Carbon 14 (C-14) dating was considered to be a tremendous breakthrough in science when Willard Libby devised it in 1946. Read, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol, 29, No. Thus, the meaning of dates by C-14 prior to 1600 B. "If the earth and life on earth are really as ancient as the theory of evolution requires, a great proportion of radiocarbon ages should be infinite.
But subsequent investigations have revealed it to be wholly inadequate for accurate dating of ancient materials. evolution—a Creation-Evolution Encyclopedia, brought to you by Creation Science Facts. This is because, with a half-life of only 5,730 years, initial radiocarbon in a fossil decreases in about ten half-lives to a level too low to be measured."—Robert E.
According to carbon dating of fossil animals and plants, the spreading and receding of great ice sheets lagged behind orbital changes by several thousand years, a delay that scientists found hard to explain. The group theorizes that large errors in carbon dating result from fluctuations in the amount of carbon 14 in the air.
Since 1947, scientists have reckoned the ages of many old objects by measuring the amounts of radioactive carbon they contain.
New research shows, however, that some estimates based on carbon may have erred by thousands of years.
It is too soon to know whether the discovery will seriously upset the estimated dates of events like the arrival of human beings in the Western Hemisphere, scientists said.
But it is already clear that the carbon method of dating will have to be recalibrated and corrected in some cases.
"[d] Deep ocean deposits supposed to contain remains of most primitive life forms are dated within 40,000 years.
"[b] Only three of the 15,000 reported ages are listed as `infinite.' "[c] Some samples of coal, oil, and natural gas, all supposedly many millions of years old have radiocarbon ages of less than 50,000 years.Scientists at the Lamont-Doherty Geological Laboratory of Columbia University at Palisades, N.Y., reported today in the British journal Nature that some estimates of age based on carbon analyses were wrong by as much as 3,500 years.But the tree ring record goes no further, so scientists have sought other indicators of age against which carbon dates can be compared.One such indicator is the uranium-thorium dating method used by the Lamont-Doherty group.''But at earlier times, the carbon dates were substantially younger than the dates we estimated by uranium-thorium analysis,'' he said.