Saturday, March 28, 2015

How Old is Old? – Part III

Continuing with the understanding of radiocarbon dating (Carbon-14), and the time clock Willard F. Libby invented to read the ages of the past used constantly by archaeologists and anthropologists in determining the age of past civilizations.
When Libby and his team (above) obtained the artifacts that archaeologists had obtained for him to measure, artifacts with known Egyptian dates, all of which were no more than 5000 years old, he was in for a shock when the test results came in.
    As Libby stated in his autobiography, he had no doubts that Carbon-14 was entering and leaving the atmosphere at the same rate—thus the system was in equilibrium. This would mean, of course, that his measurements would verify that fact that the Earth was older than 50,000 years.
    But they did not!
The first sample was wood from the deck of a boat in the tomb of Sesostris III of Egypt; another sample of wood, probably cedar, from the outer sarcophagus of Aha-nakht, at El Bersheh, a tomb buried in the earth. Another sample was the heartwood of one of the largest redwood trees ever cut and known as the "Centennial Stump," felled in 1874 with 2,905 rings between the innermost (and 2,802 rings between the outermost) portion of the sample and the outside of the tree, making a known mean age of 2,928, plus or minus 51 years, as of the time it was cut. The next sample was wood from the floor of a central room in a large Hilani ("Palace" of the "Syro-Hittite") period in the city of Tayinat in Northwest Persia, and known to be 2,625 years, plus or minus 50 years. Also the linen wrapping of the Dead Sea Scrolls was tested, and also a sample of carbonized bread from Pompeii, a city buried in 79 A.D., 1880 years earlier.
    The shock occurred when the results came back showing the atmosphere to be very young, under 20,000 years old. Libby was astonished! He knew that if these figures were correct, it would mean that the Earth was 10,000 to 15,000 years old. In fact, his figures showed that Carbon-14 was entering the system (the atmosphere) 12% to 20% faster than it was leaving it, which meant the atmosphere was not in equilibrium!
    So naturally he knew his figures were in error!
In fact, more than a decade later through satellite imagery and measurement, such atmospheric physicists as Hans Suess and Richard “Rich” Lingenfelter showed that Carbon-14 is now entering the system 30% to 32% faster than it is leaving.
    But in 1952, according to Libby, “Everyone knew the Earth was millions of years old,” therefore he dismissed the results as being due to experimental error and adjusted the figures to reflect a “uniform assumption” of the age of the Earth, and corrected his figures to fit what he considered to be the known facts of his day—that the Earth was, in fact, millions of years old. 
    Libby, like many scientist since, assumed that Carbon-14 had to be in balance (achieved equilibrium), and in his “unbiased” evolutionary opinion, he adjusted his figures to reflect that. It might be of interest to note, that William D. Stansfield, professor emeritus, Biological sciences Department, California Polytechnic State University, points out in a College-level textbook by an evolutionist for evolutionists (The Science of Evolution, Macmillan 1977), “that Carbon-14 is out of balance,” and adds that the Earth is less than 20,000 years old and then cites about a dozen points that could be used to show the scientific reality supporting a young earth.
    What this means, is a specimen that “died” a thousand years ago will show through Carbon-14 dating to be much older than true age because Carbon-14 is still building up in the atmosphere. Or a site said to be three thousands years old is really much younger, maybe two thousand years old. In addition, specimens two thousand years old would erroneously show a much older age because there was less Carbon-14 in the atmosphere, since it is continuing to build up.
    So, Libby’s own experiments showed just the opposite of what he believed and that the Earth was not in equilibrium. As a result of his own testing, Libby knew that if these figures were correct, it would mean that the atmosphere was young, so he dismissed the results as being due to experimental error! (This is not to suggest any dishonesty, only a very strong tendency toward what everyone believed, i.e., that the earth was millions of years old). In fact, we repeat that his own testing figures showed the earth to be less than 20,000 years old. And by his own admission, “Everyone knew the Earth was millions of years old,” and thus he figured his results were in error.
Sheep on the beach in North Ronaldsway, the northern most islands of Orkney above Scotland and south of the Shetland Islands
    Another interesting point that can skew carbondating results is when testing animals, it depends entirely upon their diet. When animals died hundreds to thousands of years earlier, there is no way of knowing what their diet had been. As an example, sheep on the North Ronaldsway island north of Orkney above Scotland, eat seaweed in the winter. Seaweed has a 13% higher Carbon-13 content than grass, which is much higher than for sheep that feed on grasses. Consequently, their Carbon-14 values will measure much higher (older) than sheep fed elsewhere. Yet, many labs when testing rely on published values of animals, etc., rather than conducting new sampling—a practice that results in error of Carbon-14 dating.
    Another factor is that The carbon exchange between atmospheric CO2 and carbonate at the ocean surface is also subject to fractionation, with Carbon-14 in the atmosphere more likely than Carbon-12 to dissolve in the ocean. The result is an overall increase in the Carbon-14 to Carbon-12 ratio in the ocean of 1.5%, relative to the Carbon-14 to Carbon-12 ratio normally found in the atmosphere. This increase in Carbon-14 concentration almost exactly cancels out the decrease caused by the upwelling of water (containing old, and hence Carbon-14 depleted, carbon) from the deep ocean, so that direct measurements of Carbon-14 radiation are similar to measurements for the rest of the biosphere; however, according to Martin J. Aitken (Science-based Dating in Archaeology, London, 1990), correcting for isotopic fractionation, as is done for all radiocarbon dates to allow comparison between results from different parts of the biosphere, gives an apparent age of only about 400 years for ocean surface water.
    You can read more of the problems and assumptions that Libby’s radiocarbon clock created in other posts on this blog. For now, though, we need to understand how important this is. Because of this misunderstanding, we have moved further and further away from God and his creation of man and the Earth to a scientific world where there is no God and no room for God. We have accepted ages of artifacts to be far older than they really are, giving us a erroneous knowledge of the age of man and his condition over the centuries. It, has in effect, provided us with false data that leads to very inaccurate understanding and the development of knowledge far from accurate.
    How did we get to this point? How did Libby’s clock show the wrong time sequences? The answer is simple: he set it that way!
The model of radiocarbon dating which Libby developed, using his incorrect ‘uniform’ assumption, must therefore be corrected to fit the facts about Carbon-14—let us call the new, corrected model the ‘non-uniform’ model. What does this mean? It implies that if the Carbon-14 is still ‘building up’, we can calculate how old the whole system is—this puts an upper limit on the age of the atmosphere of some 7 to 10,000 years. Also, it means that a thousand years ago, the Carbon-14/Carbon-12 ratio in the atmosphere was less than today (because the Carbon-14 was still building up). In other words, the further you go back, the more you have to shrink the radiocarbon dates to make them fit the facts. Remember that this correction is based on measurable scientific data, not on any creationist preconceptions.
    Despite this glaring error, today there are over 130 radiocarbon dating laboratories around the world producing radiocarbon assays for the scientific community at the rate from a simple $250 per measurement upwards, on machines that cost over a million dollars to purchase. It is not likely that any change will be forthcoming to correct this glaring error in man’s judgment and understanding of the past—it is too lucrative to change, and in changing would take away the simplistic way in which science is able to justify their false criteria of such things as “The Big Bang,” “The Red Shift,” “The Age of the Earth,” and humanism of evolution, i.e., the “Evolutionary Column.”
(See the next post, “How Old is Old? – Part IV,” to see how and why Libby’s clock was set to read the wrong time for radiocarbon dating and what impact that has on our understanding the past ages of the Earth)

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