The September/October 2014 issue of Creation Matters has an article on the above subject by Dr. Russell Humphreys. Because of the length of the article, I divide it into two parts. This is Part 2.
Dr. Humphreys says, “The greater amount of total carbon in the pre-Flood biosphere did not mean a greater amount of C-14. If God did not make much C-14 during Creation, the 1656 years from then to the Flood would, at today’s C-14 production rate, have only allowed about 20% of today’s amount of C-14 to come into existence. But the pre-Flood Earth had a stronger magnetic field, more effectively shielding its atmosphere from cosmic rays. That would make the production rate of C-14 lower than today. Thus, the total amount of C-14 was probably less than the amount in today’s biosphere. Most of the greater amount of carbon must have been non-radioactive carbon, mostly carbon 12.
“With less C-14 and 200 times more C-12 than today, the pre-Flood C-14/C ratio would have been less than 0.5% of today’s ratio. After the Flood, various factors (more intense cosmic rays than today, rapid re-growth of plants) would cause the ratio to rise rapidly toward today’s ratio during the first millennium after the Flood, and the Ice Age. Peculiarities in C-14 dates for ice-age fossils confirm this rapid rise.
“This problem prompted a decades-long effort to eliminate all possible machine background or contamination, and to find radiocarbon-free carbon. Paul Giem, a creationist M.D., reviewed 51 technical articles addressing the problem, from 1980 to 1999. Nine of them are by creationists, but the other 42 are in secular scientific publications, such as Radiocarbon, Science, Nuclear Geophysics, and Nature. These publications listed 77 occurrences of significant amounts of C-14 from strata (even pre-Cambrian) deep enough to be thought radiocarbon-free. The data ranged from 0.01 to 0.71% of the roughly one-per-trillion ratio in modern carbon (%mc, mc stands for modern carbon). The average is 0.184%mc, which uniformitarians would interpret as an age of about 52,000 years.
“As Giem points out, all authors agree that machine background cannot explain these data. Giem also examines other hypotheses, such as (1) nuclear synthesis of C-14 in situ, (2) contamination in situ, and (3) contamination during sample processing. He finds all of them inadequate, as apparently do most C-14 professionals.
“Contamination is particularly unlikely with the new method because of the carbon 13 measurements. Different organisms process carbon differently so they absorb different amounts of C-13 relative to C-12. For example, the C-13/C of wood is about 2.5% less than the standard, whereas that of fungi is quite different. If enough recent fungi to disturb the C-14/C ratio significantly had invaded fossil wood, it would show up as a disturbance in the C-13/C ratio. It hasn’t. Thus contamination is becoming a forlorn hope for uniformitarians.
“In 1997, Andrew Snelling, a creationist geologist on the Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth (RATE) project, began collecting samples of fossil wood, sending them to professional radiocarbon labs, and publishing the data. The results showed quite different amounts of C-14, even for strata allegedly as old as 220 million years. He thoroughly documented a direct conflict (of a young C-14 date with an ‘old’ potassium-argon dating of the surrounding rock) in a creationist technical journal. Dr. Snelling’s success in this initiative encouraged the rest of us on the RATE project to pursue carbon 14 further.
“John Baumgardner, a creationist geophysicist on the RATE committee, has been gathering well-documented samples and sending them to various radiocarbon labs for analysis. The results were very encouraging, including our discovery of C-14 in the (uncontaminatable) interior of diamonds. Dr. Baumgardner, Dr. Snelling and I submitted a technical paper to the 5th International Conference on Creationism. We also reported our final C-14 results in a chapter of a 2005 book available at no charge online. (www.icr.org/i/pdf/technical/Carbon-14-evidence-for-a-Recent-Global-Flood-and-a-Young-Earth.pdf)
“Carbon 14 dating has been an icon of evolutionists, being the ‘flagship’ of the radioisotope dating fleet. Many creationists who did not understand it well felt it was an embarrassment, something we had to explain away. But now the tables have been turned. By providing strong evidence that even the deepest geologic strata are only thousands of years old, carbon 14 calls into question the basic assumptions behind such ‘long-age’ radioisotope methods as potassium-argon, rubidium-strontium, etc. It supports the RATE project’s main hypothesis, episodes of greatly accelerated nuclear decay rates during Creation and the Genesis flood. It looks like carbon 14 is now becoming a friend for creationists and an embarrassment to evolutionists.”
Thank God for Dr. Humphreys contribution.