Doubts radiometric dating
Now let us review in the light of research in cosmic catastrophism the correctives that, in our view, need to be introduced into the method.We must also evaluate the basic reliance on Egyptian chronology that, as we shall see, needs to be discontinued.When objects of the Old Kingdom and Middle Kingdom of Egypt yielded carbon dates that appeared roughly comparable with the historical dates, Libby made his method known.With initial large margin of error and anything that did not square with expectation, judged as contaminated, the method appeared to work and was hailed as completely reliablejust as the atomic clock is reliableand this nobody doubted.But in December, 1956, the National Geographical Society m conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution made it known that excavations at La Venta proved by radiocarbon that the classical period of the Meso-American civilizations (Olmec, Toltec, Maya, etc.) needs to be pushed back by a full thousand years and ascribed not to the 4th to 8th centuries of the Christian era but to the 8th to 4th centuries before that era.With these three confirmations (time the Ice Age ended, time petroleum was deposited, time of the classical period of the Meso-American civilizations), my Worlds in Collision received very substantial confirmations.This led Libby to write in 1963: The data [in the Table] are separated into two groups Egyptian and non-Egyptian. The combined efforts of several researchers led them to believe that one of the conditions stipulated by Libby for a flawless functioning of his method was not historically sustained; it is claimed that the influx of cosmic rays varied with time.
To check on the method before applying it on various historical and paleontological material, Libby chose material of Egyptian archaeology, under the assumption that no other historical material from over 2,000 years ago is so secure as to its absolute dating.In Worlds in Collision I claimed that the time since the last glaciation needs to be drastically shortened: the figure considered valid in 1950, the year Worlds in Collision was published, was still Lyells of 100 years earlier, namely 35 thousand years. previously this maximum advance had been assumed to date from about 25,000 years ago, actually 35,000 if one looks up the literature of the time. found that, as I also claimed, another advance of ice took place only 3,500 years ago.Libby found (and I quote Frederick Johnson, who participated in his volume, Radiocarbon Dating) that the advance of the ice occurred about 1 1,000 years ago . A few years later Rubin and Suess of the Geological Survey of the U. The second confirmation came concerning the age of the petroleum. The surprising fact was that oil was found there in Recent sediment and must have been deposited during the last 9,200 years. (Emphasis added.) Actually I asked Libby whether he would see to it that petroleum should be subjected to tests and it was he who drew my attention to the work done by Smith.If such reversals were not instantaneous but required thousands of years, the atmosphere during that time would not be shielded from cosmic rays and substantially more of them would reach it.However, the scientific literature of the last few decades did not contain any reference to a reversal observed on human artifacts like pottery though a paper by Manley in 1949 (Science News, Penguin Publication) told of the work of G.