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#1 AFJ

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 03:54 PM

Six diamonds within rocks that have "geological ages greatly in excess of 100 Ma" (100 million years) have been found with 14C ages of "64.9 to 80 ka." (64.9 to 80 thousand years)

Use of natural diamonds to monitor 14C AMS instrument backgrounds
Article

Department of Anthropology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92354, USA

Abstract

To examine one component of the instrument-based background in the University of California Keck Carbon Cycle AMS spectrometer, we have obtained measurements on a set of natural diamonds pressed into sample holders. Natural diamond samples (N = 14) from different sources within rock formations with geological ages greatly in excess of 100 Ma yielded a range of currents (not, vert, similar110–250 μA 12C− where filamentous graphite typically yields not, vert, similar150 μA 12C−) and apparent 14C ages (64.9 ± 0.4 ka BP [0.00031 ± 0.00002 fm] to 80.0 ± 1.1 ka BP [0.00005 ± 0.00001 fm]). Six fragments cut from a single diamond exhibited essentially identical 14C values – 69.3 ± 0.5 ka–70.6 ± 0.5 ka BP. The oldest 14C age equivalents were measured on natural diamonds which exhibited the highest current yields.


Why would 14C be in diamonds?

Diamonds associated with harzburgites are about 3.3 billion years old -- more than two thirds the age of Earth itself, and those from eclogites generally range from 3 billion to less than 1 billion years old.  Page


Probability of contamination is low as "...Six fragments cut from a single diamond exhibited essentially identical 14C values – 69.3 ± 0.5 ka–70.6 ± 0.5 ka BP."

More evidence of a young earth? Or just an unexplainable fact?

#2 skeptic

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 01:58 AM

You have read the headline of the article, haven´t you? :lol:

#3 AFJ

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 03:39 AM

You have read the headline of the article, haven´t you?  :huh:

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Yes I have. That still doesn't detract from my question, which you did not answer. Why is 14C even present in diamonds that are at least "1 billion years old?"

What is your point?

#4 Jet Black

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 03:57 AM

Six diamonds within rocks that have "geological ages greatly in excess of 100 Ma" (100 million years) have been found with 14C ages of "64.9 to 80 ka." (64.9 to 80 thousand years)
Why would 14C be in diamonds?
Probability of contamination is low as "...Six fragments cut from a single diamond exhibited essentially identical 14C values – 69.3 ± 0.5 ka–70.6 ± 0.5 ka BP."

More evidence of a young earth?   Or just an unexplainable fact?

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It's difficult to say from the article abstract, but 69-70 kya is right at the limit of 14C detection abilities. To put it into context, the half life of 14C is about 5800 years, so you are talking 11-13 half lives. the normal atmospheric ratio of 14C is one part per trillion, and 0.5^12 is 0.01% or 10^-4. so after that amount of decay there would be one 14C atom in ten quadrillion 12C atoms, which is obviously a really really small number, and thus hard to detect, and may well not be above the actual detection limit of the AMS machines.

If I can get hold of it, I'll try to get hold of the paper to see what is going on.

#5 AFJ

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 05:46 AM

It's difficult to say from the article abstract, but 69-70 kya is right at the limit of 14C detection abilities. To put it into context, the half life of 14C is about 5800 years, so you are talking 11-13 half lives. the normal atmospheric ratio of 14C is one part per trillion, and 0.5^12 is 0.01% or 10^-4. so after that amount of decay there would be one 14C atom in ten quadrillion 12C atoms, which is obviously a really really small number, and thus hard to detect, and may well not be above the actual detection limit of the AMS machines.

If I can get hold of it, I'll try to get hold of the paper to see what is going on.

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Please do. I understand the what you are saying, and you are correct. Therefore if the diamonds are 1-3 billion years old, there should be no detectable 14C.

#6 skeptic

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 05:50 AM

Yes I have.  That still doesn't detract from my question, which you did not answer. Why is 14C even present in diamonds that are at least "1 billion years old?" 

What is your point?

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There isn´t anything like a completely pure substance. You have always contamination to a certain extent. Additionally with every detection method you have a certain background. You maybe con minimize it but there is always one. Below the background you cannot measure. You will always find the background amount. That doesn´t mean that much 14C is really there. It just means that is your background and therefore the limit of your measuring system.
I already said that in the other thread. What´s so hard to understand about that? It seems you just want to find something.

#7 AFJ

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 06:18 AM

There isn´t anything like a completely pure substance. You have always contamination to a certain extent. Additionally with every detection method you have a certain background. You maybe con minimize it but there is always one. Below the background you cannot measure. You will always find the background amount. That doesn´t mean that much 14C is really there. It just means that is your background and therefore the limit of your measuring system.
I already said that in the other thread. What´s so hard to understand about that? It seems you just want to find something.

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Then what good is radiometric dating? You have a double standard. Scientists use 14C on many things to substantiate their desired postulates, and anomalies are explained away. Nice science.

The advent of this accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS) method improved the sensitivity of the raw measurement of the 14C/12C ratio for 14C dating from approximately 1% of the modern value to about 0.001%. The expectation was that this improvement in precision would make it possible to extend to dramatically older ages the fossil material that could be measured by this technique.

The big surprise, however, was that no fossil material could be found anywhere that had as little as 0.001% of the modern value! Since most of the scientists involved in applying this new technique took for granted the standard geological time scale was correct, the obvious explanation for the 14C they were detecting in their samples was contamination from some source of modern carbon with its high level of 14C. Therefore a major campaign was mounted to discover and eliminate the source or sources of such contamination. Although a few relatively minor sources of 14C contamination were identified and corrected, there still remained a significant level of 14C -- typically about 100 times the ultimate sensitivity of the instrument -- in samples that should have been utterly '14C-dead', including many from the deeper levels of the fossil-bearing part of the geological record. page



#8 AFJ

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 06:57 AM

There isn´t anything like a completely pure substance. You have always contamination to a certain extent. Additionally with every detection method you have a certain background. You maybe con minimize it but there is always one. Below the background you cannot measure. You will always find the background amount. That doesn´t mean that much 14C is really there. It just means that is your background and therefore the limit of your measuring system.
I already said that in the other thread. What´s so hard to understand about that? It seems you just want to find something.

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Your suggestion is that the use of diamonds to find the background level is a legitimate experiment. Baumgarder says the system is able to be run with no sample to find background levels.

The use of diamonds to find contamination levels assumes the ages of diamonds are too old for intrinsic levels of 14C to be present. Good science should not preclude the possibility that there is intrinsic 14C in the diamonds.

R.H. Brown reported in Origins 1988(15), p. 39-43 that "infinite age" samples of fossil carbon are being reported in the literature as having C-14 ages in the 40,000-year range. The laboratories doing this research are from Europe, Canada, and the USA (Brown et al. 1983; Jull et al. 1986; Beukens, Gurfinkel, and Lee 1986; Grootes et al. 1986; and Bonani et al. 1986).

"Contamination from our present Biosphere" was the most widely used interpretation to explain the presence of these "unexpected results".

In addition Radiocarbon (Vol. 29, No. 3, 1987) contains two different reports that attempted to explore the limits of this "contamination". The first group, from Simon Frazer University in British Columbia (Vogel, Nelson and Southon 1987) measured 43 samples of anthracite (coal) from Pennsylvania, USA, that had been given the best known pretreatment to remove contamination by modern carbon. The sizes of the samples ranged from 0.5 to 20 milligrams. They all yielded around 43,000-year C-14 dates, regardless of the sample size.

They associated this 43,000-year age limit to machine background and contamination during sample preparation.

The second group, from the University of Toronto in Ontario (Gurfinkel 1987) stated that "One of the major problems encountered in this study was the apparent presence of C-14 contamination in samples that were assumed dead . . . it could not be assumed that even the oldest samples were necessarily C-14 free (p. 342).

Gurfinkel, went through a meticulous process using graphite, calcite, limestone and anthracite samples to come up with her conclusion. All she could say is that "infinite age" samples should be expected to have "contamination" giving dates as recent as 43,000 years, which is similar to what the Simon Frazer University group obtained.


Contamination is dogmatically attributed to 14C readings by assumption that there is no intrinsic 14C in the samples "that are older than limitations." This is circular reasoning.

So they are already giving an age then using the assumption as a rule rather than the data.

It makes sense to me that what Baumgarder says is true. It they can run the system with an empty tube and find a reading then that is the background contamination. Measure what you claim to be the source of the problem!!

#9 Jet Black

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 10:17 AM

Your suggestion is that the use of diamonds to find the background level is a legitimate experiment.  Baumgarder says the system is able to be run with no sample to find background levels. 


no, that's not actually a legitimate method of finding the background - all it determines is the lowest machine noise, but machine noise is not the only source of background. There are other sources of background such as in sample preparation, that cannot be accounted for by simply putting in empty containers. There is a certain amount of noise in the system due to things like variation in the ionization source energies and subsequent velocities of the atoms injected into the AMS system, which means that atoms such as 12C or 13C can end up in the 14C target area. Also preparation steps can introduce Nitrogen (14N) into the sample, which again cannot be distinguished from 14C. Simply putting in an empty container is an invalid method of determining background.

#10 AFJ

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 02:27 PM

no, that's not actually a legitimate method of finding the background - all it determines is the lowest machine noise, but machine noise is not the only source of background.

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Thanks for confirming my point and Baumgarder's. Then you can eliminate one source of background and subtract it out of the reading. I know there can be multiple sources.

There are other sources of background such as in sample preparation,

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Snelling writes that the preparation was limited. The diamonds in this research were not combusted but "were mounted directly in the beam within the analytical instrument...." Furthermore, according to the concerned abstract, they analyzed "six fragments cut from a single diamond," and the fragments "exhibited essentially identical 14C values...." If there was contamination, why did these exhibit identical values?? I find it hard to believe that in cutting the diamond the exact same contamination took place on each one. Being diamond especially, one of the hardest and most closed system minerals--it would most likely not be contaminated in situ, and as was said the preparation was limited.

Snelling--That was because the diamonds were mounted directly in the beam within the analytical instrument, whereas in the RATE study the diamonds were combusted to convert the carbon to carbon dioxide, which was then converted to graphite that was analyzed in the instrument. That process may have introduced some more carbon-14 to the analyses.


The RATE group's dating at another lab than this produced a reading of around 55,000 years for their diamonds. But Snelling is speaking of this research here. RATE diamond prep could have caused more 14C into the graphite. The diamonds here were dated as diamonds, not graphite. So less prep, but still 14 C readings.

There is a certain amount of noise in the system due to things like variation in the ionization source energies

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Please clarify, you are suggesting the beam itself produced 14C? If so, then why trust any reading--it would be guesswork from top to bottom. But maybe that is the motive--to muddy the water when the expectations for the AMS came up with implications not to modern science's liking.

and subsequent velocities of the atoms injected into the AMS system, which means that atoms such as 12C or 13C can end up in the 14C target area. Also preparation steps can introduce Nitrogen (14N) into the sample.


Well gee, lets just throw out the AMS then. They really can't tell anything then can they?

#11 Jet Black

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 12:40 AM

Please clarify, you are suggesting the beam itself produced 14C?  If so, then why trust any reading--it would be guesswork from top to bottom.  But maybe that is the motive--to muddy the water when the expectations for the AMS came up with implications not to modern science's liking.
Well gee, lets just throw out the AMS then.  They really can't tell anything then can they?

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To explain this I need to give a little background into the way an AMS works.

A sample is prepared, that is placed into a chamber. The sample is then ionized - there are a few ways of doing this, for example an electron beam, or flowing ionized gas over it (usually something like argon. There may be some energy spread in the ionization energies. This beam of ionized sample is then fired through a magnetic field, which then applies a force to the stuff passing through it, turning it around a corner. How much the stuff turns depends on (1) how ionised it is - this is usually very constant, since it is integer numbers of electrons (2) how fast the particles are going - there can be a spread in these values, but again they attempt to control as well as they can (3) the atomic weight of the particles. There are some techniques they employ to ensure that the velocity spread is not too big and so on, but I won't go into those here. From this we can see that if all the particles have exactly the same velocity, heavier ones will be bent differently to light ones. So then we have various target areas that count the numbers of impacts on them.

Now say we have a sample of pure 12C. It is possible, that some of them might be a bit fast. This would have the same effect as them being a bit heavier in terms of how much they turn in the field, and so they could land on a 14C target. This spread tends to be of a fairly set amount, which depends on the gaussian spread in energies of the ionization source. In each run this spread may vary slightly due to the way the operator sets up the equipment.

This is the perhaps the main reason that running an empty chamber is an invalid background measurement - it simply cannot take into account these spreads.

#12 AFJ

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 01:04 AM

To explain this I need to give a little background into the way an AMS works.

A sample is prepared, that is placed into a chamber. The sample is then ionized - there are a few ways of doing this, for example an electron beam, or flowing ionized gas over it (usually something like argon. There may be some energy spread in the ionization energies. This beam of ionized sample is then fired through a magnetic field, which then applies a force to the stuff passing through it, turning it around a corner. How much the stuff turns depends on (1) how ionised it is - this is usually very constant, since it is integer numbers of electrons (2) how fast the particles are going - there can be a spread in these values, but again they attempt to control as well as they can (3) the atomic weight of the particles. There are some techniques they employ to ensure that the velocity spread is not too big and so on, but I won't go into those here. From this we can see that if all the particles have exactly the same velocity, heavier ones will be bent differently to light ones. So then we have various target areas that count the numbers of impacts on them.

Now say we have a sample of pure 12C. It is possible, that some of them might be a bit fast. This would have the same effect as them being a bit heavier in terms of how much they turn in the field, and so they could land on a 14C target. This spread tends to be of a fairly set amount, which depends on the gaussian spread in energies of the ionization source. In each run this spread may vary slightly due to the way the operator sets up the equipment.

This is the perhaps the main reason that running an empty chamber is an invalid background measurement - it simply cannot take into account these spreads.

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Thank you for explaining the process. You sound like you are in the lab yourself. I am going by what mostly Snelling and Baumgarder have written, and they are not novices. Baumgarder is considered an expert is his discipline, even by uniformintarians. I don't know if he has done actual lab work, but he speaks about the behind the scenes history of the expectations of the AMS, that it would be very precise. And the discovery of the "contamination problem." This was an unforseen problem.

You're painting a picture of inaccuracy and blurry measurements. If we don't know what is impacting the target area then all carbon 14 measurements should be thrown out on this basis. The fact remains, that the prep was limited on the diamonds, but if you want to disregard them as contaminated, then what will you do with other anomalies like coal and fossils which have been found to have more 14C than these diamonds?

Are you going to say they are more contaminated? And you did not even consider my question about the identical measurements on the six fragments? Why did that happen if there is no predictability in the system. It seems to me that identical measurements from 6 different fragments of the one diamond, at six different times, supports the proposition of intrinsic carbon 14 in the diamond. It also shows the stability of the system, which would tend to invalidate your arguement.

#13 skeptic

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 01:40 AM

*sigh*

I don´t know how much you know about metrology, but measuring in the range or below your detection limit gives meaningless results, not zero, just meaningless.

You don´t throw a yardstick out your window because you can´t measure the thickness of a piece of paper. It´s just the wrong tool.

You don´t measure actual 14C at the detection limit. At least you can´t be sure of it. You get a reading but this is just background noise. And yes background noise with similar samples and similar apparative setup could be very uniform.

The inability to get meaningful results below your detection limit doesn´t disqualify the whole method. This assertion is just silly.

@Jet Black: Normally you use a Cs-Sputter source for ionisation in an AMS. The target get´s hitten by caesium ions and ionizes 12C, 13C and 14C. The advantage of this method is that you get just single ionized ions and 14N is normally not ionized, since it doesn´t form negative ions. The background is for example formed by 13CH or 12CH2 molecular ions.

#14 AFJ

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 01:50 AM

*sigh*

I don´t know how much you know about metrology, but measuring in the range or below your detection limit gives meaningless results, not zero, just meaningless.

You don´t throw a yardstick out your window because you can´t measure the thickness of a piece of paper. It´s just the wrong tool.

You don´t measure actual 14C at the detection limit. At least you can´t be sure of it. You get a reading but this is just background noise. And yes background noise with similar samples and similar apparative setup could be very uniform.

The inability to get meaningful results below your detection limit doesn´t disqualify the whole method. This assertion is just silly.

@Jet Black:  Normally you use a Cs-Sputter source for ionisation in an AMS. The target get´s hitten by caesium ions and ionizes 12C, 13C and 14C. The advantage of this method is that you get just single ionized ions and 14N is normally not ionized, since it doesn´t form negative ions. The background is for example formed by 13CH or 12CH2 molecular ions.

The inability to get meaningful results below your detection limit doesn´t disqualify the whole method. This assertion is just silly.

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And what is the detection limit? It appears to me they were using the diamonds as a guide for this. If so, there are fossils and coal that have much more C-14. If you want to throw out the diamonds, then what about them? Or will you say the coal is a guide for the detection limit?

All of this information you want to give me to explain a detection limit--was it not known before the AMS was made? Why were the scientists suprised? Sounds like you're curving the test professor. I don't think you read this:

Baumgarder article

The advent of this accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS) method improved the sensitivity of the raw measurement of the 14C/12C ratio for 14C dating from approximately 1% of the modern value to about 0.001%. The expectation was that this improvement in precision would make it possible to extend to dramatically older ages the fossil material that could be measured by this technique.

The big surprise, however, was that no fossil material could be found anywhere that had as little as 0.001% of the modern value! Since most of the scientists involved in applying this new technique took for granted the standard geological time scale was correct, the obvious explanation for the 14C they were detecting in their samples was contamination from some source of modern carbon with its high level of 14C. Therefore a major campaign was mounted to discover and eliminate the source or sources of such contamination. Although a few relatively minor sources of 14C contamination were identified and corrected, there still remained a significant level of 14C -- typically about 100 times the ultimate sensitivity of the instrument -- in samples that should have been utterly '14C-dead', including many from the deeper levels of the fossil-bearing part of the geological record.


So if the bolded statement is true, then the uniformintarian establishment is saying the detection limit is "about 100 times the ultimate sensitivity of the instrument."

#15 skeptic

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 02:26 AM

And what is the detection limit.  It appears to me they were using the diamonds as a guide for this.  If so, there are fossils and coal that have much more C-14. If you want to throw out the diamonds, then what about them?

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Depends on what you mean by "much more". Do you have a source with actual numbers? There are coal and oil deposits which have higher 14C amount due to radioactive rocks in the surroundings or contamination. There are also coal and oil deposits with very low 14C amount. These are demanded because for neutrino detection too much decay in the detectors which are composed of hydrocarbons is bad.
If the coal deposits with higher amount of 14C shows a young earth, what do the deposits with low 14C show? surely they are contaminated with anti-14C which destroys the 14C <_<

#16 Jet Black

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 03:52 AM

Thank you for explaining the process.  You sound like you are in the lab yourself.  I am going by what mostly Snelling and Baumgarder have written, and they are not novices.  Baumgarder is considered an expert is his discipline, even by uniformintarians.  I don't know if he has done actual lab work, but he speaks about the behind the scenes history of the expectations of the AMS, that it would be very precise.  And the discovery of the "contamination problem."  This was an unforseen problem. 

Well baumgardner's background is not in dating methods and experimental labwork - he is mostly a geophysicist. I know his ideas aren't mainstream, but you're right iirc that he is still fairly well respected as he has produced some nice models of geological processes.

You're painting a picture of inaccuracy and blurry measurements.  If we don't know what is impacting the target area then all carbon 14 measurements should be thrown out on this basis.  The fact remains, that the prep was limited on the diamonds, but if you want to disregard them as contaminated, then what will you do with other anomalies like coal and fossils which have been found to have more 14C than these diamonds?

All measurements are blurry to some degree, particularly this sort of thing. The issue at hand is determining how blurry, in order to decide whether you can actually see something or not. A simple example is something like measuring how high an object was when dropped, by measuring the time to hit the floor with a stopwatch. You see when it is dropped and start the watch, you see when it hits the floor and stop the watch. there will be a certain accuracy, let's say 0.1s in your start and stop times - start time will always be after, stop time might be before or after. So say you do the experiment ten times, you'll get a spread of values. Based on the accuracy you might be able to calculate the initial height to an accuracy of 10 cm, or maybe within 1cm, but it is unlikely that you would be able to calculate the initial height to within 1mm. Also if you start with a height around a meter, then you will be more accurate than if you start with a height of around 10cm, and more accurate than a height of around 1cm. Eventually there will be a lower limit so you can't really say how high it is, because your measurement is too inaccurate. All you can say, is that it is "less than x cm"

That is what these tests are there for - to determine how accurate a measurement can be, and what the lower limit is.

Are you going to say they are more contaminated?  And you did not even consider my question about the identical measurements on the six fragments?  Why did that happen if there is no predictability in the system. It seems to me that identical measurements from 6 different fragments of the one diamond, at six different times, supports the proposition of intrinsic carbon 14 in the diamond.  It also shows the stability of the system, which would tend to invalidate your arguement.

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I am not saying there is no predictability in the system, just the predictability is limited, just like in the ball dropping experiment above. The values were not identical, just close:

Six fragments cut from a single diamond exhibited essentially identical 14C values – 69.3 ± 0.5 ka–70.6 ± 0.5 ka BP.


each sample has an individual accuracy (the count accuracy) of 0.5ka, and the 6 samples have values between 69.3 and 70.6 ka - so there is some variability there. Generally for an externally contaminated sample, for example a bit of coal that was exposed to air or bacteria that contain 14C, the values would be far more variable because for example there would be more bacteria in one bit of the coal than another, or one bit might be more porous and absorb more air than another. So this possible explanation is highly unlikely. So a more likely explanation is either going to be intrinsic 14C as you suggest, or soemthing to do with the limits of the machine. I don't know which of these it could be without looking at the paper itself. Still not got it yet, but I've asked some people for it so I should have it soon.

#17 AFJ

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 04:50 PM

Well baumgardner's background is not in dating methods and experimental labwork - he is mostly a geophysicist. I know his ideas aren't mainstream, but you're right iirc that he is still fairly well respected as he has produced some nice models of geological processes.

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Yes, I know the RATE team has to send the material they prep to labs. I don't know if anyone on the team has experience on the spectrometer or not, but I know some of them are quite experienced geologists like Austin. I realize they are creationists, and would be suspect of corresponding motivations, but they still know how to extract and prep the material being sent.

That's probably another reason they send their material to a respected lab, rather than let a known creationist do it.

All measurements are blurry to some degree, particularly this sort of thing. The issue at hand is determining how blurry, in order to decide whether you can actually see something or not. A simple example is something like measuring how high an object was when dropped, by measuring the time to hit the floor with a stopwatch. You see when it is dropped and start the watch, you see when it hits the floor and stop the watch. there will be a certain accuracy, let's say 0.1s in your start and stop times - start time will always be after, stop time might be before or after. So say you do the experiment ten times, you'll get a spread of values. Based on the accuracy you might be able to calculate the initial height to an accuracy of 10 cm, or maybe within 1cm, but it is unlikely that you would be able to calculate the initial height to within 1mm.  Also if you start with a height around a meter, then you will be more accurate than if you start with a height of around 10cm, and more accurate than a height of around 1cm. Eventually there will be a lower limit so you can't really say how high it is, because your measurement is too inaccurate. All you can say, is that it is "less than x cm"

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I understand what you're saying, and I do appreciate your patient civility also. My motivation is not to win a debate, but to find truth. If there is intrinsic 14C in the diamonds, or coal, or fossils, I would like to know for sure. I believe that there is--but obviously it is a controversial subject.

My only pondering today was the statements you made about the atom velocities, and the 14N, 12C and other isotopes on the targeting area. Obviously the spectrometer relies on physics in order to make the impacts, and this is based on the atomic mass and velocities of the particles.

So it makes sense that if the velocities vary, or the masses are close to 14 C you would have impacts of different elements/ isotopes/compounds on the targeting area. My only response to this is that there is no way to know (sense you said you can not distiguish the impacts) if all the impacts were, say14N or everything but 14C. This is not likely, but I say this to make the point--it seems to me that allowance for contamination has to rely on assumption rather than a hard percentage. If they had a reliable method to find this, obviously they would not still be experimenting to find the background level.

the 6 samples have values between 69.3 and 70.6 ka - so there is some variability there.

Yeah, that's 1300 years with six individual measurements--not much. And it was consistent with the other diamonds.

So a more likely explanation is either going to be intrinsic 14C as you suggest, or soemthing to do with the limits of the machine. I don't know which of these it could be without looking at the paper itself. Still not got it yet, but I've asked some people for it so I should have it soon.

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So then the next question would be, if it is intrinsic, how did the 14C get there. Yes, it could have come from bacteria, or U radiation. So the diamonds would be inconclusive and coal also--that is there is room for debate.

That leaves the lower strata fossils Baumgarder talks about. And I have heard unverified (by me <_< ) claims of some having significant 14C levels.

Fossils are mostly minerals, and if they are well cleaned, should be free of live bacteria. If they are as old as is postulated, there should have been no organic material in them for quite some time, allowing for undetectable 14 C readings. As for radiation, I know it can affect coal, but I haven't studied this extensively enough to know about the fossils. Perhaps you have some comments on that.

The only other thing I'll say is that Baumgarder did say the assumed "contamination" in some of these fossils was "100 times the sensitivity" of the AMS.

#18 AFJ

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 07:45 PM

Hey Jet and Skeptic,

Duh :blink: Guess what? Why I didn't do this before I don't know, but I got some info tonight. I wiki-ed Accelerator Mass Spectrometer. Found out why it's more precise than other spectrometers.

Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) differs from other forms of mass spectrometry in that it accelerates ions to extraordinarily high kinetic energies before mass analysis. The special strength of AMS among the mass spectrometric methods is its power to separate a rare isotope from an abundant neighboring mass ("abundance sensitivity", e.g. 14C from 12C).[1] The method suppresses molecular isobars completely and in many cases can separate atomic isobars (e.g. 14N from 14C) also


So Jet must be familiar with another spectrometer. This one doesn't have the problem of 14N and 14C, like he had mentioned before. But you were right about the corner. You can see how it turns.

Posted Image

This is the one Baumgarder says has a detection limit of 0.001 or 0.002 pMC (pure modern carbon).

The advent of this accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS) method improved the sensitivity of the raw measurement of the 14C/12C ratio for 14C dating from approximately 1% of the modern value to about 0.001%. Age of Earth



#19 Jet Black

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 05:02 AM

Hey Jet and Skeptic,

Duh :blink: Guess what?  Why I didn't do this before I don't know, but I got some info tonight.  I wiki-ed Accelerator Mass Spectrometer.  Found out why it's more precise than other spectrometers.
So Jet must be familiar with another spectrometer.  This one doesn't have the problem of 14N and 14C, like he had mentioned before.  But you were right about the corner.  You can see how it turns.

Posted Image

This is the one Baumgarder says has a detection limit of 0.001 or 0.002 pMC (pure modern carbon).

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yeah - thanks for the research. I wasn't sure what system they were using. As sceptic pointed out above, the source they use doesn't ionize 14N easily. This will be down to the forces on the electrons in the outer shells being different.

I'm pretty busy for a couple of days, but I'll try to get back to your other post when I have time.

#20 AFJ

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 07:00 PM

Depends on what you mean by "much more". Do you have a source with actual numbers? There are coal and oil deposits which have higher 14C amount due to radioactive rocks in the surroundings or contamination. There are also coal and oil deposits with very low 14C amount. These are demanded because for neutrino detection too much decay in the detectors which are composed of hydrocarbons is bad.
If the coal deposits with higher amount of 14C shows a young earth, what do the deposits with low 14C show? surely they are contaminated with anti-14C which destroys the 14C  ;)

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Skeptic,
Yes I do have some numbers for you. We've established that the accelerator mass spectrometer has the ability to separate 14C "from an abundant neighboring mass ("abundance sensitivity", e.g. 14C from 12C)" and "...suppresses molecular isobars completely and in many cases can separate atomic isobars (e.g. 14N from 14C) also." Wiki

The AMS sensitivity is .001 percent modern carbon. For guests, that means in plain English the AMS, which is pictured in the previous post is reliable to separate carbon 14 from other molecular isobars, isotopes and carbon 12. That is up to the detection sensitivity of .001 % of the average level of carbon 14 in modern living organisms.

The following is from a table representing numerous journal paper research done by Dr. Paul Giem, an MD, medical researcher, professor, and holds a bachelors in chemistry. He compiled a table of papers on detectable 14C samples which are by the geologic timescale deemed 14C 'dead'. The table is on Baumgarders site. There are many but this one is very interesting.

Foraminifera (Pyrgo murrhina) from the miocene (app 23 to 5 mya)

Reference-Nadeau et al. [30]

14C/C (pmc) (±1 S.D.) = 0.58±0.09

For guests, that means the ratio of carbon 14 to carbon 12 in the forminefera was .58% of the carbon 14 ratio level in modern living organis.

I picked that one because it is not a living fossil. It was allegedly extinct in the Miocene.

Marble,a metamorphism of limestone, composed of mainly of calcite (biological origin of course)

Reference-Aerts-Bijma et al. [1]

14C/C (pmc) (±1 S.D.) = 0.71±?*


This puts the age of the marble at around 40,000. ANd that is based on uniformintarian assumptions that there was no death of the complete biosphere in the deluge, and that the current production of 14C has remained constant.

Here is a graph of age--this is only an approximation from Baumgarder.

Posted Image

For 10 coal samples done by RATE.

Note the quote below: "The composite results in Table 2 represent the weighted averages of these numbers in Table 3 and the subtraction of a standard background of 0.077±0.005 pmc."

Posted Image

I doubt that all the samples were near uranium, and they are all within close levels of each other.

DETAILS OF RATE SAMPLE SELECTION AND ANALYSIS

The ten samples in Table 2 were obtained from the U. S. Department of Energy Coal Sample Bank maintained at Penn State University.  The coals in this bank are intended to be representative of the economically important coalfields of the United States.  The original samples were collected in 400-pound quantities from recently exposed areas of active mines, where they were placed in 30-gallon steel drums with high-density gaskets and purged with argon.  As soon as feasible after collection, these large samples were processed to obtain representative 300 g samples with 0.85 mm particle size (20 mesh).  These smaller 300 g samples were sealed under argon in foil multilaminate bags and have since been kept in refrigerated storage at 3°C.  We selected ten of the 33 coals available with an effort to obtain good representation geographically as well as with respect to depth in the geological record.  Our ten samples include three Eocene, three Cretaceous, and four Pennsylvanian coals.

The 14C analysis at the AMS laboratory we selected involves first processing the coal samples to make graphite targets and then counting the relative numbers of atoms from the different carbon isotopes in the accelerator mass spectrometer system.  The accelerator generates an intense ion beam that ionizes the graphite on the target, while the mass spectrometer uses electric and magnetic fields to separate different atomic species by mass and charge and counts the numbers of triply ionized 14C, 13C, and 12C atoms.  The sample processing consists of three steps: combustion, acetylene synthesis, and graphitization. The coal samples are first combusted to CO2 and then converted to acetylene using a lithium carbide synthesis process.  The acetylene is then dissociated in a high voltage AC electrical discharge to produce a circular disk of graphite on spherical aluminum pellets that represent the targets for the AMS system.  Four separate targets are produced for each sample.  Every target is analyzed in a separate AMS run with two modern carbon standards (NBS I oxalic acid).  Each target is then analyzed on 16 different spots (organized on two concentric circles). The advantage of this procedure over a single high precision measurement is that a variance check (typically a T-test) can be performed for the 16 spots on each target.  If an individual target fails this variance test, it is rejected.  While this has advantages for any kind of sample, it is particularly useful for samples with very low 14C levels because they are especially sensitive to contamination.  While great care is taken to prevent target contamination after the graphitization step, it nevertheless can happen.  Any contaminated spot or any contaminated target would bias the average.  This variance test attempts to identify and eliminate this source of error.

Table 3 below gives the measurements in pmc from the four separate targets for our ten coal samples. The numbers in parentheses are the percent errors, calculated from the 14C count rate of the sample and the two NBS standards and from the transmission of errors in the 12C and 13C current measurements of the sample and two standards.  The composite results in Table 2 represent the weighted averages of these numbers in Table 3 and the subtraction of a standard background of 0.077±0.005 pmc.

The background standard of this AMS laboratory is CO2 from purified natural gas that provides their background level of 0.077±0.005 pmc.  This same laboratory obtains values of 0.076±0.009 pmc and 0.071±0.009 pmc, respectively, for Carrara Marble (IAEA Standard Radiocarbon Reference Material C1) and optical-grade calcite from Island spar.  They claim this is one of the lowest background levels quoted among AMS labs, and they attribute this low background to their special graphitization technique.  They emphasize backgrounds this low cannot be realized with any statistical significance through only one or two measurements, but many measurements are required to obtain a robust determination.






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