Carbon-14 Dating: A Shaky Foundation for “Pre-Historical” Dating
Dr. Willard Libby was the pioneer of the Carbon-14 dating method and his work earned him a Nobel Prize for his efforts. However, right at the beginning of his research he ran into some troubling problems. First, when he looked for a variety of older dates to use as controls for his carbon dating, he discovered that all those archeological sites he’d read about dating back 20,000 years and more were not historically verifiable. He said,
“You read statements in books that such and such a society or archeological site is 20,000 years old. We learned rather abruptly that these numbers, these ancient ages, are not known accurately; in fact, it is about the time of the First Dynasty in Egypt that the first historical date of any real certainty has been established.” (1)
In other words, all verifiable human history disappears around 3000 BC. (A date very consistent with the Biblical flood date)
Second, for carbon-14 dating to achieve any kind of accuracy, it was absolutely necessary that the ratio of 14C to 12C in the atmosphere had always been the same as it is today. Therefore, the carbon-14 production and removal rate in the atmosphere must have reached a “steady state or equilibrium”, for carbon-14 dating to work. Dr. Libby noted in his early work that the atmosphere did not appear to be in a steady state. But since his calculations showed that the Earth would reach a steady state within 30,000 years, and believing the Earth was billions of years old, he just assumed a state of equilibrium had been reached. However it has since been shown that this steady state has not in fact been reached, which appears to be strong support for a much younger atmosphere than Charles Lyell’s theories would allow, and helping to explain the many inconsistencies in carbon-14 dating.
Another problem with carbon-14 is what appears to be the steady weakening of the magnetic field. As J. Roach is quoted in the National Geographic,
” Earths magnetic field is fading. Today it is about 10 % weaker than it was when German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss started keeping tabs on it in 1845, scientists say.”(2)
This would mean the production of C14 was less in the past than is assumed by the carbon-14 dating method, and would lead to dating objects much older than they really are. Finally let’s look at some of the actual results of carbon dating, and see how they stack up the evolutionary view of geology.
A team of seven PhD. Scientists undertook a study to illustrate the serious problems with carbon-14 dating. Among other things, they took samples from ten different coal layers representing various parts of the geological column. These samples were assumed to be from millions to hundreds of millions of years old by evolutionary standards. Yet all of these samples when tested contained measurable amounts of Carbon 14 and averaged about 50,000 years old. Keep in mind that after 100,000 years there should be no carbon left in the sample and that the 50000 year date could easily be much younger when change in the atmosphere and the magnetic field is taken in to account. As a matter of fact virtually everything the scientists dated, from diamonds to dinosaur bones, came back with measurable carbon, something totally out of line with the evolutionary view of time.
C14 analysis of oil from Gulf of Mexico deposits showed an age measured in thousands of years – not millions. Data produced by the Petroleum Institute at Victoria, New Zealand, showed that petroleum deposits were formed 6,000-7,000 years ago. Textbooks state that petroleum formation took place about 300,000,000 years ago (Velikovsky, 1955, p.287
The last major glacial advance in America was long dated at about 25,000 years ago. C14 dates forced a revision down to 11,400 years. The United State Geological Survey carried out studies that gave a C14 date as recent as 3300 years ago, but no text treats such a puzzling find that falls well within historic times (Velikovsky, 1955, p.158-159
In Jarmo, a prehistoric village in northern Iraq, eleven samples were dated and showed a 6000-year spread. All the archaeological evidence, however, showed that the village was occupied no more than 500 years before it was finally abandoned.
Mortar from Oxford Castle in England gave an age of 7,270 years. The castle was built about 800 years ago.
If you go on to attend college or even as you watch TV or read popular magazines and literature, you’re going to be bombarded with claims that this or that society lived 40,000 years ago. Be aware that such claims have no real basis in science or historical verification no matter how often they are repeated.
(1) Willard Libby, 1960 Nobel Prize winner for pioneering carbon dating technique. American Scientist 44 January 1956
(2) J. Roach, Nat’l Geographic News, Sept.9, 2004