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Imagine the same tank, this time it is not yet full and the top tap is flowing more quickly than the bottom one is leaking out—this gives you a way of measuring how long ago the whole system was ‘switched on’ and it also tells you that that can’t have been too long ago (see diagram above).
Libby knew that if these figures were correct, it would mean that the atmosphere was young, so he dismissed the results as being due to experimental error!
Remember that this correction is based on measurable scientific data, not on any creationist preconceptions.
We need to consider two other effects: In any case, even the incorrect ‘uniform’ model has given, in many cases, serious embarrassment to evolutionists by giving ages which are much younger than those he expects in terms of his model of earth history.
Think of it like a teaspoon of cocoa mixed into a cake dough—after a while, the ‘ratio’ of cocoa to flour particles would be roughly the same no matter which part of the cake you sampled.
The fact that the C doesn’t matter in a living thing—because it is constantly exchanging carbon with its surroundings, the ‘mixture’ will be the same as in the atmosphere and in all living things.
It is assumed that the ratio has been constant for a very long time before the industrial revolution. (For on it hangs the whole validity of the system.) Why did W. Libby, the brilliant discoverer of this system, assume this?
In other words, the further you go back, the more you have to shrink the radiocarbon dates to make them fit the facts.
This is especially remarkable with samples of coal and gas supposedly produced in the carboniferous 100 million years ago! Note that the data presented does not necessarily endorse a particular age for the Earth, but reveals a pattern We see, then, that far from being an embarrassment to the creationist who believes in a young Earth, the radiocarbon method of dating—when fully understood in accordance with modern atmospheric data—gives powerful support to his position.
Some examples of dates which contradict orthodox (evolutionary) views: , pub.
Because Libby believed that the Earth was millions of years old, he assumed that there had been plenty of time for the system to be in equilibrium.
This means that he thought that C was entering the atmosphere as fast as it was leaving—calculations show that this should take place in about 30,000 years, and of course the Earth was much older than that, said the geologists.