Whenever the worldview of evolution is questioned, the topic of carbon dating always comes up. Here is how carbon dating works and the assumptions it is based upon. Radiation from the sun strikes the atmosphere of the earth all day long. This energy converts about 21 pounds of nitrogen into radioactive carbon This radioactive carbon 14 slowly decays back into normal, stable nitrogen.
Plant eating animals herbivores and omnivores get their carbon by eating plants.
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All animals in the food chain, including carnivores, get their carbon indirectly from plant material, even if it is by eating animals which themselves eat plants. The net effect of this is that all living organisms have the same radiocarbon to stable carbon ratio as the atmosphere.
Once an organism dies the carbon is no longer replaced.
Because the radiocarbon is radioactive, it will slowly decay away. Obviously there will usually be a loss of stable carbon too but the proportion of radiocarbon to stable carbon will reduce according to the exponential decay law:.
The simplified approach described above does not tell the whole story. All dating methods that support this theory are embraced, while any evidence to the contrary, e.
Prior to radiometric dating, evolution scientists used index fossils a. A paleontologist would take the discovered fossil to a geologist who would ask the paleontologist what other fossils searching for an index fossil were found near their discovery.
If it sounds like circular reasoning, it is because this process in reality is based upon circular reasoning. The process of using index fossils is describes by the late Creationist author and Ph.
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Henry Morris as follows:. Michael Oard, Ph.
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All radiometric dating methods use this basic principle to extrapolate the age of artifacts being tested. These long time periods are computed by measuring the ratio of daughter to parent substance in a rock, and inferring an age based on this ratio. This age is computed under the assumption that the parent substance say, uranium gradually decays to the daughter substance say, lea so the higher the ratio of lead to uranium, the older the rock must be.
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While there are many problems with such dating methods, such as parent or daughter substances entering or leaving the rock, e. Geologists assert that generally speaking, older dates are found deeper down in the geologic column, which they take as evidence that radiometric dating is giving true ages, since it is apparent that rocks that are deeper must be older.
But even if it is true that older radiometric dates are found lower down in the geologic column which is open to questionthis can potentially be explained by processes occurring in magma chambers which cause the lava erupting earlier to appear older than the lava erupting later. Lava erupting earlier would come from the top of the magma chamber, and lava erupting later would come from lower down.
Why is carbon dating not always possible
A number of processes could cause the parent substance to be depleted at the top of the magma chamber, or the daughter product to be enriched, both of which would cause the lava erupting earlier to appear very old according to radiometric dating, and lava erupting later to appear younger.
Other possible confounding variables are the mechanisms that can alter daughter-to-parent ratios. We can see that many varieties of minerals are produced from the same magma by the different processes of crystallization, and these different minerals may have very different compositions. It is possible that the ratio of daughter to parent substances for radiometric dating could differ in the different minerals. Clearly, it is important to have a good understanding of these processes in order to evaluate the reliability of radiometric dating.
Other confounding factors such as contamination and fractionation issues are frankly acknowledged by the geologic community, but are not taken into consideration when the accuracy and validity of these dating methods are examined.
Why Carbon Dating Might Be in Danger
The following quotation from Elaine G. Kennedy addresses this problem. Contamination and fractionation issues are frankly acknowledged by the geologic community. For example, if a magma chamber does not have homogeneously mixed isotopes, lighter daughter products could accumulate in the upper portion of the chamber.
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If this occurs, initial volcanic eruptions would have a preponderance of daughter products relative to the parent isotopes. Such a distribution would give the appearance of age.
As the magma chamber is depleted in daughter products, subsequent lava flows and ash beds would have younger dates. Such a scenario does not answer all of the questions or solve all of the problems that radiometric dating poses for those who believe the Genesis account of Creation and the Flood.
It does suggest at least one ct of the problem that could be researched more thoroughly. We would, obviously, have to assume that the candle has always burned at the same rate, and assume an initial height of the candle.
The answer changes based on the assumptions. Similarly, scientists do not know that the carbon decay rate has been constant. They do not know that the amount of carbon 14 in the atmosphere is constant. Present testing shows the amount of C in the atmosphere has been increasing since it was first measured in the s. This may be tied in to the declining strength of the magnetic field.
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In addition to the above assumptions, dating methods are all subject to the geologic column date to verify their accuracy. If a date obtained by radiometric dating does not match the assumed age from the geologic column, the radiometric date will be rejected. The so-called geologic column was developed in the early s over a century before there were any radio- metric dating methods. There are about 7 or 8 radioactive elements that are used today to try to date objects.
Each one has a different half-life and a different range of ages it is supposed to be used for. No dating method cited by evolutionists is unbiased.
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Does carbon dating prove the earth is millions of years old? How Carbon Dating Works Radiation from the sun strikes the atmosphere of the earth all day long. The Assumptions of Carbon Dating Although this technique looks good at first, carbon dating rests on at least two simple assumptions. Radiometric dating would not have been feasible if the geologic column had not been erected first.
About the Author: Eric Hovind. Eric Hovind grew up immersed in the world of apologetics and following college graduation inhe began full-time ministry.
He lives in Pensacola, Florida with his wife Tanya and three children and remains excited about the tremendous opportunity to lead an apologetics ministry in the war against evolution and humanism. Learn How.