Carbon dating debate
There’s not much to debate about these views: One is fact, based on empirical scientific evidence; the other is fiction, based on biblically inspired fantasy.Nye is an earnest educator; Ham is an exploitative fabulist.And there was a lot of blind faith on display at the Creation Museum on Tuesday night.Ham opened his presentation by whining that those of us who accept evolution are “secularists hijacking the word science” and “imposing the religion of naturalism—atheism—on generations of students.” Evolution, Ham asserts, is “based upon man’s ideas about the past”—but “we weren’t there, and we didn’t observe it.” It’s hubristic, Ham claims, to accept a human-developed theory about the origin of life; the only reliable source of such information is “the biblical account of origins.” Ham supports this strange and sinister version of creationism with a pet theory of bifurcated biology.Creationists begin with their conclusion—the text of Genesis is the literal history of the world—then work backward to find their justifications.
For instance, Lucy, the 3.2-million-year-old human ancestor, was dated by scientists who studied the volcanic flows and ashes in deposits where her bones were found.)“Given current emissions trends, fossil fuel emission-driven artificial ‘aging’ of the atmosphere is likely to occur much faster and with a larger magnitude than previously expected,” Graven wrote.By the year 2100, the atmosphere will have a radiocarbon age of 2,000 years old. If Graven's calculations are correct, carbon dating as we know it today will no longer be reliable by the year 2030.Which means scientists won’t be able to use carbon dating to distinguish between new materials and artifacts that are hundreds or thousands of years old.“Seldom has a single discovery in chemistry had such an impact on the thinking in so many fields of human endeavour,” one of Libby's colleagues wrote at the time, according to the Nobel Foundation.Today, carbon dating is used so widely as to be taken for granted.
Since the 1940s, scientists have used carbon dating to determine the age of fossils, identify vintages of wine and whiskey, and explore other organic artifacts like wood and ivory.