Carbon dating and religion

Carbon Dating Does Not Disprove the Bible

carbon dating and religion

Carbon Dating Does Not Disprove the Bible In several documented situations when carbon dating ran contrary to common scientific . Just face it, religion is out dated, if religion was created today by someone with all. Unaware of the many fallacious assumptions used in the dating process, many people believe Carbon dating disproves the biblical timeline. I can't speak for creationists but as a christian and a man of science I can say that a lot of scientific work is inaccurate or inconclusive a lot of the.

It is not a matter of whether the science itself is faulty. The reality is that the science is rather elegant in its function. The challenge is that it operates under a set of assumptions. Any scientist with an open mind would tell you that if these assumptions were shifted towards a Biblical view, the carbon dating process would still work, though at a much shorter time scale. In other words, whether you assume that the planet is billions of years old or if you believe that the earth is thousands of years old, carbon dating still works in both situations.

In several documented situations when carbon dating ran contrary to common scientific assumptions, the results were only an anomaly if the world were billions of years old. If the earth were thousands of years old, the results of these tests would have fit in perfectly. Carbon 14C is a radioactive isotope of carbon that is in a constant state of decay.

Scientists are able to determine the age of formerly living materials by determining the amount of 14C relative to the amount of Carbon 12C. Since the former is radioactive and decays at a constant pace while the latter is stable, the ratio between the two can determine the age of anything that was on the earth and breathed.

Radioactive isotopes like 14C decay at a constant rate relative to the amount of material present. In the case of 14C, it has a half-life of 5, years. This means that if you have 2 grams of 14C today, in 5, years you will have 1 gram of 14C. Since 14C has a steady half-life and the known ratio of our environment is currently at 1 part 14C to 1 trillion parts 12C, scientists can use this to determine how long ago the creature leaving behind their remains had died.

Scientific Assumptions There are two major assumptions that are impossible to prove or disprove. This is based on the fact that stimulating mineral samples with blue, green or infared light causes a luminescent signal to be emitted, stemming from electron energy that is proportional to the amount of background radiation the specimen has undergone since burial.

This scheme can be used to date items between about years to overyears, and thus can be used to double-check and calibrate radiocarbon dates [ Optical ].

Carbon-14 Dating Does Not Disprove the Bible

Counting the alternating light and dark bands in glacial lake beds that record the annual passage of seasons. In each case, radiocarbon dates, determined by well-established procedures and calculations, are compared directly with dates determined by the above methods, thus permitting the radiocarbon dates to be accurately calibrated with distinct and independent dating techniques.

Inseveral leading researchers in the field established a detailed calibration of radiocarbon dating, based on a careful analysis of pristine corals, ranging back to approximately 50, years before the present epoch [ Reimer ]. Here is a graph showing radiocarbon dates on the vertical axis and the calibrated age on the horizontal axis shown here with permission from Johannes van der Plicht, one of the authors of the study.

The relative width of the red calibration curve indicates the range of uncertainty: These researchers collected core samples 70 meters deep, and then painstakingly counted the layers, year by year, to obtain a direct record stretching back 52, years. Comparing these counts with a series of radiocarbon-dated samples spanning this record, they obtained a calibration curve that is very close to the calibration shown above [ Callaway ]. Thus these calibrations are very reliable indeed.

Compare, for example, the uncorrected line blue dotted line with the calibration curve red curve. In other words, those hoping that uncertainties in radiocarbon dating, say in the assumption of constancy of atmospheric carbon levels, will mean that specimens are really much younger than the measured dates, are in for a big disappointment -- it is now clear that specimens are actually somewhat older than the raw, uncalibrated reckonings.

White had kept silent on, as Price did. He was still within the orthodox SDA's line. Brown's position is well discussed by M. Those who did not accept the great flood would find no footing in the GRI and should leave the institute. Today, with only a few exceptions, the SDA holds fast to flood geology and literal interpretations of Genesis days.

The strongest professional defense of the C method by an Adventist scholar was offered by R.

carbon dating and religion

Ervin Taylor, director of a radiocarbon dating laboratory at the University of California at Riverside. He emphasized that the C dates were supported and confirmed by many other methods such as obsidian hydration, thermoluminescience, archaeomagnetic data, the potassium-argon method, fission track dating, dendrochronology, varve dating, fluorine diffusion and archaeological sequences.

Couperus said that Christian faith "should not be affected by views on the age of our planet, be it young or old. The ASA was formed in to serve as a principal forum of evangelical Christianity to "promote and encourage the study of the relationship between the facts of science and the Holy Scriptures. Since the publication of its first results inthe C dating method raised controversy in the ASA.

The ASA membership had a mixed reaction to radioactive dating until the early s, when advocates of radiometry began to dominate. As shown in the discussion of a paper by Monsma, the responses of key members to geologic ages and the flood varied until Monsma himself accepted the flood and seemed "to deplore the acceptance by Christians of the ideas of geologic ages. Alton Everest, Peter W.

Stoner, a professor of mathematics and astronomy at Pasadena City College and a supporter of the day-age theoryRussell L. Laurence Kulp were quite dubious about a recent creation and a cataclysmic deluge. Right after the announcement of the C dating method by Libby, J.

Radiocarbon Dating and American Evangelical Christians

He returned to Columbia University to establish his own C laboratory, and pioneered the various applications of C dating to geology. He eventually became one of the nation's top authorities in C dating. Although Kulp himself did not leave many writings about his role in the ASA, articles of that time revealed his influence. In these proceedings, Kulp added many brief editorial comments to all of the papers presented, and finally in his own paper showed the validity and limitations of the assumptions of radioactive dating.

At the end of his paper, Kulp discussed the basic requirements, the effective range, and some applications of C dating. Bearing in mind the criticism from some conservative Christians of radioactive dating methods, he pointed out that " a The half-life will not be the limiting factor This paper was an open attack on the young earth and flood geology theories and their proponents, and played an important role in orienting the ASA toward accepting radioactive dates and refuting flood geology.

Kulp pointed out the basic errors of flood geologists, discussing their ignorance of recent scientific discoveries associated with C dating. Morris wrote a rebuttal to the piece, trying to answer the various arguments, but the JASA editors did not publish it. What made Kulp so important in the ASA? The key was his professional background in geology, specifically geochemistry.

In contrast to a confident Kulp, those who opposed him who were not professional geologists had to be very careful in presenting their opinions in geological matters. For example, to a question raised by Cordelius Erdmann, Monsma said, "I would not dare to answer that question because I am not a geologist. In a paper presented at the Los Angeles Convention of the ASA, Kulp argued that "the theory that a relatively recent universal flood can account for the sedimentary strata of the earth is entirely inadequate to explain the observed data in geology.

In a paper presented at the Convention, Roy M. Allen, a metallurgist, summarized the conditions that complicated the accuracy of radioactive dating, and then criticized the uncertainty of radioactive dates.

But in the discussion session, Allen's paper was attacked by Kulp. Kulp, after pointing out the author's lack of geological training, refuted Allen's criticisms one by one.

In addition to his total commitment to contemporary geology, young Kulp's partisanship and power of persuasion contributed to converting the ASA to acceptance of C dating and the doctrine of the old earth and human antiquity. One was the fact that since its first decade, the ASA had many active scientists working in fields related to radioactive dating, such as geology, archaeology and anthropology. They all had been trained in the contemporary scientific traditions.

Ramm summarized the intellectual atmosphere of the ASA in the early s, which was generally accepting of current scientific ideas. In supporting Kulp in his criticism of flood geology, Ramm said, "If uniformitarianism makes a scientific case for itself to a Christian scholar, that Christian scholar has every right to believe it, and if he is a man and not a coward he will believe it in spite of the intimidation that he is supposedly gone over into the camp of the enemy.

Ramm said, "If uniformitarianism makes a scientific case for itself to a Christian scholar, that Christian scholar has every right to believe it, and if he is a man and not a coward he will believe it in spite of the intimidation that he is supposedly gone over into the camp of the enemy. Monsma, a believer in recent creation and a cataclysmic deluge, in Though he eventually dropped out the ASA, "not because it had become liberal, but because it was too conservative for him," Kulp widely influenced the ASA to accept radioactive dates, and the antiquity of the earth and life on earth.

With the emergence of Kulp, supporters of the young earth and flood geology were gradually isolated within the ASA. In the s, there was increasing evidence of personal and organizational factions among evangelical Christian circles. To fundamentalist evangelicals, the great flood and the age of the earth and life were incompatible with C dates. In reaction to the shift in the ASA towards acceptance of the idea of an old earth and uniformitarianism, a revival of flood geology and the idea of a young earth and life occurred in evangelical Christianity in the early s.

The most significant sign of this revival was the publication in of The Genesis Flood by Whitcomb and Morris, supporters of Pricean flood geology. The Genesis Flood, which began in as Whitcomb's dissertation, was completed by the addition of several technical chapters by Morris. As an Old Testament teacher at Grace Theological Seminary, a fundamentalist institution in Indiana, Whitcomb was deeply distressed by Ramm's The Christian View of Science and Scripture which contained what he deemed an unbiblical notion of the local flood.

Ramm's book, as Whitcomb confided to Morris, provided him a direct motivation to write the page dissertation on The Genesis Flood: Ramm's book would be sufficient incentive for me. Arnold and I had was that our advisors informed us that history extended back only 5, years Several Christian magazines praised The Genesis Flood for its defense of Genesis, while scientists, including ASA members, criticized the book for its total attack on contemporary science.

Most of the evangelicals who accepted the gap and day-age theories did not heartily accept flood geology and the idea of a young earth, recognizing that the main arguments of flood geology on the whole were incompatible with their theories.

Whitcomb, in a letter to Morris, expressed his embarrassment that practically everyone he knew accepted either the gap or day-age theory, "even though they seem to be happy about our position on the Flood!

In contrast to the critical response of non-literalist evangelicals, however, many fundamentalists and fundamentalist institutions heartily accepted The Genesis Flood. Soon after its publication, the authors were invited to numerous meetings. Morris, who had a prestigious scientific background, was particularly forced to adapt a jetset lifestyle in order to meet nation-wide speaking engagements.

Baptists invited him most frequently, but conservative Presbyterian, Lutheran, Reformed, Episcopalian, Wesleyan, Mennonite and even Pentecostal institutions heard his flood geology and his arguments for a young earth.

Among these, the CRS and the ICR were the most prominent in spreading the ideas of flood geology and a young earth, which were the most distinct features of the so-called "scientific creationism.

It was started in by a group of strict creationists who were disappointed by the changing position of the ASA. Marquart stated, "If the ASA had remained true to the doctrines and principles on which it was founded, the Creation Research Society would never have been necessary. Cook, a Mormon metallurgist and professor at the University of Utah, criticized the assumption of C equilibrium in the biosphere. This assumption states that a dynamic equilibrium has existed in the earth's reservoirs of carbon for several tens of thousands of years.

Cook denied the existence of this equilibrium: Whitelaw, a professor of mechanical engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, presented more quantitative arguments on the nonexistence of equilibrium among the major carbon reservoirs. Morris, director of the ICR, pointed out that for the time-period prior to dynamic equilibrium, the C age would be much larger than true ages if calculated from the equilibrium model.

It was stated thoroughly by Robert E.

carbon dating and religion

Lee pointed out the possibility of contamination in the whole dating process, from collecting samples in the field to the final measurements in the laboratories. Charcoal and peat, frequently favorable samples for C dating, were noted for their ability to absorb foreign substances.

In fact, Bolton Davidheiser, a zoology Ph. The first person who systematically investigated this was Thomas G. Barnes, a physicist and member of the steering committee of the CRS.

How reliable is radiocarbon dating?

According to his study, the magnetic field of the earth decays exponentially. Based on figures from tohe calculated the half-life of the magnetic field of the earth to be years. The greater the magnetic field, the less the cosmic ray influx. If the magnetic field in the past was many times stronger than it is today, there would have been less cosmic ray entering the atmosphere, and consequently less C would have been produced.

Therefore, any C dates taken from samples from that time period would appear older than they really were. DeYoung, a Grace Brethren physicist, also reported variations in the half-life of several radioactive elements under various physical and chemical stimuli or human and natural influences. Since the Industrial Revolution, coal, oil and gas have been burned in quantity, and the carbon dioxide produced in the process has been liberated into the atmosphere.

carbon dating and religion

Although the Industrial Revolution was less than two centuries old, Morris pointed that the effect of this carbon dioxide must be taken into account in C dating. These released neutrons increased the amount of C in the atmosphere. Davidheiser argued that within the past 50, years large amounts of nonradioactive carbon dioxide have been released into the atmosphere by volcanic activity.

According to them, in the past there was much more extensive and vigorous vegetation than now. Thus there would have been significantly more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Therefore, they argued that C dates older than 5, years would be highly suspect 73 and concluded that organisms alive before or immediately after the flood would contain much less C than present organisms and therefore would appear to be older than they really are.

Through numerous publications, popular talks and lectures and public debates, the ICR greatly influenced evangelical thought.

carbon dating and religion

From its start, as would be expected from the founder's background, the ICR adhered strictly to the doctrines of flood geology and recent creation, and, hence, the C dating method was severely criticized.