24 June 2008

carbon-dating: science or fiction?

Revealing answers in the Times Register this Saturday on the subject of carbon-dating and how scientists know whether is it correct.

The first writer tells us that, previously, other techniques of dating, such as rock-stratigraphy, indicated that the age of the Earth was several hundred million years. But, when carbon-dating was introduced, the Earth's age 'overnight, as it were, leapt to several billion years'.

And yet, according to writer number two, carbon-dating is only reliable for objects up to about 60,000 years old.

So, we are basing our understanding of the age of the Earth on what, exactly??

4 comments:

James Barlow said...

I thought the 4.5 billion year estimate for the age of the Earth was derived from Isochron Dating rather than Radiometric (carbon) Dating?

Robert said...

The dating methods which point to a possible older age for the earth get the publicity. But pointers to a younger age only get published by those who accept the young-earth concept. Yet it has been said that 90% of dating measurements point to a young earth, and only 10% point to an older earth. This is scientific measurements, not the interpretations of those measurements.

For example, samples of fosilised wood, in rocks which would be dated in the 100 - 250 million years range, have been carbon dated as 40-60 thousand years old though samples millions of years old would have no radio-carbon content.

The decay of Saturn's rings, and the lack of dust on the moon's surface, are other young solar system indicators. So is the recession of the moon (its increasing distance from the earth) which implies that only a few million years ago few living creatures would have survived the raging tides.

The decay of earth's magnetic field also fits data suggesting a young earth. While the only predictions of magnetic fields on some of the other planets and their moons which were remotely close to the measured values were made by a scientist who used a recent creation model for his predictions. His values were close enough to justify his model, but before the space probes sent back the data he was subjected to ridicule.

The latest figures (now that we have more accurate data for mutation rates) for mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam also fit the young earth dating of the book of Genesis Noah and Eve.

Science can only relate to data, organised in a systematic manner, and allowing theory to be developed or falsified. But the interpretation is not independent of a subjective world-view. That is where the debate comes.

Dating said...

The dating methods which point to a possible older age for the earth get the publicity.

cheap viagra said...

Excellent point of view, clearly both methods are just leaving us in the dark, as with so many other things.