Apologetics - How Exact is Carbon Dating?
And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify (I.e. set apart) Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense (Or argument; Or explanation) to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence. (1 Peter 3:14b,15 - NASB - Ref. NASBRE)
Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. (1 Timothy 5:17 - KJV)
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15 - KJV)
All scripture is given by inspiration from God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16,17 - KJV)
Whoever believes and holds to Christ's Word, heaven stands open to him, hell is shut, the devil is imprisoned, sins are forgiven, and he is a child of eternal life. That is what this book teaches you - the Holy Scripture - and no other book on earth. - Martin Luther
"In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views." - Albert Einstein
When interviewed by the Saturday Evening Post in 1929,
Albert Einstein was asked what he thought of Christianity:
"To what extent are you influenced by Christianity?"
"As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene."
"Have you read Emil Ludwig’s book on Jesus?"
"Emil Ludwig’s Jesus is shallow. Jesus is too colossal for the pen of phrasemongers, however artful. No man can dispose of Christianity with a bon mot!"
"You accept the historical existence of Jesus?"
"Unquestionably! No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life."
"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." - C. S. Lewis
Christian apologetics - (Greek: ἀπολογία, "verbal defence, speech in defence") is a field of Christian theology which aims to present a rational basis for the Christian faith, defend the faith against objections, and attempt to expose the flaws of other world views.
How exact is carbon dating used today?
Doesn't carbon dating prove millions of years?
Since I was asked this question twice this weekend I felt I should answer it here.
The answer is no. Carbon-14 dating, invented by Nobel Prize winner Willard Libby, is also called “radiocarbon dating.” It can only be used to date organic material, that is, living thing and cannot give dates of millions of years.
In simplified terms, here is how it works: Carbon, what we see in charcoal and charred wood, comes in many different forms. The most common is Carbon-12 (C-12). Carbon-14 (C-14) is a radioactive form of carbon and is much rarer. There are about a trillion C-12 atoms to one C-14 atom in living things. C-14 is formed in the atmosphere by cosmic rays. Plants and animals in their interaction with the atmosphere naturally absorb C-14 just like they do C-12. Thus, a consistent ratio of C-12/C-14 exists in all living things. That is, at least, until they die and no longer absorb carbon from the atmosphere. Scientists can then measure the ratio in a dead organism and tell how long it has been dead.
Many problems are associated with this seemingly simple method. Robert E. Lee in the Anthropological Journal of Canada said, “In light of what is known about the radiocarbon method and the way it is used, it is truly astonishing that many authors will cite agreeable determinations as ‘proof’ for their beliefs.”
What is “known about” this method that is such a problem? First of all, the half-life of C-14 is only 5730 years. For all practical purposes, it has been calculated that dating something more than ten times C-14’s half-life, about 60,000 years, would yield an infinite age. Not only this, but there are many faulty assumptions that this model makes. It assumes there is a global equilibrium in the amount of C-14 in the atmosphere and recent studies are showing that this is not the case. It assumes that influx of cosmic rays into the atmosphere has always been the same. It assumes that the earth’s magnetic field has been the same, and it has not. Scientists have shown that the magnetic field is decreasing in intensity. A stronger magnetic field would mean more protection against cosmic rays. It assumes the decay rate has never varied during the time span.
Scientists do consider factors like contamination and factors that would influence carbon in the atmosphere like the industrial revolution. Studies of tree-rings have supposedly been the salvation of C-14 dating. Scientists claim that tree-rings can tell them about the history of the atmosphere. This too is built on frail assumptions. Tree-rings are not always consistent from tree to tree and depend on more than just atmosphere, like how close a tree is to a water source, nutrients in the soil, etc.
Overall, radiocarbon dating has been so inaccurate that it has caused one scientist to say at the Twelfth Nobel Symposium, “If a C-14 date supports our theories, we put it in the main text. If it does not entirely contradict them, we put it in a footnote. And if it is completely ‘out of date,’ we just drop it.”
Carbon-14 has dated freshly killed seals to have died 1300 years ago; living snail shells show they have died 27,000 years ago; a 15 thousand year difference has been found in dating a single block of peat; coal from Russia supposedly 300 million years old, was dated at 1680 years.
Lee goes on to say, “Why do geologists and archeologists still spend their scarce money on costly radiocarbon determinations? They do so because occasional dates ‘appear’ to be useful. While the method cannot be counted on to give good, unequivocal results, the numbers do impress people, and save them the trouble of thinking excessively.
“No matter how ‘useful’ it is, though, the radiocarbon method is still not capable of yielding accurate and reliable results. There ‘are’ gross discrepancies, the chronology is ‘uneven’ and ‘relative,’ and the accepted dates are actually ‘selected’ dates. ‘This whole blessed thing is nothing but 13th century alchemy, and it all depends upon which funny paper you read.’”
The Biblical model could explain some of these variations we see in C-14 dates. If there was a protective water vapor canopy before the Flood it could mean that the C-14 levels were significantly less than they are now. The Flood would have also drastically altered the amount of carbon in the world in limestone, coal deposits and oil shale. This, along with these other factors, could explain longer than expected dates with radiocarbon dating.
Radiocarbon dating data is certainly not compatible with any sort of old-earth model.
For a more layman's approach to apologetics go HERE.
† If you want to begin a relationship with God now, you can.
God views your relationship with Him as permanent. Referring to all those who believe in Him, Jesus Christ said of us, "I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand (John 10:27-30)."
Click for GOD's Plan for Your Salvation.
Apologetics - Defending Your Faith - More Coming Soon!
This site is a work in progress so visit often to find out what's new. Please pray that I will be able to present the Word of God in a way that people will come to Christ and understand the wonderful Gift that God has freely given to us all.
Click for GOD's Plan for Your Salvation.
Besides giving thanks to the LORD for all the wonderful blessings He has bestowed on me, a special thanks goes out to WitnessToday.org for originally hosting this web site. WitnessToday, through their divine calling and graciousness, helped me get started in this ministry. They provide free web site storage and email to all Christian Churches, Ministries and Fellow Believers all over the world. Although they do not charge for their services, they do incur expenses each month. If you would like to support the Witness Today ministry Click Here. This a a tremendous resource for Christians everywhere to witness and spread the wonderful Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Thank You and GOD Bless,