Answers to Creationist Attacks on Carbon Dating | NCSE
Radiocarbon accelerator mass spectrometric (AMS) dates on the acid-insoluble fraction from 38 core tops from the western Ross Sea, Antarctica, are used to. The amount of Carbon 14 contained in a preserved plant is modeled by the equation when the exponential function has the given base of, as in this problem. Solutions. Solution: 1. Since the half life of Carbon 14 is years, this means. Problems and Possible Solutions Concerning Radiocarbon Dating of Surface Marine Sediments, Ross Sea, Antarctica. John T. Andrews,* Eugene W. Domack, †.
It is easy to correlate the inner rings of a younger living tree with the outer rings of an older dead tree. The correlation is possible because, in the Southwest region of the United States, the widths of tree rings vary from year to year with the rainfall, and trees all over the Southwest have the same pattern of variations.
When experts compare the tree-ring dates with the C dates, they find that radiocarbon ages before BC are really too young—not too old as Cook maintains.
For example, pieces of wood that date at about BC by tree-ring counts date at only BC by regular C dating and BC by Cook's creationist revision of C dating as we see in the article, "Dating, Relative and Absolute," in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. So, despite creationist claims, C before three thousand years ago was decaying faster than it was being formed and C dating errs on the side of making objects from before BC look too young, not too old.
But don't trees sometimes produce more than one growth ring per year? Wouldn't that spoil the tree-ring count? If anything, the tree-ring sequence suffers far more from missing rings than from double rings. This means that the tree-ring dates would be slightly too young, not too old.
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Of course, some species of tree tend to produce two or more growth rings per year. But other species produce scarcely any extra rings. Most of the tree-ring sequence is based on the bristlecone pine. This tree rarely produces even a trace of an extra ring; on the contrary, a typical bristlecone pine has up to 5 percent of its rings missing. Concerning the sequence of rings derived from the bristlecone pine, Ferguson says: In the growth-ring analyses of approximately one thousand trees in the White Mountains, we have, in fact, found no more than three or four occurrences of even incipient multiple growth layers.
Hence at least some of the missing rings can be found. Even so, the missing rings are a far more serious problem than any double rings. Other species of trees corroborate the work that Ferguson did with bristlecone pines.
Before his work, the tree-ring sequence of the sequoias had been worked out back to BC. The archaeological ring sequence had been worked out back to 59 BC. The limber pine sequence had been worked out back to 25 BC. The radiocarbon dates and tree-ring dates of these other trees agree with those Ferguson got from the bristlecone pine. But even if he had had no other trees with which to work except the bristlecone pines, that evidence alone would have allowed him to determine the tree-ring chronology back to BC.
Answers to Creationist Attacks on Carbon-14 Dating
See Renfrew for more details. So, creationists who complain about double rings in their attempts to disprove C dating are actually grasping at straws. If the Flood of Noah occurred around BC, as some creationists claim, then all the bristlecone pines would have to be less than five thousand years old.
This would mean that eighty-two hundred years worth of tree rings had to form in five thousand years, which would mean that one-third of all the bristlecone pine rings would have to be extra rings. Creationists are forced into accepting such outlandish conclusions as these in order to jam the facts of nature into the time frame upon which their "scientific" creation model is based. Barnes has claimed that the earth's magnetic field is decaying exponentially with a half-life of fourteen hundred years.
Not only does he consider this proof that the earth can be no older than ten thousand years but he also points out that a greater magnetic strength in the past would reduce C dates. Now if the magnetic field several thousand years ago was indeed many times stronger than it is today, there would have been less cosmic radiation entering the atmosphere back then and less C would have been produced.
Therefore, any C dates taken from objects of that time period would be too high. How do you answer him? Like Cook, Barnes looks at only part of the evidence.
What he ignores is the great body of archaeological and geological data showing that the strength of the magnetic field has been fluctuating up and down for thousands of years and that it has reversed polarity many times in the geological past. So, when Barnes extrapolates ten thousand years into the past, he concludes that the magnetic field was nineteen times stronger in BC than it is today, when, actually, it was only half as intense then as now. This means that radiocarbon ages of objects from that time period will be too young, just as we saw from the bristlecone pine evidence.
But how does one know that the magnetic field has fluctuated and reversed polarity? Aren't these just excuses scientists give in order to neutralize Barnes's claims? The evidence for fluctuations and reversals of the magnetic field is quite solid.
Bucha, a Czech geophysicist, has used archaeological artifacts made of baked clay to determine the strength of the earth's magnetic field when they were manufactured. He found that the earth's magnetic field was 1.
See Bailey, Renfrew, and Encyclopedia Britannica for details. In other words, it rose in intensity from 0. Even before the bristlecone pine calibration of C dating was worked out by Ferguson, Bucha predicted that this change in the magnetic field would make radiocarbon dates too young.
This idea [that the fluctuating magnetic field affects influx of cosmic rays, which in turn affects C formation rates] has been taken up by the Czech geophysicist, V.
Bucha, who has been able to determine, using samples of baked clay from archeological sites, what the intensity of the earth's magnetic field was at the time in question.
Even before the tree-ring calibration data were available to them, he and the archeologist, Evzen Neustupny, were able to suggest how much this would affect the radiocarbon dates. There is a good correlation between the strength of the earth's magnetic field as determined by Bucha and the deviation of the atmospheric radiocarbon concentration from its normal value as indicated by the tree-ring radiocarbon work.
As for the question of polarity reversals, plate tectonics can teach us much. It is a fact that new oceanic crust continually forms at the mid-oceanic ridges and spreads away from those ridges in opposite directions.
When lava at the ridges hardens, it keeps a trace of the magnetism of the earth's magnetic field. Therefore, every time the magnetic field reverses itself, bands of paleomagnetism of reversed polarity show up on the ocean floor alternated with bands of normal polarity. These bands are thousands of kilometers long, they vary in width, they lie parallel, and the bands on either side of any given ridge form mirror images of each other. Thus it can be demonstrated that the magnetic field of the earth has reversed itself dozens of times throughout earth history.
Barnes, writing inought to have known better than to quote the gropings and guesses of authors of the early sixties in an effort to debunk magnetic reversals. Before plate tectonics and continental drift became established in the mid-sixties, the known evidence for magnetic reversals was rather scanty, and geophysicists often tried to invent ingenious mechanisms with which to account for this evidence rather than believe in magnetic reversals. However, bysea floor spreading and magnetic reversals had been documented to the satisfaction of almost the entire scientific community.
Yet, instead of seriously attempting to rebut them with up-to-date evidence, Barnes merely quoted the old guesses of authors who wrote before the facts were known.
But, in spite of Barnes, paleomagnetism on the sea floor conclusively proves that the magnetic field of the earth oscillates in waves and even reverses itself on occasion. Other opinions place the transition samples, such as seeds, grain or olive pits.
In many studies, particular radiocar- radiocarbon The date is important because the date you choose bon dates are not considered valid because they do will determine whether David and Solomon reigned not match the majority of dated samples from the research will bring in the archaeologically poor and archaeologically site in question. In other words the particular sample poorly documented Iron I or in the comparatively is either too late or too early. No doubt the rejection the tenth-century rich and richly documented Iron IIa.
Omitting outli- chronology debate various schools are not dramatically far apart. They ers would be acceptable only so long as it is being range between 30 and 80 years. Radiocarbon years differ from and to achieve a more accurate date for the transition calendar years because the former are dependent on solution is, in my period, many scholars have resorted to carbon or the varying content of carbon in the atmosphere.
Radiocar- has been developed, which converts radiocarbon test bon dating is regarded by many scholars as accurate, results to calendar years by relating these results to to adopt. The historical methods of dating archaeological strata, calibration curve is revised periodically as more data which the devotees of radiocarbon regard as inac- are continuously accumulated.
But the absolute date curate and intuitive. The hope of many scholars who after calibration depends on which calibration for- feel that this science-based radiocarbon research will mula is used. The results, depending on the calibra- bring the debate to its longed-for solution is, in my tion, can be quite different. Radiocarbon dates come The question I would like to raise is whether with a given uncertainty.
This uncertainty ranges radiocarbon dating is really more precise, objective from 20 years for high-precision dating through and reliable than the traditional way of dating when intermediate values of 50— years, and in some applied to the problem of the date of the transition cases upto — years.
This question is sharpened 5 Statistics. For interpreting the results, different in light of the fact that the uncertainty in the usual statistical models are used by different researchers. The radiocarbon dating has several serious dif- 6 Other considerations.