Radioactive Carbon-14 Dating
One method by which an archeologist can measure a bone (or a rock with carbon in it) is called Carbon-14 dating. The stable carbon atom is Carbon-12; Carbon-14 is an unstable isotope. C-14 has a half-life of approximately 5730 years. This means that half of the carbon in a specific organism will revert to Carbon-12 in 5,730 years. Assuming the half-life doesn’t change over time, the exponential decay equation for Carbon-14 is
At = Ao (1/2)T/5730
There are three unknowns in this equation.
At, Ao and T
At is the activity in the bone today.
Ao is the activity in the animal bone or plant part when it died.
T is the time that has elapsed since the animal died. (The age of the bone)
One of these “unknowns” we can find experimentally. We can find out what At is by counting the radioactive carbon-14 atoms still left in the bone today.
Here is the problem:
It is impossible to solve for two variables (unknowns) in the same formula without additional information outside this formula. We don’t know the values for two needed factors – Ao and T. When we get done counting the sample, the formula looks like this:
At = A finite counted activity today. If we counted 53 counts per hour the formula is:
53 cph = Ao (1/2)T/5570
We still don’t know two pieces of information. Ao, which is how many counts per hour the sample read at the time it was buried, and T, which is how long ago it was buried.
How’d They Do That?
The standard way that the dating labs date layers of earth and the fossils found in the layers is by comparison and assumptions. Evolutionists and creationists agree that fossils are created using four things: a plant or animal part, water, minerals and time. Evolutionists make an assumption, based on their evolutionary biases, that a certain thickness of the earth equals so many thousands or millions of years. This assumption does not take into account that there could have been a single event – a world-wide flood which deposited thousands of layers of dirt that eventually solidified into sandstone and limestone. Flood layers would naturally contain buried animals and plants that would eventually fossilize. The evolutionary assumption is that the layers were deposited over millions of years, and that the fossils found in the lower layers are much older than fossils in the upper layers. These conclusions are based on the assumption that evolution actually occurred, and that a world-wide flood that made all the layers didn’t happen. Thus, the fossils are dated by the assumed age of the layers where they are found and the layers of rock are dated by the assumed age of the fossils found in them. Evolutionists know how to use circular reasoning using logic, mathematics and archeology.
The Rock Data Disagrees!
Evolution cannot predict what we find in the rocks. Evolution predicts that we should find a progression of plants and animals. Animals eat plants, so plants had to evolve first. The plants must have evolved from nonlife. This is the biggest leap of faith in evolution. Animals should have evolved next. Evolution predicts that we would find single-celled animals, then multi-celled animals, then invertebrates, then vertebrates, mammals and man. The only place we find this progression is in our textbooks. We can’t find this progression anywhere in the world in the rock layers. What we actually find in the lowest fossil layers is fully formed fish and other ocean life. Other fossils appear in layers where they are not supposed to be, according to “reasonable” evolutionary predictions.
Let’s consider a few.
- Polystrate Fossils are fossils (like tree trunks) that go vertically through hundreds of layers of stone. These fossils contradict the foundational assumptions of evolution. According to evolution, these trees were buried slowly over millions of years. This means that the trees existed without decaying or rotting for millions of years as they were slowly getting covered by layers of dirt, and eventually being fossilized. The layers that the trees are presently buried in represent many millions of years, according to evolutionists. Creationists reject this notion because if it took millions of years to bury trees, the upper portions of the tree trunks would have rotted away millions of years before they were buried.
- Soft-bodied fossils such as jelly fish should not have had a chance to fossilize, according to the assumptions of evolution. Their soft bodies would have completely decomposed way before they could have had the time necessary to fossilize. Why does the fossil record contain even one fossilized jelly fish? Evolutionists have no clue. Creationists, however, believe in a world-wide flood. These animals were buried rapidly and were fossilized rapidly, before they could rot and decay.
- Who Are the Leaf Pickers? Fossilized leaves are the most common and prolific fossil found all over the world. The significance of these fossils seems to be ignored by both evolutionists and creationists alike. Take a look in your back yard and see if you can find any leaves that have been hanging around for two years. Really? What condition are they in? They are pretty much non-existent. Again, evolutionists would never predict that leaves would lie around long enough to have any chance to fossilize. Yet, the fossil record contains leaves that are freshly picked and fossilized in perfect condition. How can this be? Leaves and water without minerals make good compost. To form fossils, water and minerals are needed in the appropriate amounts soon after burial or the leaves become compost. Who are the leaf pickers? How did they pick the leaves so that they weren’t ripped or damaged? No one knew until after May 18th, 1980. Mt St Helens taught us how leaves were picked by a volcano. The blast of air picked all the leaves and broke off all the limbs of all the trees that were close to the blast zone. The Bible states the fountains of the great deep burst forth. A million volcanoes like Mt St Helens could pick billions of leaves and provide lots of ash to bury them in. It appears that they floated in mat layers until there was enough ash on them to cause them to sink. Creationists believe that the Genesis flood buried most of the people, animals and plants that were alive at that time. These ended up being buried rapidly and they became fossilized, making most, if not all, of the fossils all over the world. The world-wide flood model fits the fossils we find buried in the layers. These fossilized facts contradict the evolutionary model.
Radioactive dating assumes that the layers were created over enormous lengths of time – millions of years. Creationists believe that all the layers above the great unconformity (the only layers containing fossils) were formed by the Genesis flood and were put down in the same event, which lasted just over a year. This makes almost all the fossils in the world the same age, about 4400 years old, according to biblical time. Smaller local floods might be able to form fossils. Could there be fossils under Spirit Lake at Mt St Helens? So far, research has not yet been attempted to determine if fossils are there. What we do know is that fossils of all kinds are buried in sedimentary rock layers larger than any river delta all over the whole world. Sounds like one event … the Flood of Genesis chapter 7.