Doubts about carbon dating

Answers to Creationist Attacks on Carbon Dating | NCSE

doubts about carbon dating

Radiocarbon dating, which is also known as carbon dating, is one weaknesses in radiocarbon dating as justification to cast doubt on the. Radiocarbon dating can easily establish that humans have been on the earth for over twenty thousand years, at least twice as long as creationists are willing to. Seventy years ago, American chemist Willard Libby devised an ingenious method for dating organic materials. His technique, known as carbon.

I asked several people who know about this field. Their responses are numbered below. C14 dating is very accurate for wood used up to about 4, years ago.

doubts about carbon dating

This is only because it is well calibrated with objects of known age. This standard content of C14 can then be used for wood not associated with a historically documented date. Dates up to this point in history are well documented for C14 calibration. For object over 4, years old the method becomes very unreliable for the following reason: Objects older then 4, years run into a problem in that there are few if any known artifacts to be used as the standard.

Libby, the discoverer of the C14 dating method, was very disappointed with this problem. He understood that archaeological artifacts were readily available.

Creation v. Evolution: How Carbon Dating Works

After all, this what the archeologist guessed in their published books. Some believe trees are known to be as old as 9, years.

How reliable is radiocarbon dating?

They use tree rings as the calibration standard. A lot of people doubt this claim for various good reasons I wont go into here. We believe all the dates over 5, years are really compressible into the next 2, years back to creation.

So when you hear of a date of 30, years for a carbon date we believe it to be early after creation and only about 7, years old. If something carbon dates at 7, years we believe 5, is probably closer to reality just before the flood. Robert Whitelaw has done a very good job illustrating this theory using about 30, dates published in Radio Carbon over the last 40 years.

Creationists often criticize radiocarbon dating in the context of discussions of the age of the Earth. But, as is clear even from the very brief discussion in the previous paragraph, radiocarbon dating can say nothing one way or the other about whether the Earth is many millions of years old, since such dates are far beyond this method's range of resolution.

Thus creationists and others who invoke perceived weaknesses in radiocarbon dating as justification to cast doubt on the great age of the Earth are either uniformed on very basic scientific facts, or else are highly being disingenuous to their audience.

Reliability of radiocarbon dating Radiocarbon dating has been studied at great length over the past few decades, and its strengths and weaknesses are very well understood at this point in time.

For instance, even in the s, when Willard Libby first developed the process, it was recognized that the scheme assumes that the level of carbon in the atmosphere is constant.

doubts about carbon dating

But researchers have known at least since that the carbon level has not been constant, so that the radiocarbon clock needs to be "calibrated. Measurements of coral or other carbonate structures such as stalagmites, corroborated using uranium-thorium radiometric dating. Optically stimulated luminescence dating.

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This is based on the fact that stimulating mineral samples with blue, green or infared light causes a luminescent signal to be emitted, stemming from electron energy that is proportional to the amount of background radiation the specimen has undergone since burial.

This scheme can be used to date items between about years to overyears, and thus can be used to double-check and calibrate radiocarbon dates [ Optical ]. Counting the alternating light and dark bands in glacial lake beds that record the annual passage of seasons.

doubts about carbon dating

In each case, radiocarbon dates, determined by well-established procedures and calculations, are compared directly with dates determined by the above methods, thus permitting the radiocarbon dates to be accurately calibrated with distinct and independent dating techniques. Inseveral leading researchers in the field established a detailed calibration of radiocarbon dating, based on a careful analysis of pristine corals, ranging back to approximately 50, years before the present epoch [ Reimer ].

Here is a graph showing radiocarbon dates on the vertical axis and the calibrated age on the horizontal axis shown here with permission from Johannes van der Plicht, one of the authors of the study. The relative width of the red calibration curve indicates the range of uncertainty: These researchers collected core samples 70 meters deep, and then painstakingly counted the layers, year by year, to obtain a direct record stretching back 52, years.

doubts about carbon dating

Comparing these counts with a series of radiocarbon-dated samples spanning this record, they obtained a calibration curve that is very close to the calibration shown above [ Callaway ]. Thus these calibrations are very reliable indeed. Compare, for example, the uncorrected line blue dotted line with the calibration curve red curve.