Carbon dating and the Watchtower

by Gill 20 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • read good books
    read good books

    I think they should carbon date members of the GB, they might find some prehistoric relics there.

  • skeptic2

    That reminds me of this article from the 2/8 1990 Awake. It's about dinosaurs.

    Carbon dating can only be used to date things up to 70,000 years old, so definitely not useful for dinosaurs, you would assume not worth mentioning in this article eh?

    My comments in purple.

    Awake 1990 2/8

    What Happened to the Dinosaurs?

    ?PALAEONTOLOGY is the study of fossils, and fossils are the remains of life from past ages.? But as one paleontologist said, it is ?a highly speculative and opinionated science.? This is evident regarding dinosaurs. Listing some speculations as to what happened to them, Princeton scientist G. L. Jepson stated:

    ?Authors with varying competence have suggested that dinosaurs disappeared because the climate deteriorated . . . or that the diet did. . . . Other writers have put the blame on disease, parasites, . . . changes in the pressure or composition of the atmosphere, poison gases, volcanic dust, excessive oxygen from plants, meteorites, comets, gene pool drainage by little mammalian egg-eaters, . . . cosmic radiation, shift of Earth?s rotational poles, floods, continental drift, . . . drainage of swamp and lake environments, sunspots.??The Riddle of the Dinosaur.

    It is apparent from such speculations that scientists are not able, with any certainty, to answer the question: What happened to the dinosaurs?

    Sudden Extinction Theory

    A more recent theory was put forth by a father-and-son team, Luis and Walter Alvarez. Walter Alvarez discovered, outside the town of Gubbio in central Italy, a curious thin, red layer of clay sandwiched between two limestone layers in the rock formation. The lower layer of limestone yielded an abundance of fossils. The top layer was almost devoid of fossils, leading the geologists to conclude that life suddenly disappeared and that the thin, red layer of clay had some connection with the extinction.

    Analysis revealed that the clay was rich in iridium (a metal), 30 times richer than the concentration normally found in rocks. They knew that such high concentrations of this rare element could come only from the earth?s core or from sources outside the earth. They concluded that the iridium was deposited by a huge asteroid that hit the earth, causing the sudden extinction of the dinosaurs.

    After the discovery of the iridium-enriched clay at Gubbio, similar deposits were found in other parts of the world. Did this corroborate the asteroid hypothesis? Some scientists remain skeptical. But as the book The Riddle of the Dinosaur acknowledges, the Alvarez hypothesis added ?fresh yeast to the study of extinction and evolution.? And paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould admits that it could diminish ?the importance of competition between species.?

    Commenting on this new theory and the apparently sudden extinction of the dinosaurs, one science writer admits: ?They could shake the foundations of evolutionary biology and call into question the current concept of natural selection.?

    University of Arizona scientist David Jablonski concludes that ?for many plants and animals, extinction was abrupt and somehow special. Mass extinctions are not merely the cumulative effects of gradual dyings. Something unusual happened.? Their arrival was also abrupt. Scientific American observes: ?The sudden appearance of both suborders of the pterosaurs without any obvious antecedents is fairly typical of the fossil record.? That is also the case with dinosaurs. Their relatively sudden appearance and disappearance contradicts the commonly accepted view of slow evolution.

    The Dating of Dinosaurs ok good this must be the topic discussed in next few paragraphs

    Dinosaur bones are regularly found in lower earth layers than are human bones, leading many to conclude that they belong to an earlier time period. Geologists call this time the Mesozoic period and subdivide it into the Cretaceous, Jurassic, and Triassic periods. The time frames used for these periods are on the order of tens of millions of years. But has this been established with any certainty? so the question is, are dating methods that work in the order of tens of millions of years accurate, gotcha, lets see what the answer is

    One method being used to measure the age of fossils is ca lled radiocarbon dating. radiocarbon dating? whats that got to do with the dating of dinosaurs? surely you mean K-Ar dating? to apply radiocarbon dating to dinosaur fossils would be utterly absurdThis dating system measures the rate of decay of radioactive carbon from the point of death of the organism. ?Once an organism dies, it no longer absorbs new carbon dioxide from its environment, and the proportion of the isotope falls off over time as it undergoes radioactive decay,? states Science and Technology Illustrated.

    However, there are severe problems with the system. First, when the fossil is considered to b e about 50,000 years old, yes 50k - 70k is around the limit of usefulness of radiocarbon dating, but thats not relevant here is it? its level of radioactivity has fallen so low that it can be detected only with great difficulty. Second, even in more recent specimens, this level has fallen so low that it is still extremely difficult to measure accurately. Third, scientists can measure the present-day rate of radioactive carbon formation but have no way of measuring carbon concentrations in the distant past.

    So whether they use the radiocarbon method for dating fossils or other method s , such as employing radioactive potassium, uranium, or thorium, for dating rocks, scientists are unable to establish the original levels of those elements through ages of time. a 50k year old object might be on the limits of radiocarbon dating accuracy, but a dinosaur fossil would not be dated with radiocarbon dating! A dinosaur fossil falls nicely into the accurate dating timeframe of K-Ar dating, so we'd use that of course? wouldnt we? Thus, professor of metallurgy Melvin A. Cook observes: ?One may only guess these concentrations [of radioactive materials], and the age results thus obtained can be no better than this guess.? That would especially be so when we consider that the Flood of Noah?s day over 4,300 years ago brought enormous changes in the atmosphere and on earth.

    Dartmouth College geologists Charles Officer and Charles Drake further add doubt to the accuracy of radioactive dating . I was sure this section was about the the dating of dinosaurs... They state: ?We conclude that iridium and other associated elements were not deposited instantaneously . . . but rather that there was an intense and variable influx of these constituents during a relatively short geologic time interval on the order of 10,000 to 100,000 years.? They argue that the breakup and movement of the continents disrupted the entire globe, causing volcanic eruptions, blocking sunlight and fouling the atmosphere. Certainly, such disruptive events could change radioactivity levels, thus distorting results from modern-day radioactive clocks.

    The Genesis Account and Dinosaurs

    While the radioactive dating method is innovative, it is still based on speculation and assumption. In contrast, the Bible account in the first chapter of Genesis simply states the general order of creation.when are we going to talk about the dating of dinosaurs?it must be coming up soon... It allows for possibly thousands of millions of years for the formation of the earth and many millenniums in six creative eras, or ?days,? to prepare the earth for human habitation.

    Some dinosaurs (and pterosaurs) may indeed have been created in the fifth era listed in Genesis, when the Bible says that God made ?flying creatures? and ?great sea monsters.? Perhaps other types of dinosaurs were created in the sixth epoch. The vast array of dinosaurs with their huge appetites would have been appropriate considering the abundant vegetation that evidently existed in their time.?Genesis 1:20-24.

    When the dinosaurs had fulfilled their purpose, God ended their life. But the Bible is silent on how he did that or when. We can be sure that dinosaurs were created by Jehovah for a purpose, even if we do not fully understand that purpose at this time. They were no mistake, no product of evolution. That they suddenly appear in the fossil record unconnected to any fossil ancestors,WTF! O RLY?and also disappear without leaving connecting fossil links O RLY? , is evidence against the view that such animals gradually evolved over millions of years of time. Thus, the fossil record does not support the evolution theorywell whats it based on then? hallucinations?. Instead, it harmonizes with the Bible?s view of creative acts of God.

    The frustrating thing is this article was given to my wife by a dub in order to show me why I shouldn't trust scientific knowledge of the age of dinosaur fossils.

  • badboy


  • Fisherman

    Jews reject carbon dating when it supports evolution or challenges what the Bible says. They also interpret the Genesis creation story to mean 24 hour days. Like jws, they admit that although guided by God's holy spirit, they too have made make mistakes in calculating, their holy men are infalible. Sound familiar?

  • Gill

    Fisherman - Yes. They're all Nuts!

    From the little I understand about carbon dating, it can be pretty accurate if it is coroborated by other methods but there are a lot of variable. We also face the possibility that everything in the past, dated as we have it so far, is way older than we realise.

  • HAL9000

    I have noticed that the JWs and some other groups attempt to discredit techniques such as Carbon dating (and other dating techniques) through whatever means possible.

    Carbon dating techniques have changed markedly in the past few years: a lot of the "anti" literature does not take this into account. Some of the so-called expert opinions that I have seen are dubious - I seem to recall that "Popular Mechanics"was quoted at one time- and this is certainly not an authoratative source.

    I am time constrained at the moment which prevents me putting up much more information, but leading edge carbon dating techniques use a technique known as accelerator mass spectrometry - and sites using this technique generally give more timely information on this technique.


  • skeptic2

    I have noticed that the JWs and some other groups attempt to discredit techniques such as Carbon dating (and other dating techniques) through whatever means possible.

    HAL9000 - if that article I posted above is anything to go by, the 'means possible' seems to be to confuse the reader. The article is supposed to be about dating dinosaurs, but they dont once mention anything that would affect the dating techniques used for dinosaur fossils. Instead they fudge and take advantage of the reader's lack of understanding and basically talk about seemingly related, but in fact unrelated, topics. When you control the information channels, it doesn't take much effort to discredit things. That's why the internet is and will continue having such an effect on them.

  • Kudra

    Holy crap that is the worst Afake! article ever.

    They deceive all these little dubbers with lies through their f-n snake teeth.

  • Terry

    I work in a bookstore in the Religion/Philosophy/Metaphysics sections.

    It is not at all uncommon to receive books that try every which way to shoot down anything which makes the Earth older than 6K years.

    The thing is this: the writers have to know at some level when they cross the line from being truthful to being intellectually dishonest by slanting their apologia into a fog of absurdity.

    This means they know they are lying!

    If they "know" they are lying how can they believe what they are saying?

    This is the quirky part of BELIEF! Belief trumps knowledge because it is an act of will.

    If your will is to avoid confirmation of evidence you wish to disregard or discredit; no power on earth can make you accept any fact which doesn't fit in with your belief.

    The irony here is that Jehovah's Witnesses are very much in bed with the other denominations of Christendom on this and it should make them wonder why Satan would not try to distort Christendom's views into ACCEPTING that nasty Evolutionary theory. Puzzling, isn't it? Satan missed this somehow.


  • HAL9000

    A couple of quick observations (before retreiving my wife from the Kingdoom Hall....)

    1) Skeptic2 Agree with your observation re taking advantage of the readers through the convoluted discussion

    2) The dissemination of pseudoscientific babble is all too common in the JWs and other fundamentalist groups. Sources are sometimes misquoted; old, irrelevant articles are quoted; discredited "experts" are quoted. Not all people with the title "Doctor" or "Professor" are worth taking the slightest attention of.

    3) The "mystique" of the sciences is used to confuse - those unfamiliar with science & its discipline are unable to discriminate between scientific fact and scientific fraud. And they accept whatever is served up to them.


Share this