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This is what my born again Christian friend tries to explain to me everytime we talk about evolution. In the past I've held my ground quite firmly on this topic, but as of recently he has made some claims from some "scientific journals" that carbon dating may not be as accurate as thought, and that it is misleading. I have a hard time believing anything he really says about this, but my question comes down to this, how accurate is carbon dating and how sure are we it works? When I was at primary school I learned that you could tell the age of a tree by counting the rings. A slightly more refined version of that lets us verify carbon dating for something like 10, years.

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It is not about the theory behind radiometric dating methods, it is about their application, and it therefore assumes the reader has some familiarity with the technique already refer to "Other Sources" for more information. As an example of how they are used, radiometric dates from geologically simple, fossiliferous Cretaceous rocks in western North America are compared to the geological time scale.

Carbon dating doesn't work -- debunked

To get to that point, there is also a historical discussion and description of non-radiometric dating methods. A common form of criticism is to cite geologically complicated situations where the application of radiometric dating is very challenging.

These are often characterised as the norm, rather than the exception.

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I thought it would be useful to present an example where the geology is simple, and unsurprisingly, the method does work well, to show the quality of data that would have to be invalidated before a major revision of the geologic time scale could be accepted by conventional scientists.

Geochronologists do not claim that radiometric dating is foolproof no scientific method isbut it does work reliably for most samples.

The science behind the dating method is fairly straightforward: nitrogen atoms in the atmosphere hit with cosmic radiation are converted into a type of carbon with eight neutrons. This carbon - which has an atomic mass of 14 - has a chance of losing that neutron to turn into a garden variety carbon isotope over a predictable amount of time. Dec 07,   Carbon dating is a brilliant way for archaeologists to take advantage of the natural ways that atoms decay. Unfortunately, humans are on the verge of messing things up. Jul 20,   Carbon dating is pretty good and it can be checked. When I was at primary school I learned that you could tell the age of a tree by counting the rings. A slightly more refined version of that lets us verify carbon dating for something like 10, years. That's far enough to prove the years Biblical account to be wrong.

It is these highly consistent and reliable samples, rather than the tricky ones, that have to be falsified for "young Earth" theories to have any scientific plausibility, not to mention the need to falsify huge amounts of evidence from other techniques. He engages in the same "cherry picking" that many so-called "expert" Christian scientists do - they almost never do their own research, but refer to scant, particular works by scientists to support their beliefs.

And the Bible never actually makes a 6,year-old claim; it's really a guess. Accurate dating depends on the production rate on 14 C in the atmosphere.

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Anyway, dendrochronology, which is accurate to one year in many places on Earth, can recalibrate 14 C dating. Future archaeologists won't have this chance, because nuclear tests have injected man-made 14 C and made the method unusable to date items past mid th century.

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The evidence shows that C14 dating works quite well. Of course that might be because God is lying to us.

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Radiometric dating is not based on any assumption about the past. It is based on physics, specifically about radioactivity, and radio active elements are used in nuclear reactors.

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If you deny the science of radioactivity, then you also deny nuclear reactors can produce electricity. Yes, it is typical of me to point out that, if there's a God who deliberately misleads people by faking the carbon dating evidence then He's a liar and it is questionable practice to worship Him.

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The problem with that statement is that it applies to a lot of things It's equally true or false, whatever you apply it to for example. Obviously, that's true in so far as I can't tell you what the insect will do tomorrow, nor do I have proof about what they did in the past. I may have evidence, but that evidence may have been faked.

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The assumption is that nothing has changed and that butterflies today do the same as they did before. Someone somewhere might have a vested interest in convincing the world that butterflies, for example, were born to a virgin and were martyred, but rose from the dead three days later. If they got enough people together and bribed them to tell that story and if they tied it in to some other more plausible beliefs then they could possibly get at least some people to accept it.

That's the difference between the claims of carbon dating- anyone who wants to can verify the rate of decay of carbon, and they can,also look at other solar radiation products to check that "clock".

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The funny thing to me is that the bible IS, in fact, verifiable. It's just that it's verifiably an anthology of fictions written by humans in the desert somewhere during the iron age, yet it's not treated as such.

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Instead, people treat it as an infallible, practically magical and divinely scribed word handed down from on-high from an invisible cloud surfing sky pixie What blows me away is that these folks are perfectly willing to accept and believe such plainly obvious hokum and yet in the next breath reject incredibly well supported and evidence-based positions like evolution and carbon dating. That makes sense. Despite the undercurrent of the OP, this is posted in a science subforum, so let's keep the religion out of it, and stop with religion-bashing.

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Again: science. Stop with the straw men.

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Science is inductive, no deductive, so tossing around "proof" like it means anything is disingenuous. We are here to discuss the science of radiometric dating; the context of why it is important to the OP is unimportant.

If you have a beef with it, start up a thread in Speculations, where I'm sure several people will be happy to dismantle your argument. The question being offered is this: how accurate is carbon dating and how sure are we it works? Everyoneconfine your science-based answers to that question.

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You need to be a member in order to leave a comment. Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy! On its face, the Shroud of Turin is an unassuming piece of twill cloth that bears traces of blood and a darkened imprint of a man's body. Though the Catholic Church has never taken an official stance on the object's authenticity, tens of thousands flock to Turin, Italy, every year to get a glimpse of the object, believing that it wrapped the bruised and bleeding body of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion.

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According to legend, the shroud was secretly carried from Judea in A. After crusaders sacked Constantinople in A. However, the Catholic Church only officially recorded its existence in A. Centuries later, in the s, radiocarbon dating, which measures the rate at which different isotopes of the carbon atoms decay, suggested the shroud was made between A.

Isotopes are forms of an element with a different number of neutrons. But critics argued that the researchers used patched-up portions of the cloth to date the sampleswhich could have been much younger than the rest of the garment.

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What's more, the Gospel of Matthew notes that "the earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open" after Jesus was crucified. So geologists have argued that an earthquake at Jesus' death could have released a burst of neutrons. The neutron burst not only would have thrown off the radiocarbon dating but also would have led to the darkened imprint on the shroud.

In the current study, Barcaccia and his colleagues analyzed dust that they vacuumed from the shroud that contained traces of both plant and human DNA. The plant DNA came from all over the world, the researchers reported Oct. European spruce trees; Mediterranean clovers, ryegrasses and plantains; North American black locust trees; and rare East Asian pear and plum trees all left their mark on the cloth.

Jun 06,   When news is announced on the discovery of an archaeological find, we often hear about how the age of the sample was determined using radiocarbon dating, otherwise simply known as carbon dating. In order for carbon dating to be accurate, we must know what the ratio of carbon to carbon was in the environment in which our specimen lived during its lifetime. Unfortunately the ratio of carbon to carbon has yet to reach a state of equilibrium in our atmosphere; there is more carbon in the air today than there was thousands of. Oct 23,   Centuries later, in the s, radiocarbon dating, which measures the rate at which different isotopes of the carbon atoms decay, suggested the shroud was made between A.D. and A.D.

The genetic lineage, or haplotype, of the DNA snippets suggested that people ranging from North African Berbers to East Africans to inhabitants of China touched the garment. Still, the strongest genetic signals seemed to come from areas in and around the Middle East and the Caucasus - not far from where Jesus was burie and consistent with the early folklore surrounding the object.

The oldest DNA snippets which tend to be shorter because DNA breaks down over time are found in many places on the shroud, and come from genetic lineages typically found only in India, Barcaccia said.

That finding suggests that the shroud was manufactured in India before somehow making its way to Europe, as Indians had little contact with Europeans at the time of its origin. But the new results don't settle questions about the shroud's authenticity, said Hugh Farey, editor of the British Society of the Turin Shroud newsletter.

Carbon dating is based on the assumption that the amount of C14 in the atmosphere has always been the same. But there is more carbon in the atmosphere now than there was 4 thousand years ago. (1) Since carbon dating measures the amount of carbon still in a fossil, then the date given is not accurate. These variations, or offsets, of up to 20 years in the calibration of precise radiocarbon dating could be related to climatic conditions. Pre-modern radiocarbon chronologies rely on carbon Northern and Dating Hemisphere calibration curves to obtain calendar dates from carbon .

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