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Age of dinosaurs?


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I had a look at that site but they don't inspire me much trust. :) They sound a lot as creationists trying to find support for their theories.

 

For instance, their statement that "paleontologists refuse to carbon date dinosaur bones" because "they don't want you to see it". That's the typical language of conspiracy theorists. The truth is that carbon 14 dating is completely useless beyond 50,000 years back because simply we don't have tools capable of measure such small quantities of carbon. So it's not that paleontologists refuse to carbon date dinosaur, it's just that that method is useless to date fossils that are millions of years old and the results it would produce would be absurd. It's like using a screwdriver to hammer a nail, it makes no sense.

 

It seems quite reasonable that dinosaurs disappeared long before man was created because their fossils are always found in much deeper and older layers than human remains. If dinosaurs lived at the same time as humans, why are their fossils never found with human remains or in the same layers as vestiges of human activity? And why haven't we found any tools or objects made of dinosaur bone?

 

We have no problem accepting that dinosaurs may have lived hundreds of thousands or millions of years before man was created. There is nothing in the Scriptures to contradict that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I'll quote here from an article from a creationist scientist on carbon dating and it's flaws. He does support a "literal 6 days" account by assuming the hebrew style of writing for the term "day" was always literal, but we know the later writings of Moses deny this claim as he later calls the creation account the "day" if creation. Anyway, nothing here about doctrine or anything, but just the science and criticism and analysis of carbon dating it's self and he makes some very thought provoking points;

 

Quote

Once a living thing dies, the dating process begins. As long as an organism is alive it will continue to take in 14C; however, when it dies, it will stop. Since 14C is radioactive (decays into 14N), the amount of 14C in a dead organism gets less and less over time. Therefore, part of the dating process involves measuring the amount of 14C that remains after some has been lost (decayed). Scientists now use a device called an “Accelerator Mass Spectrometer” (AMS) to determine the ratio of 14C to 12C, which increases the assumed accuracy to about 80,000 years. In order to actually do the dating, other things need to be known. Two such things include the following questions:

 

  1. How fast does 14C decay?
  2. What was the starting amount of 14C in the creature when it died?

The decay rate of radioactive elements is described in terms of half-life. The half-life of an atom is the amount of time it takes for half of the atoms in a sample to decay. The half-life of 14C is 5,730 years. For example, a jar starting with all 14C atoms at time zero will contain half 14C atoms and half 14N atoms at the end of 5,730 years (one half-life). At the end of 11,460 years (two half-lives) the jar will contain one-quarter 14C atoms and three-quarter 14N atoms.

Since the half-life of 14C is known (how fast it decays), the only part left to determine is the starting amount of 14C in a fossil. If scientists know the original amount of 14C in a creature when it died, they can measure the current amount and then calculate how many half-lives have passed.

Since no one was there to measure the amount of 14C when a creature died, scientists need to find a method to determine how much 14C has decayed. To do this, scientists use the main isotope of carbon, called carbon-12 (12C). Because 12C is a stable isotope of carbon, it will remain constant; however, the amount of 14C will decrease after a creature dies. All living things take in carbon (14C and 12C) from eating and breathing. Therefore, the ratio of 14C to 12C in living creatures will be the same as in the atmosphere. This ratio turns out to be about one 14C atom for every 1 trillion 12C atoms. Scientists can use this ratio to help determine the starting amount of 14C.

When an organism dies, this ratio (1 to 1 trillion) will begin to change. The amount of 12C will remain constant, but the amount of 14C will become less and less. The smaller the ratio, the longer the organism has been dead. The following illustration demonstrates how the age is estimated using this ratio.

Percent 14C Remaining Percent 12C Remaining Ratio Number of Half-Lives Years Dead(Age of Fossil)
100 100 1 to 1T 0 0
50 100 1 to 2T 1 5,730
25 100 1 to 4T 2 11,460
12.5 100 1 to 8T 3 17,190
6.25 100 1 to 16T 4 22,920
3.125 100 1 to 32T 5 28,650

T = Trillion

A Critical Assumption

A critical assumption used in carbon-14 dating has to do with this ratio. It is assumed that the ratio of 14C to 12C in the atmosphere has always been the same as it is today (1 to 1 trillion). If this assumption is true, then the AMS 14C dating method is valid up to about 80,000 years. Beyond this number, the instruments scientists use would not be able to detect enough remaining 14C to be useful in age estimates. This is a critical assumption in the dating process. If this assumption is not true, then the method will give incorrect dates. What could cause this ratio to change? If the production rate of 14C in the atmosphere is not equal to the removal rate (mostly through decay), this ratio will change. In other words, the amount of 14C being produced in the atmosphere must equal the amount being removed to be in a steady state (also called “equilibrium”). If this is not true, the ratio of 14C to 12C is not a constant, which would make knowing the starting amount of 14C in a specimen difficult or impossible to accurately determine.

Dr. Willard Libby, the founder of the carbon-14 dating method, assumed this ratio to be constant. His reasoning was based on a belief in evolution, which assumes the earth must be billions of years old. Assumptions in the scientific community are extremely important. If the starting assumption is false, all the calculations based on that assumption might be correct but still give a wrong conclusion.

In Dr. Libby’s original work, he noted that the atmosphere did not appear to be in equilibrium. This was a troubling idea for Dr. Libby since he believed the world was billions of years old and enough time had passed to achieve equilibrium. Dr. Libby’s calculations showed that if the earth started with no 14C in the atmosphere, it would take up to 30,000 years to build up to a steady state (equilibrium).

If the cosmic radiation has remained at its present intensity for 20,000 or 30,000 years, and if the carbon reservoir has not changed appreciably in this time, then there exists at the present time a complete balance between the rate of disintegration of radiocarbon atoms and the rate of assimilation of new radiocarbon atoms for all material in the life-cycle.2

Dr. Libby chose to ignore this discrepancy (nonequilibrium state), and he attributed it to experimental error. However, the discrepancy has turned out to be very real. The ratio of 14C /12C is not constant.

The Specific Production Rate (SPR) of C-14 is known to be 18.8 atoms per gram of total carbon per minute. The Specific Decay Rate (SDR) is known to be only 16.1 disintegrations per gram per minute.3

What does this mean? If it takes about 30,000 years to reach equilibrium and 14C is still out of equilibrium, then maybe the earth is not very old.

Magnetic Field of the Earth

Other factors can affect the production rate of 14C in the atmosphere. The earth has a magnetic field around it which helps protect us from harmful radiation from outer space. This magnetic field is decaying (getting weaker). The stronger the field is around the earth, the fewer the number of cosmic rays that are able to reach the atmosphere. This would result in a smaller production of 14C in the atmosphere in earth’s past.

The cause for the long term variation of the C-14 level is not known. The variation is certainly partially the result of a change in the cosmic ray production rate of radiocarbon. The cosmic-ray flux, and hence the production rate of C-14, is a function not only of the solar activity but also of the magnetic dipole moment of the Earth.4
Though complex, this history of the earth’s magnetic field agrees with Barnes’ basic hypothesis, that the field has always freely decayed.... The field has always been losing energy despite its variations, so it cannot be more than 10,000 years old.5
Earth’s magnetic field is fading. Today it is about 10 percent weaker than it was when German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss started keeping tabs on it in 1845, scientists say.6

If the production rate of 14C in the atmosphere was less in the past, dates given using the carbon-14 method would incorrectly assume that more 14C had decayed out of a specimen than what has actually occurred. This would result in giving older dates than the true age.

Genesis Flood

What role might the Genesis Flood have played in the amount of carbon? The Flood would have buried large amounts of carbon from living organisms (plant and animal) to form today’s fossil fuels (coal, oil, etc.). The amount of fossil fuels indicates there must have been a vastly larger quantity of vegetation in existence prior to the Flood than exists today. This means that the biosphere just prior to the Flood might have had 500 times more carbon in living organisms than today. This would further dilute the amount of 14C and cause the 14C/12C ratio to be much smaller than today.

If that were the case, and this C-14 were distributed uniformly throughout the biosphere, and the total amount of biosphere C were, for example, 500 times that of today’s world, the resulting C-14/C-12 ratio would be 1/500 of today’s level.&nbps;. . .7

When the Flood is taken into account along with the decay of the magnetic field, it is reasonable to believe that the assumption of equilibrium is a false assumption.

Because of this false assumption, any age estimates using 14C prior to the Flood will give much older dates than the true age. Pre-Flood material would be dated at perhaps ten times the true age.

 

 

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