problem with radio carbon dating

Cassiopeia
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problem with radio carbon dating

Hey all. I've been going back and forth in an email exchange with someone and they presented me with a topic I know very little about. Here: http://www.s8int.com/baddating.html know enough on the subject to properly refute it. Can anyone here give me a hand? Thanks.


ThomasB1969
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Cassiopeia wrote: Can

Cassiopeia wrote:
Can anyone here give me a hand? Thanks.

Hi Cassiopeia! For some reason your link doesn't open in my browser, so I can only guess from the URL that it's about radiometric dating. The best I can offer at this stage is to point you to the Index to Creationist Claims over at talkorigins.org. You want to look at section "CD: Geology".

 Hope that helped -- T.


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The website didn't work,

The website didn't work, when I hit the link. Couldn't connect to the server.

 EDIT: just remembered that deludedgod wrote something about it in a post a while ago. Maybe this will help you as well. http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/rook_hawkins/biblical_errancy/7452

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life. - Immanuel Kant


Cassiopeia
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Sorry about the link. Don't

Sorry about the link. Don't really know what I'm doing there. Thanks for the help guys.Kiss

Just checked it and it worked for me so now I'm even more confusedSurprised

I suck at signatures.


Mattness
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It works now, seems like

It works now, seems like their servers were down. The page the person who you're discussing gave you is complete garbage (some of the arguments are refuted in the thread I linked). What do they think they accomplish by arguing carbon dating in the first few articles?

It's basically never used for things older than 10,000 years and within this range carbon dating is amazingly(!) accurate and is backed up with tree-ring dating etc.

Ok, the first 2 articles on that page are taken out of context and very inaccurate, but still not THAT bad...

Though you should stop reading when they start using articles from christiananswers.net, if you want to keep your neurons alive and kicking... I'm not the most knowledgable person here, but I'll point out what I (on first glance) see is wrong with the argumentation.

christiananswers.net wrote:
The lowest age defended on a scientific basis is in the 6 to 10 thousand year range. Evolutionism, of course, requires billions of years to support the plausibility of life's emergence and of subsequent Evolution from "amoeba" to man. Theoretically, Creationism remains workable within a wide range of age estimates.

There is no scientific theory that says the earth is 6-10 thousand years old. There is the self-proclaimed creation "science", which is laughed at in the scientific community though.

(+ I don't see how creationism remains workable within a wide range of age estimates, when the old testament claims it is rather young (6 - 10 thousand years or so))

christiananswer.net wrote:

ASSUMPTION: Evolutionists generally assume the material being measured had no original "daughter" element(s) in it, or they assume the amount can be accurately estimated. For example, they may assume that all of the lead in a rock was produced by the decay of its uranium.

PROBLEM: One can almost never know with absolute certainty how much radioactive or daughter substance was present at the start.

One does not need to know this with "absolute certainty".

wikipedia wrote:
When a material incorporates both the parent and daughter nuclides at the time of formation, it may be necessary to assume that the initial proportions of a radioactive substance and its daughter are known. The daughter product should not be a small-molecule gas that can leak out of the material, and it must itself have a long enough half-life that it will be present in significant amounts. In addition, the initial element and the decay product should not be produced or depleted in significant amounts by other reactions.

The spectrum of radiometric dating is within normal experimental error. Radiometric dating is only used to establish the order of magnitude, not the exact age.

christiananswers.net wrote:

ASSUMPTION: Evolutionists have also tended to assume that the material being measured has been in a closed system. It has often been wrongly assumed that no outside factors altered the normal ratios in the material, adding or subtracting any of the elements involved.

PROBLEM: The age estimate can be thrown off considerably, if the radioactive element or the daughter element is leached in or leached out of the sample.

There are evidences that this could be a significant problem. Simple things such as groundwater movement can carry radioactive material or the daughter element into or out of rock. Rocks must be carefully tested to determine what outside factors might have changed their content.

Daughter elements are normally in solid form and confined, water does not have the potential to separate those materials. See above wiki quote: "In addition, the initial element and the decay product should not be produced or depleted in significant amounts by other reactions."

christiananswers.net wrote:

ASSUMPTION: They assume that the rate of decomposition has always remained constant - absolutely constant.

PROBLEM: How can one be certain that decay rates have been constant over billions of years? Scientific measurements of decay rates have only been conducted since the time of the Curies in the early 1900s.

Yet Evolutionists are boldly making huge extrapolations back over 4.5 billion years and more. There is some evidence that the rate of radioactive decay can change. If the decay rates have ever been higher in the past, then relatively young rocks would wrongly "date" as being old rocks.

The argument from anti-uniformiterianism.

deludedgod wrote:
Your argument rings of Uniformitarianism. Firstly, this argument is self-defeating. To assume anti-uniformitarianism (a legitimate scientific debate) one must assume the Earth is millions or billions of years old. We can measure the conditions of the last 10 000 years so accurately now that we can be certain that the cataclysm of the conditions necessary to increase radioactivity that much could only have existed long before advanced life, as such bombardment would have inevitably shut down any evolutionary projects. Anti-uniformitarianism only calls into question the accuracy of ultra-slow isotopes like U238, which halves in over 4.5 billion. years. It does not affect fast isotopes like C-14, which we can measure only to the past 60,000 years. Going back this recently, radioactivity could not have increased at all in such a short time span unless our Neanderthal ancestors were performing atomic blast tests.

Next they're taking this scientist out of context, who simply states the obvious, that radiometric dating does not give a 100% certain answer.

christiananswers.net wrote:

Evolutionist William Stansfield, Ph.D., California Polytech State, has stated:

"It is obvious that radiometric techniques may not be the absolute dating methods that they are claimed to be. Age estimates on a given geological stratum by different radiometric methods are often quite different (sometimes by hundreds of millions of years). There is no absolutely reliable long-term radiological 'clock'."

christiananswers.net wrote:

There has been in recent years the horrible realization that radio-decay rates are not as constant as previously thought, nor are they immune to environmental influences.

And this could mean that the atomic clocks are reset during some global disaster, and events which brought the Mesozoic to a close may not be 65 million years ago, but rather, within the age and memory of man."

Hahaha, I love that last phrase. Eh, anyway. There have been no "horrible" realizations that radio-decay rates are not as constant as previously thought, because, well yeah, they are constant. They say that they are not immune to environmental influence and that's (partly) true, but they are still not telling the whole truth:

wikipedia wrote:
it (the half-time) is not affected[2] by external factors such as temperature, chemical environment, or presence of a magnetic or electric field. (For nuclides which decay by the process of electron capture, such as Beryllium-7, Strontium-85, and Zirconium-89, the decay rate may be affected by local electron density, therefore these isotopes are not used for radiometric dating.) Although decay can also be accelerated by radioactive bombardment, such bombardment tends to leave evidence of its occurrence.

So yeah, I'm pretty sure there was no radioactive bombardment of the in the last 6,000... as deludedgod said in the other thread, such an occurance would have inevitably prevented complex life from arising. I nearly expected them to say "the flood washed away the radioactive materials!", I was somewhat disappointed, when they didn't. Sad

 

:EDITED: Spelling fixed (hopefully)

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Cassiopeia
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Thanks Mattness. I can't

Thanks Mattness. I can't wait to see the reaction I get when I present this info to the person I'm debating(my brother, again).

 

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Mattness
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You're welcome. What is

You're welcome. What is most important and what I forgot to mention is, even if it were possible to refute radiometric dating with these arguments (what it is not), it is in no way the only evidence that we have that the earth is more than 10 thousand years old. Just take ice cores, they date back up to 800,000 years ago. Then there are galaxies that are billions of light years away. There are even trees older than 10000 years, were you can count the tree rings etc.

Overall there is abundant evidence. So don't let creationists (or in this case your brother) focus on one highly specific topic that requires scientific knowledge, when you can just rip his argumentation to shreds with other evidence! Eye-wink

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life. - Immanuel Kant


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The problem with that is

The problem with that is that some theists are versed with apologetics reasoning in multiple subjects. If you switch to using starlight from billions of lightyears away then he might suddenly attack the methods by which we determine distance and mass of stars, which you may not be qualified to cover anymore than the last point he attacked(elemental decay dating). I usually recommend taking it one point at a time.

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