Monday, April 13, 2015

How Far Back Can We Measure Dates? Part X

Continuing from the previous posts regarding radiocarbon dating techniques and how they have skewed our understanding of the past and its ages, and more specifically on how dendrochronology and radiocarbon dating effect the dating of archaeological sites in Andean South America.     
    This is also to help answer those who have written in and asked about the dates posted in the earlier series very recently concluded regarding the archaeological sites discovered in Andean South America dating to earlier than Nephite and even Jaredite times. As has been mentioned in this blog before, radiocarbon and dendrochronology dates are far from accurate no matter how much credible hype is given them.
We cannot go back in time to see how the pyramids were actually built, or how Stonehenge monoliths were hoisted into position, or the actual dates each was constructed
    Unfortunately, those involved with unrecorded history gather information in the present and construct stories about the past and processes as to how things can be known; however, the level of proof demanded for such matters seems to be much less than for studies in the empirical sciences, such as physics, chemistry, molecular biology, physiology, and the like. Yet, that does not keep them from claiming absolutely that what they know is both accurate and correct, despite the many assumptions made, and problems pointed out.
    It is important to remember that that the past is not open to the normal processes of experimental science; that is, repeatable experiments in the present. A scientist cannot do experiments on events that happened in the past. Scientists do not measure the age of rocks, they measure isotope concentrations, and these can be measured extremely accurately. However, the ‘age’ is calculated using assumptions about the past that cannot be proven. In the same token, radiocarbon labs can be very accurate in measuring the amount of Carbon-14 left in a specimen; however, when that information is evaluated, it is against unprovable data based upon assumptions made by people (for an extensive scientific understanding of this, see the book Scientific Fallacies and Other Myths).
    Consequently, the actual calendar dates that radiocarbon claims, such as 2250 B.C. or 1800 B.C., etc., are unrealistic through the present settings of radiocarbon dating (using an atmosphere in equilibrium). Actually, the only time we use radiocarbon dating in this blog is for comparison between two areas, or two time frames, such as the question about the origins of settlements in the Americas—that is, were cities, cultures and civilizations begun in Andean South America first or in Mesoamerica first, or which settlement in South America precedes another settlement.
    Thus, when we see dates that Chichen Itza (Mesoamerica) was settled between 600-900 A.D., or Tiwanaku (Lake Titicaca) 300 to 1000 A.D., we can conclude that Tiwanaku is the older of the two sites (settled first), not that the calendar dates themselves are accurate—meaning that while neither of these two calendar start dates (300 A.D. or 600 A.D.) would be correct in actual calendar years, it does show that one location is obviously earlier (older) than the other.
Compare, as an example, the Valdivian (the Jaredites in South America, landing along the Santa Elena Point or Peninsula in Ecuador) 3500 B.C. to 1800 B.C., with the Olmec (claimed by Mesoamericanists to be the Jaredites) landing along the east coast of the Gulf of Mexico, from 1500 B.C. to 400 B.C. Which of these two cultures showed up in the Americas before and were older than the other? Obviously, the Valdivia—tough the actual calendar years would not be accurate. And, further, they showed up in the right place (West Sea) in South America of the Land Northward, not the East Sea in the Mesoamerica model.
    However, neither dater, 3500 B.C. nor 1500 B.C. is a correct date to the scriptural record, or the Bible, the latter dating the arrival of the Jaredites around 2100 B.C., about 240 years after the Flood.
    However, both cultures are claimed to be the earliest cultures in their respective areas (Andean South America and Mesoamerica), the two areas of the Land of Promise under discussion that can make a claim to people of record dating to earliest settlements in the New World. That is why the first of those settlement posts (Wednesday, March 4, 2015, “The Earliest Americans-Valdivia”), begins with,Much has been written about the first or parent civilization in Mesoamerica referred to as the Olmec, and their designation by Mesoamericansts as the Jaredite people; however, few, if any at BYU, FARMS, Neal A. Maxwell Institute, and other Theorists working on the location of the Land of Promise and the Jaredite/Nephtie homelands ever look to the older civilizations of the Americas, those found much further south.”

In addition, it was also written in a following post in that series (Sunday, March 1, 2015 “The First Americans and Who They Were-Part I”), “However, further south, in Andean South America, which predates Mesoamerica development and housed the First Americans many centuries before the Olmec and later the Maya, civilization got its first foothold in the Western Hemisphere after the Flood,” and also, “Several cultures laid the groundwork for the rise of the Inca, cultures of which most people have never heard: the Valdivia, Norte Chico, Sechin Bajo, Caballete, Chavin, Huarca Prieta, Aspero, Wari, Nazca, Tiwanaku, Chimu, and Moche—all had striking achievements of their own, upon which the Inca were able to later build.”
    Also, in another post of the series (Saturday February 28, 2015, “Personal Bias Drives Science”), in which was written: “In addition, archaeologists depend heavily on radiocarbon dating to aid them in determining dates; however, radiocarbon dating, better known as Carbon-14 dating, is itself a questionable science, though highly accepted, dating method. It is not that the system is based on faulty premises for the concept of the carbon leakage to date once living organisms is sound; however the problem lies in its calibration, i.e., the way the data provided is interpreted. Take its beginning, when its developer, physicist Willard Libby, found from his own experiments that the Earth was less than 20,000 years old; however, decided that every one knew the Earth was millions of years old, and adjusted his findings accordingly, thus providing readings of millions of years instead of hundreds, making all subsequent measurements determined on the wrong age basis.”
    Thus, it should be seen, that the radiocarbon dating of early ruins in Peru of calendar years before 2400 B.C., would make them existing before the Flood. If Carbon-14 dates were accurate, which they are not by a large margin of error, then this would show that these and basically all dates in the Americas would not match the scriptural record unless one picked and chose those that did have an overlap—the very type of thinking, by the way, that archaeologists and anthropologists (and dendrochronologists) all employ in their theories and measurements.
    However, when we take into account that scientists base radiocarbon dating on the atmosphere being in equilibrium (which would require at least 30,000 to 50,000 years), which it has been shown time and again in test after test (by all levels of scientists) it is not, then we have to look for other ways to determine the time frame of these archaeological sites.
This is where science knowledge has to be used with science technique. This was introduced in the later posted series entitled “How Far Back Can We Measure Dates? Part I through X,” in which we introduced, among other things, Robert L. Whitelaw’s graph showing the difference in radiocarbon dating of Carbon-14 in a nonequilibrium atmosphere vs. that in an atmosphere in equilibrium. He showed that if a specimen was dated by science today as living 8,860 years ago (calendar date: 6796 B.C.), it would actually (in a nonequilibrium atmosphere) date to 3436 B.C. (actual calendar date). If it dated to 12,530 BP—before present, or “years ago” (10466 B.C.) it would actually be only 6,000 years ago (3936 B.C.) While Whitelaw’s figures don’t go far enough, since he uses a date of Creation 7000 years ago and a Flood date of 3000 B.C. (both dates being wrong, since they are 6000 and 2344 B.C. based upon Moses’ writing), they still show how drastic is the problem and how dates are much younger than lab testing announces.
    The interesting thing is, that Whitehall’s studies showed that the further back in time you go, the greater is the discrepancy. As an example, if something in a nonequilibrium atmosphere was accurately dated at 6,500 years ago (4436 B.C.), it would be dated by current Carbon-14 testing to be about 17,836 B.C. However, Whitehall still makes a mistake in his calculation of Carbon-14 in the atmosphere following the Flood (within the last 5000 years), claiming it would be less than it was, skewing the measurements which he shows to be fairly close.
(See the next post, “How Far Back Can We Measure Dates? Part XI,” for the final in this series and to see how dendrochronology and radiocarbon dating effects the dating of archaeological sites in Andean South America)

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