Hiroshima carbon dating

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At that point it's just a routine exercise in math. If you want additional assurance that we have the correct half-life, then look at the close correlation between C dates and tree-ring dates after correcting for variances in C production caused by changes in the earth's magnetic field. The snug fit indicates that the half-life of C is stable and accurately known. Therefore, so is its decay curve. Today, the half-lives of those radioactive elements used in dating are known to a few percent by careful laboratory study.

Carbon Dating: (How) Does It Work?

So, there's no problem in getting an accurate decay curve. All said and done, radiometric dating methods provide a reliable means of determining the ages of critical points in geologic and planetary history, including the age of the Earth, the Moon, and meteorites. That the age of the Earth is billions of years is virtually beyond question because it is supported by a wide variety of independently determined scientific evidence which indicates that the Earth is 4.

Scientists are continually refining this age, but it is highly unlikely that it will change in the future by more than a few percent. In the past, the age of the Earth was the subject of much dispute, but the past few decades have seen the development of new techniques not previously available. There is virtually no dispute among knowledgeable scientists about the antiquity of the Earth and her sister planets.

Creationists calculate the age of the earth to be depending on the sect of creationists, from 6, to , years old, with the majority coming in at 10, years old. Keep in mind that none of these methods and results are scientifically valid. When it comes to young earth creationists, in my opinion the most misinformed segment of creationists, the method originally used to calculate the age of the earth and therefore a max age of the life on the earth, was using the genealogies from the Bible.

The Bible begins with the Book of Genesis, in which God creates the world, including the first human, a man named Adam, in six days.

Creationism

Genesis goes on to list many of Adam's descendants, in many cases giving the ages at which they had children and died. If these events and ages are interpreted literally throughout and the genealogies are considered closed, it is possible to build up a chronology in which many of the events of the Old Testament are dated to an estimated number of years after creation. Some scholars have gone further, and have attempted to tie in this Biblical chronology with that of recorded history, thus establishing a date for creation in a modern calendar.

Since there are periods in the Biblical story where dates are not given, the chronology has been subject to interpretation in many different ways, resulting in a variety of estimates of the date of creation. Numerous efforts have been made to determine the Biblical date of creation, yielding varying results. Besides differences in interpretation, which version of the Bible is being referenced also impacts on the result. Two dominant dates for creation using such models exist, about BC and about BC. These were calculated from the genealogies in two versions of the Bible, with most of the difference arising from two versions of Genesis.

The older dates are based on the Greek Septuagint. The later dates are based on the Hebrew Masoretic text. The net difference between the two genealogies of Genesis was years ignoring the "second year after the flood" ambiguity , which is virtually all of the year difference between BC and BC. For example, the period of creation to the Flood is derived using the genealogical table of the ten patriarchs listed in Genesis 5, and 7: According to the Masoretic Text, this period consists of 1, years, and this dating is also followed by Western Christian Bibles derived from the Latin Vulgate.

However, according to the Samaritan texts the period is 1, years, and according to the Septuagint Codex Alexandrinus, Elizabeth Bible it is 2, years. Ussher agrees with the dating until the birth of Abraham, which he argues took place when Terah was , and not 70 as is the direct reading of Genesis Many ancient cultures tried to calculate the age of the earth, and since they didn't have to tools and knowledge that we have now, they usually based it on human record and creation myths. According to one interpretation of Puranic Hinduism, the world is believed to have been created The dates that science comes up with, when compared to results calculated by Creationists, are far less varied.

The scientific date will continue to be defined as new technology and theories come forth, but the main thing is that this result will become more precise. In science, we collect facts, or observations, we use laws to describe them, and a theory to explain them. Scientific theories are explanations of natural phenomena built up logically from testable observations and hypotheses, and the wonderful part of the scientific method is that it requires repeatability, and peer review.

We rely on the accuracy of science in most every part of our lives, why is it that when science is inconstant with the Bible, some people a majority of Americans, reject the scientific answer and use the Bible's? The rate of that decay is constant and can be used for measuring time - the less of the unstable element exists, the more time has passed. Nuclear explosions can create such unstable elements and throw off some dating methods - but that would make the tested material seem younger, not older, than it actually is.

Sunlight constantly turns nitrogen into carbon in the higher layers of the atmosphere; this results in a more or less constant ratio of stable and unstable carbon in the air. Those stable and unstable variants have the same chemical properties and thus are assimilated with the same rate by living organisms, where over time carbon decays back into nitrogen.

Since there is no process that would replenish carbon inside the remains of a living organism, comparing the actual ratio of stable carbon carbon and carbon in a bone or piece of wood to the ratio in the air tells you how long ago it was that the organism died and stopped incorporating carbon from the air. Now the ratio of carbon and carbon is not quite constant, and that does represent a problem for radiocarbon dating.

Nuclear explosions can affect it and cause a bomb pulse ; so can changes in solar activity like sunspots; or changes in the Earth's magnetic field; or old fully-decayed carbon being emitted from oceans or volcanoes; and so on. So you pick three elements where two are isotopes and the third decays into one of those isotopes - for example strontium and strontium with identical chemical properties and rubidium which decays into strontium over time.

The key insight here is that there is no need to know the initial element ratios for isochron dating, and even if an explosion or another process creates new radioactive elements, it won't affect the results unless it creates them at a different rate in different parts of the rock, and exactly the right rate to still keep the points on a straight line. So for isochron dating which is the relevant dating method when talking about millions of years the claim is entirely false. There were no nuclear explosions involved in the flood or any other story in the Bible.

Could God have created the world in an "aged" state, so that even though it is actually freshly created, it looks old? It could have created the world five minutes ago, and made it look old including planting fake memories of a past that did not really happen. Those kinds of claims cannot be scientifically proven or disproven - they are in the realm of philosophy and theology and are considered pretty weak claims there, but that's outside the scope of the question.

Naturally, the fact that nuclear explosions can throw off dating methods cannot help proving or disproving such claims either. As I wrote above, it's a fake fact, but even if it were true, it just wouldn't be a relevant argument. The Hiroshima reference, then, is just misdirection, to give the thin veneer of scienceyness to a claim that's fundamentally not scientific in nature. The answer is yes.

Other factors that can influence natural C14 production - Strength of Earth's magnetic field. Consequently, with regards to carbon dating, creationists are barking up the wrong tree on the contamination issue! Laboratories, of course, do have techniques for identifying and correcting contamination. There are various methods of cleaning the material, and the activity of each rinse can be measured. Lab contamination and technique can be checked by running blanks.

A careful choice of samples will often minimize contamination. Dating various portions of a sample is another kind of check that may be performed. Often there are cross-checks.

Samples from top to bottom of a peat bog gave reasonable time intervals Science , vol. The calibrated C method confirmed Egyptian records, and most of the Aegean dates which were cross-dated with Egyptian dates were confirmed American Scientist , May-June The marvelous agreement with tree-ring data, after correction for variations in the earth's magnetic field, has already been mentioned. Carbon dating thus presents a deadly challenge to young-earth creationists. If an old date is reasonably accurate, they're out of business; if an old date is bad due to contamination, then they are still out of business because the true date is most likely older still.

It hardly seems fair, but that's the way it is. With that in mind, let's look at a few carbon dates. Egyptian barley samples have been found which date to 17,, years old Science , April 7, On page the author explains some of the professional care which stands behind his use of the carbon method. A wooden walkway buried in a peat bog in England has been dated to about BC by the carbon method Scientific American , August , p.

Odd, that Noah's flood neither destroyed it nor deposited thick sediments on top of it! Jennifer Hillam of the University of Sheffield and Mike Baillie of Queen's University of Belfast and their colleagues were able to date the walkway by a second method, i. They found out that the walkway, known as the Sweet Track, was built from trees felled in the winter of BC.

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Bomb Carbon Effect, Radiocarbon Testing - Beta Analytic

Pretty close agreement, huh? Stonehenge, as dated by carbon, was built over a period from BC to BC -- long before the Druids came to England. Astronomer Gerald Hawkins found, after careful computer calculations, that the arrangement of the stones at Stonehenge are aligned with key positions of the sun and moon as they were almost years ago.

Weber, , p.

Nuclear Bombs Made It Possible to Carbon Date Human Tissue

Thus, we have another remarkable confirmation of the C method. When did the volcano that destroyed Thera and probably the Minoan culture as well explode? Radiocarbon dating of seeds and wood buried in the ash, done by scientists at the University of Pennsylvania, pointed to no later than BC. Being that this was one of the biggest volcanic eruptions in recorded history, it almost certainly caused worldwide cooling which would, in turn, affect tree growth. Sure enough, the growth rings among oaks buried in Ireland's bogs show the effect of unusual cooling from BC.

Nor was that just an effect of local weather conditions. The bristlecone pines in the White Mountains of California show the same thing. A third estimate came from studies in Greenland. Thus, we have a remarkable agreement between three different methods, all within two or three percentage points of each other! Trees buried by the last advance of glacial ice at Two Creeks, Wisconsin were dated at 11, years.

Strahler, , p. Between those trees, which are buried in Valders red till, and an earlier, deeper layer of till, the Woodfordian gray till, lay the remains of a forest bed!


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  • What is a forest, including developed soil and rooted stumps, doing between two advances of ice? That could be an interesting question for someone who believes in only one "ice age. By careful counting and cross-checking he was able to determine that the oldest glacial lakes, which would have formed at the start of the retreat of the ice, were 12, years old. Thus, we have a rough check between varves in glacial lakes and radiocarbon dating. Richard Foster Flint, a professor of geology at Yale University and an expert on the Pleistocene epoch, was among the first to apply radiocarbon dating to glacial events.

    Collecting wood, bones and other organic material that had been covered over by the Laurentide Ice Sheet as it plowed across eastern and central North America, Flint collaborated with geophysicist Myer Rubin to demonstrate in that in most places the ice sheet achieved its greatest advance about 18, years ago, began to withdraw shortly thereafter and then hastened its retreat about 10, years ago.

    On the wall of Gargas Cave in the French Pyrenees are the outlined hands of Ice Age artists which date to at least 12, years. Magnificent prehistoric cave art, comparable to that of the world-famous caves of Altamira, Spain and Lascaux, France, was recently discovered in southern France, in the Ardeche River canyon area Los Angeles Times ; Pasadena Star-News January 19, Its paintings of such animals as bison, reindeer, rhinoceros, woolly rhinoceros, a panther, an owl, a hyena, bears, lions, horses, wild oxen, mammoths, wild goats and other animals is estimated to be between 19,, years old.

    Sorry, no dinosaur drawings were reported! In Europe, cave art was at its height around 20, years ago. Some examples probably go back 30, years! This is similar to an argument put out by Harold Slusher , p. Hovind adds the bizarre claim that something can't be measured accurately to seven decimal places. Such nonsense is answered by Dr. Dalrymple, an expert in radiometric dating, who noted that: New techniques using accelerators and highly sensitive mass spectrometers, now in the experimental stage, have pushed these limits back to 70, or 80, years Given that the half-life of carbon is years, one can calculate that 4 billion C atoms will produce 1 decay per minute on the average.

    Converting the 4 billion atoms to grams a nickel weighs 5 grams , we get 0. Consequently, by tallying one click per minute on the Geiger counter, we can measure a whole lot further than 7 decimal places! A 1-gram, fresh sample of carbon, containing the atmospheric concentration of one ten-billionth percent of carbon, will yield about 12 decays per minute. That figure follows directly from the mathematics and, as the atmospheric portion of carbon given above is an approximation, is close enough to Dr.

    Hovind's present-day figure of 16 counts per minute per gram. Because of atomic bomb tests, the rate is slightly higher today, but the present rate would not apply to animals and plants which died before such tests. One book used a figure of about Consequently, a gram sample of fresh carbon will still give about 7 clicks per minute after 40, years. Because of background radiation, that's about as far as one can normally go with this counting method. As noted above, Dr. Dalrymple would extend that to 50, years in special laboratories. Hovind has relied on bad data. If you get your information from a creationist source, you'd better triple-check it!

    Errors get handed down in the creationist literature like the family jewels! It's not clear to me what Dr. Hovind is talking about. If he is referring to the carbon decay curve then he has demonstrated, once again, his ignorance of radiometric dating. The decay curve is mathematically determined by the fact that every atom of carbon in a sample has the same chance of decaying during each second of time. That much is predicted by quantum mechanics, which is possibly the greatest of our modern, scientific revolutions.

    The random character of radioactive decay is a special case of the indeterminacy of quantum theory, as was pointed out in by George Gamow, Ronald Gurney and Edward Condon.

    Radiocarbon Dating and Bomb Carbon

    They showed that a particle held inside the nucleus by a "potential barrier" may be able to "tunnel through" the barrier and emerge on the other side, since if the barrier is finite the wave function of the particle is not completely localized and there is a finite probability that the particle will be outside the nucleus. Since we are dealing with millions of C atoms in even the smallest samples, the amount of C remaining with respect to time will be an excellent approximation of an exponential decay curve. Statistics assure us of that.

    Indeed, it would be absurd to speak of the half-life of a radioactive isotope if it did not have a good exponential decay curve! Once we have a good approximation of the half-life for carbon, its decay curve can be constructed with complete confidence. We don't need Egyptian mummies or what have you at that point.

    At that point it's just a routine exercise in math. If you want additional assurance that we have the correct half-life, then look at the close correlation between C dates and tree-ring dates after correcting for variances in C production caused by changes in the earth's magnetic field. The snug fit indicates that the half-life of C is stable and accurately known.