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Author Topic:   Feedback about reliability of dating
Nighttrain
Member (Idle past 3222 days)
Posts: 1512
From: brisbane,australia
Joined: 06-08-2004


Message 16 of 77 (261797)
11-21-2005 4:28 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by Sardonica
11-20-2005 11:07 PM


Re: Dating Dinosaurs
If these claims are true, that is that dinosaurs are only centuries old and our dating techniques are anywhere from somewhat to incredibly invalid, what will the effect upon evolution and creationism be?

Sure they are true. Dinosaurs were on the Ark a mere 6000 years ago and just died out thanks to another blunder by the Incompetent Designer. Creationism/ID is slain and Evolution reigns supreme. Next question?


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Brian
Member (Idle past 4188 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002


Message 17 of 77 (261814)
11-21-2005 6:50 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by Sardonica
11-20-2005 11:07 PM


Re: Dating Dinosaurs
Hi,

Thanks for the reply.

My post was purely to point out the irony in the Creeationwise's claim that Christians are derided for not checking sources, whilst he hasn't even provided a source.

Oh, you provide a lovely example of the great creationist trait of selective quoting.

From your link:

Although it is too early to make definite statements regarding this stunning and wholly unexpected find, the evidence seems to indicate the T. rex fossil is—well, young.

From your post:

Even to the untrained eye, the tissue samples look as if the animal died recently. . . The evidence seems to indicate the T. rex fossil is—well, young. Young as in just centuries-old, certainly not an age of millions of years."

I am interested as to why you have merged two different paragraphs into one, and why you left out:

Although it is too early to make definite statements regarding this stunning and wholly unexpected find

So, when the article was written it was "too early to make any definite statement" about the find, has a definite statement been issued since or is this just more childish sensationalism put into the public domain for gullible creationists to swallow?

As for ICR, you would be better quoting from Hans Christian Anderson!

Brian.


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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5553
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 18 of 77 (261820)
11-21-2005 8:00 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by Sardonica
11-20-2005 11:07 PM


Re: Dating Dinosaurs
Mary H. Schweitzer of North Carolina State University has discovered flexible blood vessels inside the fossilized thighbone

Hmmmm. The author didn't read Schweitzer's paper. What she found was that when she dissolved away the rock making up the bulk of the fossil, the demineralized remnants were flexible.

It's a pretty sure bet that the Hell Creek Formation is over 65,000,000 years old. What's lacking, as Schweitzer points out, is a few bits of knowledge about the variety of ways things can get fossilized.

And hello, Sardonica!


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Sardonica
Inactive Member


Message 19 of 77 (262722)
11-23-2005 3:05 PM


Brian writes:

Oh, you provide a lovely example of the great creationist trait of selective quoting..

Good point. You caught me. But the fact still remains that even though the information given is not fully clear yet, there still remains the question of whether our dating methods are accurate. As for ICR, though I've come across some rather one-sided arguments and books from them, such as "Refuting Evolution," I've found that some of their research is helpful in understanding new questions that have been recently raised.

Coragyps writes:

It's a pretty sure bet that the Hell Creek Formation is over 65,000,000 years old. What's lacking, as Schweitzer points out, is a few bits of knowledge about the variety of ways things can get fossilized.

Do have some reliable sources? I know the issue is widely agreed upon but just wonder where the key sources are.

To continue with the dating methods . . .

Don Batten, Ken Ham, Jonathan Sarfati, and Carl Wieland of www.answersingenesis.org state -

"The strength of the earth’s magnetic field affects the amount of cosmic rays entering the atmosphere. A stronger magnetic field deflects more cosmic rays away from the earth. Overall, the energy of the earth’s magnetic field has been decreasing,5 so more 14C is being produced now than in the past. This will make old things look older than they really are.

Also, the Genesis flood would have greatly upset the carbon balance. The flood buried a huge amount of carbon, which became coal, oil, etc., lowering the total 12C in the biosphere (including the atmosphere—plants regrowing after the flood absorb CO2, which is not replaced by the decay of the buried vegetation). Total 14C is also proportionately lowered at this time, but whereas no terrestrial process generates any more 12C, 14C is continually being produced, and at a rate which does not depend on carbon levels (it comes from nitrogen). Therefore, the 14C/12C ratio in plants/animals/the atmosphere before the flood had to be lower than what it is now.

Unless this effect (which is additional to the magnetic field issue just discussed) were corrected for, carbon dating of fossils formed in the flood would give ages much older than the true ages."

link - http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2002/carbon_dating.asp

Don't be scared away by Jonathan Sarfati, I think this quote at least proposes a significant question of reliability. It seems that while carbon dating does tell us that Hell Creek Formation is around 65,000,000 years old, does it just appear to be so because of the effects from the flood and other causes? Could the new evidence about tissue inside fossils support that claim? Even if you don't agree with the flood, (which geographically, at least to me is hard to disagree with, but that's another subject for a different thread) assuming just for the minute that it did occur, could our techniques be outdated?

Sources:

K.L. McDonald and R.H. Gunst, ‘An Analysis of the Earth's Magnetic Field from 1835 to 1965,’ ESSA Technical Report IER 46-IES, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C., p. 14, 1965.


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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5553
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 20 of 77 (262727)
11-23-2005 3:38 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by Sardonica
11-23-2005 3:05 PM


It seems that while carbon dating does tell us that Hell Creek Formation is around 65,000,000 years old

No, carbon-14 dating is completely silent on any dates at all past 50,000 years or so. It's essentially all decayed by then, and can't be used. Much like trying to lay out a racetrack for a marathon with a one-inch dial micrometer, it's just the wrong tool.

I'll be away from home most all weekend, so I can't promise any immediate links, but I remember that volcanic ashfall layers within the Hell Creek fm. were used in dating, most likely by potassium-argon or argon-argon. That, and the "iridium layer" that caps the Cretaceous (which contains the Hell Creek) has been dated by at least four independent methods at a couple dozen places around the world. And they all agree at 64.7 million years, plus or minus a few.

Don Batten, Ken Ham, Jonathan Sarfati, and Carl Wieland....

....completely ignore the extensive literature that actually reconstructs the history of C14 content of the atmosphere for the last 38,000 years. It's been correlated with tree rings, lake varves, ocean-bottom varves, uranium-thorium dates of corals, ice layers from twenty or so spots around the world, stalagmites.....

They're bluffing, and hoping their intended audience doesn't know (or care) where to go to check up on them.


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Percy
Member
Posts: 20736
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 21 of 77 (262738)
11-23-2005 5:54 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by Sardonica
11-23-2005 3:05 PM


Sardonica writes:

But the fact still remains that even though the information given is not fully clear yet, there still remains the question of whether our dating methods are accurate.

You'll need some basis upon which to question the dating methods. Considering only carbon dating, accuracy can be affected by:

  1. Variations in decay rates.

  2. Variations in the production rate of 14C, which in turn causes variations in the amount of 14C in the environment.

  3. Variations in the rate at which carbon is removed from the environment.

  4. Exchanges of carbon in samples with carbon from the environment.

While this is a short list, it is general and covers a lot of ground. The examples you offer later on in your post are covered by a couple items in this list.

This is from your AnswersInGenesis quote:

The strength of the earth’s magnetic field affects the amount of cosmic rays entering the atmosphere. A stronger magnetic field deflects more cosmic rays away from the earth. Overall, the energy of the earth’s magnetic field has been decreasing,5 so more 14C is being produced now than in the past. This will make old things look older than they really are.

While the earth's magnetic field *does* vary and cause variations in concentrations of atmospheric 14C, we know the variation is small because atmospheric 14C concentrations have been calculated back at least 11,000 years. See http://www.rlaha.ox.ac.uk/O/calibration.php.

Also, the Genesis flood would have greatly upset the carbon balance. The flood buried a huge amount of carbon, which became coal, oil, etc., lowering the total 12C in the biosphere...

Were this actually the case it would be obvious from the calibration data. The calibration data reveals no sudden dramatic change in 14C levels.

Also, as far as coal and oil being the product of buried vegetation from 5000 years ago, this is impossible. Coal and oil have a 14C concentration of 0%. Vegetable matter only 5000 years old could not have a complete absence of 14C.

Don't be scared away by Jonathan Sarfati, I think this quote at least proposes a significant question of reliability.

In order for your quote to raise genuine questions, it would have to accurately address radiocarbon issues. The quote doesn't mention the calibration data. It leads people to believe that we really have no idea what 14C concentrations were in the past and that it's possible they could have been anything. It doesn't mention that oil and coal has no 14C, it just lets people think that the level could be consistent with being only 5000 years old. It's even misleading about magnetic field strength. While the magnetic field is weaker now than a couple centuries ago, the data doesn't allow us to accurately determine the magnetic field strength before that.

It seems that while carbon dating does tell us that Hell Creek Formation is around 65,000,000 years old, does it just appear to be so because of the effects from the flood and other causes?

This has already been mentioned, but 14C dating does not work when the material is older than about 50,000 years. Older than that, other radiometric techniques must be employed.

What you need to explain is how a global flood could leave behind no geologic evidence that it ever happened while neatly sorting radiometric material into layers by increasing age with increasing depth.

We see fewer and fewer people offer the traditional Creationist arguments like these anymore, so while this is off-topic for this thread, it would be interesting to explore your views on Intelligent Design, which is not consistent with a very young earth.

--Percy


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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 572 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 22 of 77 (262758)
11-23-2005 8:32 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by Percy
11-23-2005 5:54 PM


Variations in decay rates.

decay rates are constants -- but this is a commone creationist position: suppose, ad hoc, the rates changed, just like the speed of light ad-hoc-ly did.

Variations in the production rate of 14C, which in turn causes variations in the amount of 14C in the environment.

Variations in the rate at which carbon is removed from the environment.

since carbon dating is done by the ratio of parent-to-daughter isotopes, these two are actually completely irrelevant.

Exchanges of carbon in samples with carbon from the environment.

this, however, is a good way to screw up c14 dating: the addition of extra carbon after death. fire, apparently, is the preferred method.


אָרַח

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 634 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 23 of 77 (262902)
11-24-2005 10:44 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by arachnophilia
11-23-2005 8:32 PM


since carbon dating is done by the ratio of parent-to-daughter isotopes, these two are actually completely irrelevant.

Not quite. It is the comparison of the relative ratios of 14C to 12C in an organism. 14C decays to 14N. 12C is not radioactive and serves as a base for the number of carbon atoms in an organism.

The ratio of 14C to 12C is fixed in the organism during life by the consumption of carbon molecules, which is then dependent on the ratio of 14C to 12C in the food sources of the organism -- commonly the same as in the atmosphere, but not where resevoir effects (shell-fish) are known.

Another source of contamination is radioactivity near a fossil that will convert 14N to 14C making a false high proportion in the sample.

Known alomalies can be tested for and eliminated by the use of other dating mechanisms as well as by comparison to 13C proportions.


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JonF
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Posts: 6174
Joined: 06-23-2003


Message 24 of 77 (263004)
11-24-2005 9:09 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Coragyps
11-23-2005 3:38 PM


I'll be away from home most all weekend, so I can't promise any immediate links, but I remember that volcanic ashfall layers within the Hell Creek fm. were used in dating, most likely by potassium-argon or argon-argon. That, and the "iridium layer" that caps the Cretaceous (which contains the Hell Creek) has been dated by at least four independent methods at a couple dozen places around the world. And they all agree at 64.7 million years, plus or minus a few.

See Table 2 in Radiometeric Dating Does Work!.


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DivineBeginning
Member (Idle past 5256 days)
Posts: 100
Joined: 11-16-2006


Message 25 of 77 (364292)
11-17-2006 8:10 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jake22
08-02-2003 12:01 AM


Lesson to be learned
This is an excellent reason to not believe anything evolutionists say about how old something is because these dating methods just are not valid.

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Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 26 of 77 (364293)
11-17-2006 8:17 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by DivineBeginning
11-17-2006 8:10 AM


Re: Lesson to be learned
Actually, it is a good reason not to believe anything that the creationists dredge up and put on their websites. You should read the responses to the OP, DB. It turns out these "problems" aren't really problems at all.


Kings were put to death long before 21 January 1793. But regicides of earlier times and their followers were interested in attacking the person, not the principle, of the king. They wanted another king, and that was all. It never occurred to them that the throne could remain empty forever. -- Albert Camus

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DivineBeginning
Member (Idle past 5256 days)
Posts: 100
Joined: 11-16-2006


Message 27 of 77 (364294)
11-17-2006 8:23 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by Chiroptera
11-17-2006 8:17 AM


Re: Lesson to be learned
I almost agree to that. I am skeptical of almost everything I read and hear until I see and understand viable proof.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 280 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 28 of 77 (364309)
11-17-2006 9:38 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by DivineBeginning
11-17-2006 8:23 AM


Re: Lesson to be learned
Handy article on radiometric dating.

Most of the usual creationist stuff is shot down near the end.


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Dr Jack
Member (Idle past 1334 days)
Posts: 3507
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 29 of 77 (364313)
11-17-2006 9:57 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by Sardonica
11-23-2005 3:05 PM


Don't be scared away by Jonathan Sarfati, I think this quote at least proposes a significant question of reliability. It seems that while carbon dating does tell us that Hell Creek Formation is around 65,000,000 years old, does it just appear to be so because of the effects from the flood and other causes? Could the new evidence about tissue inside fossils support that claim? Even if you don't agree with the flood, (which geographically, at least to me is hard to disagree with, but that's another subject for a different thread) assuming just for the minute that it did occur, could our techniques be outdated?

Carbon dating is not used; these methods are:

quote:
There we find the following data for the Z-coal strata of the Hell Creek Formation presented in the order of; Material, Method, # of samples, Result in Millions of Years

tektites, 40Ar/39Ar total fusion, 28, 64.8 ++ 0.1
tektites, 40Ar/39Ar age spectrum, 1, 66.0++0.5
tektites, 40Ar/39Ar age spectrum, 1, 64.7++0.1
tektites, 40Ar/39Ar total fusion, 17, 64.8++0.2
biotite & sanidine, K-Ar, 12, 64.6++1.0
biotite & sanidine, Rb-Sr isochron (26 D.P.), 1, 63.7++0.6
zircon, U-Pb concordia (16 data), 1, 63.9++0.8


- from Radiometeric Dating Does Work! by G. Brent Dalrymple.

Why do these different methods produce consistent results?

Edited by Mr Jack, : No reason given.


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RAZD
Member (Idle past 634 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 30 of 77 (364458)
11-17-2006 9:04 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by DivineBeginning
11-17-2006 8:23 AM


Re: Lesson to be learned
I am skeptical of almost everything I read and hear until I see and understand viable proof.

There are a couple of good sources on dating techniques. One that I recommend is Radiometric Dating - A Christian Perspective, by Dr, Roger C. Wiens

It is long, and covers all the different methods used, there pros and their cons, and where they should be used and where they shouldn't.

But we can also start out easy with annual systems, such as tree rings and the like, and see what kinds of dates we get from those, compare those to various radiometric dating and other sources of data (climate etcetera) to see how it all correlates.

A beginning point to do that is Age Correlations and an Old Earth: Version 1 No 3 (formerly Part III)

Enjoy.


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