Thursday, April 2, 2015

Digging Deeper – Why Equilibrium has not Been Reached and the Time Clock is Off

Continuing from the previous post regarding the questions raised from our recent posts on this matter, and why the Carbon-14 time clock is not effective in the way it is presently used, evaluated, and dated. The Question that started this (see the first post in this “Digging Deeper” series), had a few key points: 
    1. “The counter that I have seen most often is that equilibrium has been reached, but that because of fluctuation in cosmic rays, there are natural (though minor) fluctuations in the amount of Carbon 14.”
    Response: No. This is a cover-up idea by adherents of the theory. In reality, Carbon-14 has never reached equilibrium. In 1954, during Willard F. Libby’s original testing, he found the atmosphere was increasing at the rate of 12% or more per year. He chalked it up to an error tolerance within his error margin, and disregarded it. However, 12% is a considerable difference between a theory of equilibrium and a finding of non-equilibrium. As a matter of fact, equilibrium has been shown in subsequent testing after Libby to be increasing in the atmosphere at the rate of 22% (Melvin A. Cook, 1963), and as much as 37% in later tests. Another point is that it is today estimated that the amount of Carbon-14 in the atmosphere is only 78% of what it would be if the earth were old (older than 60,000 years).
    2. "If the Earth is not in equilibrium, then when the living thing dies, additional Carbon-14 will enter the dead animal or plant life."
Response: No. A Carbon-14 cycle is no longer maintained, as no new Carbon-14 enters (like breathing, at death the body no longer takes in air). In fact, when organisms die, decomposers break down their bodies and use the carbon stored in the bodies of dead organisms for their own bodies, and also release carbon as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere through cellular respiration. Animal shells can turn into rock-like limestone after a very long time. Likewise, carbon can be returned to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide if dead organisms are burned in a forest fire or burned by people to create heat and fuel.
    Simplistically as part of the carbon cycle, carbon moves from the atmosphere to plants. In the atmosphere, carbon is attached to oxygen in a gas called carbon dioxide (CO2). Through the process of photosynthesis, carbon dioxide is pulled from the air to produce food made from carbon for plant growth. The carbon then moves from plants to animals. Through food chains, the carbon that is in plants moves to the animals that eat them, and animals that eat other animals get the carbon from their food, too.
What happened to a specimen before it was discovered, what contaminants crept in, what daughter elements were introduced, is simply not known and cannot be known, yet any such contaminants effect testing and dating measurements
    Carbon then moves from plants and animals to soils. When plants and animals die, their bodies, wood and leaves decays bringing the carbon into the ground. Some is buried and will become fossil fuels over long periods of time. Finally, carbon then moves from living things to the atmosphere. Each time you exhale, you are releasing carbon dioxide gas (CO2) into the atmosphere. Animals and plants get rid of carbon dioxide gas through a process called respiration. Carbon then moves from the atmosphere to the oceans and other bodies of water, and the carbon is dissolved into the water.
    3. “If the Earth is not in equilibrium, then when the living thing dies, additional Carbon-14 will enter the dead animal or plant life. This does not make sense to me. The entire foundation of Carbon-14 date measurement is that once dead, no additional Carbon 14 enters the organism. 
    Response: Correct. It has been written that “Life would end without rot,” and it is well known that decomposition releases the chemicals that are critical for life. Actually, decomposers mine them from the dead so that these recycled materials can feed the living. The most important thing recycled by rot is the element carbon. This chemical element is the physical basis of all life on Earth, and after death, decomposition releases carbon into the air, soil and water. Living things capture this liberated carbon to build new life. It’s all part of the carbon cycle.
    4. “How does increasing atmospheric Carbon-14, cause an increase in Carbon-14 in non-living organic matter?”
Response: It does not. What happens, as stated earlier in these posts, is that the amount of Carbon-14 within the living thing at time of death varies, depending on how much Carbon-14 exists in the atmosphere at that time. Before the Flood, it is believed to have been less; after the Flood it would have been more by percentage of carbon in the atmosphere because of the lack of Carbon-12 being produced normally by plants and trees that were killed and buried during the Flood. It is the amount of Carbon-14 in the atmosphere that matters, since that amount will also be in the living thing while alive, and begin to decay after death. If that amount is not constant (which it is not and has not been over history), then the basis for the Carbon-14 time clock is inconsistent and inconsistent ages of the past are provided through testing.
    5. “If you are claiming there is some kind of diffusion because of a differential between the atmosphere and organic remains, then Carbon-14 in organic remains would always receive an increasing influx of new Carbon-14 as the original Carbon-14 decayed.”
    Response: No. See response to #3 above.
    6. “This would totally invalidate any use of Carbon-14 as a dating method regardless of whether atmospheric Carbon-14 is in equilibrium.”
    Response: We are talking about two different things, though they both invalidate the Carbon-14 testing method being used for dating past ages.
    1) Equilibrium: We have used several examples of how the radiocarbon dating method is heavily influenced by the assumption of equilibrium. As an example, if an artifact sample showed 78.5% of its Carbon-14 left, it would be dated to about 2000 years ago, or around 15 A.D. But what if that amount of carbon left was based on an unequal amount in the atmosphere where it was really only 65% left from what existed at the time of death, that would date the artifact at 3550 years ago, or about 1550 B.C. Or what if the amount was really based on far less Carbon-14 in the air and instead of 78.5% it was really 94%--it would then date to 510 years ago, or about the time of the Inca in their peak period.
Or if it had been less years ago, or about 81.5% carbon left, it would date to 315 B.C., when Ammaron was telling Mormon (left) about where he had buried the plates, 5 years before Mormon was made commander of the Nephite armies. The point is, the amount of Carbon-14 left in the artifact specimen will determine when the specimen is dated. If that amount of Carbon-14 is based on more or less Carbon-14 in the atmosphere at the time of the artifact’s death, it can sway the dating of the specimen by hundreds or even thousands of years to either an earlier or later date. The entire process is left to assumptive reasoning based on unprovable assumptions.
    2) Not only a matter of equilibrium, but of massive changes in the amount of Carbon-14 between the assumed amount and the actual amount. Consider Physicist Warren Beck of the University of Arizona who claims from years of testing that there was a glut of additional Carbon-14 in the atmosphere around 10,000 to 12,000 years ago, and believe it has changed considerably over the past 50,000 years, which he says “raises the question about the accuracy of carbon dating for very old objects.” You could go through a series of “what ifs” with this process as well.
    First, it should also be kept in mind that first, one must assume that the decay rate of Carbon-14 has remained constant and not varied over the years. This is an unwarranted assumption. There is ample evidence to prove that quite the opposite is true. Experiments done with the radioactive isotopes of Uranium-238 and Iron-57 have shown that rates not only do vary, but can, in fact, be altered by changing the environment surrounding the samples.
    Second, there is the assumption that the formation of Carbon-14 has been constant throughout the years. This, too, is a totally unwarranted view for two reasons: The Industrial Revolution caused a significant increase in the amount of Carbon-12 in the atmosphere through the burning of coal; and the initiation of atomic bomb testing on July 16, 1945, and the subsequent above ground testing between 1955 and 1980, caused a rise in neutrons which in turn increased Carbon-14 concentrations around the world. In a similar way, solar cosmic radiation fluctuates and would cause a fluctuation in the amount Carbon-14 being produced at any one time. Either of these, and other situations would change the amount of carbon assumed to be in the specimen and the atmosphere surrounding the amount of decay.
Third, volcanoes produce large amounts of Carbon-12 Dioxide which do not contain initial amounts of Carbon-14. This material from volcanic origin further disrupts the ratios of Carbon-12/Carbon-14 in the atmosphere. 
    Fourth, the decay of the earth’s magnetic field is an ongoing process. As the magnetic field decreases, more cosmic radiation penetrates the earth’s atmosphere and this causes a slow long-term increase in Carbon-14 production. 
    Thus, all of these factors combine to cause fluctuations in the Carbon-12/Carbon-14 ratios found in plant, animal and human materials.
    Lastly, it should always be kept in mind that the specimen, during its hundreds or thousands of years sitting in or on the ground somewhere since its death would be subject to invasion or seepage of other matters, including additional Carbon-14, daughter products, etc., which any or all would contaminate the specimen and provide inaccurate testing dates.

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