Mike's Origins Resources: A PhD Creationist's view of science, origins, and the future hope of the human race; by looking at Creation Science, Biblical Evidence, and Prophecy Molecular History Research Center

Carbon 14 Dating

Not my area of expertise but I am extremely interested in it.
Don't take what is on this page as a scientific endeavor
I am only looking at the evidence and then reporting what I have found to you.

Page 7 of 8

    Page 1

    • Introduction
    • What is Carbon 14?

    Page 2

    • How is Carbon produced?
    • Carbon 14 is in equilibrium
    • How is Carbon 14 used to date specimens and artifacts?

    Page 3

    • Limitations of the Historical Sciences
    • Carbon 14 Dating is based on Assumptions
    • The Assumptions used in Carbon 14 Dating
    • Has the C-14/C-12 ratio (equilibrium) always been constant?

    Page 4

    • Factors that could have affected past C-14 levels
      • World Carbon Inventory
      • Cosmic Ray Intensity
      • Geomagnetic Field Intensity
      • Water Content of the Outer Atmosphere

    Page 5

    • Is there any Data That Would Support the Above Assumptions of a global flood?
      • Anomalous fossil C-14 Dates
      • C-14 Age Profile of Ancient Sediment and Peat Accumulations

    Page 6

      • Does Coal have a residual level of C-14 left from before the Flood?
        • How Easy Is The Difference To Detect?
        • Contamination

    Page 7

        • What is the Source of This "Contamination"?
    • References

    Page 8

    • Recent Developments
      • Carbon-14 Content of Fossil Carbon by Paul Giem
        (Origins No. 51:6-30, 2001)

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What is the Source of This "Contamination"?

If we assume that the "contamination" is somehow a product of the counting process, we could than narrow the possibilities down to two :

  1. Machine Background
  2. Contamination of sample during sample preparation
Comparison of C-14 Age Samples
Sample Apparent
C-14 Age
Sample Apparent
C-14 Age
Machine Background
without a sample
60,000 - 73,000
Sample Holder
Completely Empty
>90,000 or no counts
in a 30 minute run
Finland Bedrock
63,500 +- 2,000 Geological Graphite 69,030
56,000 +- 1,500
Geological Graphite
prepared slightly less carefully
58,590 - 65,840
Natural Graphite
54,000 - 64,000 C-12 from the Faraday
cup of the Accelerator

"Infinite" Age Sample
Anthracite, bone, calcite,
Graphite, limestone, shell, wood
40,000 - 52,000 "Infinite" Age Sample
Anthracite coal, marble
"up to 52,000"
Data taken from R. H. Brown; Implications of C-14 Age
Vs Depth Profile Characteristics
Origins 15:19-29
(which uses the following paper as its source
Radiocarbon 28(2A):177-244)
Data taken from Scientific Theology by Paul Giem
(which uses the following paper as its source
Schmidt et al. Nucl Instr and Meth 1987;B29:97-9)

Looking at the data to the left, we see the results of two research groups trying to grapple with the source of the contamination. Both groups measure high background counts. Yet, they consistently measure "infinite" age fossil carbon samples only in the 40,000 - 52,000 age range. In addition other sources of carbon do yield ages older than the "infinite" age fossil carbon samples.

Because of the fact that other types of Carbon as well as the background, give counts indicating the presence of much lower levels of C-14 (giving longer ages); We can safely make the point that neither the possibility of sample contamination nor machine background is adequate to explain the source of the C-14 in the "infinite" age fossil carbon samples.

Since the counting process does not seem to be the source of the "contamination", lets assume that the "contamination" is somehow a characteristic of the sample itself. There are three possibilities for the presence of the C-14 in the sample.

  1. Source contamination with modern Carbon
  2. in situ formation of C-14
  3. Residual activity from the time of burial (resulting from the Global Flood)

To consider a source contamination of all states of fossil carbon (coal, oil and natural gas) we would have to have a worldwide exchange involving at least 50% of the entire Biosphere with all types of fossil carbon to give the level of C-14 that we see in samples. In addition that worldwide exchange would have to be so pervasive that similar levels of C-14 would be present in all type of fossil carbon regardless of the state.

This level of contamination is hard enough to believe with oil and gas, but would be extremely incredible with coal!

In situ formation of C-14 has been ruled out by others in the field. "Subsurface production of radiocarbon is negligible (Zito et al. 1980) (Florkowski et al. 1988)

The only other possibility is the presence of residual activity. Fossil carbon would then have to be quite young. If this result holds up over time, it would mathematically eliminate the whole evolutionary time scale. There would be no possible way for the geologic column to be 60 - 600 million years old.

It must be remembered that this is still not a proof for short age. It is still possible for one of the other sources of contamination that I have eliminated, to still be the cause of having C-14 in "infinite" age fossil carbon. However, at the present time, I believe that the evidence strongly supports the Creation model.

You can be sure that this will be the subject of intense research by various Creation research groups in the future. If and when their research gets reported I will post the specific Journal so you can look up the paper yourself. I am sure that some of them will also be on the web. I will have links to those sites. Come back for any new developments.

Mike Brown

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Brown, R. H., "The Upper Limit of C-14", Origins 15(1):39-43, 1988

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Brown, R. H., "The Interpretation of C-14 Dates", Origins 6(1):30-44, 1979

Brown, R. H., "C-14 Age Profiles For Ancient Sediments and Peat Bogs", Origins 2(1):6-18, 1975

Brown, R. H., "Scientific Creationism and Radiocarbon Dating", PROCEEDINGS OF THE SECOND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CREATIONISM, Vol. 1, Creation Science Fellowship, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1990, pp. 43-55.

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Brown, R. M., Hr. R. Andrews, G. C. Ball, Neil Burn, W. G. Davies, Y. Imahori, J. C. D. Milton, and W. Workman. 1983. Recent C-14 measurements with the Chalk River Tandem Accelerator. Radiocarbon 25:701-710.

Zito R., Donahue D.J., Davis S.N., Bentley H.W., Fritz P. 1980 Possible subsurface production of carbon-14. Geophys Res Lett 7(4):235-8

Florkowski T, Morawaka L, Rozanski K. 1988 Natural production of radionuclides in geological formations Nucl Geophys 1988;2:1-14.

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Jull, A. T. D., D. J. Donahue, A. L. Hatheway, T. W. Linick, and L. J. Toolin. 1986.Production of graphite targets by deposition from C0/H2 for precision accelerator C-14 measurements. Radiocarbon 28(2A):191-197.

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Vogel, J. S., D. E. Nelson, and J. R. Southon. 1987. C-14 background levels in an Accelerator Mass Sp[ectrometry system. Radiocarbon 29(3):323-333.

Origin By Design by Harold G. Coffin with Robert H. Brown, Pub. 1983 by Review and Herald Publishing Association

Sveinbjornsdottir AE, Heinemeier J, Rud N, Johnsen SJ. 1992. Radiocarbon anomalies observed fro plants growing in Icelandic geothermal waters. Radiocarbon 34(3):696-703.

Riggs AC. 1984. Major carbon-14 deficiency in modern snail shells from southern Nevada springs. Science 224:58-61.

Stuiver M, Braziunas TF. 1993. Modeling atmospheric C-14 influences and C-14 ages of marine samples to 10,000 B.C. Radiocarbon 35:137-189.

Keith ML, Anderson GM. 1963. Radiocarbon dating: fictitious results with mollusk shells. Science 141:634-637

Rubin M, Taylor DW. 1963. Radiocarbon activity of shells from living clams and snails. Science 141:637.

Dye T. 1994. Apparent ages of marine shells: implications for archaeological dating in Hawaii. Radiocarbon 36:51-57.

Origins: Linking Science and Scripture by Ariel A. Roth Pub 1998 by Review and Herald Publishing Association

Scientific Theology by Paul A. L. Giem, Pub. 1997 by La Sierra University Press Riverside, Ca 92515

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Mike's Origins Resources: A PhD Creationist's view of science, origins, and the future hope of the human race; by looking at Creation Science, Biblical Evidence, and Prophecy Molecular History Research Center

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Copyright 1998 - 2014 by Michael Brown all rights reserved
Officially posted September 25, 1998
last revised January 1, 2014