"What about the Dates?"
This is a small section just over 2 pages, which attempts to address why radiocarbon dating is wrong. It presents what looks to be like a series of controversies around radiocarbon dating that discredit it as an accurate method of dating more then 4,000 years. Oddly enough, no one outside the book in any source on carbon dating seems to have taken notice-- the entire scientific community apparently still doesn't know.
"For example, radiocarbon "clock." This method of radiocarbon dating was developed over a period of two decades by scientists all over the world. It was widely acclaimed for accurate dating of artifacts from man's ancient history. But then a conference of the world's experts, including radiochemists, archaeologists and geologists, was held in Uppsala, Sweden, to compare notes. The report of their conference showed that the fundamental assumptions on which the measurements were based had been found untrustworthy to a greater or less degree. For example, it found that the rate of radioactive carbon formation in the atmosphere has not been consistent in the past and that this method is not reliable in dating object from 2,000 B.C.E or before."
The first question should be: did that really happen? Did a bunch of scientists get together and punch holes in carbon dating? To find out, examine the history of radiocarbon dating
. This article mentions the meeting in Uppsala, Sweden and mentions the “failure of Radiocarbon Dating". But this "failure" wasn't whole-sale—it had to do with a calibration factor that needed to be taken into account. The presentation in the book is only partly correct. The "not reliable in dating objects from 2,000 B.C.E. of before" isn't entirely true. As you can observe in this Radiocarbon calibration chart
, the uncalibrated carbon date deviates more and more from the calibrated date the further back in time one goes. Around 2,000 B.C.E, it's about 250 year off and at 5,000 B.C.E, about 1,000 years off. The wording suggests that 2,000 B.C.E. is some sort of cut-off date which is useful if your trying to argue that man has only been around for 6,000 years. The book fails to mention the radiocarbon calibration charts, which by it's publication in the 1980ies would have been wildly known. Today, carbon dating is credited with being accurate to between 58,000 and 62,000 years ago; older samples have too little 14
C to distinguished it from the background radiation.
The book fails to mention other dating methods at all. Dendrochronology (tree ting dating) goes back as more then 10,000 years. Ice cores go back 800,000 years. Lichenometry (using lichens on rock to predict age) is useful up to 10,000 years. Paleomagnetism (Earth's magnetic field), Varves (rock layers), Speleothem (cave deposits), not to mention other forms of radiometric dating all enforce carbon dating, not disprove it.
Core to the book's argument is the claim that people have only been around for 6,000 years. This date falls just before what is known as the Bronze Age. Apparently, the stone age, dating back 2 million
years, didn't actually happen. Cave paintings date back to 40,000 years ago and evidence of the controlled use of fire date to over 790,000 years ago. Modern humans have existed, more or less as we are today, for about 130,000 years—some 124,000 more years then creationists claim.
Some of this information about dating I knew already. Carbon dating I've read a fair deal on before, and I learned about dendrochronology in my archeology class. Others I learned about quickly with cursory reading. When I started researching some of the dates and evidence on pre/proto humans, I became fascinated. This subject is so interesting I'm going to have to devote more time into learning more. This fact of finding out so much neat information might make reading this inaccurate book worthwhile.