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Thread: The Accuracy of Atomic AcceleratorCarbon Dating

  1. #1 The Accuracy of Atomic AcceleratorCarbon Dating 
    New Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    I'm new so please be gentle with me!

    I'm doing some personal research on various Biblical accounts (creation of Adam, Noah's Flood, that sort of thing) and how they gel (or don't) with the understood development and spread of humans across the Earth. Bible chronology places Adam's appearance at around 4000 b.c.e with the flood coming in at 2370 b.c.e. Just one example that conflicts with those dates is the appearance of the Clovis people in North America about 13000 years ago.

    The Clovis date is based on carbon dating, and in my search I have come across a couple of Scientific Christian websites that state that carbon dating is inaccurate after about 4000 years. Here's a link to one of them: Carbon Dating Undercuts Evolution's Long Ages A lot of this went straight over my head; I get the gist, that covering the earth with water, rotting vegetation etc., could skew with carbon levels.

    But is this accurate? Are there issues with carbon levels after a period of x years? Or is this author of this article cherry-picking research that suits his viewpoint?

    Any insight is appreciated, and if that insight has supporting references even better!

    I realise that religious topics can be contentious and I have no desire to provoke any aggravation. Really all I'm after is some insight, in plain English if possible, in to the world of atomic accelerator carbon dating and it's accuracy and pitfalls.

    Many thanks in advance


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  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    I'll try a longer response later, if the ground is not covered by someone else, but meanwhile welcome to the forum.

    Like any system there are all kinds of issues with carbon dating. The fundamentalists are very good at talking about these. What they are more reluctant to talk about is that those issues are known about and have been dealt with. There are all sorts of adjustments and corrections, just as there are with any sophisitcated measuring system. I don't know what their specific argument is on this one, but I'll look into it.

    What I do know is that carbon dating has been validated and calibrated by tree ring dating and, I think, by lake varves and there really is no residual issue.

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  4. #3  
    New Member
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    Nov 2012
    I am a new member here as well. I have no background to speak of, but have a deep interest in the contrast of creationalsim and evolution.
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  5. #4  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    city of wine and roses
    The potholer54 youtube channel has a couple of series on evolution and debunking creationism.

    This one I refer to as "There's no #@%$ing carbon in it!" - but that doesn't arise until you're 5 minutes in.
    Carbon dating doesn't work -- debunked - YouTube

    If you want to look further than just carbon dating, then the Schools version of the Made Easy series on this page, potholer54 - YouTube , is a good place to start. If you're interested in the science behind the material presented, keep a notebook handy to write down the references so you can track down the scientific papers on Google Scholar.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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