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Author Topic:   14C Calibration and Correlations
Dr Adequate
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006

Message 10 of 59 (574226)
08-14-2010 9:49 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by archaeologist
08-14-2010 3:38 AM

and i stand by my argument that using 5 or more different dating systems is not proof of correct dating and I will add that it mounts to as the above quote mentions--circular reasoning.

An assertion is not an argument, and verifying one thing by reference to another thing is not circular reasoning.

As for the conservapedia article, the claim of "circular reasoning" in it is supported (and I use the term loosely) by a statement in an article by a creationist which is supported by nothing.

Now, back in the real world, the guys who came up with carbon dating verified its accuracy by reference to objects the dating of which did not depend in the least on carbon ratios:

(See Arnold and Libby, "Age determinations by radiocarbon content: Checks with samples of known age", Science, 1949.)

This is not circular reasoning. This is this thing called "the scientific method" that you may have heard of. It beats creationists making stuff up every time.

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Dr Adequate
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006

Message 22 of 59 (580873)
09-11-2010 10:43 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by faith24
09-11-2010 4:04 PM

I guess i would have to say the correlation is only as good as your guess assuming the decay rate is a constant.

But somehow people will say " oh but it is constant"!

Well ... it is. This is one of the first things that was checked --- by the Curies, whom I presume you've heard of --- right back when radioactive isotopes were first discovered. They looked to see if the decay rate was affected by any environmental influences such as temperature or pressure. They drew a blank.

Throwing the sample into a nuclear reactor might skew your results, I guess ...

Besides which, we can check radiocarbon dating against dendrochronology and the formation of varves in proglacial lakes. In order for radiocarbon dating to be wrong, they'd have to be wrong too, which would mean that three totally unrelated processes would have had to go wrong in lock-step with one another.

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