- The Basics of Carbon-14 Dating
- Radiocarbon Dating and the Bible
- Scientific Assumptions
- Carbon-14 Dating Does Not Disprove the Bible
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: For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: How do we know that this is not the flood of Noahs, first take the word perished according to this word, Perished, means that nothing was left over, but everything perished, unlike the flood of Noahs, there were 8 souls save and animals saved, so not everything perished.
That is what Perished means that nothing is left over. So the question is, why and what happened that God caused the world that then was being overflowed with water to perished? You are interpreting those verses as one even, but it refers to two, the first being the creation, the second refers to an event after the creation and the earth standing out of the water creation as recorded in the Bible.
For example, while the Catholic Church was unwilling to let scientists burn a square inch piece of the Shroud of Turin, when mass spec technology advanced, it was willing to let them burn a thread, and that was all that was needed. Finally, one reads the age from a calibration chart of age vs. In the Radiocarbon journal the ratio is reported, so readers can calibrate for themselves. So if one does these three steps: So while many date to dance, you might say scientists do the "three-step" to date.
On the other hand, if you don't like puns, you might not. So if you believe your assumptions, use good methods, what could go wrong? Well, it turns out the problems with early carbon were so severe, that many historians were on the verge of abandoning it. Some clams were dated as having died 50, years ago, and they were still alive! Let's look critically at assumption 2, that nothing else affects the ratio in a dead organism. Now clams take in ocean carbonate, which contains almost no C 14 , so that it is no surprise today that a clam shell date appears ridiculously old.
This phenomenon, now well understood, only gives ages that are "all wet" for some samples that have been in water for some time. A more difficult to deal problem with radiocarbon dating came from Egyptian and Mesopotamian artifacts when the dates were already known. In Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, and Sumeria, there are "king lists" of who reigned and for how long. When you have records dated by the scribes, as well as actual mummies and the carbon dates are not off by hundreds of years but by thousands, you either have to throw away every historical record, or else there was a general failure with carbon dating.
Let's look at assumption 1 again. Libby, who won a Nobel Prize in for C 14 dating, failed to question his uniformitarian assumption, that the ratio had reached static equilibrium. This was the state of affairs with radiocarbon dating for many years. To "face up" to the absolute age problem, scientists devised calibration scales based on tree rings, lake varves, and ice cores. Oak trees can live for years, and they grow a new tree ring every year. The ring is thick when the winter is short, and thin when the winter is long.
The Basics of Carbon-14 Dating
Different trees growing at the same time in the same forest have very similar tree ring patterns. So, by comparing many different trees in a forest in South Germany, and performing radiocarbon dating on a large number of samples, a calibration scale was developed. Other researchers did similar work in a forest in Northern Germany. Still others did this in Ireland, and others in England.
Finally American researchers did this with bristlecone pine trees in Arizona. Bristlecone pine is both worse and better to use than oak. It is better in that an individual bristlecone pine can live for 2, years. 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.
Radiocarbon Dating and the Bible
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.
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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. Unlike the ASA, however, the community of orthodox Adventist scientists did not split, due to the strong doctrinal bonds of the church. The author would like to express his sincere gratitude to Prof.
Numbers of the University of Wisconsin-Madison for his valuable comments and permission to use his personal collections. Also the author is grateful to Dr. For the history of C dating, besides Libby's several original papers, see R. Whitcomb and Henry M. Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co.
Southern Publishing Association, pp. Review and Herald Publishing Association, pp. Criticism of Points Raised in It was cited by M. Southern Publishing Associations, p. Barnes, "Time and Earth's History," Spectrum 3 1 Numbers, The Creationists , Ch. By the mids, Brown was still quite critical of C dates: Brown, "Radiocarbon Dating," in H. An Archaeological Perspective in R. Brown, Origins 14 1 And in a recent article Brown tried to correlate C ages with the biblical time scale: Brown, Origins 17 2 Pearl, "Letter To Hackett," March 11, Originally Pearl presented this view in his master thesis in ?
For an assesment of Brown's argument, see Ross O. Barnes, "Time and Earth's History," Spectrum, 3 1 Depth Profile Characteristics," Origins 15 1 Couperus, Spectrum 10 4: Ervin Taylor, "Genesis and Prehistory: Taylor recently published comprehensive review on the C dating: Archaeological Perspective Orlando, FL: Academic Press, p. It was cited in F. Its Growth and Early Development p. Voskuyl, and archaeologist George R. Horner participated in the ASA. Master Book Publishers, pp.
Monsma, JASA 1 3: For the hostility toward recent creation and a cataclysmic deluge, see H. Morris, A History of Modern Creationism , p. Kulp and his role in the ASA, see R.
Monsma, JASA , pp. Ramm also pointed out a lack of geological training in flood geologists: Monsma, JASA , p. See other papers appearing in the JASA in the early s: Morris, October 8, ; both in the Whitcomb papers. All this was cited in R. Morris, The Genesis Flood , pp. Morris, June 19, , Whitcomb Papers. It was cited by R. Cook, Prehistory and Earth Models London: Max Parrish and Co. The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, pp.
Carbon-14 Dating Does Not Disprove the Bible
Master Books, p. Libby, Radiocarbon Dating Chicago: University of Chicago Press, p. The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, p. Inquiry Press, p. And in Creation and Evolution Controversy , R. Wysong cited Barnes' arguments as scientific evidence supporting the young earth doctrine. Morris, Scientific Creationism , p. Brown in Why Not Creation? Whitcomb, The Genesis Flood , pp. Davidheiser, Evolution and Christian Faith , p. Whitcomb, The Genesis Flood , p. See also the more recent critique of Rybka on the constancy of radioactive decay: Institute for Creation Research, pp.
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