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Carbon 14 - A Serious Problem For Old Earthers


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#1 Fred Williams

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 05:32 PM

Fact: Carbon 14 decays into Nitrogen 14. The half life is ~5600 years. The theoretical maximum for all C-14 to decay to N-14 is 200,000 years. The realistic maximum is ~30K years, as mass spectronomy units would have a difficult time finding one C14 particle in a sample older than this.

Problem: Why do we find C14 in things that are supposed to be millions of years old? We regularly find C14 in coal, natural gas, diamonds, dinosaur bones, etc. It is extremely rare NOT to find C14 in any of these materials. So informed evolutionists are fully aware they cannot blame it on contamination. C14 is powerful evidence that these materials could not possibly be millions of years old. The fact they have C14 in them places a maximum age of 30K years on the material.

For more, listen to the "Real Science" radio show I appeared on where we discussed this:

http://www.kgov.com/...56kbps/20061202

Fred

#2 Nominal

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 06:10 AM

I keep bumping into this the more I read it. :rolleyes:

Fact: Carbon 14 decays into Nitrogen 14.

Is'nt it the other way around?? Cosmic rays and solar radiation interact with atmospheric N14 to form C14, which in turn decays into (primarily among others) C12??
I mean, this is pretty foundational to the position being presented. just wondering.

Really, this just points out some shortcomings of the C14 method in particular (imho)

Also I'm under the impression that Diamonds & natural gas/petroleum compounds are not conventionally dated via C14 method. The C14 in fossil fuels comes from local radioactive decay of the uranium-thorium series in surrounding rock. I'm not sure if that's considered the "contamination" mentioned.

Reliable age-dating requires atmospheric source C14....but the clincher seems to be that effective testing would involve more than one (1) method of test for an age figure, especially on items appearing past 40,000 yrs or so where, yes, C14 could become a bit dicey, and no doubt should'nt be used as a sole test result. :)

#3 Sam

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 12:41 PM

Is'nt it the other way around?? Cosmic rays and solar radiation interact with atmospheric N14 to form C14, which in turn decays into (primarily among others) C12??

C14 is formed of N14 by addition of one neutron and emission of one proton and later decays to N14 again by emission of one electron (beta-decay).

As to the method itself: It works well for "historical" ages (10'000 years and less) and is commonly used to date carbon-containing historical artefacts, e.g. to check if a parchment that is claimed to date from 500 AD isn't a forgery of the 13th century. Older carbon, that is consistently dated much older with several different methods, often dates way too young with C14-method, i.e. it often contains some "background C14". As to my knowledge, this background C14 is supposed to be the product of uranium decay. The fact that C14 is found in fossil carbon deposits shows the limits of C14-dating, but says nothing about the age of the earth.

#4 Fred Williams

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 09:30 PM

As to my knowledge, this background C14 is supposed to be the product of uranium decay.


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.

The fact that C14 is found in fossil carbon deposits shows the limits of C14-dating, but says nothing about the age of the earth.


This has no basis in fact, and is a just-so statement. Even if C14 dating is flawed (which it is), why does this have a bearing on the clear evidence that C14 in anything supposed to be older than 50K years is an “anomaly”? Since these anomalies are quite common, it clearly is a problem for Old Earth believers. A problem that is yet to be explained. C14 caps the maximum age for the item it is found in to 50K years (realistic; or 200K years theoretical max).

Fred

#5 trilobyte

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 07:09 PM

I keep bumping into this the more I read it. :blink:

Is'nt it the other way around?? Cosmic rays and solar radiation interact with atmospheric N14 to form C14, which in turn decays into (primarily among others) C12??
I mean, this is pretty foundational to the position being presented. just wondering.


I don't think C14 decays into C12.
What they look for is the ratio between both of them.
C12 is stable while C14 goes away. (turns into N14).

Something old has more C12 than C14...something really old should have no C14..So the question still is, why do they find C14 in items that should not contain any C14?

#6 trilobyte

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 05:46 PM

A great resource. click here

#7 HatsOffAndApplause

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 12:48 PM

Trilobyte's link was broken. I tried to find a similar link, but all I found was this:

http://contendermini...on/carbon14.php

Don't know if this is what you were going for... Anyway, my counter source for that is: http://www.c14dating.com/

And you're right: C14 dating has its limitations. Trying to date anything after 1950 with this method is worthless, as the Industrial Revolution released excess C12 into the atmosphere and atmospheric nuclear testing put a bit of the ol' radioactive C14 into the atmosphere as well.

Also, environmental contamination is the generally accepted cause of C14 found in specimens older than 50,000+ years. Most specimens, including many (and possibly all... Not too sure about diamonds) of the examples listed, are porous enough to allow for the absorption of particles.

Small amounts of C14 are expected. If scientists found a specimen older than 50,000+ years with a lot of C14, then we'd have a problem.

Also, although C14 dating is only accurate out to 30,000+ years, there are other methods used to determine age. For example, uranium-thorium isochron dating, which has an accuracy of somewhere around 500,000+ years, and can be used to calibrate radiocarbon dating. Ar40/Ar39 and K-Ar dating are consistently accurate when used properly.

What's more, C14 dating has been accurate and precise when testing specimens with known ages. For example, C14 dating was used to test the Dead Sea Scrolls. It was used to test the age of wood found in an Egyptian tomb.

Just a few thoughts...

#8 lwj2op2

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 02:44 PM

Trilobyte's link was broken.  I tried to find a similar link, but all I found was this: 

http://contendermini...on/carbon14.php

Don't know if this is what you were going for...  Anyway, my counter source for that is: http://www.c14dating.com/

And you're right:  C14 dating has its limitations.  Trying to date anything after 1950 with this method is worthless, as the Industrial Revolution released excess C12 into the atmosphere and atmospheric nuclear testing put a bit of the ol' radioactive C14 into the atmosphere as well.

Also, environmental contamination is the generally accepted cause of C14 found in specimens older than 50,000+ years.  Most specimens, including many (and possibly all...  Not too sure about diamonds) of the examples listed, are porous enough to allow for the absorption of particles. 

Small amounts of C14 are expected.  If scientists found a specimen older than 50,000+ years with a lot of C14, then we'd have a problem.

Also, although C14 dating is only accurate out to 30,000+ years, there are other methods used to determine age.  For example, uranium-thorium isochron dating, which has an accuracy of somewhere around 500,000+ years, and can be used to calibrate radiocarbon dating.  Ar40/Ar39 and K-Ar dating are consistently accurate when used properly.

What's more, C14 dating has been accurate and precise when testing specimens with known ages.  For example, C14 dating was used to test the Dead Sea Scrolls.  It was used to test the age of wood found in an Egyptian tomb. 

Just a few thoughts...

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The problem with the various dating methods which measure samples of materials are assumptions made regarding these materials. Assumptions of actual age, original composition, decay rate.

Assumptions of age are used to give a point in time to relate the findings to. The material is assumed to be X years old. The sample of material is assumed, therefore, to be X years old. All samples within this material are therefore X years old. All materials providing similar samples are therefore X years old. Without any actual fact of age being found.

Because original composition is unverifiable, there is no way to calculate age by loss of components.

Environmental conditions are unverifiable, except in gross extremes, so decay rate is unknown.

No current dating method has a track record to prove accuracy. Nor is it possible to verify there accuracy without great amounts of time in lab tests. Even then we would only find methods useful in labs, not real world. And the greater the age range a method is assumed to verify the less we are able to verify the accuracy because the percent of time available to us for witnessing the "aging" process is lessened as the length of time is increased.

#9 HatsOffAndApplause

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Posted 03 August 2007 - 11:13 AM

The problem with the various dating methods which measure samples of materials are assumptions made regarding these materials.  Assumptions of actual age, original composition, decay rate. 

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The only assumptions made in radiometric isochron dating are that the ratio of the two daughter isotopes measured is initially the same in all of the samples. If this ratio is not the same in all samples, it will become apparent during the analysis of the data.

Assumptions of age are used to give a point in time to relate the findings to.  The material is assumed to be X years old.  The sample of material is assumed, therefore, to be X years old.  All samples within this material are therefore X years old.  All materials providing similar samples are therefore X years old.  Without any actual fact of age being found.

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The point in time in which the findings are related to is present day. Radiometric dating is used to determine how old the specimen is. The dating method(s) is/are used as evidence, and thus there is no assumption in the age of the specimen.

Because original composition is unverifiable, there is no way to calculate age by loss of components. 

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There is no such thing as a completely closed system in nature; it's physically impossible to completely shut something off from the rest of the world. Fortunately, scientists realize this and take it into account. What's more, many rocks come very close to approximating a closed system, and multiple dating methods will produce consistent results within one percent of one another.

Environmental conditions are unverifiable, except in gross extremes, so decay rate is unknown. 

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The constancy of radioactive decay is not an assumption, but rather is supported by evidence. Since the rates were directly measurable, the decay rates of nuclides used in radiometric dating have not been observed, even when scientists attempt to change them. Although it has been observed that extreme pressure can cause electron-capture decay rates to increase less than .2 percent, but the change is so small that it has no dectectable effect on dating.

What's more, if we changed decay rates to permit a young earth, the energy given off by the subsequent radiation would melt the earth.

Roasting Adam - Creationism's Heat Problem

No current dating method has a track record to prove accuracy.  Nor is it possible to verify there accuracy without great amounts of time in lab tests.  Even then we would only find methods useful in labs, not real world.  And the greater the age range a method is assumed to verify the less we are able to verify the accuracy because the percent of time available to us for witnessing the "aging" process is lessened as the length of time is increased.

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Independent measurements, using different and independent radiometric techniques, give consistent results. This can't be explained by systematic errors or assumptions.

What's more, radiometric dates are consistent with other, nonradiometric dating methods. For example, the Hawaiian archipelago was formed by the Pacific Ocean plate moving over a hot spot at a slow but observable rate. Radiometric dates of the islands are consistent with the order and rate of their being positioned over the hot spot.

The Formation Of The Hawaiin Islands

And... That's pretty much it at the moment.

#10 lwj2op2

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 10:31 PM

And...  That's pretty much it at the moment.

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http://www.ayoungear...Nat Tclocks.htm

Just one site of many. This debate quickly becomes another of whether to believe one set of evidences or the other. So I'll go right to it. The evidences of age are based on measurements taken which cannot be verified. I don't doubt the rates though I doubt they are anywhere as accurate as claimed. There is just not enough time which these elements have been understood and measured to have accurate knowledge. Another problem is, as mentioned we don't know the state at which they began. The Creation assumption is that the universe was made in an instant. This assumption is not unlike many on the ToE side. The energies of the first few moments are not understood and I don't know of any group claiming any real understanding of them in any camp. Some in the YEC camp call it "created with apparent age". I am more of the opinion that once creation was complete, the energies used by God (which would be fast and furious) left the trace elements in the condition which gives the results which are interpreted as great age.

The Young Earth evidences are able to measured with great accuracy and continuing observation as well as verifiable historical record.

When all evidences are considered, the creation time line is able to account for every variable. The ToE time line cannot.

#11 trilobyte

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 07:16 AM

What's more, radiometric dates are consistent with other, nonradiometric dating methods.  For example, the Hawaiian archipelago was formed by the Pacific Ocean plate moving over a hot spot at a slow but observable rate.  Radiometric dates of the islands are consistent with the order and rate of their being positioned over the hot spot.

The Formation Of The Hawaiin Islands

And...  That's pretty much it at the moment.

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moving over a hot spot at a slow but observable rate....should we assume that the rate has always been the same?

#12 rbarclay

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 03:24 PM

I keep bumping into this the more I read it. :rolleyes:

Is'nt it the other way around?? Cosmic rays and solar radiation interact with atmospheric N14 to form C14, which in turn decays into (primarily among others) C12??
I mean, this is pretty foundational to the position being presented. just wondering.

Really, this just points out some shortcomings of the C14 method in particular (imho)

Also I'm under the impression that Diamonds & natural gas/petroleum compounds are not conventionally dated via C14 method. The C14 in fossil fuels comes from  local radioactive decay of the uranium-thorium series in surrounding rock.  I'm not sure if that's considered the "contamination" mentioned.

Reliable age-dating requires atmospheric source C14....but the clincher seems to be that effective testing would involve more than one (1) method of test for an age figure, especially on items appearing past 40,000 yrs or so where, yes, C14 could become a bit dicey, and no doubt should'nt be used as a sole test result.  ;)

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14C is formed by cosmic radiation hitting our atmosphere causing neutrons to interact in 14N. After 14C is formed it begins to decay back to 14N. With a half life of 5700 years 14C can only be traced back roughly 50,000 years. 14 C can not be used to date anything over 50,000 years and it can only be used on specimens that were alive and then died. At 50,000 years or ten life cycles 14C has only trace amounts not enough to give measurements for dates. To use the calculations in dating anything using 14C you must know how much 14C was in the atmosphere and how much 14C the once living specimen had when it died. In both of these areas no one can know exactly what amounts to begin with. You have to guess at these amounts and the guesses are made from certain assumptions.

14C dating is based on 2 of the following assumptions:

1. The amount of 14C in the atmosphere remains constant and does not change. This assumption is known to be wrong since we know from recorded history the government states that in 1750 there was 280 ppm (0.028%) CO2 in the atmosphere and there is now 377 ppm (0.0377%) http://cdiac.esd.orn...urrent_ghg.html. As can be seen there is major difference in the readings from 1750 to present. I say major because the NASA website claims that there is 0.01 – 0.1% CO2 in the atmosphere. So if there is 0.03% CO2 in nature that would mean there is 1 14C for every 1,000,000,000,000 12C that means even the slightest change of CO2 means a major change in 14C. It is also known that the earth’s magnetic field is losing it’s strength allowing more radiation into the atmosphere than in the past how much less in the past is any one’s guess. Another problem with environmental 14C is the type of environment, such as, an aqueduct surrounding. If a lake has limestone the limestone will dissolve into bicarbonate that contains no radiocarbon requiring a different assumption from the atmosphere. This is why living aquatic life forms display extremely old 14C dates. Volcano activity and other catastrophic events can affect the amount of CO2 in nature. The problem is no one knows what the amount of CO2 was in the atmosphere before they started measuring it.

2. The amount of 14C in the specimen at death. This is an extremely difficult assumption to make. This is related to the first assumption in that a specimen’s 14C will depend on the 14C that was in nature. This involves whether the specimen was herbivore or carnivore, freshwater or saltwater, etc. There are contamination problems to contend with, this is the most often used excuse of evolutionists for younger than expected radiocarbon dates, because it is impossible to determine the extent of the contamination. Without knowing the exact amounts of 14C the specimen had at death or contamination of specimen an accurate 14C date is impossible. The smallest error in the radiocarbon dating system causes exponential errors in the results.

A couple of decades ago technology introduced the Accelerator Mass Spectrometer (AMS) that is capable of measuring the 14C/12C ratio. The ability to read trace amounts of 14C theoretically means the extending measuring of radiocarbon dates to 90,000 years.

When used on fossils amazingly the fossils displayed 0.001% 14C where there should have not been any 14C found at all. Contamination was blamed, as usual, after identifying and correcting the problem the fossils still displayed considerable amounts of 14C found. This presents a big problem for the millions of years claimed by evolutionists since there should not be one atom of 14C left. The AMS was used on the remains of a Mayan woman that originally dated at 4,000 years the AMS showed the remains to be 3,000 years. This may not seem like much of a difference but when you look at the fact that the 4,000 year date was made knowing the historical facts needed to make an accurate measurement. It proves that even when assumptions are made knowing the historical data of the past there is still can be errors in the results. One would then ask if this is the case with the Mayan remains how large of error span is there when much older specimens are tested and assumptions are made without knowing the historical data.

With the problems that radiocarbon dating faces it is perplexing to me that any one would trust any date given or for that matter even use the radiocarbon dating at all.

Bob Barclay

#13 MRC_Hans

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 05:01 AM

realize this is an old thread, but I thought it worth reviving.

14C dating is based on 2 of the following assumptions:

1. The amount of 14C in the atmosphere remains constant and does not change. This assumption is known to be wrong since we know from recorded history the government states that in 1750 there was 280 ppm (0.028%) CO2 in the atmosphere and there is now 377 ppm (0.0377%) http://cdiac.esd.orn...urrent_ghg.html.  As can be seen there is major difference in the readings from 1750 to present. I say major because the NASA website claims that there is 0.01 – 0.1% CO2 in the atmosphere. So if there is 0.03% CO2 in nature that would mean there is 1 14C for every 1,000,000,000,000 12C that means even the slightest change of CO2 means a major change in 14C.  It is also known that the earth’s magnetic field is losing it’s strength allowing more radiation into the atmosphere than in the past how much less in the past is any one’s guess.  Another problem with environmental 14C is the type of environment, such as, an aqueduct surrounding.  If a lake has limestone the limestone will dissolve into bicarbonate that contains no radiocarbon requiring a different assumption from the atmosphere. This is why living aquatic life forms display extremely old 14C dates.  Volcano activity and other catastrophic events can affect the amount of CO2 in nature.  The problem is no one knows what the amount of CO2 was in the atmosphere before they started measuring it.


This is not quite correct. 14C dating is based on the ratio between 14C and ordinary carbon (12C) in atmospheric CO2. This means that the absolute amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is of minor consequence. Also, since the absolute amount of CO2 has a heavy impact on global climate, we can infer that, apart from short-term variations, the content has always stayed within certain limits, at least within the time-scale that is interesting for 14C dating.

As you mention correctly, 14C is created by radiation hitting the atmoshere. It is depleted partly by the half-life of 14C, partly (and mostly) by the carbon circuit in nature.

It is correct that the 14C/12C ratio has not been constant. This is the reason we use an adjusted scale for determining age. Originally, it was assumed constant, but this was later modified.

I say major because the NASA website claims that there is 0.01 – 0.1% CO2 in the atmosphere. So if there is 0.03% CO2 in nature that would mean there is 1 14C for every 1,000,000,000,000 12C that means even the slightest change of CO2 means a major change in 14C.


I don't know what you mean by this. The relationship between CO2 and 14C is linear, since the 14C/12C ratio is (roughly) the same.

2. The amount of 14C in the specimen at death. This is an extremely difficult assumption to make.  This is related to the first assumption in that a specimen’s 14C will depend on the 14C that was in nature.  This involves whether the specimen was herbivore or carnivore, freshwater or saltwater, etc.  There are contamination problems to contend with, this is the most often used excuse of evolutionists for younger than expected radiocarbon dates, because it is impossible to determine the extent of the contamination.  Without knowing the exact amounts of 14C the specimen had at death


Incorrect. Again, what is measured is the ratio between 14C and 12C. Since 14C is only a tiny fraction, we can assume that the carbon content is unchanged, but the part of this that is 14C will diminsh with time. Carbon enters the life cycle through plants absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere. There are virtually no life-forms that can metabolize carbon from other sources. Animal life eat plants, or other animals, thus receiving the carbon from plants.

There are indeed a number of error sources for 14C dating. You already mentioned contamination. Another is age at death, not just of the examined specimen, but also its precedessors in the food-chain. However, even the accumulated age of carbon in a long food-chain will rarely exceed a few years.

The smallest error in the radiocarbon dating system causes exponential errors in the results.


Please explain why? AFAIK, most errors are linear. Contamination can, of course, render a sample entirely useless.

A couple of decades ago technology introduced the Accelerator Mass Spectrometer (AMS) that is capable of measuring the 14C/12C ratio.  The ability to read trace amounts of 14C theoretically means the extending measuring of radiocarbon dates to 90,000 years.

When used on fossils amazingly the fossils displayed 0.001% 14C where there should have not been any 14C found at all.  Contamination was blamed, as usual, after identifying and correcting the problem the fossils still displayed considerable amounts of 14C found.


Perhaps this is the time to talk a little about measuring systems in general. Let us suppose you want to measure the noise generated by a machine. You take a noise meter and start the machine. Let's say you measure 65dB. Now you stop the machine and measure again. Amazingly, you now get 38dB. Is the method useless? No of course not, but there will be some background noise, even if the machine is stopped.

All measuring systems have a niose floor. With modern technology that is nearly always what limits the sentitivity of a measuring system: You can always add amplification, but getting rid of noise is more difficult. As you mention, in modern 14C measuring systems, the noise floor corresponds to about 90,000 years. That means that we cannot infer anything from measurements below that noise floor.

The noise is created by various things:

- Contamination; even the most rigorous procedures cannot keep contamination totally away.
- Background radiation; The ever-existing background radiation will show up as noise in the system, just as background noise registered on our acoustic measuring apparatus, above.
- Other sources of 14C; even deep in the ground, slight amounds of 14C are generated by various radiation sources.

This presents a big problem for the millions of years claimed by evolutionists since there should not be one atom of 14C left.


Well, a slight correction: There will always be 14C left. That is the thing with half-life pnenomenons; there is always some left, at least till you are down to one atom, but since even a small sample contains trillions of atoms, that is not an issue.

The problem is that when we go below the noise floor of any measuring system, the results become useless. Just as the acoustic noise floor in my example above yields no information about the actual noise from the (stopped) machine, measurements at the noise floor gives us no real information about the 14C content of a sample.

With the problems that radiocarbon dating faces it is perplexing to me that any one would trust any date given or for that matter even use the radiocarbon dating at all.


Radiocarbon dating is certainly not our most precise tool, and fortunately, we have others to supplement it.

Hans

#14 TempestTossed

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 09:29 PM

Fact: Carbon 14 decays into Nitrogen 14. The half life is ~5600 years. The theoretical maximum for all C-14 to decay to N-14 is 200,000 years. The realistic maximum is ~30K years, as mass spectronomy units would have a difficult time finding one C14 particle in a sample older than this.

Problem: Why do we find C14 in things that are supposed to be millions of years old? We regularly find C14 in coal, natural gas, diamonds, dinosaur bones, etc. It is extremely rare NOT to find C14 in any of these materials. So informed evolutionists are fully aware they cannot blame it on contamination. C14 is powerful evidence that these materials could not possibly be millions of years old. The fact they have C14 in them places a maximum age of 30K years on the
material.

For more, listen to the "Real Science" radio show I appeared on where we discussed this:

http://www.kgov.com/...56kbps/20061202

Fred

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Fred, you say, "We regularly find C14 in coal, natural gas, diamonds, dinosaur bones, etc. It is extremely rare NOT to find C14 in any of these materials."

"Diamonds" in this statement caught my attention. Do we really find carbon-14 in diamonds? I figure that natural contamination of a diamond would be very difficult, given that it is the most dense material on the planet.

I tried looking it up. Sometimes, you say things in passing without giving a reference, as though it is common knowledge. But this thing about carbon-14 in diamonds does not seem to be well known. It would help to give primary references on it. I know that ICR has made that claim based on other creationists reporting it on the Internet, but it is more difficult to discern where ICR got it, because they did not publish the original claim online.

I found an online article posted by Kirk Bertsche of the ASA (American Scientific Affiliation) titled, "RATE’s Radiocarbon: Intrinsic or Contamination?". RATE is an ICR study group. Here is a relevant excerpt.

    Diamond is difficult to combust. The RATE samples apparently required modifications to the normal procedure [1], presumably higher combustion temperatures and longer combustion times, likely increasing the sample chemistry contamination. The samples were reportedly pitted and may have been subjected to previous analyses and to unknown contamination. Nevertheless, RATE’s five deep-mine diamond samples had radiocarbon levels only slightly above background (0.01 to 0.07 pMC after background subtraction), while the seven alluvial samples ranged from 0.03 to 0.31 pMC after background subtraction.

    Subsequently, the RATE team inserted diamond directly into an ion source, eliminating the sample chemistry, and measured much lower radiocarbon values, “between 0.008 and 0.022 pMC, with a mean value of 0.014 pMC,” apparently with no background subtraction [6]. This much lower value for unprocessed diamond provides strong evidence that their processed diamond samples had been contaminated, most likely by the modified sample chemistry.

    Taylor and Southon have also measured unprocessed diamond, finding a similar range of 0.005 to 0.03 pMC without background subtraction. They interpret this result as their instrument background, primarily due to ion source memory. Their ion source current varied, unintentionally, over about a factor of two, perhaps due to crystal face orientation or to conductivity differences between samples. “The oldest 14C age equivalents were measured on natural diamonds which exhibited the highest current yields” [4]. This important observation provides evidence about the source of the radiocarbon.

    If the radiocarbon were intrinsic to the sample, there would be no change in the radiocarbon ratio with sample current. The 14C, 13C, and 12C would change in unison. However, if the radiocarbon were coming from ion source memory or elsewhere in the accelerator, it should give a count rate independent of ion source current. Normalizing the radiocarbon count rate to the ion source current, which is predominantly 12C, would result in higher radiocarbon content for lower source currents, as observed. This data provides clear evidence that at least a significant fraction of the radiocarbon detected by Taylor and Southon in diamond measurements did not come from the diamonds themselves and thus could not be “intrinsic radiocarbon.”

    The lower values for unprocessed diamond and the current-dependent behavior find no explanation in Baumgardner’s “intrinsic radiocarbon” model. But these results fit well with the Taylor and Southon evidence that instrument background (specifically ion source memory) is material-dependent, with diamond exhibiting significantly less ion source memory than graphite. The radiocarbon detected in natural, unprocessed diamond measurements seems to be nothing more than instrument background.

Bertsche's complaint is serious. Radiocarbon dating is not a simple matter of a single measurement and a line of calculation. It takes calibration and an accounting of all possible contaminants. I don't really know if the RATE project was really so careless as to neglect the likelihood of the surfaces of the diamond samples being contaminated during the testing process, because I don't know enough about the subject, but the implication of this criticism is that it is not an accepted fact that C-14 is found intrinsically in diamonds. So please don't make a claim like that in passing.

#15 scott

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 09:04 AM

Tempest, diamonds are made of carbon, thus they have carbon 14, so does the carbon fiber body panels of a Ferrari. Understand that diamonds are really just carbon based organisms compressed to their limit. When you die, you could have the choice of having someone cremate you, and use your ashes to be compressed into a diamond.

Also remember, compression, the key factor in making fossils, which are stone + carbon. An extremely high amount of compression would be needed to turn carbon into a diamond. This goes back to the extreme pressure that a global flood would have created. Remember, this compression that created fossils all over the world, had to be caused by very dense layers of dirt. If you think a dinosaur dying beside a river would be covered with enough layers of dirt to compress it enough so that it actually fossilized, then you would absolutely need to have a rather large river, with tons, literally tons, of moving mud to do this in a rather short time period. This goes for every fossil ever made, because fossils need a rather large amount of compression to be made anyways.

So offcourse Fred is correct that diamonds contain carbon, because they are made from carbon. Also coal, natural gas, and anything living at one time does absolutely most positively contain carbon because it is made of carbon. Naturally, diamonds should contain carbon 14.

So saying that a diamond doesnt or shouldnt conatin carbon 14 is really funny in and of itself, just like the whole radiocarbon dating thing, which is just about as close to a theory as it is a myth.

#16 TempestTossed

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 01:20 PM

Tempest, diamonds are made of carbon, thus they have carbon 14, so does the carbon fiber body panels of a Ferrari.  Understand that diamonds are really just carbon based organisms compressed to their limit.  When you die, you could have the choice of having someone cremate you, and use your ashes to be compressed into a diamond.

Also remember, compression, the key factor in making fossils, which are stone + carbon.  An extremely high amount of compression would be needed to turn carbon into a diamond.  This goes back to the extreme pressure that a global flood would have created.  Remember, this compression that created fossils all over the world, had to be caused by very dense layers of dirt.  If you think a dinosaur dying beside a river would be covered with enough layers of dirt to compress it enough so that it actually fossilized, then you would absolutely need to have a rather large river, with tons, literally tons, of moving mud to do this in a rather short time period.  This goes for every fossil ever made, because fossils need a rather large amount of compression to be made anyways.

So offcourse Fred is correct that diamonds contain carbon, because they are made from carbon. Also coal, natural gas, and anything living at one time does absolutely most positively contain carbon because it is made of carbon.  Naturally, diamonds should contain carbon 14.

So saying that a diamond doesnt or shouldnt conatin carbon 14 is really funny in and of itself, just like the whole radiocarbon dating thing, which is just about as close to a theory as it is a myth.

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Diamonds are carbon, but that doesn't mean that they contain carbon-14. Carbon-14 is a radioactive isotope, which means it steadily decays into something else (nitrogen-14). Carbon-14 decays very quickly, so, if Fred Williams' figure is correct, it would take 200,000 years maximum for all carbon-14 in diamonds to have decayed into nitrogen-14. Diamond is made of carbon-12, the stable form of carbon. So young-Earth creationists rightly predict that we may find intrinsic carbon-14 in materials that supposedly hardened millions of years ago, like diamonds, while the rest of us would predict the opposite. Diamonds are extremely dense because they are formed 100 miles within the Earth's crust. I don't know how creationists would explain their very existence (probably more miracles), but I appreciate that they are putting their predictions to the test. I don't appreciate the careless manner in which they did. They reportedly did not take into account one of the most important considerations of radiocarbon dating, which is contamination from the instruments and tools. More relevantly, I am asking Fred to not simply assume that carbon-14 is found in diamonds when it is certainly not an established fact.

#17 scott

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 08:19 PM

The furthest man has dug into the earths surface is Kola Superdeep Borehole in Russia, which is about 7.62 miles (if we have dug further then please do tell). So to the claim that diamonds are formed hundreds of miles beneath the earths surface is not an absolute fact, but rather a quite reasonable assumption, simply because of the amount of compression needed to form a diamond, well this is easily disproved since i do believe we find diamonds only about 2 miles beneath the surface of the earth or less. And when you think about it, diamonds, formed only 2 miles beneath??? well added with the compression of 1 or 2 miles of global water then you get the picture. Remember, 1 mile deep of dirt and rock, is ALOT.

It is also not an established fact that carbon14 is dateable. Radiocarbon dating has not proved itself very accurate at all, i dont trust it, simply because when we date things that are supposed to be 100 years old or so, they end up being dated 1000 years off, or are dated fairly more recent than 100 years. Its just not a stable form of dating.

#18 TempestTossed

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 09:21 PM

The furthest man has dug into the earths surface is Kola Superdeep Borehole in Russia, which is about 7.62 miles (if we have dug further then please do tell).  So to the claim that diamonds are formed hundreds of miles beneath the earths surface is not an absolute fact, but rather a quite reasonable assumption, simply because of the amount of compression needed to form a diamond, well this is easily disproved since i do believe we find diamonds only about 2 miles beneath the surface of the earth or less. And when you think about it, diamonds, formed only 2 miles beneath??? well added with the compression of 1 or 2 miles of global water then you get the picture. Remember, 1 mile deep of dirt and rock, is ALOT.

It is also not an established fact that carbon14 is dateable. Radiocarbon dating has not proved itself very accurate at all, i dont trust it, simply because when we date things that are supposed to be 100 years old or so, they end up being dated 1000 years off, or are dated fairly more recent than 100 years.  Its just not a stable form of dating.

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Radiocarbon dating seems to be a reliable form of dating when it is done right, to account for natural and artificial contamination, to account for mixtures of materials, to properly calibrate, and so on. It is something that can be and has been properly tested and corroborated against other methods of dating. Of course you wouldn't get that impression when there are people who go out of their way to make sure that it is done wrong so they can prove it unreliable.

#19 Adam Nagy

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 09:53 PM

Radiocarbon dating seems to be a reliable form of dating when it is done right, to account for natural and artificial contamination, to account for mixtures of materials, to properly calibrate, and so on.  It is something that can be and has been properly tested and corroborated against other methods of dating.  Of course you wouldn't get that impression when there are people who go out of their way to make sure that it is done wrong so they can prove it unreliable.

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It sounds to me like "properly calibrate" means; “give us all the known info so we can be biased about the results with our preconceived evolutionary notions”.

If C-14 dating doesn't work in a blind test then it sounds useless to me.

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 01:54 PM

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. 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.

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.

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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