jeudi 22 septembre 2016

Radioactive Methods Revisited, Especially C-14

Creation vs. Evolution : 1) C14 Calibrations, comparing two preliminary ones, mine and Tas Walker's · 2) Radioactive Methods Revisited, Especially C-14 · 3) What Some of You are Thinking / Ce que certains de vous sont en train de penser · Great Bishop of Geneva! : 4) Carbon Dating of Turin Shroud and Hacking and Conventional vs Creationist Dating · Creation vs. Evolution : 5) A Fault in my Tables? A Plan for Improvement? · 6) Pre-Flood Biomass and More · 7) Advantages of a Shorter Carbon 14 Chronology · 8) Hasn't Carbon 14 been Confirmatively Calibrated for Ages Beyond Biblical Chronology? By Tree Rings? · HGL's F.B. writings : 9) Comparing with Gerardus D. Bouw Ph. D., Debating with Roger M Pearlman on Chronology · 10) Continuing with Pearlman, Especially on Göbekli Tepe and Dating of Ice Age

I wonder if it is "prof solitaire"* who has under cover contact with a priest who shall pray for me to reassess the essays** he is unable to disprove, or people here watching the exchange and praying for me to see something to make me reconsider.

Anyway, it is from "prof solitaire" that I got the second of my links.

Citing, I:
Bales/Stassen as per Talk Origins

from Bob Bales's opening statement
3. Radiocarbon balance in the atmosphere

Radiactive carbon-14 is formed in the atmosphere through the action of cosmic rays. The rate of formation depeneds on the cosmic-ray activity. The rate of decay (amount decayed in mass/unit time) depends on the amount present. Thus, the amount will increase until the decay rate balances the production rate. Equilibrium will be reached in approximately 30,000 years. Measurements of production and decay rates indicate that the amount has been increasing for some time. According to V.R. Switzer, a European conference reported two studies which showed the concentration has been increasing for at least 10,000 years ("Radioactive Dating and Low-level Counting, Science, 157:726, August 11, 1967). The paper mentions, without details, that this contradicts previous studies. However, there are other reports of increasing concentration which I have not seen: "Production of C-14 by Cosmic 8 Ray Neutrons," Richard E. Lingenfelter, Reviews of Geophysics, 1:51, February, 1963, and "Secular Variations in the Cosmic-Ray produced Carbon-14 in the Atmosphere and Their Interpretations," Hans E. Suess, Journal of Geophysical Research, 70:5947, December 1, 1965.

from Chris Stassen's rebuttal
3. Radiocarbon balance in the atmosphere

The [14]C/[12]C ratio depends on a number of factors including:

Its rate of production, influenced by both the strength of the earth's magnetic field, and the cosmic-ray proton flux generated by the Sun.
The amount of carbon in "reservoirs" in the Earth, which is strongly influenced by climatic conditions.

All of these factors vary; it is unjustified to assume that a non- uniform level means non-equilibrium. The concentration of [14]C in the atmosphere is calculated by performing [14]C dating on an object of known age (and calculating the difference between the dating age and the real age). The evidence indicates that it has been as high as 10% above its current value, and as low as 10% below its current value at various times in the past. It does not look like a process just now reaching equilibrium.

The "recent creation model" (with [14]C starting near but not at equilibrium) does not account for samples which give [14]C dates older than 10,000 years. Samples give ages to 50k years, which favors the "equilibrium, varying [14]C/[12]C ratio" model.

from Bob Bales's closing remarks
In carbon-14 dating, Chris seems to restrict the carbon-14 concentration to start near equilibrium and says that the creation model does not account for dates older than 10,000 years. But immediately after creation, there may very well have been little carbon 14. Material from that time, whenever it was, would date quite old, if the dating assumed near-equilibrium conditions.

Own comment:
In effect, I actually do believe, in order to defend a young earth, that C14 content at Creation and especially at Flood:

  • A, were very much lower than equilibrium
  • B, rose much more rapidly than with normal additions today in order to have since Flood reached equilibrium
  • C, and has in fact reached equilibrium.

Citing, II
Answers to Creationist Attacks on Carbon-14 Dating
on NCSE, spring 1982

Creationists such as Cook (1966) claim that cosmic radiation is now forming C-14 in the atmosphere about one and one-third times faster than it is decaying. If we extrapolate backwards in time with the proper equations, we find that the earlier the historical period, the less C-14 the atmosphere had. If we extrapolate as far back as ten thousand years ago, we find the atmosphere would not have had any C-14 in it at all. If they are right, this means all C-14 ages greater than two or three thousand years need to be lowered drastically and that the earth can be no older than ten thousand years. How do you reply?

Yes, Cook is right that C-14 is forming today faster than it's decaying. However, the amount of C-14 has not been rising steadily as Cook maintains; instead, it has fluctuated up and down over the past ten thousand years. How do we know this? From radiocarbon dates taken from bristlecone pines.

There are two ways of dating wood from bristlecone pines: one can count rings or one can radiocarbon-date the wood. Since the tree ring counts have reliably dated some specimens of wood all the way back to 6200 BC, one can check out the C-14 dates against the tree-ring-count dates. Admittedly, this old wood comes from trees that have been dead for hundreds of years, but you don't have to have an 8,200-year-old bristlecone pine tree alive today to validly determine that sort of date. It is easy to correlate the inner rings of a younger living tree with the outer rings of an older dead tree. The correlation is possible because, in the Southwest region of the United States, the widths of tree rings vary from year to year with the rainfall, and trees all over the Southwest have the same pattern of variations.

When experts compare the tree-ring dates with the C-14 dates, they find that radiocarbon ages before 1000 BC are really too young—not too old as Cook maintains. For example, pieces of wood that date at about 6200 BC by tree-ring counts date at only 5400 BC by regular C-14 dating and 3900 BC by Cook's creationist revision of C-14 dating (as we see in the article, "Dating, Relative and Absolute," in the Encyclopaedia Britannica). So, despite creationist claims, C-14 before three thousand years ago was decaying faster than it was being formed and C-14 dating errs on the side of making objects from before 1000 BC look too young, not too old.

Own comment
Two things:

  • On author of the piece and tree ring dating

    Chris Weber, one of the editors of Creation/Evolution, is a computer programmer and an amateur geologist. He has followed the creation-evolution controversy for over a decade. / Copyright 1982 by Christopher Gregory Weber

    I think he has missed a thing on two on tree ring dating. As a computer programmer and an amateur geologist, he may not be a specialist in tree rings.

    Neither am I, but I have seen some holes in it.

    For a series relevant to Europe, I have seen a bottleneck and a diagram showing how matches are for bottleneck. I would say, they are not exactly stringent in accepting matches. Reference unfortunately lost.

  • On Cook and still rising C-14 content.

    I have pretty conclusively disproven the "still rising" scenario.

    If it were, and if C-14 started out at a Flood 5000 years ago from a level of 1/64 of equilibrial level (assuming it were a single one), and assuming rise were thus limited to speeds of new formation seen today, we would either accept the half life it has and get very aberrant dates (El Alamein would date as Ghettysburg if we were 45% of equilibrial level right now and still rising and the 5730 years were both the true half life and accepted as such); or, other possibility, we would shorten the half life so as to fit datings with very well known historic dates. And in that case we would not be able to get a consistent half life. Older things would be datable correctly according to a longer half life, younger things by a shorter one.

    This I proved mathematically back here:

    New blog on the kid : Examinons une hypothèse qui se trouve contrefactuelle un peu de près
    from Wednesday, 28 October 2015, by Hans Georg Lundahl "at 05:26" (in some other time zone than mine)

    The funny thing then is, I have since then seen this kind of inconsistency about half life (same or reverse, not sure which) about early C-14 datings from early dynastic and pre-dynastic Egypt. I would say (unless reverse to my last table on that link) that back then the C-14 level was lower than now and rising rather rapidly.

    If it had risen slowly, we would not have come up to equilibrial level yet.

    So, my scenario for a rising C-14 level is very much not Cooks, not a projection backwards from a level at presently perhaps rising.

    It is deduced from Biblical chronology and confirmed by early problems of C-14 with Egyptologists. It implies a rise more rapid than the now observed or equilibrially observable formation of new C-14. Which in turn implies a higher level of cosmic radiation, hence a level which could have given rise to both ice age and to a faster decay of "older" methods, like Uranium based or Potassium Argon.

And it is researching this second link, that I found the first one.

Whatever might be the reason for my coming across so much to refute, I hope it is useful for others.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Thomas of Villanova

* See Carbone 14 et Franc-maçonnerie.

** See the series I usually search on my blog by searching this one as Fibonacci : Avec un peu d'aide de Fibonacci ... j'ai une table, presque correcte

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