Carbon/Radiometric Dating

This page offers viewpoints that reveal the faults in the accepted method of dating fossils, artifacts, and rocks. When studied, the processes Scientists go through to date fossils as billions or millions of years old are filled with massive problems and assumptions of a magnitude that would not be acceptable in any other branch of Science. Also, I will cover evidence exposing the unreliability of the methods used to date objects.

  • Inconsistencies Found in all Dating Methods

    Indisputably, the main obstacle supporters of a Young Earth must overcome is the unalterable faith most scientists have in modern dating systems. The dates that scientists come up with for certain rocks and fossils almost always predate the date in which Young Earthers agree that life began. Unfortuantely, as of the present date, humans can not travel back in time to view the creation of the Universe, so all of our theories about it will be based on inconclusive evidence. The main thing to remember about dates that call the Earth billions of years old is that it has not been proven. No matter how certain a Scientist may be that a rock is 4 billion years old, remember that it is his belief, not proven fact. Scientists, in order to be called Scientists, must have blind faith in their practices. Much like strong Christians have faith in Jesus no matter what Science may say, these Scientists have such faith in the fact that the Earth was created billions of years ago by accident, that they often subconsciously mold the results of radiometric tests to fit that belief. To say the least, radioactive dating methods are very inaccurate. When a fossil is found and is dated in a very different time period than the "accepted" time period they lived according to evolution--and this happens much more than you would think--Scientists simply refer to it as a mistake with their dating process and conveniently overlook the inconsistency [1]. Ironically, by attributing the inconsistency to a problem with the dating method used, they inadvertantly accept the fact that the dating systems used can be wrong. However, when the fossil happens to fit in the accepted time period of evolution, it immediately finds its way to the cover of every Scientific magazine and journal across the country. Basically, the rough dates and ages in which all organisms lived, according to evolution, have been deeply set in stone long ago. Therefore, fossils could be being dated only a couple thousand years old all of the time, but since the dates don't satisfy the dates the theory of evolution has already accepted as true, they are discarded. Perhaps just as many dinosaur bones are dated 2000 years old as 100 million years old. Another questionable Scientific practice is the fact that when dating a sample, the testers often ask for the accepted age of the sample; the age that the sample has be predetermined to have, even before any tests are conducted. The crystals of the sample being tested almost always produce highly varying results from crystal to crystal, so the testers ask for the accepted age so they will know when they have found a crystal that has given a "good" date [1]. Even the rocks that were used to give the earth a date of 4.3-4.5 billion years old gave very confusing and unintelligible results. Out of the 140 rock crystals tested for this experiment, 1 gave an age of 4.3-4.5 billion years. The rest of the crystals gave highly varying dates. When the scientific community was informed of this information, the head scientists simply stated that since there was not a better method of calculating dates, this would have to do. But as the author of the source of this information stated, "Can youride a bicycle into the past simply because no one else has a better time-machine?"[8] Such subjectivity in research would not be acceptable in any other area of Scientifc study. Evolution and Old Earth are nothing more than Scientists' religion and faith, yet for some reason they feel it is acceptable to express their religion as fact. Unfortunately, since most of the public think that Scientists' beliefs have been proven as fact, they accept them without question, thus resulting in a highly misguided and misinformed public. When shown all the variations of ages that scientists date the same sample, (some of which I will go over in later sections) it is simple to see that all current dating methods are highly flawed, as well as altered by the biased preconceptions that Scientists have when analyzing their results.
    Here is a quote I found abount the inconsistencies found in all dating practices. It basically shows that all dating methods, due to the amount of definite known error present in Radiometric Dating techniques, we should deem Radiometric Dating overall untrustworthy:

    "Geologists often say that the percentage of anomalies is low. But there are quite a number of rather outstanding anomalies in radiometric dating that creationists have collected. These anomalies are reported in the scientific literature. For example, one isochron yielded a date of 10 billion years. A Rb-Sr isochron yielded a date of 34 billion years. K-Ar dates of 7 to 15 billion years have been recorded. It's also not uncommon for two methods to agree and for the date to be discarded anyway. Samples with flat plateaus (which should mean no added argon) can give wrong dates. Samples giving no evidence of being disturbed can give wrong dates. Samples that give evidence of being disturbed can give correct dates. The number of dates that disagree with the expected ages is not insignificant. I don't know what the exact percentage is.
    Many dates give values near the accepted ones. But even these often differ from one another by 10 or 20 percent. And quite a few other dates are often much, much farther off. Whatever is making some of these dates inaccurate could be making all of them inaccurate."[2]

  • Incomplete Scientific Understanding

    Another thing to consider when thinking about Carbon and Radiometric dating is the fact that we have yet to completely understand all of the complexities of the atom, which Radiometric/Carbon dating is based on. Thousands of years ago, the Greeks had an idea of the atom, they called it atomos, or "indivisible particle." However today we know the atom is divisible, as displayed by the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Were we to present a modern day model of the atom to the ancient Greeks, they would dismiss us as lunatics. Their minds simply would not be able to handle the fact that so many particles and pieces could fit into an indivisible particle. In the same way, today we have an incomplete understanding of the intricacies of the atom. We have identified many sub-sub-sub-atomic particles, yet we know there is still more that we an not conceive of yet. In a few thousand years, if humans are still around, they will likely laugh at what we think about the atom today--not to mention Science in general. Therefore, to claim to know anything about Science as complete fact would be a very arrogant claim. It is likely that in the years to come, more information about the radioactivity of elements will come to light, and Scientists will be forced to reconsider many theories and statements they have made. Perhaps a new discovery about half-lives of radioactive elements (which will be discussed later on this page) will prove that half-lives are not actually constant. No one has been around for the 5,730 years required for the Carbon to decay, so how can we be absolutely certain that there are not some undiscovered factors governing the decay speed of a Carbon atom? The point to remember: Science is an ever changing subject; what we think is fact today may be lunacy tomorrow. Christianity, on the other hand, has remained almost entirely the same since it was introduced 2000 years ago. Surely something that has remained ultimately stable for 2000 years should be at least be considered when striving for the truth, compared to something that has gone through thousands of changes in the past 5 years.

  • Carbon Dating

    The first thing to clear up in this area is the misconception some people have that Carbon is used to date fossils as millions of years old. Contrary to what many people think, Carbon can only be used to date objects up to around a declared date of 50,000 years. So, although Carbon is not used to date dinosaur bones as millions of years old, it still gives dates older than the creationist date of creation to fossils and artifacts. Therefore, it is worth going over. The idea behind carbon dating is quite simple, anyone with a decent background in Chemistry should have no problem with it.
    Ideally, Radiocarbon dating would work as follows: When cosmic rays emitted from the sun enter our atmostphere, neutrons are emitted from atoms in the upper atmosphere, due to a spontaneous influx of energy from the cosmic ray. These neutrons remain in flight until they collide with the standard from of Nitrogen, N-14. (The notation N-14 means that one atom of Nitrogen has a total of 14 protons and neutrons in its nucleus.) When these neutrons collide with N-14, a proton is released, and this reaction creates C-14, a radioactive isotope of C-12 (the standard form of Carbon, found in diamonds, graphite, coal, etc.) [6]. So, therefore, since N-14 is constantly being converted into C-14, C-14 should be accumulating on Earth; however, since it is radioactive, it converts itself back into N-14 just as quickly. In Scientific terms, the two rates are at equilibrium, where the C-14 formation and decay rates are the same [6]. Once the C-14 is on Earth, however, it acts just like C-12, entering into the cells of all living organisms through respiration. And since C-14 is pretty much evenly distributed throughout the whole world (which tends to happen with equilibrium) any sample of any living organism will have about the same C-14 to C-12 ratio. During this time, the C-14 present in the organism is constantly decaying back into N-14 while new C-14 from the atmosphere is being taken into the organism [1]. So, while the organism is alive, and still taking in C-14 through respiration, the C-12/C-14 ratio is constant; however, when the organism dies, the C-14 present in the organism continues decaying, but no new C-14 enters. Thus, the C-12/C14 ratio gets smaller and smaller. This provides a natural "clock" that starts counting as soon as an organism dies [1]. In approximately 5,730 years, half of the C-14 present in the organism at its death has decayed back into N-14 (this is called C-14's half life). However, after aroud 50,000 years, all detectable traces of C-14 have vanished; therefore, it is impossible to date objects older than about 50,000 years old using Carbon dating [1].
    Now, as I have stated earlier, the incomplete understanding of the atom itself could prove that the calculated half life of C-14 is incorrect, and thus all of our calculations with Radiocarbon are really inaccurate. However, assuming these numbers are in fact correct, and that it would take over five and a half thousand years for half of a mass of C-14 to decay into N-14, there are many factors which could cause the date given to the fossil to be altered:
    1.) Plants tend to "breath in" less C-14 than C-12, so the C-14/C-12 ratio is smaller in most plants when they die, thus making them appear to be older [1].
    2.) The amount of C-14 in the atmosphere (and thus in all living organisms) changes from time to time. Or in other words, C-14 is not actually in equilibrium with C-12. During the industrial revolution, for example, when enormous amounts of fossil fuels were being burnt, more C-12 and less C-14 was in the atmosphere, making things appear to be older [1].
    3.) The amount of cosmic rays penetrating the atmosphere would alter the amount of C-14 formed. Due to the sun's activity and the strength of the earth's magnetic field, (a stronger magnetic field reflects more cosmic rays) the amount of cosmic rays converting N-14 into C-14 varies [1].
    4.) Assuming the account of the Great Flood in the Bible is true, we can deduce that tons and tons of Carbon were burried beneath the earth's surface, thus lowering the amount of C-12 and C-14 on earth and in the atmosphere. However, after that, no new C-12 was being produced but C-14 was being produced at the same rate. Therefore the C-12/C-14 ratio is lower now than it was before the flood. So since organisms before the flood had less C-14 in them, they appear now to have been decaying for years before they actually died [1].
    5.) Volcanic emissions in general release gas with a larger C-12/C-14 ratio (very C-14 dilute). Since with modern models and Biblical descriptions of the Great Flood, we know that much volcanic activity accompanied the flood, fossils from the time of the flood would have much less C-14 in them when they die and thus appear to be older [1].
    6.) The Bible says the rainbow at the end of the flood was the first rainbow ever. This obviously proves that some sort of atmospheric change had taken place during the flood and could have easily altered C-14 production [7].
    7.) Today the atmosphere is still being altered by a number of factors such as global warming and holes in the ozone layer, so the amount of C-14 production still not constant [7].

    In conclusion, though it seems like a good idea on the outside, statements claiming that accurate readings for dates can be made with something that fluctuates as much C-14 in the atmosphere should not be trusted to date objects as many thousands of years. Given the number of possible C-12/C-14 ratios that were capable of existing throughout time, as well as the specific examples of inconsistent dates given later on this page pretty much prove that Carbon dating should not be trusted. ....................more coming...........................

  • Assumptions Made in Radiometric Dating

    In order for Radiometric Dating to work, several assumptions must be made. These assumptions, however, can not be monitored by the Scientists dating the object, and thus could easily be faulty assumptions. The assumptions that must be made are as follows:
    1) The decay constant and original abundance of the K40 must be known accurately.
    2) No Ar40 can be introduced or removed from the system after crystalization.
    3) The system must be closed for Ar40 and K40 since the time of crystalization.
    4) The relationship between the data obtained and a specific event must be known. [3]

    There has also been a report of 14 assumptions that must be made for Radiometric Dating to work properly. The evolutionist who gave these assumptions out is reported as saying something along the lines of, "If creationists got a hold of these, they could cut radiometric dating to pieces." [2]

    .....................more coming..........................

  • Specific Errors in Dating Objects of Known Ages:

    This is just a list of experiments that have been done that show how inaccurate modern dating systems are known to be. Though as of now we do not know exactly what the problem is with radiometric dating, (be it an inconsistency in the speed of radioactive decay, an addition of a radioactive element, or any other factor that would alter the percieved age of an object) we definitely know that there is a problem somewhere, based on these experiments:

    Subject and Known AgeAge Calculated by Radiometric Dating Processes
    Shells of living snails27,000 years old [4]
    Recent lava flows200,000 Years [2]
    Rocks from a volcanic eruption which took place in 1800-1801Dated anywhere from 140 million to 2.96 billion years old. [2]
    Emissions from Mount St. Helens in 1980350,000 to 2.8 million years [3]
    Varying parts of an ox carcassVery discordant results [1]
    Sloth dung pellets lain at the same timeA wide range of dates. Unless this sloth was just took a very long time to do his business, these dating methods must be wrong. [1].
    Solidified lava on top of the rocks at the bottom of the Grand CanyonDated 270 million years older than the rocks at the bottom of the Canyon. How is the lava on top older than the rocks beneath it? [1]
    Limestone with embedded woodLimestone dated at 110 million years old while the wood is dated as 890 years old. [5]
    Rocks found on EarthAnywhere from 7-34 billion years old. Note: While this figure supports a very old Earth, all of these dates claim that the rocks are much older than the Earth is dated as being (4.5 billion years old). These dates simply show how inconsistent these techniques are. [2]
    Some Dinosaur Bones890 to 19,000 years. Again, this is meant to simply show how the results of dating vary. The accepted age for dinosaur bones is over 65 millions years old; however, these show much younger results. Obviously, there is some problem with the techniques used. [3]
    Wood found in rock that is supposedly 230 million years old33,720 years old. [1]
    A human skullDated 212 to 230 million years old, but because it didn't fit in with the accepted view of evolution, was changed to 1.9 million years after a series of questionable tests. [1]
    Coal- supposedly millions of years old so should have absolutely no C-14.No coal has been found devoid of C-14, thus the samples must be under at most 50,000 years old. [1]

  • Carbon/Radiometric Dating: An Overview

    Overall, the dating techniques used by scientists today are more "partially educated presumptuous guesses" than accurate readings. Proven by the limited understanding of the radioactive elements used in Radiometric Dating, and supported by the vast number of inconsistencies in dates of known objects, it is clear to see that the dating techniques used to "prove" fossils are millions or billions of years old are very inaccurate and should not be trusted. There are many sites on the internet that deal with this topic much more in-depth than I do. So, if you would like to know more about this subject, and have a rather strong background in Chemistry, please visit several of these pages to learn even more about the problems with Radiometric Dating.


    [1]: Christian Answers.
    [2]: The Radiometric Dating Game.
    [3]: Radiometric Dating.
    [4]: Christian Forums.
    [5]: Interactive Bible.
    [6]: Creation Science Prophecy.
    [7]: Creation Science Resource. [8]: Answers in Genesis.

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