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Radiocarbon dating can only be made on organic materials

As an example: Arrowshafts are sometimes made from split pinewood.

Pine can become several centuries old, and once the annual tree-ring is formed, it no longer takes up new C14. The date we get from the wood may be hundreds of years older than when the artefact was used.

However, most of the finds from the ice cannot be dated by typology.

They are artefacts in organic materials and often unique – not found anywhere else. In the 1940ies, the American scientist Willard Libby developed a method for dating organic materials, so-called radiocarbon dating.

At the same time, very few of our finds from ice are younger than the Medieval Period.

Recently, I conversed with an educated man who maintained Earth must be millions of years old because radiocarbon dating proved it.

The basis for this dating technique is that there are different carbon isotopes present in nature.

C12 and C13 are stable carbon isotopes, while C14 (radiocarbon) is a radioactive isotope. In the atmosphere, C14 combines with oxygen to make CO2, which is then incorporated in plants by photosynthesis, and subsequently in animals eating the plants, eventually reaching the entire biosphere.

Although this argument is common, it’s simply inaccurate. Since neutrons do not penetrate very far into matter, cosmogenic neutron flux will be at its maximum right on the earth’s surface.

Even evolutionary scientists acknowledge that radiocarbon dating cannot prove ages of millions or billions of years. Consider a 30-cm-diameter by 30-cm-long bone section sitting exposed on the ground and being bombarded by a cosmic neutron flux of approximately 6.4 × 10C would result in artificially young ages. Neutrons can only be produced by secondary nuclear reactions of alpha particles on O, Si, Al, Fe, Ca, or Na.

It works as follows: Historical sources or coins with a known date can sometimes be linked with archaeological artefacts of specific types.

These artefact types may again be linked with other artefacts types, e.g. By studying how such artefact types appear together, it is possible to build up large artefacts chronologies.

Comments Radiocarbon dating can only be made on organic materials