Carbon dating physics problem no time for dinner dating
In other words, the readings are consistent with zero C14 content.
In fact, the experiments cited by the creationists appear to be attempts to establish the measurement error of there equipment.
Specifically they report (with some glee) that coal has been found to contain measurable amounts of carbon14 which it should not of course because it is about 300 million years old and dates from the carboniferous period.
C14 has a half life of 5730 years and is only good to date objects to 50,000 years or so.
I'm probably teaching grandmother to suck eggs, as the old saying goes.
Getting back to my OP - I feel that some definitive work needs to be done in this area.
I've been poking about on the internet again (as you do) and found a whole load of stuff by creationists about the problems with carbon 14 radiometric dating.
Older carbon dating techniques directly detected decays of C14 atoms. The most common contaminant is nitrogen, 0.1% in gem-quality diamonds.
The problem: If the material is too old, the small amount of C14 present may not decay in the measurement interval. Nearby radioactive material could trigger exactly the same C14 production process from nitrogen as occurs in the upper atmosphere, albeit at a much reduced rate.
It decays with a half life of 5700 years into nitrogen 14 and electron and an electron antineutreno. So for that reason, every living thing that is interacting with its environment is expected to have this natural abundance of carbon 14. But when something dies, now it's not interacting with the environment anymore. We know that the amount at time t is equal to the initial amount times one half to the time over the half life, alright?
So this is just an ordinary beta decay process and this carbon fourteen's half life is way way way too short for any carbon to just kind of exist naturally in the atmosphere, you'd think, not quite right. So that mean that 1.3 times 10 to the -12 carbon 14 atoms, exist for each and every carbon 12 atom in nature. So you'd think that if you got this 1.3 times 10 to the -12 carbon 14 atoms for each carbon 12 atom at some time, well then 5700 years later, half of the carbon 14 will have decayed. But in fact what happens is, cosmic rays from the sun interact with the upper atmosphere and they actually create carbon 14, at this rate so that in equilibrium, 1.3 times 10 to the -12 carbon 14 atoms will exist for every carbon 12 atom. It's no longer replenishing its carbon 14 supply. This is our standard radioactive decay formula, always works.
It's easy to see that the sceptical creationist is simply going to see the scientific response as making excuses for the data instead of holding up some hard data that either explains or explodes the anomaly.