Credible carbon dating
Part 2 explains how scientists run into problems when they make assumptions about what happened .An hourglass is a helpful analogy to explain how geologists calculate the ages of rocks.Libby knew that if these figures were correct, it would mean that the atmosphere was young, so he dismissed the results as being due to experimental error!(We are not implying dishonesty here, merely showing how powerfully the evolutionary/uniformitarian concepts of Earth history influence great scientists to mould or discard evidence which appears to contradict that viewpoint.) What about modern measurements, using advanced technology such as satellites?
In other words, going into the past, we should reach a period of time in which there is a sharp reduction in the number of specimens compared to the period just older than that, and as we went forward in time, we would expect a gradual buildup, as plant and animal populations recovered their numbers. Using the 15,000 published dates previously mentioned after adjusting them as described, he grouped them into 500 year ‘blocks’ and found a dramatic drop-off about 5,000 years ago, with a worldwide distribution (, Ed.
Obviously this only works for things which once contained carbon—it can’t be used to date rocks and minerals, for example. We obviously need to know this to be able to work out at what point the ‘clock’ began to tick.
We’ve seen that it would have been the same as in the atmosphere at the time the specimen died. Do scientists assume that it was the same as it is now? It is well known that the industrial revolution, with its burning of huge masses of coal, etc.
Because Libby believed that the Earth was millions of years old, he assumed that there had been plenty of time for the system to be in C was entering the atmosphere as fast as it was leaving—calculations show that this should take place in about 30,000 years, and of course the Earth was much older than that, said the geologists.
Imagine a tank with water flowing in at a certain rate, and flowing out again at the same rate (see diagram below). If you saw it for the first time, you wouldn’t be able to work out how old it was—how long it had been since it was ‘switched on’. Imagine the same tank, this time it is not yet full and the top tap is flowing more quickly than the bottom one is leaking out—this gives you a way of measuring how long ago the whole system was ‘switched on’ and it also tells you that that can’t have been too long ago (see diagram above).