this good science? If C-14 is expected to demonstrate the age of things then why can't that be applied to diamonds? How much C-14 should diamonds have if they are millions of years old? None, right?

Now an evolutionist will contest that without proper information the testing machines can't be 'calibrated' properly but let me ask this. How stringent is a method that doesn't work in a blind test?

The reason all these dating methods supposedly work together and demonstrate a conciliation of data is for one reason and one reason only... the construction of the geologic column. The geologic column is looming over every dating method to dictate which dates are acceptable and which dates aren't. The whole thing is circular reasoning. The geologic column imposes itself on to the dating methods and then the contrived results or heralded to support the geologic column. Pretty sneaky, huh?

You have a bunch of people out there just doing their jobs running radiometric analysis. They believe that the information they have regarding the geologic column is so well established that they use it as the litmus test to verify that their results are 'good'. Then you have the people out in the field doing their job believing that they are establishing the right location of an object in the geologic column because the radiometric dating that was done 'confirms' what they assumed. Meanwhile both the lab individual and the field worker are unwittingly constrained by the same contrivance... the geologic column.

#36 Arch

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 06:44 PM

Hi Adam,

I feel you may want to do a little more research into how dating methods are calibrated, as that seems to be your overarching reason for not trusting them. Here's a starter:

The raw radiocarbon dates, in BP years, are calibrated to give calendar dates. Standard calibration curves are available, based on comparison of radiocarbon dates of samples that can be dated independently by other methods such as examination of tree growth rings (dendrochronology), deep ocean sediment cores, lake sediment varves, coral samples, and speleothems (cave deposits).

The calibration curves can vary significantly from a straight line, so comparison of uncalibrated radiocarbon dates (e.g., plotting them on a graph or subtracting dates to give elapsed time) is likely to give misleading results. There are also significant plateaus in the curves, such as the one from 11,000 to 10,000 radiocarbon years BP, which is believed to be associated with changing ocean circulation during the Younger Dryas period. Over the historical period from 0 to 10,000 years BP, the average width of the uncertainty of calibrated dates was found to be 335 years, although in well-behaved regions of the calibration curve the width decreased to about 113 years while in ill-behaved regions it increased to a maximum of 801 years. Significantly, in the ill-behaved regions of the calibration curve, increasing the precision of the measurements does not have a significant effect on increasing the accuracy of the dates.[10]

The 2004 version of the calibration curve extends back quite accurately to 26,000 years BP. Any errors in the calibration curve do not contribute more than ±16 years to the measurement error during the historic and late prehistoric periods (0 - 6,000 yrs BP) and no more than ±163 years over the entire 26,000 years of the curve, although its shape can reduce the accuracy as mentioned above.


Wikipedia - Carbon Dating

Regards,

Arch.

#37 A.Sphere

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 07:37 PM

See Evolutionary Explanations for Anomalous Radiocarbon in Coal (abstract page). Given the most favorable assumptions for evolution, the impact to C14 generation is still minimal.

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Can you give us the gist of the article - all I can see is the abstract and I have to sign in to read the full article. Better yet - can you give me links to the scientific literature that shows that C14 generation via uranium and thorium decay is too minimal to explain away the background found in coal, oil, and diamonds?

#38 Adam Nagy

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 10:10 PM

Hi Adam,

I feel you may want to do a little more research into how dating methods are calibrated, as that seems to be your overarching reason for not trusting them. Here's a starter:
Wikipedia - Carbon Dating

Regards,

Arch.

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That quote you provided is perfect. Read it again and look closely how it confirms exactly what I said. :lol:

#39 Arch

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 04:02 AM

That quote you provided is perfect. Read it again and look closely how it confirms exactly what I said. :lol:

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I think you might have to be a little more specific for me Adam. It admits there's a couple of inconsistencies, which any honest scientists will also tell you. Is this what you're refering to?

When dating something 50,000 years old, +/- 800 years doesn't really mean a great deal, and those are the most inaccurate measurements. Usually it's only a hundred or so out.

Regards,

Arch.

#40 Adam Nagy

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 05:09 AM

Take a close look at what it says about how the calibration curves are established. It sounds innocent enough, but the very things it is talking about, are the very things that are used to put the clamps on the lab worker, to keep them from publishing "bad dates".

You should give this a look. This is a geologist, who lost his faith in the present orthodox paradigm regarding geology:

http://www.answersin...ge-of-the-earth

I particularly like Dr. Austin's illustration about the space aliens who are intent on dating teenagers based solely on empirical data.

This is technically off topic but it helps to address your objections. This thread is dealing specifically with the fact that C-14 shows up, in abundance, where it ought not according to the evolutionist's own assumptions. All their excuses for why it does, falls short. Should we just dismiss this issue because it simply doesn't fit in the accepted belief?




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