For example, dating living mollusks by the carbon-14 method often yields clearly errant results—for instance, finding the mollusks to be up to 2,300 years old (“Radiocarbon Dating: Fictitious Results With Mollusk Shells,” , Vol. Archaeologist John Mc Ray notes: “Unfortunately, several recent discoveries combine to indicate that carbon 14 is not as valuable as was once hoped: (1) radioactive carbon atoms may not have existed in the earth’s atmosphere before 2000 B.
C.; (2) the natural concentration of carbon 14 in the atmosphere has varied in certain periods, and (3) there is a high probability of sample contamination” ( , 1991, p. Recently a new method—accelerator mass spectrometry—has been used to date ancient items.
This happened to agree well with a nearby geologic formation that was also radiometrically dated.
The radiometric date of the Santo Domingo formation also agreed with the dating based on fossil wood found entombed in the rock.
The 14C in dead tissues continually decreases by radioactive decay” (Brian Skinner and Stephen Porter, 1989, pp. By measuring the amount of carbon-14 and comparing that amount to the original, scientists can obtain a date for the death of the organism.
However, there are many problems with the dates obtained through this method. Carbon-14 dating methods are obviously affected by the environment.
The remains of a woman found below a layered platform at a site called Cuello in northern Belize had been thought to be more than 4,000 years old …
As a result of new dating methods, about a thousand years have been trimmed from the chronology.
Well-preserved and abundant tracks were also found in the rock, similar in appearance to bird tracks.
“The accelerator mass spectrometer allows scientists to analyze the bones of the ancient Maya without severely damaging them.
The new technique can date carbon samples weighing only a few milligrams; a specimen the size of a match head will do” (“Oldest Known Maya: Not Quite So Old,” , November 1990).
These ‘ages’ are, of course, preposterous [since we know the rock formed recently]. Such examples serve to illustrate the fallibility of the dating methods on which many modern scientists rely so heavily.
The fundamental dating assumption (‘no radiogenic argon was present when the rock formed’) is questioned by these data. Helens dacite argue that significant ‘excess argon’ was present when the lava solidified in 1986 … Helens dacite causes the more fundamental question to be asked—how accurate are K-Ar ‘ages’ from the many other phenocryst-containing lava flows worldwide?