CRSQ Archive

Copyright © 1968, 2000 by the Creation Research Society. All rights reserved.


Volume 5, Number 2
September, 1968

Radiocarbon Dating

R. H. Brown

A summary of the physical phenomena involved in radiocarbon dating is given. Laboratory procedure determines the amount of radioactive carbon a sample contains now. Calculation of an age requires an assumption concerning the relative amount of radioactive carbon in the environment at the time the organism from which sample was derived was living. The year A.D. 1850 is chosen as a standard since up to then man had not contaminated the air by either adding carbon dioxide from industrial fuel or neutrons from atomic explosions. Thus a decrease to one half of the amount found in A.D. 1850 samples indicates a radiocarbon age of 5730 years. Correlation with tree-ring dating shows a fair degree of accuracy to about 59. B.C. Attempts to correlate Bristlecone Pine growth-rings with radiocarbon age show a discrepancy of 500 to 1000 years, the pine ages being that much older than Carbon-14 ages. Reliable conversion between historical age and radiocarbon age goes back only 3-4000 years. Though only approximations, farming increased rapidly in 1200 "years" from 7,200 to 5,000 B.P. Evidently prior to the Flood the relative amount of Carbon-14 in the air was only about 1/1000 of its present value. Several theories for increase in Carbon-14 are given.

Radiological Dating And Some Pertinent Applications Of Historical Interest

Do Radiological "Clocks" Need Repair?

Melvin A. Cook, Ph.D.

Radiocarbon dating is based on the incorrect assumption that C-14 is in equilibrium, the rate of formation equaling the rate of decay. But recent data show rate of formation is 18.4 and rate of decay 13.3 so that a non-equilibrium condition exists. This situation telescopes all radiocarbon ages to about 10,000 years or less. Consideration of uranium-thorium-lead age determinations show at least six basic difficulties involved in determining true age. Most serious is evidence for artificial aging by the so-called "neutron-gamma" reactions. A number of crucial examples are given. Thus the uranium ore at Shinkolobwe, Katanga contains no thorium or common lead, but .08% Pb-208! If it came from "neutron-gamma" reactions, the likely explanation of this ore, it is a modern ore, far younger than the assigned 640 million year old age of conventional dating!

Potassium-argon dating does not take into account the relatively great amount of argon-40, branching ratio data, and uncertain half-life of some isotopes. Pure guess work is required to establish the actual concentrations of the isotopes involved in the rubidium-strontium "time clock" at the beginning of a particular mineral.

An extensive discussion of radiocarbon dating in relation to a global sea level cycle is given. Also dates of various civilizations based on a equilibrium radiocarbon model are shown to be seriously older than reality.

Radiocarbon Confirms Biblical Creation (And So Does Potassium-Argon)

Robert L. Whitelaw

The C-14 method of dating not only confirms Biblical history, but creation also. Similarly the potassium-argon method cannot be used to establish ages older than about 7000 years.

Libby found a discrepancy indicating a non-equilibrium in the build-up of terrestrial radiocarbon. But, since he was convinced that the earth was millions of years old, he decided the difference between the C-14 production rate of 19 atoms/gm-min. And the specific activity of 16 dis/gm-min was due to experimental error. Actually this difference is greater and is to be expected on the basis of a relatively recent Creation. Allowing for this difference and computing backward leads directly to the Biblical creation date.

The vulnerability of the potassium-argon method of dating lies in the difficulty of knowing how much of the argon came from potassium, a determination absolutely vital to all age determinations. Since 99.6 of argon is Ar-40 and .337% is Ar-36, the ratio of 99.6 to .337 or 295.6 would give the amount of argon coming from potassium in the equation: Radioargon 40 = total argon 40 - 295.6 times argon 36. But this assumes the ratio of Ar-36 to Ar-40 since the beginning. If cosmic radiation began with Creation, the present Ar-36 concentration of .337% would have built up from zero since then, so that the constant of 295.6 must increase rapidly as one goes backward in time.

On The Invariance Of The Decay Constant Over Geological Time

Robert V. Gentry

Radioactive inclusions such as zircon, which show a considerable volume increase due to isotropization from radioactive decay, often fracture the surrounding mineral in a random pattern. On uniformitarian concepts the surrounding mineral should expand slowly over geologic time. Expansion cracks should occur first along cohesion minimums and grain boundaries, but instead individual cracks surrounding the radioactive inclusion are randomly distributed and occur suddenly, in an explosive fracture. Anomalous decay rates would explain this world wide phenomena. Mathematical equations showing the relationships involved in pleochroic halos are given.

A Paleoecological Misinterpretation

Harold G. Coffin

The small marine tubeworm, Spirorbis, is abundant in the fossil record. No member of this genus is found in a fresh water habitat. Since Spirorbis tubes are found as a constituent of Carboniferous coal, they are strong evidence for the allochthonous, or transported, origin of much of the coal. This is contrary to the presently popular view that coal originated in swamps and marshes due to the accumulation of plant materials over long periods of time.


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