Tuesday, November 13, 2012

One Last Time—Radiocarbon Dating is Inaccurate


Since ages estimated by radiocarbon dating are used by evolutionists, archaeologists, palaeontologists, paleobiologists, etc. to prove their theories about the past, specifically the antiquity of things, it is imperative that we understand the errors involved in such dating. In past posts, we have discussed the methods, here we will discuss the assumptions and fallacies that drive the methods.
To be fair about this, what typically is reported by honest scientists and winds up in scientific journals, is the estimated ages with a margin of error; however, what makes it into the press, school textbooks, and the public conscience, suddenly becomes accurate, unarguable dates stated as facts.
Yet, radiocarbon dating has some very serious drawbacks and problems that are not typically known to the general public, and rarely, if ever, taught at the grade school level, and even not in colleges as a rule--but rather as absolutes. Shown below are some of the errors, fallacious assumptions and outright guesses that exist with Radiocarbon Dating.
First of all, we need to understand that Carbon-14 calculations are based on 7 assumptions, concerning the past 20-30 thousand years. These assumptions are both impossible to know, and therefore, impossible to measure:
1. The amount of Carbon-14 originally existing in the specimen at the time of its death is always the same. That is, when the specimen, the once living thing, first began, whether a tree or animal, human, etc., the carbon in the atmosphere at the time was the same no matter when, where, or in what circumstance. Therefore, when the specimen died, today’s scientist can know exactly how much carbon-14 existed and, therefore, be able to measure the decay rate and come up with an age.
However, it should be obvious to everyone that no one could know, no measurements were taken, and no knowledge of the item thousands of years earlier could therefore exist. Thus, the scientists must assume they know how much carbon-14 originally existed in order to make their calculations.
2. The balance between Carbon-14 production and decay has always been the same. Again, there is no way for anyone to know what amount of carbon-14 existed three thousand years ago, five thousand years ago, ten thousand years ago, etc. So once again, the scientist must assume that the rate was unchanged and that no outside factors existed to change that assumption.
3. The rate of Carbon-14 decay has not altered. Again, there is no way for anyone to know this. The scientist must again assume that no variance in this has taken place, that no events, or unusual factors in the atmosphere, or on the Earth, have occurred that might alter the rate of decay.
4. Organic material tested has not been contaminated by Carbon-14 since its death. That is, the scientist must assume that no additional carbon-14 has entered or leaked out of the specimen over the thousands of years of its existence. Obviously, no one can know this under any circumstances.
5. Earth's magnetic field intensity has not changed. Though enormous scientific evidence suggests that this has occurred in the past, the scientist must assume it has not, for if if has, then the carbon-14 cycle would be altered, and the specimen undatable.
6. There have only been very small variations in ocean depths. While the scientist assumes this has never happened, and obviously ignores the scriptural reference to the Great Flood of Noah’s time, such a flood would render the carbon-14 dating of all specimens existing before and during that time (less than 4500 years ago) undatable.
7. Ocean temperature changes have only been minor; and Cosmic ray intensity has not changed. Again, there is no way that such knowledge could be known, therefore, the scientists must make two more assumptions that these have not changed in order to date the specimen.
Just on this information alone, all specimen dating must require the scientist conducting such measurement to make eight assumptions on matters stretching back thousands of years where there can be absolutely no knowledge, no recorded information, no known measurement baseline. Yet, the scientist still claims the radiocarbon dating is accurate to within a plus/minus date.
Gas proportional counting, liquid scintillation counting, and accelerator mass spectrometry are the three principal radiocarbon dating methods
On this basis, and these assumptions, science claims they can date specimen to within a few years of its actual age. How presumptuous of them!
Even Willard F. Libby, in his book Radiocarbon Dating (1955), stated that “Measurements based on assumptions are guesses, not fact.” Unfortunately, scientists have since ignored any thought of guesswork, and promoted the idea of Carbon-14 dating as an actual, unalterable fact!
Consider these errors using the carbon-14 time clock:
1. Shell from living clams was dated at thousands of years old (Science, Vol. 141, August 16, 1963 p634)
2. A freshly killed seal was dated at 1,300 years old, and dried seal carcasses less than 30 years old, were dated as 4,600 years old (Antarctic Journal of the United States, Vol. 6, October, 1971 pp210+)
3. Thirty eight laboratories worldwide carbon-dated samples of wood, peat and carbonate, and produced differing dates for similar objects of the same age. The overall finding of the comparative test was that radiocarbon dating was 'two to three times less accurate than implied by their error terms'. Ages of objects assessed by this method cannot therefore be viewed as being credible. (Nature, September 28, 1989 p:267; New Scientist, September 30, 1989 p:10)
4. A living water snail taken from an artesian spring in Nevada was given as assessed age of 27,000 years (Science, Vol. 224, April 6, 1984 pp58-61)
5. A 15,000 year difference appeared in the assessment of samples from a single sample block of peat (New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, Vol. 21, No. 4, 1978 pp463-466)
While there are numerous other examples that could be shown, the following statements should also be of interest:
• "In the light of what is known about the radiocarbon method and the way it is used, it is truly astonishing that many authors will cite agreeable determinations as proof for their beliefs ...The radiocarbon method is still not capable of yielding accurate and reliable results. There are gross discrepancies, the chronology is uneven and relative, and the accepted dates are actually selected dates. "This whole blessed thing is nothing but 13th century alchemy, and it all depends upon which funny paper you read"." (Robert E. Lee, “Radiocarbon: Ages in Error,” Anthropological Journal Of Canada, Vol. 19, No. 3, 1981 p9)
• "Radiocarbon is not quite as straightforward as it may seem. The technique does not in fact provide true ages, and radiocarbon results must be adjusted—calibrated—to bring them into line with calendar ages". [Diggings, August, 1990 p8; Dr Sheridan Bowman, "Radiocarbon Dating", written for the British Museum)
• "If a C-14 date supports our theories, we put it in the main text. If it does not entirely contradict them, we put it in a footnote. And if it is completely 'out of date', we just drop it." (Professor Brew, quoted by T. Save-Soderbergh (Egyptologist) & Ingrid Olsson (Physicist) in "C-14 Dating and Egyptian Chronology" in Proceedings of the Twelfth Nobel Symposium, John Wiley & Sons: New York, 1970 p5; see also Diggings, August, 1990 p8)
Isn’t it interesting that so many people, members included, want to accept what science claims, especially when those scientists claiming an ancient Earth, etc., are opposed to God and reject His teachings. Perhaps George Albert Smith said it best: “It is strange to me how many people fall into the habit of listening to those who say things that are contrary to the revealed will of our Heavenly Father” (2012 Priesthood Manual, “Teachings of the Prophets”)

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