Doesn’t Carbon-14 Dating Disprove the Bible?
Yet when the supernatural is involved, the Bible implies a difference between genuine and apparent age. First, any instrument which is built to measure radiocarbon has a limit beyond which it cannot separate the signal due to radiocarbon in the sample from the signal due to background processes within the measuring apparatus. Though they looked as if they arrived in that condition through the processes observed in the natural realm, they were in fact minutes — perhaps seconds — old thanks to the power of our Lord. When the isotope concentrations are adjusted for such conversions, the ages calculated are reduced from some Ma to recent. Feel free to check out more of this website. Furthermore, the amount of helium in zircons from hot rock is also much more consistent with a young Earth helium derives from the decay of radioactive elements. This was a troubling idea for Dr.
Carbon dating is really the friend of Christians, and it supports a young earth. Willard Libby, the founder of the carbon dating method, assumed this ratio to be constant. Protons and neutrons make up the center nucleus of the atom, and electrons form shells around the nucleus. A new study suggests that climate change is having a profound effect on the way scientists calculate the date of old objects. That means less shielding against cosmic rays. Libby, the discoverer of the C14 dating method, was very disappointed with this problem.
The product of these collisions is a radioactive form of carbon, C This variation of carbon reacts and interacts just like C12 except that the nucleus of the atom is unstable, causing it to break down over time.
In other words, C14 decays such that every 5, years exactly one half of the initial amount has transformed back into nitrogen. This is called its half-life. Through this process of decay, the carbon atoms releases a measurable amount of radiation used to determine the remaining amount of C14 in a substance. While plants, animals, and other organisms are living they use both forms of carbon in their normal metabolic processes.
Because organisms have no way of discerning between these two isotopes, C12 and C14 from the atmosphere are indiscriminately cycled through their metabolic processes. As a result, the ratio of C12 to C14 in the atmosphere is the same in all living things. At death, however, this ratio in organic material begins to change. When an organism dies the amount of C12 remains constant, but the level of the unstable C14 decrease as the C14 decays into nitrogen.
The decrease in this ratio is the measurement used to calculate the age of organic materials. The less C14, the longer the organism has been dead.
This issue pertains to Christians because carbon-dating methods show many ancient relics to be much older than we might expect from a biblical perspective. To put it plainly, if carbon dating is right, the Bible is wrong.
As is often the case, the differences are simply irreconcilable. Either the Bible means what is says and the world around 6, years old, or the science behind the system is right and the world is much more ancient than the Scriptures teach. The science of carbon-dating makes several specific assumptions as the basis of the entire theory.
If any one of these assumptions is shown to be faulty the whole system must become suspect. The theory is built on one critical assumption, that the C12 to C14 ratio has been in equilibrium for several thousand years 60, or more.
In other words, the theory assumes that the C12 to C14 ratio existing today is the same as it was during the lifetime of the organisms being aged or dated. Because carbon dating works by measuring changes in this ratio over time in dead organic material, the ratio must be assumed to have been the same or the whole system collapses.
If the current C12 to C14 ratio in the atmosphere is C12 atoms to 1 C14 atom, this same After the organisms die, this ratio would change at a precise rate according to the half-life of C After 5, years the ratio would change to After another 5, years, So if we know the initial ratio and the ratio at the time of dating we could theoretically determine the age of the organism.
In the above example where the original ratio is The problem comes if the initial ratio is different than that assumed. For example, in this scenario if the original ratio was incorrectly assumed to be The whole system depends on the assumption that the C12 to C14 ratio is the same now as it was thousands of years ago.
This supposition in itself is the most crucial error in the theory. In order for this assumption to be true theorists make several other highly unreasonable assumptions.
Not only must the level of C14 be stable and unchanged, everything that affects the creation and metabolizing of C14 levels must also be stable and unchanged. Every factor that contributes to this ratio must be proven to affect the system in the same way, with same intensity now just as it did thousands of years ago. Starting to sound a little unreasonable? Consider how volatile some of these assumptions really are. Two assumptions inside of the carbon dating theory stand out as especially unlikely — cosmic radiation and nitrogen levels.
Cosmic rays entering our atmosphere are a major variable in the C14 equation. The interactions initiated by these energetic rays are the first step in the processes that lead to C14 production. The heliosphere is a bubble of magnetism springing from the sun and inflated to colossal proportions by the solar wind. Every planet from Mercury to Pluto and beyond is inside it. That means less shielding against cosmic rays. Even in the last decade changes in solar winds and variations in the heliosphere are dramatically changing one of the basic variables of the carbon dating system.
After cosmic rays penetrate the atmosphere a series of reactions transform normal nitrogen atoms into radioactive C14 atoms. Logically, it follows that if the concentration of available nitrogen in the atmosphere is changing the amount of C14 being produced would also be changing. So what do our current nitrogen levels look like? Burning fossil fuels, using synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, and cultivation of legumes all fix nitrogen.
Through these activities, humans have more than doubled the amount of fixed nitrogen [that] is pumped into the biosphere every year. Several natural processes also affect how much nitrogen is available in the atmosphere for C14 formation, all of which are dependant on changing microbial activity.
One author explains it like this: What changes microbial activity? Everything from climate changes to the availability of resources. There are certainly more reasons to believe that nitrogen concentrations are changing, but these two examples should be enough to put down any notion that the levels are always the same.
If the nitrogen levels are changing we can be sure C14 levels have followed the same tides. Theoretically, the science behind carbon dating would work if the current C12 to C14 was comparable to that of thousands of years ago.
Part of the problem could be with the cosmic radiation and nitrogen issues. Both have highly dynamic cycles, changing often, having no real pattern or predictable frequency.
If nitrogen levels and cosmic radiation were both much lower in the past which may well be the case , C14 production would also be much lower. Remember that C14 is produced only by reactions initiated through cosmic rays from the sun. Why does this matter? Suppose the Bible is right and Earth really is only 6, years old. This is the inherent problem with carbon dating — it first assumes the Earth to be very old and then processes the figures to match the assumptions.
Sometimes the question is not in the science, but in whether or not one believes in God and the Bible. Is such a subjective situation really science at all? Like often happens with modern Science, carbon dating leaves an open mind with more questions than answers. Perhaps the same thing he said to Job: In fact, if a sample contains 14 C, it is good evidence that it is not millions of years old. However, things are not quite so simple. First, plants discriminate against carbon dioxide containing 14 C.
That is, they take up less than would be expected and so they test older than they really are. Furthermore, different types of plants discriminate differently. This also has to be corrected for.
This would make things which died at that time appear older in terms of carbon dating. Then there was a rise in 14 CO 2 with the advent of atmospheric testing of atomic bombs in the s. Measurement of 14 C in historically dated objects e.
Accordingly, carbon dating carefully applied to items from historical times can be useful. However, even with such historical calibration, archaeologists do not regard 14 C dates as absolute because of frequent anomalies. They rely more on dating methods that link into historical records. Outside the range of recorded history, calibration of the 14 C "clock is not possible. The amount of cosmic rays penetrating the Earth's atmosphere affects the amount of 14 C produced and therefore dating the system.
The amount of cosmic rays reaching the Earth varies with the sun's activity, and with the Earth's passage through magnetic clouds as the solar system travels around the Milky Way galaxy. 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,  so more 14 C 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. Total 14 C is also proportionately lowered at this time, but whereas no terrestrial process generates any more 12 C, 14 C is continually being produced, and at a rate which does not depend on carbon levels it comes from nitrogen.
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.
Creationist researchers have suggested that dates of 35, - 45, years should be re-calibrated to the biblical date of the flood. Also, volcanoes emit much CO 2 depleted in 14 C. Since the flood was accompanied by much volcanism see Noah's Flood… , How did animals get from the Ark to isolated places? In summary, the carbon method, when corrected for the effects of the flood, can give useful results, but needs to be applied carefully. It does not give dates of millions of years and when corrected properly fits well with the biblical flood.
There are various other radiometric dating methods used today to give ages of millions or billions of years for rocks. These techniques, unlike carbon dating, mostly use the relative concentrations of parent and daughter products in radioactive decay chains. For example, potassium decays to argon; uranium decays to lead via other elements like radium; uranium decays to lead; rubidium decays to strontium; etc.
These techniques are applied to igneous rocks, and are normally seen as giving the time since solidification. The isotope concentrations can be measured very accurately, but isotope concentrations are not dates. To derive ages from such measurements, unprovable assumptions have to be made such as:. The starting conditions are known for example, that there was no daughter isotope present at the start, or that we know how much was there.
There is plenty of evidence that the radioisotope dating systems are not the infallible techniques many think, and that they are not measuring millions of years. However, there are still patterns to be explained. Geologist John Woodmorappe, in his devastating critique of radioactive dating,  points out that there are other large-scale trends in the rocks that have nothing to do with radioactive decay. The common application of such posterior reasoning shows that radiometric dating has serious problems.
For example, researchers applied posterior reasoning to the dating of Australopithecus ramidus fossils. So they looked at some basalt further removed from the fossils and selected 17 of 26 samples to get an acceptable maximum age of 4. The other nine samples again gave much older dates but the authors decided they must be contaminated and discarded them.
That is how radiometric dating works. It is very much driven by the existing long-age world view that pervades academia today. Various other attempts were made to date the volcanic rocks in the area. Over the years an age of 2. After this was widely accepted, further studies of the rocks brought the radiometric age down to about 1. Such is the dating game.
Are we suggesting that evolutionists are conspiring to massage the data to get what they want? It is simply that all observations must fit the prevailing paradigm. We must remember that the past is not open to the normal processes of experimental science, that is, repeatable experiments in the present.
A scientist cannot do experiments on events that happened in the past. Scientists do not measure the age of rocks, they measure isotope concentrations, and these can be measured extremely accurately.
Those involved with unrecorded history gather information in the present and construct stories about the past. The level of proof demanded for such stories seems to be much less than for studies in the empirical sciences, such as physics, chemistry, molecular biology, physiology, etc. Williams, an expert in the environmental fate of radioactive elements, identified 17 flaws in the isotope dating reported in just three widely respected seminal papers that supposedly established the age of the Earth at 4.
The forms issued by radioisotope laboratories for submission with samples to be dated commonly ask how old the sample is expected to be. If the techniques were absolutely objective and reliable, such information would not be necessary. If the long-age dating techniques were really objective means of finding the ages of rocks, they should work in situations where we know the age.
Furthermore, different techniques should consistently agree with one another. The secular scientific literature lists many examples of excess argon causing dates of millions of years in rocks of known historical age. This is consistent with a young world—the argon has had too little time to escape. So data are again selected according to what the researcher already believes about the age of the rock.
Steve Austin sampled basalt from the base of the Grand Canyon strata and from the lava that spilled over the edge of the canyon.
By evolutionary reckoning, the latter should be a billion years younger than the basalt from the bottom. Standard laboratories analyzed the isotopes.
The rubidium-strontium isochron technique suggested that the recent lava flow was Ma older than the basalts beneath the Grand Canyon—an impossibility. If the dating methods are an objective and reliable means of determining ages, they should agree. If a chemist were measuring the sugar content of blood, all valid methods for the determination would give the same answer within the limits of experimental error.
However, with radiometric dating, the different techniques often give quite different results. In the study of the Grand Canyon rocks by Austin, different techniques gave different results.
Techniques that give results that can be dismissed just because they don't agree with what we already believe cannot be considered objective. In Australia, some wood found the Tertiary basalt was clearly buried in the lava flow that formed the basalt, as can be seen from the charring. Isotope ratios or uraninite crystals from the Koongarra uranium body in the Northern Territory of Australia gave lead-lead isochron ages of Ma, plus or minus Ma.
The latter figures are significant because thorium-derived dates should be the more reliable, since thorium is less mobile than the uranium minerals that are the parents of the lead isotopes in lead-lead system. Carbon Dating in many cases seriously embarrasses evolutionists by giving ages that are much younger than those expected from their model of early history.
A specimen older than 50, years should have too little 14 C to measure. Laboratories that measure 14 C would like a source of organic material with zero 14 C to use as a blank to check that their lab procedures do not add 14 C. Coal is an obvious candidate because the youngest coal is supposed to be millions of years old, and most of it is supposed to be tens or hundreds of millions of years old. Such old coal should be devoid of 14 C. No source of coal has been found that completely lacks 14 C.
It is an unsolved mystery to evolutionists as to why coal has 14 C in it,  , or wood supposedly millions of years old still has 14 C present, but it makes perfect sense in a creationist world view. Of the methods that have been used to estimate the age of the Earth, 90 percent point to an age far less than the billions of years asserted by evolutionists. A few of them follow. Evidence for a rapid formation of geological strata, as in the biblical flood. Some of the evidences are: For more, see books by geologists Morris  and Austin.
Red blood cells and hemoglobin have been found in some unfossilized! But these could not last more than a few thousand years—certainly not the 65 Ma since the last dinosaurs lived, according to evolutionists. The Earth's magnetic field has been decaying so fast that it looks like it is less than 10, years old. Rapid reversals during the flood year and fluctuations shortly after would have caused the field energy to drop even faster. Radioactive decay releases helium into the atmosphere, but not much is escaping.
This helium originally escaped from rocks. This happens quite fast, yet so much helium is still in some rocks that it has not had time to escape—certainly not billions of years. A supernova is an explosion of a massive star—the explosion is so bright that it briefly outshines the rest of the galaxy.
The supernova remnants SNRs should keep expanding for hundreds of thousands of years, according to physical equations. Yet there are no very old, widely expanded Stage 3 SNRs, and few moderately old Stage 1 ones in our galaxy, the Milky Way, or in its satellite galaxies, the Magellanic Clouds. The moon is slowly receding for the Earth at about 4 centimeters 1. But even if the moon had started receding from being in contact with the Earth, it would have taken only 1. This gives a maximum age of the moon, not the actual age.
This is far too young for evolutionists who claim the moon is 4. Salt is entering the sea much faster than it is escaping. The sea is not nearly salty enough for this to have been happening for billions of years. Even granting generous assumptions to evolutionists, the sea could not be more than 62 Ma years old—far younger than the billions of years believed by the evolutionists.
Again, this indicates a maximum age, not the actual age. Russell Humphreys gives other processes inconsistent with billions of years in the pamphlet Evidence for a Young World. Creationists cannot prove the age of the Earth using a particular scientific method, any more than evolutionists can.
They realize that all science is tentative because we do not have all the data, especially when dealing with the past. The atheistic evolutionist W.
In reality, all dating methods, including those that point to a young Earth, rely on unprovable assumptions. Creationists ultimately date the Earth historically using the chronology of the Bible. This is because they believe that this is an accurate eyewitness account of world history, which bears the evidence within it that it is the Word of God , and therefore totally reliable and error-free.
What the do the radiometric dates of millions of years mean, if they are not true ages? To answer this question, it is necessary to scrutinize further the experimental results from the various dating techniques, the interpretations made on the basis of the results and the assumptions underlying those interpretations.
Imsges: christian science carbon dating
Baker Books, , pp. A stronger magnetic field deflects more cosmic rays away from the Earth.
By Beatrice Gitau , Staff July 23,
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