Creation Worldview Ministries: The problem of circular reasoning in dating the rocks

Answers to Creationist Attacks on Carbon-14 Dating

problems with dating fossils

In Chapters 17 and 21 of the Book of Judges people are saying that if there is no God then we may do whatever we wish. Astronomers recently detected an enormous but short-lived increase in radiation from the nearby star Proxima Centauri. Without rather special developmental work, it is not generally practicable to measure ages in excess of about twenty thousand years, because the radioactivity of the carbon becomes so slight that it is difficult to get an accurate measurement above background radiation. So, when Barnes extrapolates ten thousand years into the past, he concludes that the magnetic field was nineteen times stronger in BC than it is today, when, actually, it was only half as intense then as now.

Absolute Dating

Simon and Schuster, , p. Ten years after Dr. Human Biological and Cultural Origins. The limber pine sequence had been worked out back to 25 BC. The correlation is possible because, in the Southwest region of the United States, the widths of tree rings vary from year to year with the rainfall, and trees all over the Southwest have the same pattern of variations. The uncertainty of fossil dates in the Middle Stone Age is just the tip of the iceberg.

Such a column does not exist in nature. It only exists in the textbooks and in the minds of those who believe it. If no such column exists, and no modern technology works to yield reliable ages for the sedimentary rock layers found in the ground, how do evolutionists determine the supposed ages that they so delightfully publish for consumption by a gullible public? They us a form of false circular reasoning!

They determine the age of the rock layers by the fossils that they contain, and then they turn around and determine the ages assigned to the fossils by the ages of the rock layers that they were found in. When you find these specific fossils, then you supposedly know the age of the rock; and once you know the age of the rock, you automatically know the age of the fossil!

If you do not believe me, then consider what prominent evolutionists have been writing in the secular school textbooks. In the same textbook it says this: In another secular school science textbook we find these two statements on opposing pages: Often, the layers of rock can be dated by types of fossils they contain.

Glenco, Biology , , p. The use of circular reasoning by evolutionists to date rocks by fossils and fossils by rocks has been often called into question by non-evolutionists. The succession of organisms has been determined by a study of their remains embedded in the rocks, and the relative ages of the rocks are determined by the remains of organisms that they contain. Even some of the most devout and well known evolutionists are honest when confronting this problem.

The highly respected coauthor of the Theory of Punctuated Equilibria , Dr. There is no gradual ascension of life forms in the rock layers.

Few saw any reason to demur - though it is a startling fact that , Ten years after Dr. Gould of Harvard; he was reconsidering his position and wrote: There is no way simply to look at a fossil and say how old it is unless you know the age of the rocks it comes from. And this poses something of a problem: Eldredge, Niles, Time Frames: Simon and Schuster, , p. Evolutionists do not use any form of modern technology to determine of the age of sedimentary rock layers.

This may be confirmed by simply quoting the noted Canadian geologist, and past President of the Canadian Geological Society, Dr. One honest evolutionary believing geologist admits to all the problems and he tells us how evolutionists may overcome all these objections to their use of circular reasoning in determining the ages for the sedimentary layers and fossils that are in the ground.

He presents his solution for all to see in the prestigious magazine, The American Journal of Science. The geologist has never bothered to think of a good reply, feeling the explanations are not worth the trouble as long as the work brings results. Are you intelligent lay people? This time period is critical for human evolution, and evolutionists have consistently claimed a degree of certainty in their dating which now appears to be unjustified.

The author does not wish to imply that the ostrich-eggshell-dating method is a legitimate one. The point is that, for evolutionists to claim they now have a "better" method for dating human fossils discovered in the future does not correct the inaccurate dates of human fossils that were discovered in the past.

The dating flaws of the past cannot be rectified because: The uncertainty of fossil dates in the Middle Stone Age is just the tip of the iceberg. For evolutionists, the problem is far more serious, but few are willing to acknowledge it. William Howells Harvard University states that the dating problems involve the entire Middle Pleistocene , to , ya, according to evolutionists.

This would involve many more fossils than just those in the Middle Stone Age. But it is refreshing to know that some evolutionists are speaking frankly about the dating problems involving the human fossils. Human evolution demands precise dating of the relevant fossils. Evolutionists now admit that the dates for the human fossils in the significant Middle Stone Age period and elsewhere are uncertain.

It means that there is no such thing as a legitimate evolutionary fossil sequence leading to modern humans. It also means that evolutionists cannot make accurate statements regarding the origin of modern humans based on fossils discovered thus far. Their continuing to do so reveals that their statements are based on a belief system, not on the practice of a rigorous science.

Skip to main content. Klein, The Human Career: Human Biological and Cultural Origins. University of Chicago Press, For charts listing all of the fossils in this time period, see Marvin L. Lubenow, Bones of Contention. Baker Book House, A. Confirmation of Rapid Metamorphism of Rocks.

Where thick sequences of sedimentary rock layers have been deposited in large basins, the deepest layers at the bottoms of the sequences may subsequently Many scientists rely on the assumption that radioactive elements decay at constant, undisturbed rates and therefore can be used as reliable clocks to measure So, if we measure the rate of beta decay in an organic sample, we can calculate how old the sample is.

C decays with a half-life of 5, years. Kieth and Anderson radiocarbon-dated the shell of a living freshwater mussel and obtained an age of over two thousand years. ICR creationists claim that this discredits C dating. How do you reply?

It does discredit the C dating of freshwater mussels, but that's about all. Kieth and Anderson show considerable evidence that the mussels acquired much of their carbon from the limestone of the waters they lived in and from some very old humus as well. Carbon from these sources is very low in C because these sources are so old and have not been mixed with fresh carbon from. Thus, a freshly killed mussel has far less C than a freshly killed something else, which is why the C dating method makes freshwater mussels seem older than they really are.

When dating wood there is no such problem because wood gets its carbon straight from the air, complete with a full dose of C The creationists who quote Kieth and Anderson never tell you this, however. A sample that is more than fifty thousand years old shouldn't have any measurable C Coal, oil, and natural gas are supposed to be millions of years old; yet creationists say that some of them contain measurable amounts of C, enough to give them C ages in the tens of thousands of years.

How do you explain this? Radiocarbon dating doesn't work well on objects much older than twenty thousand years, because such objects have so little C left that their beta radiation is swamped out by the background radiation of cosmic rays and potassium K decay. Younger objects can easily be dated, because they still emit plenty of beta radiation, enough to be measured after the background radiation has been subtracted out of the total beta radiation.

However, in either case, the background beta radiation has to be compensated for, and, in the older objects, the amount of C they have left is less than the margin of error in measuring background radiation.

As Hurley points out:. Without rather special developmental work, it is not generally practicable to measure ages in excess of about twenty thousand years, because the radioactivity of the carbon becomes so slight that it is difficult to get an accurate measurement above background radiation.

Cosmic rays form beta radiation all the time; this is the radiation that turns N to C in the first place. K decay also forms plenty of beta radiation. Stearns, Carroll, and Clark point out that ".

This radiation cannot be totally eliminated from the laboratory, so one could probably get a "radiocarbon" date of fifty thousand years from a pure carbon-free piece of tin. However, you now know why this fact doesn't at all invalidate radiocarbon dates of objects younger than twenty thousand years and is certainly no evidence for the notion that coals and oils might be no older than fifty thousand years.

Creationists such as Cook claim that cosmic radiation is now forming C in the atmosphere about one and one-third times faster than it is decaying. If we extrapolate backwards in time with the proper equations, we find that the earlier the historical period, the less C the atmosphere had.

If they are right, this means all C ages greater than two or three thousand years need to be lowered drastically and that the earth can be no older than ten thousand years. Yes, Cook is right that C is forming today faster than it's decaying. However, the amount of C has not been rising steadily as Cook maintains; instead, it has fluctuated up and down over the past ten thousand years.

How do we know this? From radiocarbon dates taken from bristlecone pines. There are two ways of dating wood from bristlecone pines: Since the tree ring counts have reliably dated some specimens of wood all the way back to BC, one can check out the C dates against the tree-ring-count dates.

Admittedly, this old wood comes from trees that have been dead for hundreds of years, but you don't have to have an 8,year-old bristlecone pine tree alive today to validly determine that sort of date. It is easy to correlate the inner rings of a younger living tree with the outer rings of an older dead tree.

The correlation is possible because, in the Southwest region of the United States, the widths of tree rings vary from year to year with the rainfall, and trees all over the Southwest have the same pattern of variations.

When experts compare the tree-ring dates with the C dates, they find that radiocarbon ages before BC are really too young—not too old as Cook maintains.

For example, pieces of wood that date at about BC by tree-ring counts date at only BC by regular C dating and BC by Cook's creationist revision of C dating as we see in the article, "Dating, Relative and Absolute," in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. So, despite creationist claims, C before three thousand years ago was decaying faster than it was being formed and C dating errs on the side of making objects from before BC look too young , not too old.

But don't trees sometimes produce more than one growth ring per year? Wouldn't that spoil the tree-ring count? If anything, the tree-ring sequence suffers far more from missing rings than from double rings. This means that the tree-ring dates would be slightly too young, not too old. Of course, some species of tree tend to produce two or more growth rings per year. But other species produce scarcely any extra rings. Most of the tree-ring sequence is based on the bristlecone pine.

This tree rarely produces even a trace of an extra ring; on the contrary, a typical bristlecone pine has up to 5 percent of its rings missing. Concerning the sequence of rings derived from the bristlecone pine, Ferguson says:.

Imsges: problems with dating fossils

problems with dating fossils

He presents his solution for all to see in the prestigious magazine, The American Journal of Science. Yes, Cook is right that C is forming today faster than it's decaying. There is no way simply to look at a fossil and say how old it is unless you know the age of the rocks it comes from.

problems with dating fossils

It also means that evolutionists cannot make accurate statements regarding the origin of modern humans based on fossils discovered thus far. What were his final solutions?

problems with dating fossils

Popular presentations of human evolution show a rather smooth transition probles fossils leading to modern humans. However, in either case, the background beta datiny has to be compensated for, and, in the older objects, the amount of C they have left is less than problems with dating fossils margin of error in measuring background radiation. Anatomically modern Homo sapiens speed dating in milwaukee wi that are dated more recently than 40, years of age are not of great significance for evolutionary purposes and are not under consideration here. In the same textbook it says this: It only exists in the textbooks and in the minds of those who believe it. Even problems with dating fossils of the most devout and well known evolutionists are honest when confronting this problem.