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Author Topic:   Creationist problems with radiocarbon dating
RAZD
Member
Posts: 15474
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 76 of 194 (557206)
04-23-2010 7:20 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by Coyote
04-23-2010 1:51 PM


Re: Guess Not eh?
Hi Coyote,

I haven't bothered to examine your source for these comments, but I'm not impressed.

Of course this is complicated by the minute information provided on his source:

(Message 69 Ichiban) Here is a source from the NDT Resource Center ...

A source is rather indeterminate. Google got me to
http://www.ndt-ed.org/index_flash.htm

and a site search for 'radiocarbon dating' gave three results, and this one matches the quotes:

Home - Education Resources - NDT Course Material - Radiography: Carbon-14 Dating

This is material intended to teach science, most likely at the high school level, and it looks like we have some rather simplistic presentation as a result. For instance this does not discuss possible corrective measures at all.

Not sure I would call the Non-Destructive Testing Resource Center an impeccable source for information.

One reference that lists known causes of variations and the means to correct them is
http://www.c14dating.com/corr.html

This also has a link to " ... the Marine Reservoir Correction Database, a searchable database online ... " which is useful.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by Coyote, posted 04-23-2010 1:51 PM Coyote has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 15474
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 77 of 194 (557209)
04-23-2010 7:32 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by Flyer75
04-23-2010 6:57 PM


good reading material
Hi Flyer75,

Are or are there not some assumptions that come with this process? For example, nobody was around billions or millions of years ago to observe what the earth was going through at the time or what these samples went through as far as how they were affected by any sort of catastrophic event, and in discussing millions or billions of years, there's a good chance they went through quite a few catastrophic events, not just one.

An excellent resource for information on all the various radiometric dating methods is:

Radiometric Dating - A Christian Perspective on the ASA website.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by Flyer75, posted 04-23-2010 6:57 PM Flyer75 has not yet responded

  
Coragyps
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Posts: 5050
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 78 of 194 (557212)
04-23-2010 8:13 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by Flyer75
04-23-2010 6:57 PM


is C14 dating only good for geological samples or also for biological samples,...

Carbon-14 is primarily for biological samples, though it's also good for stalagmites sometimes. What 14C dating measures is essentially the amount of carbon-14 that was in the air, as carbon dioxide, at some past time. The carbon dioxide got pulled out of the air by a plant (or alga) or by reacting with calcium and water to make limestone, so that we now have something solid to date.

And twigs are more common than stalagmites, so they get used more often.


This message is a reply to:
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Coyote
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Posts: 4530
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 79 of 194 (557214)
04-23-2010 9:11 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by Flyer75
04-23-2010 6:57 PM


Carbon 14 dating information
Are or are there not some assumptions that come with this process? For example, nobody was around billions or millions of years ago to observe what the earth was going through at the time or what these samples went through as far as how they were affected by any sort of catastrophic event, and in discussing millions or billions of years, there's a good chance they went through quite a few catastrophic events, not just one.

Carbon 14 dating only goes back some 50,000 years or so. Some labs are experimenting with older ages, but those are not ready for prime time yet.

We do use assumptions in C14 dating, but fewer than you might expect. The primary one is that the decay constant has been constant. The other assumptions are generally things we can check on (see below):

One example, how do we know for certain what the initial amounts were to begin with? Isn't that an assumption? Has the rate of decay changed at all during time? How can anyone know that for certain?

The initial amounts for C14 dating are those in the atmosphere at a given point in the past, and we can test for those by dating tree rings, glacial or lake varves, or corals, etc. That allows us to correct for the atmospheric variation.

One last question that I have that doesn't pertain to assumptions is, is C14 dating only good for geological samples or also for biological samples, or in an idiot laymen's terms, for dead animals, plants, leaves, ect??? Thanks in advance for the responses.

Carbon 14 dating only works on things that contain carbon, such as any living organisms, as well as bone, shell, charcoal, etc. Soil, the atmosphere, and water contain carbon as well, and can also be dated.

Some good links:


ReligiousTolerance.org Carbon-14 Dating (C-14): Beliefs of New-Earth Creationists

Radiometric Dating: A Christian Perspective by Dr. Roger C. Wiens.

This site, BiblicalChronologist.org has a series of good articles on radiocarbon dating.

Are tree-ring chronologies reliable? (The Biblical Chronologist, Vol. 5, No. 1)

How does the radiocarbon dating method work? (The Biblical Chronologist, Vol. 5, No. 1)

How precise is radiocarbon dating?

Is radiocarbon dating based on assumptions?

Has radiocarbon dating been invalidated by unreasonable results?

Tree Ring and C14 Dating

Radiocarbon WEB-info Radiocarbon Laboratory, University of Waikato, New Zealand.

Radiocarbon -- full text of issues, 1959-2003.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by Flyer75, posted 04-23-2010 6:57 PM Flyer75 has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 81 by kbertsche, posted 04-23-2010 11:35 PM Coyote has acknowledged this reply

  
kbertsche
Member
Posts: 1062
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 80 of 194 (557223)
04-23-2010 11:05 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by Flyer75
04-23-2010 6:57 PM


quote:
Are or are there not some assumptions that come with this process? For example, nobody was around billions or millions of years ago to observe what the earth was going through at the time or what these samples went through as far as how they were affected by any sort of catastrophic event, and in discussing millions or billions of years, there's a good chance they went through quite a few catastrophic events, not just one.

As I said in Re: Guess??? (Message 74), the main assumption is that we can count tree rings. Any catastrophic events that affected the radiocarbon levels in the atmosphere would have been reflected in the tree rings used for calibration.

Some YECs have theorized that a global flood would have made a large change in the carbon balance and could affect our radiocarbon dates. But if this is true, we should see an abrupt slope change in the calibration curve. We do not see this over the last 45,000 years or so.

quote:
One example, how do we know for certain what the initial amounts were to begin with? Isn't that an assumption?

For Libby's original method, this was a necessary assumption. But with tree ring calibrations it is not--any changes in initial amounts are accounted for in the tree rings used for calibration.
quote:
Has the rate of decay changed at all during time? How can anyone know that for certain?

We understand nuclear physics well enough to believe that radioactive decay rates are fixed, constants that depend only on the nuclear structure. But if they are not, this would also be reflected in the tree rings used for calibration.

The bottom line: for samples of wood that are no more than about 12,000 years old (the length of the tree ring portion of the calibration curve), the tree ring calibrations remove most of the assumptions.


This message is a reply to:
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kbertsche
Member
Posts: 1062
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 81 of 194 (557226)
04-23-2010 11:35 PM
Reply to: Message 79 by Coyote
04-23-2010 9:11 PM


Re: Carbon 14 dating information
quote:
We do use assumptions in C14 dating, but fewer than you might expect. The primary one is that the decay constant has been constant. The other assumptions are generally things we can check on (see below):

Yes, this is true for uncalibrated dates. But since the same assumption is used in deriving the calibration curves, any changes in decay rate should be reflected in the calibration curves as well, and the changes should cancel out for calibrated dates.

I suppose we make an assumption that the atmospheric concentration was uniform around the globe, but this is a fairly good assumption for each hemisphere of the earth. There is a slight latitude dependence, and possibly a slight regional dependence. But we also have multiple calibration curves (N America, Europe, and Near East), so we can make these slight corrections if necessary.

quote:
This site, BiblicalChronologist.org has a series of good articles on radiocarbon dating.

And the YECs should note that Gerald Aardsma, who runs this site, is a fellow YEC who was formerly on staff at ICR. But he was trained at a leading radioisotope laboratory (IsoTrace--the same lab that ICR uses for their samples), he understands radiocarbon, and he believes it is accurate.
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Flyer75
Member (Idle past 570 days)
Posts: 242
From: Dayton, OH
Joined: 02-15-2010


Message 82 of 194 (557237)
04-24-2010 12:49 AM


Thanks Coyote for the links...I'll be sure to check those out and read up. Thanks kbertsche for your input as well, and others.
    
Flyer75
Member (Idle past 570 days)
Posts: 242
From: Dayton, OH
Joined: 02-15-2010


Message 83 of 194 (557238)
04-24-2010 12:49 AM


Thanks Coyote for the links...I'll be sure to check those out and read up. Thanks kbertsche for your input as well, and others.
    
Coyote
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Posts: 4530
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 84 of 194 (557294)
04-24-2010 10:21 AM


Bump for Calibrated Thinker
I started this thread just for you. Any thoughts?


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
Replies to this message:
 Message 85 by AdminSlev, posted 04-24-2010 3:30 PM Coyote has responded

  
AdminSlev
Member (Idle past 924 days)
Posts: 113
Joined: 03-28-2010


Message 85 of 194 (557317)
04-24-2010 3:30 PM
Reply to: Message 84 by Coyote
04-24-2010 10:21 AM


Re: Bump for Calibrated Thinker
Did you try sending him a private message ?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 84 by Coyote, posted 04-24-2010 10:21 AM Coyote has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 86 by Coyote, posted 04-24-2010 3:33 PM AdminSlev has not yet responded

  
Coyote
Member
Posts: 4530
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 86 of 194 (557318)
04-24-2010 3:33 PM
Reply to: Message 85 by AdminSlev
04-24-2010 3:30 PM


Re: Bump for Calibrated Thinker
Haven't dared experiment with that feature yet.

(Personally, I think he's hiding under his desk.)


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by AdminSlev, posted 04-24-2010 3:30 PM AdminSlev has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 87 by AdminSlev, posted 04-24-2010 3:36 PM Coyote has not yet responded

  
AdminSlev
Member (Idle past 924 days)
Posts: 113
Joined: 03-28-2010


Message 87 of 194 (557319)
04-24-2010 3:36 PM
Reply to: Message 86 by Coyote
04-24-2010 3:33 PM


Re: Bump for Calibrated Thinker
Maybe, but it's the time or ever to try the messaging here. I think it's pretty effective to gets someone's attention.

Edited by AdminSlev, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by Coyote, posted 04-24-2010 3:33 PM Coyote has not yet responded

  
Pollux
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Posts: 144
Joined: 11-13-2011
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 88 of 194 (642165)
11-26-2011 7:12 AM
Reply to: Message 48 by kbertsche
04-21-2010 3:18 AM


Snelling's experiments
I have been having an on-line discussion with a YLC who brought up Snelling's test on fossilised wood in old deposits. A google check for radiocarbon in fossil wood only turned up Snelling's reports for the relevant age formations. I see the possible sources of error mentioned. Is it known whether anyone has done tests to refute Snelling? I understand that no significant C14 is expected in deposits millions of years old, so it is not likely anyone would bother.
I was helped to an understanding of the age of the Earth by EvC Forum, especially Razd's excellent Correlations thread, and Daniel Wonderly's "Neglect of Geologic Data by Creationists" which I heard of here. So thanks to all!
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 89 by Percy, posted 11-26-2011 8:29 AM Pollux has not yet responded
 Message 90 by JonF, posted 11-26-2011 12:26 PM Pollux has not yet responded
 Message 93 by kbertsche, posted 11-27-2011 12:15 AM Pollux has not yet responded

    
Percy
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Posts: 12821
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.3


Message 89 of 194 (642168)
11-26-2011 8:29 AM
Reply to: Message 88 by Pollux
11-26-2011 7:12 AM


Re: Snelling's experiments
Are you referring to this:

Dating Dilemma: Fossil Wood in “Ancient” Sandstone

If so then you probably want to read this:

Examples of "Creation Science"

Scroll down to Example #2.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
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JonF
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Posts: 2602
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 90 of 194 (642190)
11-26-2011 12:26 PM
Reply to: Message 88 by Pollux
11-26-2011 7:12 AM


Re: Snelling's experiments
You might also be interested in Andrew Snelling and the Iron Concretion?.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 88 by Pollux, posted 11-26-2011 7:12 AM Pollux has not yet responded

  
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