Sunday, December 15, 2019

Why is it so Difficult to Obtain Accurate Dates?” – Part I

There is a tendency to accept scientific “dating” of places, events, and structures, that are based upon Carbon-14 dating. The problem with this system is that it is extremely flawed, and has been from the very beginning. Willard Libby, and his team from the University of Chicago in 1949—nearly ten years after Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben discovered the radioactive isotope of carbon now referred to as Carbon-14—claimed they had developed a “clock” that measured in years the existence of C-14, also known as radiocarbon, found in once living things.
    Since then the technique has been widely used and continually improved. As most people know, the system or “clock” is based on the technique that dates a piece of dead organic material by measuring the rate of decay of the radioactive isotope Carbon-14 contained within it.
The carbon-14 atoms that cosmic rays create combine with oxygen to form carbon dioxide, which plants absorb naturally and incorporate into plant fibers by photosynthesis

Animals and people eat plants and take in carbon-14 which had been absorbed by them. The ratio of normal carbon (Carbon-12) to Carbon-14 in the air and in all living things at any given time is nearly constant. In addition, only about one in a trillion carbon atoms are Carbon-14, which are always decaying while at the same time are being replaced by new Carbon-14 atoms at a constant rate. At any given moment, a body has a certain percentage of Carbon-14 atoms in it, and all living plants and animals have the same percentage.
    This radioactive isotope is formed in the upper atmosphere, and is constantly being produced by a system in which cosmic rays from the sun hit atoms, releasing neutrons. The neutrons may then be absorbed by Nitrogen-14 atoms which lose a proton in the process, becoming Carbon-14 and a part of the mostly homologous mixture of air in the atmosphere.
    It is combined with other atoms and molecules such as oxygen to create carbon dioxide, or CO2 through the process of photosynthesis, as plants absorb carbon dioxide which contains Carbon-14 along with the much more abundant Carbon-12 and Carbon-13. Animals then eat the plants and incorporate Carbon-14 into their own bodies, and eventually it is passed through the food chain. Through this process, every living thing eventually absorbs Carbon-14 into its body in a measurable ratio to Carbon-12 and Carbon-13.
    Carbon-14 makes up an extremely small portion of the carbon on earth. Carbon-12 is the most common isotope and makes up just under 99% of all carbon. Carbon-13 comprises around 1%, and Carbon-14 makes up only a small fraction of a percent. In fact, there is about a trillion times more Carbon-12 in the atmosphere than Carbon-14.
    Now, when the plant or animal dies, its carbon ceases to be absorbed into its tissue, and decays over time as the absorption of all carbon has stopped. This leads us to the amount of Carbon -14 in the system at the time of death of the plant or animal that is measured by the “time clock.”
    Thus, the initial condition for Libby’s clock is the living ratio of the carbon isotopes in the artifact being measured—and after a certain amount of time, the ratio of Carbon-14 to Carbon-12, compared to a modern sample of the same type, will give a date for the object in question.
The half-life of carbon 14 is 5730 ± 30 years and is calculated through measurement based on Libby’s “time clock” 

However, the method of dating lies in trying to determine how much carbon 14 (the radioactive isotope of carbon) is present in the artifact and comparing it to levels currently present in the atmosphere—an impossible factor for artifacts prior to the scientific measurement of the atmosphere since no one can know how much carbon existed in the pre-historic atmosphere and how much was in the artifact at the time of “death,” plus the fact that in this past century, we know that carbon in the atmosphere has been drastically altered due to atomic explosions, nuclear energy, atomic testing.
    In addition, a half-life works the same way in any type of decay. In the case of Carbon-14, every 5,730 years half of the original C-14 decays into nitrogen. At 11,460 years (2 half-lives) there is ¼ of the original Carbon-14, at 17,190 years (3 half-lives) there is 1/8 of the original Carbon-14, and so on. Eventually, there is too little Carbon-14 left in a sample to accurately measure without contamination. Theoretically, radiocarbon techniques have the ability to date samples to around 75,000 years, but the working threshold of reliable dating is around 50,000 years. Samples significantly older than this have very little or even no measurable Carbon-14 left.
    This is why, when Carbon-14 is found in artifacts that are considered to be very old, such as Dinosaur bones, it shows that the belief in age in accurate. However, paleontologists and other sciences cling to the believed ages rather than adjust the overall premise of the geologic time scale clock.
    Thus, when Libby and his team found that through their own measurement and evaluation that their initial test of known artifacts dated far less than believed, and extrapolated to an overall age of the Earth of about 10,000 years. However, rather than change the initial believe in the age, the clock was adjusted to show the appropriate age since “Everyone knows the Earth us millions of years old.”
    Thus Libby reset his “clock” to show much older dates because of the assumption that the Earth was billions of years old (Willard Libby, Radiocarbon Dating, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1952).
    Despite all these problems, carbon dating is used by many sciences, including archeologists in which to determine the age of ancient artifacts. This obviously revolutionized the dating of artifacts in archaeology and paleontology, giving these sciences a method of placement of their artifacts.
    Thus, the fact that the half-life of Carbon-14 is 5730 ± 30 years, and the method of dating lies in trying to determine how much Carbon-14 (the radioactive isotope of carbon) is present in the artifact and comparing it to levels currently present in the atmosphere. It is known that Carbon-14 decays into Nitrogen-14 through the process called Beta decay with a half-life of approximately 5,730 years, which means that only half of the original amount of carbon is left in the fossil after 5,730 years, while half of the remaining amount is left after another 5730 years and so on. This means that one-half of the isotope will dissipate or leave the fossil in 5730 years. only one half of the original amount is left in the fossil after 5,730 years—and half of that amount will leave after another 5,730 years.
Which do we believe?

This beta decay process consists of the atom of Carbon-14 ejecting an electron, or beta particle, out of the nucleus, converting a neutron to a proton in the process. The resulting atom, or daughter product, is Nitrogen-14, which has the same atomic number, but contains one more proton than the parent product.
    This leads us to an understanding that the ages discussed through the Carbon-14 and any other measurement is the fact that the dates found by whatever method are discarded if they disagree with the “believed” ages involved—just as Libby did with his initial measurement.
    Now, in order to understand where the Land of Promise of the Book of Mormon located, there are certain factors that must be understood, one of them is the age of the Earth set by “scientists,” and present in the public consciousness at 4.55 billion years of age, and the age determined before the “clock” was reset to mirror a much older age.
    It should be pointed out that “public consciousness,” generally speaking does not refer to the specifically moral conscience, but to a shared understanding of social norms, or a of common perception, that is, common to many individuals—consequently, because of the sheer weight of the use of Libby’s adjusted clock.
    However, Moses, writing from the Lord’s dictation, claims the Earth is much younger, about 13,000 years old according the scriptural record found in the Old Testament and the Pearl of Great Place.(See the next post, “Why is it so Difficult to Obtain Accurate Dates? – Part II,” for a continuation of showing the fallacy of an ancient Earth and how artifacts found can be listed far older than they are by archaeologists and paleontologists)

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