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Carbon dating off limits to paleontologists

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  • bucksburg
    Archaeologists make much use of carbon dating in their investigations of the artifacts of civilization. None of them are under any delusions such as to expect
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 10, 2014
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      Archaeologists make much use of carbon dating in their investigations of the artifacts of civilization. None of them are under any delusions such as to expect dates in the millions of years for their artifacts.

      Paleontologists, however, labor under the expectation that fossils take millions of years to form. Even unfossilized remains come under this cloud of suspicion, as I witnessed in the following conversation that recently took place between a museum visitor and a man working on an elephant skull at the Denver Museum of Science and Nature.

      Expert: This skull is a million years old. The amazing thing about it is that it isn't fossilized; the bone is still intact, after all those years.

      Museum Guest: Have you tried carbon dating the bone?

      Expert: Carbon dating is only good for about 50,000 years, so it wouldn't work to try carbon dating this specimen.

      Museum Guest: So, it would be pretty embarrassing to get a carbon date then, wouldn't it?

      Expert: Yes, it would.

      None are so blind as those who refuse to see.

      Mr. Buck


    • piasanaol
      Mr. Buck: None are so blind as those who refuse to see. Pi: Indeed.... now, if only YEC could explain how we can see an entire universe beyond 6,000 light
      Message 2 of 7 , Jun 11, 2014
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        Mr. Buck:
        None are so blind as those who refuse to see.

        Pi:
        Indeed.... now, if only YEC could explain how we can see an entire universe beyond 6,000 light years.....
         
         
      • bucksburg
        I m always on the lookout for factual errors, and although I didn t come right out and make one in this post, I think I ve said elsewhere that paleontologists
        Message 3 of 7 , Jul 16, 2014
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          I'm always on the lookout for factual errors, and although I didn't come right out and make one in this post, I think I've said elsewhere that paleontologists won't carbon-date fossils that they assume are million(s) of years old. While that statement is still probably true, it's not the whole truth.

          So in the interests of a wholly truthful discussion, I offer here a quote from "Heatstroke" by Anthony Barnosky:

          "When we tried to radiocarbon some of the bones, and found that they no longer had enough organic material— collagen, in the case of bones—to yield a radiocarbon date at all."

          This was news to me, that bones must contain collagen to be carbon-dated. A cursory

          look at this website bears that out:

          http://www.radiocarbon.com/carbon-dating-bones.htm

           


          In the absence of any charred collagen, a method is available for dating the carbonate fraction in cremated bones. The method was published and accepted in 2000 at the 17th International Radiocarbon conference. Studies indicate good agreement between bone carbonate in highly heated bones with associated charcoal. This method should only be attempted in the absence of collagen or charred collagen. "Non-burnt Bones - A bone that has not been burned is pretreated by extraction of the collagen proteins. This is the most reliable material that can be dated for non-cremated bones."

          However, a closer look reveals that even bones without collagen can be dated:

          "In the absence of any charred collagen, a method is available for dating the carbonate fraction in cremated bones. The method was published and accepted in 2000 at the 17th International Radiocarbon conference. Studies indicate good agreement between bone carbonate in highly heated bones with associated charcoal. This method should only be attempted in the absence of collagen or charred collagen. "

          So, I'm still puzzling this out. Apparently when a bone doesn't contain any collagen, the excavator assumes it to be too old for carbon-dating, and doesn't go to any extra work to try the non-collagen dating method.

          I welcome any feedback from someone more intimately familiar with AMS dating of fossil bones.

          Mr. Buck
        • Charles Weston
          One thing to keep in mind, very old bones might no longer bones at all -- the bone itself might be entirely replaced with new material. Charles W. On Jul 16,
          Message 4 of 7 , Jul 16, 2014
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            One thing to keep in mind, very old bones might no longer bones at all -- the bone itself might be entirely replaced with new material.

            Charles W.

            On Jul 16, 2014, at 10:12 AM, bucksburg@... [Maury_and_Baty] wrote:

             

            I'm always on the lookout for factual errors, and although I didn't come right out and make one in this post, I think I've said elsewhere that paleontologists won't carbon-date fossils that they assume are million(s) of years old. While that statement is still probably true, it's not the whole truth.

            So in the interests of a wholly truthful discussion, I offer here a quote from "Heatstroke" by Anthony Barnosky:

            "When we tried to radiocarbon some of the bones, and found that they no longer had enough organic material— collagen, in the case of bones—to yield a radiocarbon date at all."

            This was news to me, that bones must contain collagen to be carbon-dated. A cursory

            look at this website bears that out:

            http://www.radiocarbon.com/carbon-dating-bones.htm

             

            In the absence of any charred collagen, a method is available for dating the carbonate fraction in cremated bones. The method was published and accepted in 2000 at the 17th International Radiocarbon conference. Studies indicate good agreement between bone carbonate in highly heated bones with associated charcoal. This method should only be attempted in the absence of collagen or charred collagen. "Non-burnt Bones - A bone that has not been burned is pretreated by extraction of the collagen proteins. This is the most reliable material that can be dated for non-cremated bones."

            However, a closer look reveals that even bones without collagen can be dated:

            "In the absence of any charred collagen, a method is available for dating the carbonate fraction in cremated bones. The method was published and accepted in 2000 at the 17th International Radiocarbon conference. Studies indicate good agreement between bone carbonate in highly heated bones with associated charcoal. This method should only be attempted in the absence of collagen or charred collagen. "

            So, I'm still puzzling this out. Apparently when a bone doesn't contain any collagen, the excavator assumes it to be too old for carbon-dating, and doesn't go to any extra work to try the non-collagen dating method.

            I welcome any feedback from someone more intimately familiar with AMS dating of fossil bones.

            Mr. Buck


          • piasanaol
            Buck: I m always on the lookout for factual errors, and although I didn t come right out and make one in this post, I think I ve said elsewhere that
            Message 5 of 7 , Jul 16, 2014
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              Buck:
              I'm always on the lookout for factual errors, and although I didn't come right out and make one in this post, I think I've said elsewhere that paleontologists won't carbon-date fossils that they assume are million(s) of years old. While that statement is still probably true, it's not the whole truth.
               
               
              Pi:
              Actually, it is.  If something is completely fossilized, all the original organic material has been replaced.
               

              Buck:
              So in the interests of a wholly truthful discussion, I offer here a quote from "Heatstroke" by Anthony Barnosky:

              "When we tried to radiocarbon some of the bones, and found that they no longer had enough organic material— collagen, in the case of bones—to yield a radiocarbon date at all."

              This was news to me, that bones must contain collagen to be carbon-dated. A cursory

              look at this website bears that out:

              http://www.radiocarbon.com/carbon-dating-bones.htm
               

              In the absence of any charred collagen, a method is available for dating the carbonate fraction in cremated bones. The method was published and accepted in 2000 at the 17th International Radiocarbon conference. Studies indicate good agreement between bone carbonate in highly heated bones with associated charcoal. This method should only be attempted in the absence of collagen or charred collagen. "Non-burnt Bones - A bone that has not been burned is pretreated by extraction of the collagen proteins. This is the most reliable material that can be dated for non-cremated bones."

              However, a closer look reveals that even bones without collagen can be dated:

              "In the absence of any charred collagen, a method is available for dating the carbonate fraction in cremated bones. The method was published and accepted in 2000 at the 17th International Radiocarbon conference. Studies indicate good agreement between bone carbonate in highly heated bones with associated charcoal. This method should only be attempted in the absence of collagen or charred collagen. "
               
               
              Pi:
              I'm not expert on the chemistry of bones, but clearly you would need bone material to date the bone.  The alternative method proposed is still using carbon atoms from the bone itself.  My guess is that the heating of the bone forms carbonates.... but the source of the carbon is still the bone itself.   The article also points out this methods is not preferred because it is less reliable.
               
               
               

              Buck:
              So, I'm still puzzling this out. Apparently when a bone doesn't contain any collagen, the excavator assumes it to be too old for carbon-dating, and doesn't go to any extra work to try the non-collagen dating method.
               
               
              Pi:
              Not too old ..... inappropriate.  The non-collagen method uses carbonates that are known to be from the bone itself.  Therefore the source of carbon is still the bone.  The article points out the carbonate method is less reliable.  One problem is that the carbonates may well be the result of contamination.  Contamination is the biggest single problem in radiometric dating.... especially carbon dating.
               
              Since paleontologists are normally dealing with fossils far too old for carbon dating, one of their most common methods is to date layers of material above and below the fossil.  This gives them a range of ages.
               
               
               

            • bucksburg
              Contamination, of course, is what abiogenisites always claim when getting C-14 dates for things like diamonds that must be millions of years old. But as
              Message 6 of 7 , Jul 17, 2014
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                "Contamination," of course, is what abiogenisites always claim when getting C-14 dates for things like diamonds that "must" be millions of years old. But as far as fossilizde bones not containing any carbon, that's a linguistic problem.

                Paleontologists, at least in the popular literature, tend not to make a whole lot of distinction between mineralized and unmineralized fossils. Unmineralized fossils are just bones that have been dug up from their long repose in the earth; mineralized fossils are minerals in the form of bones that have long since decayed. A huge difference, but they can both be referred to as 'fossils' since the word simply means 'something that has been dug up.'

                Mr. Buck
              • Ray Ausban
                Mr. Buck,   Here are some sources which discuss the reality of how C-14 dates are selected. They don t have to do with bones per say, just the method in
                Message 7 of 7 , Jul 20, 2014
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                  Mr. Buck,
                   
                  Here are some sources which discuss the reality of how C-14 dates are selected. They don't have to do with bones per say, just the method in general. The problem has been around a very long time, is well known in the academic community and yet, is still held in high esteem as an accurate, reliable method of dating the past. Actually, it's quite laughable.
                   
                  David Wilson from the New Archeologist quoting Jo Brew, the director of the Peabody Museaum at Harvard, put it this way, "If a C-14 date supports our theories, we put it in the main text. If it does not entirely contradict them, we put it in the footnote. And if it is completely 'out of date', we just drop it."
                   
                  In theory, C-14 dating should work, but in actuality, contamination is such a serious problem, there is no way of knowning when it has happened to a sample or not. That is why Jo Brew is exactly on point.
                   
                  It doesn't take much to make a sample too old or too young. Many things (former life) have been tested at tens of thousands of years old. But if that once living thing drank from water which ran through limestone rock, it may only be 2000 years old due to the carbon contamination. There's no way of knowing whether this happened or not. So, the true age of that bone can't be known and really is a matter of what the scientists thinks which it is based on his personal view of the past or University indoctrination. Then, based on this supposed authority, the rest of us are to accept what they report as a true fact.
                   
                  In my opinion, "facts" should have a better foundation than this.
                   
                  - Ray
                   
                  17
                  R. Stuckenrath, "Carbon 14 and the Unwary Archaeologist," Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, vol. 288 (1977) p. 304
                  18
                  ibid., p. 305
                  19
                  J. Gordon Ogden III, "The Use and Abuse of Radiocarbon Dating," Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, vol. 288 (1977) p. 172
                  20
                  ibid.

                  From: "bucksburg@... [Maury_and_Baty]" <Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com>
                  To: Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 8:12 AM
                  Subject: [M & B] Re: Carbon dating off limits to paleontologists?

                   
                  I'm always on the lookout for factual errors, and although I didn't come right out and make one in this post, I think I've said elsewhere that paleontologists won't carbon-date fossils that they assume are million(s) of years old. While that statement is still probably true, it's not the whole truth.

                  So in the interests of a wholly truthful discussion, I offer here a quote from "Heatstroke" by Anthony Barnosky:

                  "When we tried to radiocarbon some of the bones, and found that they no longer had enough organic material— collagen, in the case of bones—to yield a radiocarbon date at all."

                  This was news to me, that bones must contain collagen to be carbon-dated. A cursory

                  look at this website bears that out:

                  http://www.radiocarbon.com/carbon-dating-bones.htm
                   

                  In the absence of any charred collagen, a method is available for dating the carbonate fraction in cremated bones. The method was published and accepted in 2000 at the 17th International Radiocarbon conference. Studies indicate good agreement between bone carbonate in highly heated bones with associated charcoal. This method should only be attempted in the absence of collagen or charred collagen. "Non-burnt Bones - A bone that has not been burned is pretreated by extraction of the collagen proteins. This is the most reliable material that can be dated for non-cremated bones."

                  However, a closer look reveals that even bones without collagen can be dated:

                  "In the absence of any charred collagen, a method is available for dating the carbonate fraction in cremated bones. The method was published and accepted in 2000 at the 17th International Radiocarbon conference. Studies indicate good agreement between bone carbonate in highly heated bones with associated charcoal. This method should only be attempted in the absence of collagen or charred collagen. "

                  So, I'm still puzzling this out. Apparently when a bone doesn't contain any collagen, the excavator assumes it to be too old for carbon-dating, and doesn't go to any extra work to try the non-collagen dating method.

                  I welcome any feedback from someone more intimately familiar with AMS dating of fossil bones.

                  Mr. Buck


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