Re: It's no joke!

From: Randy Isaac <>
Date: Sun Apr 03 2005 - 21:06:25 EDT

Roger Wiens is the expert on radiometric dating and the following two
paragraphs are extracted from his article:

"The older the sample, the less carbon-14 it should contain. But in
attempting to date very old samples, much older than the half-life of
carbon-14, the analysis becomes very prone to contamination. A fleck of
skin, a pollen grain, a human hair, or even adsorbed air on a sample surface
will have a high carbon-14 content giving a radiocarbon age of zero years.
If one of these contaminates a very ancient sample that has essentially no
remaining carbon-14, the resulting contaminated analysis sees a measurable
amount of carbon-14 (contamination), mixed with carbon-12 from the rock.
This makes it appear that the rock has a carbon-14 amount that has decayed
over only a few half lives. In this way, a small amount of contamination
makes a several million year old rock appear to be only several tens of
thousands of years old! Because contamination in our air environment is
unavoidable, all samples, no matter how old, appear to have some
radiocarbon. Speaking in terms of uncertainty analysis (Chapter 5), the
error is very non-linear. A very small amount of contamination from air or
living matter causes a very huge error, in the millions of years if the rock
is that old.

            It is generally accepted that for samples older than about
40,000 years (that is, with less than 0.5 percent modern carbon ratio) one
must use a method with a longer half life. Fortunately, when using an
appropriate half-life, these huge non-linear errors are avoided. In fact,
radiocarbon is a unique case; in all of the methods described below it is
impossible to obtain consistently young ages on samples that are really
millions of years old."

Vernon, it does seem to be powerful evidence indeed--for sample


----- Original Message -----
From: "gordon brown" <>
To: "Vernon Jenkins" <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Sunday, April 03, 2005 8:25 PM
Subject: Re: It's no joke!

> Vernon,
> This isn't my field, but I imagine that there are others on this list who
> can find false assumptions on which this is based. At least that is what
> can usually be done with ICR claims.
> When scientists come across an anomaly, they first look for errors in the
> one inconsistent case rather than in the million consistent cases.
> In the event of a conflict between an interpretation of scientific
> evidence and an interpretation of Scripture, we should not overlook the
> possibility that we have misinterpreted the latter. I quote from the
> statement of the 1982 Summit of the International Council on Biblical
> Inerrancy: "We further affirm that in some cases extrabiblical data have
> value for clarifying what Scripture teaches, and for prompting correction
> of faulty interpretations." Isn't that what happened with the Christian
> reaction to the Copernican theory?
> Gordon Brown
> Department of Mathematics
> University of Colorado
> Boulder, CO 80309-0395
> On Thu, 31 Mar 2005, Vernon Jenkins wrote:
>> A poster entitled "The Enigma of the Ubiquity of C14 in Organic Samples
>> Older than 100 ka" may be found at
>> Here is the Abstract :-
>> "Given the 5730 year C14 half-life, organic materials older than 200,000
>> years (35 half-lives), should contain absolutely no detectable C14. (One
>> gram of modern carbon contains about 6 x 10^[10] C14 atoms, and 35
>> half-lives of decay reduces that number by a factor of 3 x 10^[-11].) An
>> astonishing discovery made over the past 20 years is that, almost without
>> exception, when tested by highly sensitive accelerator mass spectrometer
>> (AMS) methods, organic samples from every portion of the Phanerozoic
>> record display C14/C ratios far above the AMS detection threshold of
>> 0.001% modern carbon (pmc). C14/C ratios from all but the youngest
>> Phanerozoic samples appear to be clustered in the range 0.1 - 0.5 pmc,
>> corresponding to C14 ages of 44,000 - 57,000 years, regardless of
>> geological 'age'. An inference that can be drawn from these observations
>> is that all but the very youngest Phanerozoic organic material was
>> fossilized less than 70,000 years ago. When one accounts for the signifi!
> cant amount of biomass involved, the AMS measurements are consistent with
> the time scale from historical accounts of a global cataclysm that
> destroyed most of the air-breathing life on the planet only a few millenia
> into the past."
>> A further interesting observation is made in the same publication, viz "A
>> glaring (1000-fold) inconsistency that can no longer be ignored in the
>> scientific world exists between the AMS-determined C14 levels and the
>> corresponding rock ages provided by U238, Rb87, and K40 techniques. We
>> believe the most likely explanation for this inconsistency to be the
>> invalidity of uniformitarian assumption of time-invariant decay rates."
>> Rather powerful evidence, wouldn't you agree?
>> Shalom,
>> Vernon
Received on Sun Apr 3 21:08:28 2005

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