Carbon dating of fossils
Carbon dating of fossils
Radiocarbon dating involves determining the age of an ancient fossil or specimen by measuring its carbon-14 content.Carbon-14, or radiocarbon, is a naturally occurring radioactive isotope that forms when cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere strike nitrogen molecules, which then oxidize to become carbon dioxide.
Love-hungry teenagers and archaeologists agree: dating is hard.And consider this from a peer-reviewed paper in a respected scientific journal, "at a constant 10°C (the approximate mean annual air temperature in Britain today) it will take between 0.2 and 0.7 Ma for levels of collagen to fall to 1% of their original concentration in an optimal burial environment." * Getting Graded: An expert on radiocarbon dating, long-time assistant professor at Loma Linda University, Dr. The teacher corrected a couple points and clarified a few others.Paul Giem himself, graded the information presented below. He gave the original text (available here) a grade of A minus.But while the difficulties of single life may be intractable, the challenge of determining the age of prehistoric artifacts and fossils is greatly aided by measuring certain radioactive isotopes.Until this century, relative dating was the only technique for identifying the age of a truly ancient object.* Three Related Lines of Evidence Shoring Up the Young Earth Interpretation: The interaction between dinosaur soft tissue, unracemized left-handed amino acids, and Carbon 14 must all be explained to understand the true age of the geologic column.
(1) Significant amounts of short-lived 14c, in quantities far above the least count (margin of error) of our state-of-the-art equipment, is measured in diamonds, dinosaur fossils, marble, giant extinct aquatic lizard, natural gas, coal (and see this paper at Science Direct), and reportedly in oil.
Theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss (emphasis on the theoretical) told RSR that 14c in allegedly million-year-old specimens is an "anomaly." However, an anomaly is something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected.
Because modern carbon exists in significant quantities, far above the reliability threshold of the AMS labs doing the tests, these results can : Unexpected C14 is found in specimens worldwide, yet 14c production (in the ground as compared to in the atmosphere) requires a lot of nearby radioactivity to produce appreciable amounts of 14c by neutron capture.
However, scientists are consistently finding C-14, as reported in 2011 in the journal PLo S One for an allegedly 80-million year old mosasaur, and as reported elsewhere in natural gas, limestone, fossil wood, coal, oil, graphite, marble, the ten dinosaurs described above, and even in supposedly billion-year-old diamonds.
A secondary assumption by old-earth scientists proposes that the C-14 in diamonds (coal, etc.) must have come from N-14 (or C-13, etc.) and neutron capture.
Many such lines of evidence (multiplying as at youngearth.com) undermine the claim by old-earth geologists that the plentiful 14c in "ancient" specimens must come from contamination or neutron capture (see below), and this evidence helps to confirm the young earth interpretation of the data below.