Author Topic: Pollen, lakes, and carbon-14 dating  (Read 573 times)

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Offline jaimehlers

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Pollen, lakes, and carbon-14 dating
« on: October 13, 2013, 11:22:38 PM »
What do these things have in common?  The answer is very surprising

First off, pollen.  Every allergy sufferer in existence loathes the stuff.  But it turns out pollen is incredibly robust stuff - it can last for thousands of years, buried in mud or clay, such as at the bottom of a lake.  Northern lakes form what are called varves, layers of alternating light and dark colored soil that operate like clockwork, year after year.  This is due to the fact that heavier, lighter-colored silt tends to settle during summer months, while lighter, darker-colored silt settles in winter months when the lakes freeze.  Meaning, it's more accurate than a calendar - at least provided that the lakes are frozen during the winter and thawed during the summer.

For example, Lake Suigetsu, in Japan, is an ideal place to take varve measurements, since it was formed by a volcanic eruption and basically has no outlets and very few inlets, meaning that its varve formation is extremely regular.  They have taken sediment core samples that have greater than 60,000 layers - meaning more than 60,000 years, exactly like clockwork.  This also means that they can use c-14 dating on those samples (such as plant matter, pollen, and algae), and can validate the accuracy of those dates.



Needless to say, this is among the strongest evidence to support radiocarbon dating that anyone has found yet - and varves have been known about for more than a century.  It's only been in the past few decades that they've been used in conjunction with other forms of dating.  Given that all three major forms of dating (tree rings, varves, and c-14 dating) form an almost direct correlation with each other, it's extremely unlikely that some other explanation for why they fit together in what is for all intents and purposes a straight line would be believable.

Offline Nick

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Re: Pollen, lakes, and carbon-14 dating
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2013, 08:04:40 AM »
Cool stuff but the devil did it. ;)
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

Tide goes in, tide goes out !!!

Online nogodsforme

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Re: Pollen, lakes, and carbon-14 dating
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2013, 04:08:35 PM »
I'm an ice core fan myself. I'll leave it to you to re-varve the whole carbon-14 debate with the creationists.....  :angel:
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Tero

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Re: Pollen, lakes, and carbon-14 dating
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2013, 09:59:37 PM »
60 000 years! That's ten times the age of the planet!

Offline Dr H

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Re: Pollen, lakes, and carbon-14 dating
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2013, 05:37:46 PM »
They have taken sediment core samples that have greater than 60,000 layers - meaning more than 60,000 years, exactly like clockwork.

If light layers form in the summer and dark layers form in the winter, wouldn't 60,000 layers mean 30,000 years?
You'd have 30,000 light layers and 30,000 dark layers, two layers to the year.  No?

Dr H

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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Pollen, lakes, and carbon-14 dating
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2013, 10:34:25 AM »
If light layers form in the summer and dark layers form in the winter, wouldn't 60,000 layers mean 30,000 years?
You'd have 30,000 light layers and 30,000 dark layers, two layers to the year.  No?
No.  I was referring to a light layer plus a dark layer - a varve, in other words.  If you counted light and dark separately rather than together, there'd be more than 120,000.

Notably, it was a bit sloppy of me to suddenly switch to using 'layers' rather than 'varves', and I apologize.

Online wheels5894

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Re: Pollen, lakes, and carbon-14 dating
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2013, 12:12:34 PM »
Wow! I hadn't seen the 'varves' stuff before. What a great way of getting new evidence of the accuracy of C14 dating - and, I suppose, dating using other radioactive elements over longer time-scales.

Now, unless any theist would like to say the god fixed the lot when the earth was created 6,000 years ago, in which case I'd like the physical evidence of this creation event and not juts a story, I would have thought the case of YEC is crushed. I wonder who will jump in to argue against....
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Pollen, lakes, and carbon-14 dating
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2013, 10:06:50 PM »
Actually, varves predate radiocarbon dating by quite a bit (something like fifty to a hundred years).  So it would be more accurate to say that radiocarbon dating helped to support the already-known accuracy of varves, glacial ice layers, pollen residue, and dendrochronology.

Either way, you're right that the weight of evidence against young earth creationism is pretty crushing.