Re: It's no joke!

From: Vernon Jenkins <>
Date: Mon Apr 04 2005 - 18:09:17 EDT

Hi Randy,

The defence, 'sample contamination', is routinely levelled at the kind of
results reported by John Baumgardner et al. That is why he decided to look
at diamonds - for they can't be contaminated internally. Currently, tests on
12 diamonds reveal these to contain enough C14 to give an average age of
58,000 years (by the standard method); in contrast, Kr/Ar and other long
half-life methods yield an estimated age of between one and two billion
years. The RATE project reported earlier results involving just 5 diamonds
to the American Geophysical Union in December 2003.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Randy Isaac" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, April 04, 2005 2:06 AM
Subject: Re: It's no joke!

> 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
> contamination.
> Randy
> ----- 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 Mon Apr 4 18:11:08 2005

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