Christian view of carbon dating


  1. The problems with Carbon Dating | A Christian's Spiritual Journey 一個基督徒的屬靈旅程
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  3. Carbon-14 Dating Does Not Disprove the Bible

Under the direction of Brown and his successor, Roth, the GRI devoted itself to holding fast to flood geology and criticizing C dating. Those who did not accept the great flood would find no footing in the GRI and should leave the institute. Today, with only a few exceptions, the SDA holds fast to flood geology and literal interpretations of Genesis days. Today, with only a few exceptions, Seventh-day Adventists hold fast to flood geology and literal interpretations of Genesis days.

The strongest professional defense of the C method by an Adventist scholar was offered by R. Ervin Taylor, director of a radiocarbon dating laboratory at the University of California at Riverside. He emphasized that the C dates were supported and confirmed by many other methods such as obsidian hydration, thermoluminescience, archaeomagnetic data, the potassium-argon method, fission track dating, dendrochronology, varve dating, fluorine diffusion and archaeological sequences.

Even Ross Barnes admitted that literal interpretations of Genesis are incompatible with scientific dates. Couperus said that Christian faith "should not be affected by views on the age of our planet, be it young or old. The American Scientific Affiliation. The ASA was formed in to serve as a principal forum of evangelical Christianity to "promote and encourage the study of the relationship between the facts of science and the Holy Scriptures. Since the publication of its first results in , the C dating method raised controversy in the ASA. The ASA membership had a mixed reaction to radioactive dating until the early s, when advocates of radiometry began to dominate.

As shown in the discussion of a paper by Monsma, the responses of key members to geologic ages and the flood varied until Monsma himself accepted the flood and seemed "to deplore the acceptance by Christians of the ideas of geologic ages. Alton Everest, Peter W. Stoner, a professor of mathematics and astronomy at Pasadena City College and a supporter of the day-age theory , Russell L.

Laurence Kulp were quite dubious about a recent creation and a cataclysmic deluge. But this period of confusion did not last long. Right after the announcement of the C dating method by Libby, J. He returned to Columbia University to establish his own C laboratory, and pioneered the various applications of C dating to geology. He eventually became one of the nation's top authorities in C dating. Kulp played an important role in converting ASA members to C dating. Although Kulp himself did not leave many writings about his role in the ASA, articles of that time revealed his influence.

The problems with Carbon Dating | A Christian's Spiritual Journey 一個基督徒的屬靈旅程

In these proceedings, Kulp added many brief editorial comments to all of the papers presented, and finally in his own paper showed the validity and limitations of the assumptions of radioactive dating. At the end of his paper, Kulp discussed the basic requirements, the effective range, and some applications of C dating. Bearing in mind the criticism from some conservative Christians of radioactive dating methods, he pointed out that " a The half-life will not be the limiting factor This paper was an open attack on the young earth and flood geology theories and their proponents, and played an important role in orienting the ASA toward accepting radioactive dates and refuting flood geology.

Kulp pointed out the basic errors of flood geologists, discussing their ignorance of recent scientific discoveries associated with C dating. Morris wrote a rebuttal to the piece, trying to answer the various arguments, but the JASA editors did not publish it.

The Basics of Carbon-14 Dating

In his own article attacking flood geology, Kulp pointed out that the proponents of flood geology lacked a formal education in geology. What made Kulp so important in the ASA? The key was his professional background in geology, specifically geochemistry. In contrast to a confident Kulp, those who opposed him who were not professional geologists had to be very careful in presenting their opinions in geological matters.

For example, to a question raised by Cordelius Erdmann, Monsma said, "I would not dare to answer that question because I am not a geologist. Kulp's paper "Deluge Geology" was only the beginning of Kulp's rebuttal of flood geology and the idea of a young earth. In a paper presented at the Los Angeles Convention of the ASA, Kulp argued that "the theory that a relatively recent universal flood can account for the sedimentary strata of the earth is entirely inadequate to explain the observed data in geology. In a paper presented at the Convention, Roy M.

Allen, a metallurgist, summarized the conditions that complicated the accuracy of radioactive dating, and then criticized the uncertainty of radioactive dates. But in the discussion session, Allen's paper was attacked by Kulp. Kulp, after pointing out the author's lack of geological training, refuted Allen's criticisms one by one. In addition to his total commitment to contemporary geology, young Kulp's partisanship and power of persuasion contributed to converting the ASA to acceptance of C dating and the doctrine of the old earth and human antiquity.

What other factors helped Kulp in his mission to convert the ASA? One was the fact that since its first decade, the ASA had many active scientists working in fields related to radioactive dating, such as geology, archaeology and anthropology. They all had been trained in the contemporary scientific traditions. Ramm summarized the intellectual atmosphere of the ASA in the early s, which was generally accepting of current scientific ideas. In supporting Kulp in his criticism of flood geology, Ramm said, "If uniformitarianism makes a scientific case for itself to a Christian scholar, that Christian scholar has every right to believe it, and if he is a man and not a coward he will believe it in spite of the intimidation that he is supposedly gone over into the camp of the enemy.

Ramm said, "If uniformitarianism makes a scientific case for itself to a Christian scholar, that Christian scholar has every right to believe it, and if he is a man and not a coward he will believe it in spite of the intimidation that he is supposedly gone over into the camp of the enemy. Kulp lined up his allies within the ASA and played an active part in the background to ensure that "the ASA's publications gave neither aid nor comfort to flood geology. Monsma, a believer in recent creation and a cataclysmic deluge, in Though he eventually dropped out the ASA, "not because it had become liberal, but because it was too conservative for him," Kulp widely influenced the ASA to accept radioactive dates, and the antiquity of the earth and life on earth.


With the emergence of Kulp, supporters of the young earth and flood geology were gradually isolated within the ASA. In the s, through the influence of Kulp and his followers, ASA members began to split into two groups: In the s, there was increasing evidence of personal and organizational factions among evangelical Christian circles. To fundamentalist evangelicals, the great flood and the age of the earth and life were incompatible with C dates. In reaction to the shift in the ASA towards acceptance of the idea of an old earth and uniformitarianism, a revival of flood geology and the idea of a young earth and life occurred in evangelical Christianity in the early s.

The most significant sign of this revival was the publication in of The Genesis Flood by Whitcomb and Morris, supporters of Pricean flood geology. The Genesis Flood , which began in as Whitcomb's dissertation, was completed by the addition of several technical chapters by Morris. As an Old Testament teacher at Grace Theological Seminary, a fundamentalist institution in Indiana, Whitcomb was deeply distressed by Ramm's The Christian View of Science and Scripture which contained what he deemed an unbiblical notion of the local flood.

Ramm's book, as Whitcomb confided to Morris, provided him a direct motivation to write the page dissertation on The Genesis Flood: Ramm's book would be sufficient incentive for me.

Carbon-14 Dating Does Not Disprove the Bible

In this book the authors summarized the basic assumptions of C dating: Arnold and I had was that our advisors informed us that history extended back only 5, years The reaction within Christian circles to The Genesis Flood was mixed, ranging from high praise to severe criticism. Several Christian magazines praised The Genesis Flood for its defense of Genesis, while scientists, including ASA members, criticized the book for its total attack on contemporary science.

Most of the evangelicals who accepted the gap and day-age theories did not heartily accept flood geology and the idea of a young earth, recognizing that the main arguments of flood geology on the whole were incompatible with their theories. Whitcomb, in a letter to Morris, expressed his embarrassment that practically everyone he knew accepted either the gap or day-age theory, "even though they seem to be happy about our position on the Flood! In contrast to the critical response of non-literalist evangelicals, however, many fundamentalists and fundamentalist institutions heartily accepted The Genesis Flood.

Soon after its publication, the authors were invited to numerous meetings. Morris, who had a prestigious scientific background, was particularly forced to adapt a jetset lifestyle in order to meet nation-wide speaking engagements. Baptists invited him most frequently, but conservative Presbyterian, Lutheran, Reformed, Episcopalian, Wesleyan, Mennonite and even Pentecostal institutions heard his flood geology and his arguments for a young earth. Among these, the CRS and the ICR were the most prominent in spreading the ideas of flood geology and a young earth, which were the most distinct features of the so-called "scientific creationism.

The organization most critical of C dating was the CRS. It was started in by a group of strict creationists who were disappointed by the changing position of the ASA. Marquart stated, "If the ASA had remained true to the doctrines and principles on which it was founded, the Creation Research Society would never have been necessary. CRS members' arguments against the C method were essentially not very different from the early arguments of the Adventists. Cook, a Mormon metallurgist and professor at the University of Utah, criticized the assumption of C equilibrium in the biosphere.

This assumption states that a dynamic equilibrium has existed in the earth's reservoirs of carbon for several tens of thousands of years. Cook denied the existence of this equilibrium: Whitelaw, a professor of mechanical engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, presented more quantitative arguments on the nonexistence of equilibrium among the major carbon reservoirs. Morris, director of the ICR, pointed out that for the time-period prior to dynamic equilibrium, the C age would be much larger than true ages if calculated from the equilibrium model. The next critique concerned the possibility of the contamination of C samples.

It was stated thoroughly by Robert E. Lee pointed out the possibility of contamination in the whole dating process, from collecting samples in the field to the final measurements in the laboratories. Charcoal and peat, frequently favorable samples for C dating, were noted for their ability to absorb foreign substances. In fact, Bolton Davidheiser, a zoology Ph.

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The third critique concerned the variation of the earth's magnetic field intensity over time. The first person who systematically investigated this was Thomas G. Barnes, a physicist and member of the steering committee of the CRS. According to his study, the magnetic field of the earth decays exponentially. Based on figures from to , he calculated the half-life of the magnetic field of the earth to be years.

The greater the magnetic field, the less the cosmic ray influx. If the magnetic field in the past was many times stronger than it is today, there would have been less cosmic ray entering the atmosphere, and consequently less C would have been produced. Therefore, any C dates taken from samples from that time period would appear older than they really were. Although Robert Woods accepted the constancy of decay rate, Don B.

DeYoung, a Grace Brethren physicist, also reported variations in the half-life of several radioactive elements under various physical and chemical stimuli or human and natural influences. Since the Industrial Revolution, coal, oil and gas have been burned in quantity, and the carbon dioxide produced in the process has been liberated into the atmosphere.

Although the Industrial Revolution was less than two centuries old, Morris pointed that the effect of this carbon dioxide must be taken into account in C dating. These released neutrons increased the amount of C in the atmosphere. As for natural factors, Bolton Davidheiser cited volcanic activity, which usually adds a huge amount of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

Davidheiser argued that within the past 50, years large amounts of nonradioactive carbon dioxide have been released into the atmosphere by volcanic activity. Flood geologists also presented another natural factor: According to them, in the past there was much more extensive and vigorous vegetation than now.

Thus there would have been significantly more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Therefore, they argued that C dates older than 5, years would be highly suspect 73 and concluded that organisms alive before or immediately after the flood would contain much less C than present organisms and therefore would appear to be older than they really are. The Institute for Creation Research. Through numerous publications, popular talks and lectures and public debates, the ICR greatly influenced evangelical thought.

From its start, as would be expected from the founder's background, the ICR adhered strictly to the doctrines of flood geology and recent creation, and, hence, the C dating method was severely criticized. This lab seems to be the first C dating facility run by an evangelical Christian organization committed to testing the C dating assumptions and presenting their own data regarding C dating.

The C dating project is led by Gerald E. Aardsma, a nuclear physics Ph. Aardsma has published a monograph, Radiocarbon and the Genesis Flood Aardsma did a complete analysis of the published data, "showing that the usual steady-state assumption in a radiocarbon dating is invalid. Although these data "should not be accepted until he or someone else has made a much more critical analysis of the assumptions and correlations used in dendrochronology," to our surprise, Morris recognized that "his study has real merit and should be made available to the wider readership.

Without doubt, however, Aardsma's research will contribute to broadening the intellectual horizon of fundamentalist evangelicals. Reaction of Non-Literalist Evangelicals. One of the most crucial events since the late s was the debate which was triggered by Davis A. Young flatly opposes the idea of a young earth and flood geology. Rejecting the fundamentalists' criticisms on the antiquity of the earth, Young pointed out that the decay rate of radioactive elements is constant, that dating elements are not lost or gained during geologic time, and that the original amount of daughter element has been determined with reasonable accuracy.

But his argument for C dating was not as thorough as his evaluation of the age of the earth, that being the primary aim of the book. He harmonized belief in the Bible with his geologic knowledge through the day-age theory: The numerous critiques raised by strict creationists have not been taken seriously by the secular scientists and even some evangelicals, such as ASA members. Why was this so? The key factor was the ready availability of the gap and day-age interpretations of Genesis 1.

In fact, most evangelicals, and even Adventists who refuted the flood theory and the idea of a young earth, could accept one of these interpretations without seriously compromising evangelical tenets. For example, Edwin K.

Stoner and Davis A. Young accept the day-age view. The second reason was the overwhelming number of practicing scientists who accepted C dating. Most strict creationists, with the exception of G. Aardsma at the ICR, were not technical experts on the C dating method, not having advanced degrees in geochronology, geochemistry, or radiometry.

Third, with few exceptions, 82 "serious" criticism about the C method appeared mainly in religious journals. All of them are conservative or fundamental publications. Among them, CRSQ is the most prominent in criticizing the C method, publishing more than 25 critical papers to date. In addition to journals, most of the religious books critical of C dating were written by fundamentalist evangelicals 83 and published by religious publishers, and their distribution was limited to Christians. The fourth reason is the conservative bent of established science.

Since C dating was introduced on a wide scale in the s, it quickly replaced the older dating methods. Once accepted, "adjustments were made to achieve internal order in the radiocarbon chronology! Once that comforting operation was completed, a feeling of security enveloped the exponents and their followers.

Within a normal science, only minor corrections or improvements of a theory, or puzzle solving activities are done. Besides the above-mentioned reasons, there may be other possibilities: The controversy over the C dating method has not yet been settled. By the late s, radioactive dating was not taken seriously by evangelicals. Although there might be some trace of internal tension, there was not much strife over it among Christians.

But the emerging influence of J. Kulp in the ASA caused a split in the evangelical Christian community: Largely because of Kulp's influence, supporters of flood geology and a young earth found themselves increasingly isolated within the ASA. In the late s the Adventists had no Kulp. Although Hare did try to fill a similar role, he failed to persuade major Adventist scholars. Many orthodox Adventists remained critical toward C dating. But in the late s, R. Hare opened fire on the tenets of the fundamental creationists.

They indirectly challenged the authority of the writing of Ellen G. White, the founder of the Adventist church. In several documented situations when carbon dating ran contrary to common scientific assumptions, the results were only an anomaly if the world were billions of years old. If the earth were thousands of years old, the results of these tests would have fit in perfectly. Carbon 14 C is a radioactive isotope of carbon that is in a constant state of decay.

Scientists are able to determine the age of formerly living materials by determining the amount of 14 C relative to the amount of Carbon 12 C. Since the former is radioactive and decays at a constant pace while the latter is stable, the ratio between the two can determine the age of anything that was on the earth and breathed. Radioactive isotopes like 14 C decay at a constant rate relative to the amount of material present. In the case of 14 C, it has a half-life of 5, years.

This means that if you have 2 grams of 14 C today, in 5, years you will have 1 gram of 14 C. Since 14 C has a steady half-life and the known ratio of our environment is currently at 1 part 14 C to 1 trillion parts 12 C, scientists can use this to determine how long ago the creature leaving behind their remains had died.

There are two major assumptions that are impossible to prove or disprove. The first is that the earth is old.

Creation v. Evolution: How Carbon Dating Works

Based upon the Big Bang theory as well as the theory of evolution, most scientists and therefore the general public believe that the universe and the world are billions of years old. This assumption allows for 14 C dating to apply to former-living material as old as 80, years before it becomes too difficult to distinguish between 14 C radiation and other radioactive isotopes such as Potassium 40 K. The second assumption is that the level of 14 C in the environment is mostly constant. It was believed for two centuries that it was an absolute constant, but scientists have recently discovered that it fluctuates based upon several different factors.

This is the biggest assumption that is challenged by many scientists today because 14 C is produced when cosmic rays hit the upper atmosphere and change Nitrogen into 14 C. Since the amount of cosmic rays hitting these Nitrogen atoms is affected by the magnetic field of the earth and that field has been in a diminishing state since it was first observed in the midth century, many scientists have a hard time assuming that the levels of 14 C in the atmosphere is anywhere near constant enough to use in measurements.

Today it is about 10 percent weaker than it was when German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss started keeping tabs on it in , scientists say. If one were to adjust their assumptions and apply the Biblical telling of Creation, Carbon Dating still fits. The reason that it fits is based upon the Flood of Noah. The magnetic field is decaying. The world itself has been dramatically changed on two occasions according to the Bible — during the Great Flood and in the resulting shifts that occurred. The Genesis Flood tells of a planet that was much more rich in life than it is today. One particularly interesting theory shows that the majority of the world has a single large land mass.

When a huge shelf of water 10 miles beneath the earth was released, the very shape of the earth was changed. Plates moved across the planet, forming the continents and oceans as we see them today. It creates amazing scientific explanations for things such as the Grand Canyon, portions of the fossil record, and the tectonic plates. It also partially explains the various ages associated with fossils of creatures from before the flood.

As the shelf of water spewed forth into the land and the land masses themselves collapsed into the void, the earth may have in essence, shrunk. This would have had the same effect as a spinning ice skater pulling in her limbs to accelerate her rotation. The days were measured at per year prior to the flood and eventually the calendars were shifted to the current day model. Did this happen because the earth had started spinning more rapidly, causing more days to occur during a single revolution around the sun? If one believes the story of Noah and applies that assumption to current scientific models, they do not conflict.

That lack of conflict includes Carbon Dating. In many ways, Carbon Dating is another example of science demonstrating the literal truths found in the Bible. This article is part of the Compassion and Fear Series. Young earth creationists are deluded. The scientific evidence is overwhelmingly against them. Mainstream Christianity has accepted this and incorporated the premise that the biblical story of creation is figurative, not literal.

The earth is not years old; it is 4. Just how old is the earth, we know by Genesis that the earth was here long before God created Adam and Eve and the animals and plants. According to Genesis 1: The earth was under the water, So the earth was already here before God created anything on the earth. So now the question is, What happen that caused water to cover the whole earth, We know this water is not from the flood of Noah, Noah had not come into being yet.

For Adam and Eve had not been created yet. So what happened that caused the water to cover the whole earth? You can not try and tell me, that God created the earth and put water to cover the whole earth and then caused the water to dry up that the dry land to appear, God could haved that right at the first, created the dry land on the earth and place the water where it is now. So why and what happened for water to cover the whole earth. We know according to 2 Peter 3: