Freshwater Clams - The Fall of Carbon Dating by Ian Anthony
Most people have heard of carbon dating, but how accurate is it? Here is what wikipedia tells us…
This sounds great, and many archaeological finds have now been dated by this method to give us a picture of when those items actually originally existed on the Earth. However, all of those dates are now being called into question as some fundamental flaws have been discovered with this method of dating.
Here is a simple example of an anomalous dating. Scientists recently radiocarbon dated the shells of some live freshwater clams. Bear in mind these clams are only a few years old at most, however, the radiocarbon dating of their shells indicated that they were 1600+ years old. You are probably asking how is that possible, and for this instance, it is down to carbon-14 particles from old limestone deposits in the water, dissolving into the water, and then in turn being absorbed into the shells of the clams as they grow. So if that is possible for clams that are just a few years old, then anything that has been buried in the earth and subject to water erosion & absorption will also be subject to similar errant carbon-14 particles.
This is just 1 simple example. A recent article published in a British magazine called ‘Nature’ reported that a group of Scientists from the Lamont-Doherty Geological Laboratory of Columbia University at Palisades, N.Y., had found that that some estimates of age based on carbon analyses were wrong by as much as 3,500 years. They were able to establish this conclusion by comparing the same samples measured using the standard radiocarbon dating method, and another method called Uranium-Thorium Dating. Of the samples they took, some would be comparable between the 2 methods but others differed considerably particularly on older samples.
I am not expert enough to say which dating method is correct, or whether any are. But such anomalous datings as the clams, and errors recorded between comparative testing methods calls into question anything dated by the Radiocarbon Dating method. It's like we need a product recall, as no date provided by Carbon Testing can be considered with any certainty as accurate. As Earthkeepers, what we do know is that there is no possible way to determine the age of the earth. We don’t want to ask either, we just want to take better care of her.