Evolutionists have long used the carbon, or radiocarbon, dating technique as a “hammer” to bludgeon Bible-believing Christians. (14C) age estimates are multiple tens of thousands of years, many think that the radiocarbon method has . how can a christian respond to a question like “How do you explain carbon dated back to millions of years old when christians belief in a. Many people have been led to believe that radiometric dating Do all scientists accept the 14C dating method as reliable and accurate? .. Carbon dating is really the friend of Christians, and it supports a young earth.
Do christians believe carbon dating - You are here
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.
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. According to his study, the magnetic field of the earth decays exponentially. Based on figures from to , he 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. 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. 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. This lab seems to be the first C dating facility run by an evangelical Christian organization committed to testing the C dating assumptions and presenting their own data regarding C dating.
The C dating project is led by Gerald E. Aardsma, a nuclear physics Ph. Aardsma has published a monograph, Radiocarbon and the Genesis Flood Although these data "should not be accepted until he or someone else has made a much more critical analysis of the assumptions and correlations used in dendrochronology," to our surprise, Morris recognized that "his study has real merit and should be made available to the wider readership.
Without doubt, however, Aardsma's research will contribute to broadening the intellectual horizon of fundamentalist evangelicals. Young flatly opposes the idea of a young earth and flood geology. Rejecting the fundamentalists' criticisms on the antiquity of the earth, Young pointed out that the decay rate of radioactive elements is constant, that dating elements are not lost or gained during geologic time, and that the original amount of daughter element has been determined with reasonable accuracy.
But his argument for C dating was not as thorough as his evaluation of the age of the earth, that being the primary aim of the book. He harmonized belief in the Bible with his geologic knowledge through the day-age theory: The numerous critiques raised by strict creationists have not been taken seriously by the secular scientists and even some evangelicals, such as ASA members. Why was this so? The key factor was the ready availability of the gap and day-age interpretations of Genesis 1.
In fact, most evangelicals, and even Adventists who refuted the flood theory and the idea of a young earth, could accept one of these interpretations without seriously compromising evangelical tenets.
For example, Edwin K. Stoner and Davis A. Young accept the day-age view. The second reason was the overwhelming number of practicing scientists who accepted C dating. Most strict creationists, with the exception of G. Aardsma at the ICR, were not technical experts on the C dating method, not having advanced degrees in geochronology, geochemistry, or radiometry.
Third, with few exceptions, 82 "serious" criticism about the C method appeared mainly in religious journals. All of them are conservative or fundamental publications. Among them, CRSQ is the most prominent in criticizing the C method, publishing more than 25 critical papers to date. In addition to journals, most of the religious books critical of C dating were written by fundamentalist evangelicals 83 and published by religious publishers, and their distribution was limited to Christians.
The fourth reason is the conservative bent of established science. Since C dating was introduced on a wide scale in the s, it quickly replaced the older dating methods. Once accepted, "adjustments were made to achieve internal order in the radiocarbon chronology!
Once that comforting operation was completed, a feeling of security enveloped the exponents and their followers. Within a normal science, only minor corrections or improvements of a theory, or puzzle solving activities are done. By the late s, radioactive dating was not taken seriously by evangelicals. Although there might be some trace of internal tension, there was not much strife over it among Christians.
But the emerging influence of J. Kulp in the ASA caused a split in the evangelical Christian community: Largely because of Kulp's influence, supporters of flood geology and a young earth found themselves increasingly isolated within the ASA. In the late s the Adventists had no Kulp.
Although Hare did try to fill a similar role, he failed to persuade major Adventist scholars. Many orthodox Adventists remained critical toward C dating. But in the late s, R. Hare opened fire on the tenets of the fundamental creationists. They indirectly challenged the authority of the writing of Ellen G. White, the founder of the Adventist church.
Unlike the ASA, however, the community of orthodox Adventist scientists did not split, due to the strong doctrinal bonds of the church. Numbers of the University of Wisconsin-Madison for his valuable comments and permission to use his personal collections. Also the author is grateful to Dr. For the history of C dating, besides Libby's several original papers, see R.
Whitcomb and Henry M. Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co. Southern Publishing Association, pp. Review and Herald Publishing Association, pp. Criticism of Points Raised in It was cited by M. Southern Publishing Associations, p. Barnes, "Time and Earth's History," Spectrum 3 1 Numbers, The Creationists, Ch.
By the mids, Brown was still quite critical of C dates: Brown, "Radiocarbon Dating," in H. An Archaeological Perspective in R. Brown, Origins 14 1 And in a recent article Brown tried to correlate C ages with the biblical time scale: Brown, Origins 17 2 Pearl, "Letter To Hackett," March 11, Originally Pearl presented this view in his master thesis in ?
For an assesment of Brown's argument, see Ross O. Barnes, "Time and Earth's History," Spectrum, 3 1 Depth Profile Characteristics," Origins 15 1 Couperus, Spectrum 10 4: Ervin Taylor, "Genesis and Prehistory: Taylor recently published comprehensive review on the C dating: Archaeological Perspective Orlando, FL: Academic Press, p.
It was cited in F. Its Growth and Early Development p. Voskuyl, and archaeologist George R. Horner participated in the ASA. Master Book Publishers, pp. Monsma, JASA 1 3: For the hostility toward recent creation and a cataclysmic deluge, see H. Morris, A History of Modern Creationism, p. Kulp and his role in the ASA, see R. Ramm also pointed out a lack of geological training in flood geologists: See other papers appearing in the JASA in the early s: Morris, October 8, ; both in the Whitcomb papers.
All this was cited in R. Morris, The Genesis Flood, pp. Morris, June 19, , Whitcomb Papers. It was cited by R. Cook, Prehistory and Earth Models London: Max Parrish and Co. The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, pp.
Master Books, p. Libby, Radiocarbon Dating Chicago: University of Chicago Press, p. The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, p. Inquiry Press, p. And in Creation and Evolution Controversy, R. Wysong cited Barnes' arguments as scientific evidence supporting the young earth doctrine. Morris, Scientific Creationism, p. Brown in Why Not Creation?
Whitcomb, The Genesis Flood, pp. Davidheiser, Evolution and Christian Faith, p. If something carbon dates at 7, years we believe 5, is probably closer to reality just before the flood. Robert Whitelaw has done a very good job illustrating this theory using about 30, dates published in Radio Carbon over the last 40 years.
One of the impressive points Whitewall makes is the conspicuous absence of dates between 4, and 5, years ago illustrating a great catastrophe killing off plant and animal life world wide the flood of Noah! I hope this helps your understanding of carbon dating. If you have any more questions about it don't hesitate to write. I just listened to a series of lectures on archaeology put out by John Hopkins Univ.
The lecturer talked at length about how inaccurate C14 Dating is as 'corrected' by dendrochronology. The methodology is quite accurate, but dendrochronology supposedly shows that the C14 dates go off because of changes in the equilibrium over time, and that the older the dates the larger the error. Despite this she continually uses the c14 dates to create 'absolute' chronologies.
She says this is ok so long as you take into account the correction factors from dendrochronology. They conveniently forget to mention that the tree ring chronology was arranged by C14 dating. The scientists who were trying to build the chronology found the tree rings so ambiguous that they could not decide which rings matched which using the bristlecone pine.
So they tested some of the ring sequences by C14 to put the sequences in the 'right' order. Once they did that they developed the overall sequence.
And this big sequence is then used to 'correct' C14 dates. Talk of circular reasoning!!!! Even if the rate of decay is constant, without a knowledge of the exact ratio of C12 to C14 in the initial sample, the dating technique is still subject to question.
Traditional 14C testing assumes equilibrium in the rate of formation and the rate of decay.