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Topic: C14 and the age of the fossil record (Read 562 times) previous topic - next topic

  • stcordova
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C14 and the age of the fossil record
C14 is measurably present in the fossil record, particularly the Carboniferous "era" of about 300 million years ago in coal.  This presence of C14 has been confirmed both by evolutionists and creationists.  Evolutionists discovered this as physicists were trying to find sources of carbon that were free of the C14 isotope in order to conduct their nuclear and particle experiments.  So, at many levels, one can't argue that it was sloppy collection and handling and bad lab technique that is the sole reason for finding C14, and  a good fraction of it must be really there in the fossil record.

This thread will explore these issues over the next several months and will be update periodically as finding and questions are raised.  Additionally, I will be at the International Conference on Creationism July 29,2018 - Aug 1, 2018 and will have a chance to talk to the specialists on the creation side.

  • stcordova
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Re: C14 and the age of the fossil record
Reply #1
Rumraket provided this link to an important article that relates to the problem at hand.  The article acknowledges the severe problems of C14 in the fossil record (fossil fuels that is).

 https://arxiv.org/pdf/hep-ex/0308025.pdf

  • stcordova
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Re: C14 and the age of the fossil record
Reply #2
Rumraket asked:
http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/common-design-vs-common-descent/comment-page-104/#comment-210961

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A much better question is, what the flying fck does C14 in fossil hydrocarbons have to do with the age of the Earth, and life?

Neither life, nor the Earth, is dated by the C14 content of fossil hydrocarbons.

Even if you want to try do date fossil hydrocarbons by it's apparent age through it's C14 content, you still get >150K year dates (some of the purest samples give (IIRC) ~190K year apparent dates due to the low but still continously produced C14), which is still 25-30 times older than Sal thinks the entire universe is.

None of this obsession with C14 in coal or other fossil hydrocarbons has ANY bearing on the actual age of the Earth, or for how much of that age life has existed on it.

The presence of C14 may indicate the other dating methods have problems, not the least of which is that if the index fossils (like sea shells) used to date the rocks have C14, then these index fossils are young, and thus the strata they supposedly date are young.

100,000 year dates are a lot closer to 6,000 year old life than they are to supposedly 300,000,000 year old carboniferous era fossils, maybe even 500,000,000 year old cambrian fossils.

  • stcordova
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Re: C14 and the age of the fossil record
Reply #3
https://www.scribd.com/document/182086583/Taylor-Southon-NI-M-B-2007-pdf

This experiment showed a "background" value of 69,000 years or so.  Thus C14 ages of 50,000 years is well within established detection threshholds.

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Abstract
To examine one component of the instrument-based background in the University of California Keck Carbon Cycle AMS spectrom-eter, we have obtained measurements on a set of natural diamonds pressed into sample holders. Natural diamond samples (
N = 14) fromdifferent sources within rock formations with geological ages greatly in excess of 100 Ma yielded a range of currents (110-250 lA 12C where filamentous graphite typically yields 150 lA  12) and apparent  14C ages (64.9 ± 0.4 ka BP [0.00031 ± 0.00002 fm] to80.0 ± 1.1 ka BP [0.00005 ± 0.00001 fm]). Six fragments cut from a single diamond exhibited essentially identical
 14 C values - 69.3 ± 0.5 ka-70.6 ± 0.5 ka BP. The oldest  14C age equivalents were measured on natural diamonds which exhibited the highest currentyields.

  • stcordova
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Re: C14 and the age of the fossil record
Reply #4
The theoretical limit of AMS by Muller in the above paper is 100,000 years. Assuming the diamonds are actually free of carbon, but are for some strange reason causing an instrument error, we can then assume we have to remove this trace amount.

Which is 0.0002371546 fmc (fraction modern carbon). Given the half-life of carbon, the computation is

69,000/5730 = 12.0418848168

so the fmc is (1/2) ^ 12.0418848168 = 0.0002371546

Contrast this with published findings of 50,000 years in fossils (not just by creationists). What is the fmc of 50,000 years?

50,000/5730 = 8.7260034904

so the fmc is (1/2) ^ 8.7260034904 = 0.0023616265

So let's not subtract this "background" established by diamonds from a fossil aged 50,000 years.

fmc_50k - fmc_69k = 0.0023616265 -0.0002371546 =

0.0021244719

So -log2(0.0021244719) = 8.8786800141 half life cycle or

50875 years. So even correcting for this "background noise" (assuming it is really noise to begin with), doesn't affect C14 dates of 50,000 years that much.

And worse, the Southon and Taylor paper do suggest that diamonds are not older than 69,000 years. The way to test the instruments better is not to use evolutionary assumptions, but to freaking make some c12 pure diamonds and calibrate the system rather than relying on paleotologists say. Besides paleontologists have already been proven wrong about the C14 in the fossils!

  • stcordova
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Re: C14 and the age of the fossil record
Reply #5
David Lowe points out the presistence of C14 in the fossil record:

https://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/radiocarbon/article/view/1127

Lowe gets things half right:

Quote

Many (super 14) C dating laboratories have established that coal samples exhibit a finite (super 14) C age, apparently caused by contamination of the specimens before any laboratory preparation is undertaken.

He then points out the contamination cannot be due to radioactive decay of other products:


Because coal is formed over geological time scales at depths providing excellent shielding from cosmic rays, its 14C content should be insignificant in comparison to the 14C introduced by even the most careful sample preparation techniques used in 14C dating laboratories. How is it then, that a material, which should show a14C age indistinguishable from that produced by a combination of machine background and contamination during careful sample preparation, routinely produces a finite 14C age?

One suggestion is that radium, which is present in some coals at the sub pm level, as a decay product of the uranium/thorium series, may produce 4C during an extremely rare decay event (Rose & Jones, 1984). Jull,Barker and Donahue (1987) have detected 14C from this process in uranium/ thorium ores. Blendowski, Fliessbach and Walliser (1987) however, have shown that the 14( decay mode of 226Ra is only of the order of 10-11 of the preferred a decay channel to 222Rn. Thus, the amount of 14C produced by such events derived from radium in coal must be considered as insignificant.


He has no proof it was due to contamination, which I will explain later, and why his solution invoking bacteria is inadequate.

  • stcordova
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Re: C14 and the age of the fossil record
Reply #6
Rumraket's and Talk Origin's contamination arguments have this fundamental flaw:

The presence of C14 and unracemized amino acids in supposedly old fossils is strong reason to doubt the fossil record is hundreds of millions of years old. Darwinists insist the primary reason for the presence of C14 and unracemized amino acids is due to in situ contamination (contamination while buried). Their claim would be credible if C14 and the homochiral amino acids didn't have half-lives! Because the supposed contaminants have half-lives, the claim of contamination has many problems. This essay attempts to give a more qualitative treatment than the more quantitative treatment I gave earlier:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Creation/comments/2q0rtd/c14_contamination_fix_has_its_own_problems/

From a non-theological standpoint, one can believe in an Old Universe, and Old Earth and a recent fossil record. The age of the fossil record is a question of establishing the time of death, somewhat like a detective. It is not a theological claim in a strict sense.

It is illogical to date a fossil by the age of the rocks that its buried in. If someone buried a live dog today in 100 million year-old rock, does it make the poor dog a 100 million-year-old fossil? No. The time of death is better determined by looking at the fossil itself for clues to the time of death than the age of the rocks the fossil is buried in. The presence of C14 and unracemized amino acids in the fossil rule out a fossil being hundreds of millions of years old.

Darwinists invoke contamination by C14 and unracemized amino acids, but that is falsified by the Compounding Interest Paradox.

To understand the Compounding Interest Paradox. Suppose you gave yourself the task of keeping some water warm at by adding boiling water to it.

Say you started off with a cup of warm water. It cools to room temperature. So you grab a cup of boiling water and mix it with the cool water to get it warm. You have effectively raised the temperature of the mix by adding a boiling water "contaminant". But unfortunately, the "contaminant" has a half-life.

In not too long you'll be stuck not with 1 cup of cool water, but 2 cups of cool water. To elevate the temperature of the 2 cups of water, you grab 2 cups of boiling water and repeat the process. But then mix of warm water becomes 4 cups of cool water because the heat from the boiling water doesn't stay there forever, it has a half-life.

In not too long, restoring warmth to your sample of water by adding boiling water "contaminant" to it will entail needing to add an entire lake of boiling water!

The problem with claiming contaminants are added in situ is fraught with the same problem of adding outside c14-containing carbon and amino acid contaminants over millions of years to the original fossil with no credible means of removing it after the contaminant decays.

The Darwinists will respond by saying, "That's true, but that's not a problem because the contamination was recent, it didn't happen continuously for millions of years."

To which I say, "so the entire supposed 300,000,000-year-old Carboniferous era fossils (like coal) that has all these traces of C14 in them got contaminated GLOBALLY in the last 50,000 years for no good reason? Reductio ad absurbum! And How about marble and diamonds that aren't exactly porous to absorb contaminants?!" We find C14 traces in most coals we've tested around the globe when we were actually willing to date the coals.

The problem became so severe that physicists who needed C14-free carbon for their sub-atomic particle experiments gave up believing the paleontologists who said 300,000,000 million year coal would be free of C14. It wasn't. If the Darwinists were right, physicists would be using that supposed 300,000,000 million year old coal. Moral of the story, when the claim of the fossils being hundreds of millions of years old really counts for scientific applications like physics, it fails. It's more of an dogma than settled experimental science.

  • stcordova
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Re: C14 and the age of the fossil record
Reply #7
https://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/radiocarbon/article/view/3951/3376


© 2001 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of ArizonaRADIOCARBON, Vol 43, Nr 2A 2001, p 169-176Proceedings of the 17th International 14C Conference, edited by I Carmi and E Boaretto169

CARBONATE 14C BACKGROUND: DOES IT HAVE MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES? Marie-Josée Nadeau1• Pieter M Grootes • Antje Voelker • Frank Bruhn • Alexander Duhr •  Angelika OriwallLeibniz Labor, Christian-Albrechts University, Max-Eyth Strasse 11-13, 24118 Kiel, Germany

ABSTRACT. Measurements of the radiocarbon concentration of several carbonate background materials, either mineral(IAEA C1 Carrara marble and Icelandic double spar) or biogenic (foraminifera and molluscs), show that the apparent ages ofdiverse materials can be quite different. Using 0.07 pMC obtained from mineral samples as a processing blank, the resultsfrom foraminifera and mollusc background samples, varying from 0.12 to 0.58 pMC (54.0-41.4 ka), show a species-specificcontamination that reproduces over several individual shells and foraminifera from several sediment cores. Different cleaningattempts have proven ineffective, and even stronger measures such as progressive hydrolization or leaching of the samplesprior to routine preparation, did not give any indication of the source of the contamination. In light of these results, the use ofmineral background material in the evaluation of the age of older unknown samples of biogenic carbonate (>30 ka) proves inadequate. The use of background samples of the same species and provenance as the unknown samples is essential, and ifsuch material is unavailable, generic biogenic samples such as mixed foraminifera samples should be used. The descriptionof our new modular carbonate sample preparation system is also introduced.INTRODUCTIONThe desire (and need) for older radiocarbon ages is becoming

  • johnnyb
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Re: C14 and the age of the fossil record
Reply #8
Sal - one thing that people are working on is C14 dating of original biological material that exists in a matrix, such as, I believe, collagen (though I could be wrong on the substance).  Basically, it *requires* the organism to be alive for the carbon to integrate itself in the matrix, therefore, if you can get pure matrix material, then, by definition, it will be entirely original biological material.