Varve analysis dating method
However, the laboratory analysis does not determine whether the radioactive carbon is all original or is in part secondary, intrusive, or whether the amount has been altered in still other irregular ways besides by natural decay.7-72 A conference on radiocarbon dating held in October, 1956, resulted in the following conclusions about the reliability of the method: Local variation, especially in shells, can be highly significant.Possible variations in the size of the exchange reservoir under glacial climates are unimportant.Much more must be done on chemical purification of samples.7-73 The problem of atmospheric contamination by fossil fuels has also come in for some consideration, since the burning of coal and oil during the past century and more has added measurably to the amount of carbon dioxide in the carbon cycle.A recent study on the quantitative aspect of this factor concludes: …By the application of some very well thought-out techniques, Libby and his colleagues have actually not only identified the radiocarbon in nature, but have also made quantitative estimates thereof.Since this carbon in the atmosphere mostly becomes attached to oxygen to form carbon dioxide, and since the carbon dioxide is ingested by plants and animals and is incorporated in their biological structures, and further, since this process stops at the time of the death of the specimen, the percentage of radiocarbon among the normal carbon atoms in its system can be used to establish the date at which the specimen stops metabolizing.7-68 There is no doubt that this constitutes a very ingenious and powerful dating tool, provided only that the inherent assumptions are valid.
The radiocarbon evidence indicates, on the basis of a comparison of the radiocarbon assays of old, historically dated marine shells from the Atlantic coast with the assays of their modern counter-parts, that there has been a perceptible dilution of shallow oceanic carbonates with dead carbon from fossil fuels.
It was found that the activity of radiocarbon in the atmosphere was going up and down even before the Industrial Revolution.7-75 This particular correction, however, is only of the order of a few hundred years for most computed dates, so apparently is negligible for the purposes of our studies.
Much more important are the effects of the aforementioned assumptions in the method,7-76 when viewed in the light of the probable events occurring during and immediately after the Flood.
The most significant problem is that of biological alteration of materials in the soil. To produce an error of 50 percent in the age of a 10,000 year old specimen would require the replacement of more than 25 percent of the carbon atoms.
For a 40,000-year-old sample, the figure is only 5 percent, while an error of 5000 years can be produced by about 1 percent of modern materials.