Back to Home

God & Science Forum Message

Forums: Atm · Astrophotography · Blackholes · Blackholes2 · CCD · Celestron · Domes · Education
Eyepieces · Meade · Misc. · God and Science · SETI · Software · UFO · XEphem
RSS Button

Home | Discussion Forums | God and Science | Post
Login

Be the first pioneers to continue the Astronomy Discussions at our new Astronomy meeting place...
The Space and Astronomy Agora
Carbon Dating

Forum List | Follow Ups | Post Message | Back to Thread Topics | In Response To
Posted by Ian on May 9, 2002 03:55:24 UTC

I have a feeling that you are taking carbon dating out of context to fit into your point of view.

"Let me put another way: Take a dinosaur bone to a lab to have it analized, they will ask you how old it is first (A funny thing to do when your not sure of something's date?) if you say you just dug it up from a archioligical site, they will take it. If you say it is a dinosuar bone they will refuse because carbon dating won't go back past 50,000 years. If they accept the dinsaur bone they will return it with a date of less then 50,000 years Garentied. In fact I would beat money on it!"

This is how carbon dating works (this was taken from the website howstuffworks.com:

The carbon-14 atoms that cosmic rays create combine with oxygen to form carbon dioxide, which plants absorb naturally and incorporate into plant fibers by photosynthesis. Animals and people eat plants and take in carbon-14 as well. The ratio of normal carbon (carbon-12) to carbon-14 in the air and in all living things at any given time is nearly constant. Maybe one in a trillion carbon atoms are carbon-14. The carbon-14 atoms are always decaying, but they are being replaced by new carbon-14 atoms at a constant rate. At this moment, your body has a certain percentage of carbon-14 atoms in it, and all living plants and animals have the same percentage.

As soon as a living organism dies, it stops taking in new carbon. The ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-14 at the moment of death is the same as every other living thing, but the carbon-14 decays and is not replaced. The carbon-14 decays with its half-life of 5,700 years, while the amount of carbon-12 remains constant in the sample. By looking at the ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-14 in the sample and comparing it to the ratio in a living organism, it is possible to determine the age of a formerly living thing fairly precisely.
A formula to calculate how old a sample is by carbon-14 dating is:


t = [ ln (Nf/No) / (-0.693) ] x t1/2
where ln is the natural logarithm, Nf/No is the percent of carbon-14 in the sample compared to the amount in living tissue, and t1/2 is the half-life of carbon-14 (5,700 years).

So, if you had a fossil that had 10 percent carbon-14 compared to a living sample, then that fossil would be:


t = [ ln (0.10) / (-0.693) ] x 5,700 years
t = [ (-2.303) / (-0.693) ] x 5,700 years

t = [ 3.323 ] x 5,700 years

t = 18,940 years old

Because the half-life of carbon-14 is 5,700 years, it is only reliable for dating objects up to about 60,000 years old.

So, the fact is that a good scientist will not take a dinosour bone to be carbon dated because they know carbon dating doesn't work on dinosaur bones. Your argument is flawed.

Follow Ups:

Login to Post
Additional Information
Google
 
Web www.astronomy.net
DayNightLine
About Astronomy Net | Advertise on Astronomy Net | Contact & Comments | Privacy Policy
Unless otherwise specified, web site content Copyright 1994-2018 John Huggins All Rights Reserved
Forum posts are Copyright their authors as specified in the heading above the post.
"dbHTML," "AstroGuide," "ASTRONOMY.NET" & "VA.NET"
are trademarks of John Huggins