Carbon 14 dating organic material

23 Nov

Some organic materials do give radiocarbon ages in excess of 50,000 "radiocarbon years." However, it is important to distinguish between "radiocarbon years" and calendar years.These two measures of time will only be the same if all of the assumptions which go into the conventional radiocarbon dating technique are valid.In the figure right, the production of radio-active carbon is demonstrated. Here, 7 protons and 7 neutrons (N) plus one neutron form an isotope of carbon, with 8 neutrons and 6 protons[1]. The problem with freshwater clams arises because these organisms derive the carbon atoms which they use to build their shells from the water in their environment.

It was one of the earliest techniques to be developed, during the 1940s.

Radiocarbon dating marine organisms has added complications in Antarctica, because around the Antarctic continent old deep ocean currents up well.

These currents are contaminated with ‘old’ carbon, meaning that marine organisms alive today have a radio-carbon age of about 1200 years[5, 6].

Radiocarbon is not suitable for this purpose because it is only applicable: a) on a time scale of thousands of years and b) to remains of once-living organisms (with minor exceptions, from which rocks are excluded).

MYTH #2 Radiocarbon dating has established the date of some organic materials (e.g., some peat deposits) to be well in excess of 50,000 years, thus rendering a recent creation (6 to 10 thousand years ago) impossible.