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Too much carbon-14 to support old earth?

Discussion in 'Origins Theology' started by laptoppop, Oct 25, 2006.

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  1. busterdog

    busterdog Senior Veteran

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    Well, I'm not shy: apparently we can have it both ways. :D

    http://creationwiki.org/Carbon-14_dating
     
  2. KerrMetric

    KerrMetric New Member

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    Just how many times does this false statement have to be addressed for it to sink in?
     
  3. laptoppop

    laptoppop Servant of the living God

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    In what way is this a false statement? If the C14/C12 ratio was different in the past because more or less C14 was being created, the ages calculated using this technique would be wrong. There are attempts to correct the ages for known variations -- but they make a lot of uniformitarian assumptions -- other explanations are just as plausible.
     
  4. Smidlee

    Smidlee Veteran Supporter

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    Here is what someone wrote of the Great wall of BB's
    It wouldn't take much to give a false reading.
     
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  5. busterdog

    busterdog Senior Veteran

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    Apparently a few more times anyway.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_14_dating

    Seems obvious. This speaks for itself. You either have faith in it or you don't. Now I understand a little more of the fuss about the flood. You concede that and one rationale for radio carbon dating is gone.
     
  6. Assyrian

    Assyrian Basically pulling an Obama (Thanks Calminian!)

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    That is very true, only not in the way you intended.

    If you took a trillion carbon atoms it would be very easy to get a false reading for 1 part per trillion carbon 14. However, as you do realise, a trillion carbon atoms doesn't really form a wall a mile long and 75 feet high.
    A gram of carbon contains 50,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 carbon atoms. So there are fifty thousand trillion of your 'trillion carbon atom walls' in a single gram. That means a trillion carbon atoms weighs 1/50,000,000,000,000g or 0.00000000000002g
    that is 0.00002 nanograms
    or 20 femtograms

    It wouldn't take much to give a false reading, about 20 femtograms, but it is really hard to get that small an amount.
     
  7. laptoppop

    laptoppop Servant of the living God

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    The wall of BBs argument argues against radiometric dating in general -- somehow I don't think modern science would want to go there.

    Anyway - back to the topic - there is too much C-14 in the diamond samples to support an old earth. Thousands, not billions of years max age.
     
  8. gluadys

    gluadys Legend

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    I don't understand the fuss. Radio-carbon dating would not support a very old earth anyway, since it can only be used to date things up to (at maximum) about 70,000 years. Still too long for a young earth scenario.

    So even if radio-carbon dating turns out not to be useful in dating at all, we still have an old earth from other dating measures.

    So far, I have seen nothing but a hermeneutic of suspicion around carbon dating and radiometric dating in general. I haven't yet seen any sound scientific evidence that it is as inaccurate or potentially inaccurate as alleged.
     
  9. Assyrian

    Assyrian Basically pulling an Obama (Thanks Calminian!)

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    Unless it came from natural radioactivity in rock. There is plenty of that underground and there is plenty of nitrogen in diamonds that can be converted to C14. RATE claim to have calculated how much C14 would be produced this way (too little according to your account). I look forward to seeing how they worked that one out.

    It is a really silly argument that builds up this grand picture to suggest scientists deal with single C14 atoms. This is why radiometric dating set limits on measuring C14. When the quantity of C14 get too low, measurement is too inaccurate. I don't know why they chose atmospheric carbon either. It is usually substances like wood that they measure and that is about 25% carbon and a solid rather than a gas. It adds to the picture I suppose.

    Here is a rough back of the wordpad calculation:
    A gram of carbon contains 50,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms
    a gram of wood contains 12,500,000,000,000,000,000,000 carbon atoms,
    but that is a large lump to take from a precious artifact.
    milligram of wood contains 12,500,000,000,000,000,000 carbon atoms
    of which 12,500,000,000 atoms are C14
    with a half life of 5730 years in 57,300 years this would have decreased to 12,500,000 atoms of C14
    in 114,600 years this would have decreased to 12,500 atoms of C14
    after 171,900 years this would have decreased to about 12 atoms of C14
    It is only after 189,090 years that we are down to 1 or 2 atoms in a milligram of wood, a splinter.
     
  10. laptoppop

    laptoppop Servant of the living God

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    The fuss is that if the earth was as old as is claimed by conventional geology, there should be virtually no C-14 in these diamonds. Since there is 10,000 - 100,000 times more C-14 than "expected" there is a problem with the dates.
     
  11. gluadys

    gluadys Legend

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    But it is still only a problem with radiocarbon dates (if it is a legitimate problem), which have never been used to date the age of the earth anyway.

    So what does it have to do with the age of the earth which is dated by different measures?
     
  12. laptoppop

    laptoppop Servant of the living God

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    It sets an upper bound for the age of the earth.
     
  13. gluadys

    gluadys Legend

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    What do you mean by "upper bound"? Does this refer to the minimum or the maximum age of the earth?

    I still don't see how radio-carbon dating, which has never been used to date the age of the earth can set any kind of a bound on the age of the earth. Certainly not a minimum bound, when there are other independent measures which set much older minimum bounds.
     
  14. Assyrian

    Assyrian Basically pulling an Obama (Thanks Calminian!)

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    They are playing the missing nuclides game in reverse. C14 in diamond originates underground where it is not produced by solar radiation in the atmosphere. Therefore, since their calculation allegedly prove that amount of C14 could not have been formed by natural processes, the C14 must have been there since the beginning of the world, so the earth must be young or all the original C14 would have disappeared.

    It would be more impressive if they had come up with a short lived nuclide that is not produced naturally, (like every nuclide with a half life less than about 80 million years), instead of claiming to prove a naturally produced nuclide could not have been produced in such quantities.
     
  15. Deamiter

    Deamiter I just follow Christ.

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    So how would you explain the numerous matching C14 curves from tree rings and ice cores around the world? Creationists often try to throw doubt on these methods by citing the rare case of multiple rings per year or by pointing at huge snowbanks in high-precipitation areas. Scientists know what multiple rings look like and what causes them, and they certainly wouldn't go digging for ice cores on the coast of Greenland... But beyond the suggestion that scientists are utterly incompetent, how would you explain the correlation between many lines of tree-rings and ice cores worldwide?

    Also, if these methods are so inaccurate, why is it that they all record major events like volcanoes and meteorite impacts? Did you know that even after the ice-core layers become too compacted to count (after tens of thousands of years), scientists can still measure evidence of the observed 11-year solar cycle?
     
  16. shernren

    shernren you are not reading this.

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    What was the sensitivity on the instrument used to measure the C-14 content? If I use a meter ruler to measure the diameter of a grain of dust, and I come up with 1mm, that does not tell me that dust grains are 1mm in diameter.
     
  17. pastorkevin73

    pastorkevin73 Senior Member

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    I know this was discussed a little, but I am interested to hear how accurate Carbon dating is. I hear both evolutionists and creationists using carbon dating for their purposes and some on both sides claim that CD cannot be trusted. How trust worthy is CD and is there any evidence to support this?
     
  18. shernren

    shernren you are not reading this.

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    Well, of course any radiometric dating will fail in some circumstances. Any one decay series can't measure all possible time intervals, in the same way that I can't use a meter ruler to measure the size of a grain of dust or the distance from Chicago to Sydney. Both sides acknowledge that in some cases radiometric dating just won't cut it.

    The difference is that
    conventional science says: "Well, since radiometric dating sometimes screws up, we have to figure out what messes it and how to prevent that.", while
    creationist "science" says: "Well, since radiometric dating sometimes screws up, it doesn't work."
     
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