The Instigator
pr.Daniel_Jordan
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The Contender
roguetech
Con (against)
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C-14 in diamonds proves the earth is young

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/27/2015 Category: Science
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 721 times Debate No: 79098
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (13)
Votes (0)

 

pr.Daniel_Jordan

Pro

C-14 is an isotope of carbon. It's radioactive and the decay rate is approximately 5700 years which means that it can't last for more than 100,000 years. It's been reported in coal deposits which are supposedly millions of years old -- however, I will not use this as an argument, since contamination will be the common response.

I will use C-14 in diamond, one of the hardest materials known to mankind. The existence of C-14 in this material is known in the conventional literature, for example R.E. Taylor and J. Southon, “Use of Natural Diamonds to Monitor 14C AMS Instrument Backgrounds,” Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 259 (2007): 282–287.

However, it's obvious from the title of this research paper that the authors do not believe this is evidence of a young earth, instead, they state that the radiocarbon reading is background radiation in the detector. However, this can not be the case, since AMS does not measure radiation, it only counts atoms. The researchers very well know this, but had to say it anyway since the idea of a young earth is very unwelcome. Even if AMS could measure radiation, the 14C/C ratios in diamonds was close to 0.12±0.01 pMC, well above that of the lab’s background of purified natural gas (0.08 pMC).

What is the explanation for the existence of C-14 in diamonds?
roguetech

Con

Just as a quick correction, C14 does not have an expiration of 100,000 years. Useful dating using C14 only extends as far as about 50,000 years.

First, you offer no explanation for why C14 in diamonds would suggest a universe only 6,000 years old. At best, your argument suggests there is a flaw in C14 dating. Not only is C14 dating is compared to other methods, so we do know for a FACT it is accurate in most conditions, even tree ring dating (dendrochronology) extends well beyond 10,000 years or more.[1]

Second, C14 dating is only useful with organic material. It can not be used to date even recent mineral formations. A measurement of C14 does not mean we can date diamonds, rather there is a process occurring in diamonds that's not understood, such as interaction with high-energy particles.

Third, C14 dating, especially for minute amounts, can be and are affected by contamination and background noise. Even today, with refined techniques, a single stray atom can distort results - one single atom of carbon remaining in a test chamber from a prior test. In addition, the detection is not perfect, and false positives can be registered. The amount of C14 "measured" within diamonds, is within the margin of error.

Fourth, C14 testing requires combusting the material. Diamond doesn't burn at normal tempertures. The exceedingly high temperatures required to destroy diamond increase the chance of contamination, and distorts known background signatures and false readings. New techniques bring risks of unknown (or insufficiently quantified) errors.

In summary, only a minuscule amount of C14 is measured in diamonds. The most plausible explanation is contamination. C14 in diamonds does nothing to establish the age of the universe. Scientists will continue to refine their methods, and study the issue further. If diamonds contain C14, a TESTABLE HYPOTHESIS must be presented to explain it.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
pr.Daniel_Jordan

Pro

First, you offer no explanation for why C14 in diamonds would suggest a universe only 6,000 years old.

I never said the universe is 6,000 years old. I said C-14 in diamonds proves the earth is young.

At best, your argument suggests there is a flaw in C14 dating.

Notice, this is not about dating diamonds, it's about the fact that there is C-14 inside diamonds at all.

Not only is C14 dating is compared to other methods, so we do know for a FACT it is accurate in most conditions

C-14 dating is not considered accurate beyond three to four thousand years since the magnetic field undergoes decay, this would alter the production of C-14 in the past and therefore alter the amout of C-14 in organic material.

...even tree ring dating (dendrochronology) extends well beyond 10,000 years or more.

Tree rings grow according to their environment - sometimes, it's three per year, sometimes it's one per year, sometimes it's zero for decades! Not reliable for scientific purposes.

Second, C14 dating is only useful with organic material. It can not be used to date even recent mineral formations.

We're not dating anything. We're testing for the existence of C-14 atoms inside a hard crystalline structure.

Third, C14 dating, especially for minute amounts, can be and are affected by contamination

This is exactly why I picked diamonds instead of coal seams. Diamonds are extremely hard and there is no possibility of contamination -- plus, these are found in every diamond, not only one, so you can completely rule out contamination.

Fourth, C14 testing requires combusting the material. Diamond doesn't burn at normal tempertures.

It's certainly possible to crush and re-shape diamond. Not so extraordinary temperatures to burn diamond.. it takes 800 C / 1500 F, but where DOES burning diamonds come into play?

roguetech

Con

If it doesn't help date diamonds, then it says nothing about the age of the earth. Your statements are contradictory.

To perform C14 testing, the sample must be totally incinerated, to free the carbon atoms from the molecules. This same process is used with diamonds, only the temperatures required are much higher (about 6,500 degrees). That means C14 machines with different lasers must be used, introducing greater unknowns - it simply hasn't been done enough times, and there are fewer other materials requiring the same device.

The contamination is not from the diamonds. Despite diamonds NOT being pure carbon, and does have "contaminants", that contamination is IN the material, so it's PART of the material. That's "contamination" only in the sense it's not pure diamond. Two different meanings for "contamination". DATING contamination comes from external sources. Surface contamination on the sample, in the impure vacuum in the chamber, contamination on surfaces of the test chamber or contamination in the measuring device (most likely accelerator mass spectrometer). Frankly, the claim that no C14 testing ever has errors is just plain wrong. Also, there is background noise. Measure literally empty space, and C14 will be "measured". C14 in diamonds is "no accurately measurable amount", since it is in the margin of error.

While not relevant, tree rings grow a new ring every season. It's true there be changes in growth seasons, it is known that this is very rare. There are dozens or hundreds of dating methods, from tree rings, to Antarctic snow deposition, to other radiometric datings, and many many others. They overlap, and can be cross-compared for accuracy. You must discount all of them.

It is on you to demonstrate how the measured presence of C14 can be used to date the earth.

https://en.wikipedia.org...
https://en.wikipedia.org...
https://en.wikipedia.org...
https://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
pr.Daniel_Jordan

Pro

If it doesn't help date diamonds, then it says nothing about the age of the earth. Your statements are contradictory.

C-14 dating does not work at all, organic or not, it's extremely inaccurate beyond 4,000 years -- but we're not looking for precise dates, we're testing for the existence of C-14 atoms, which would indicate that the diamond could not be older than 100,000 years.

To perform C14 testing, the sample must be totally incinerated

It's easy to crush diamond, what is your point?

The contamination is not from the diamonds. Despite diamonds NOT being pure carbon, and does have "contaminants", that contamination is IN the material, so it's PART of the material. That's "contamination" only in the sense it's not pure diamond.

The Univ. of California, Berkeley, states that all diamonds are atleast one billion years old. If C-14 entered during the formation of the diamond, it would have disappeared within the first 100,000 years.

Measure literally empty space, and C14 will be "measured". C14 in diamonds is "no accurately measurable amount", since it is in the margin of error.

0.12±0.01 pMC translates to approx. 50k years, it's within the margin of error for accurate dates, but not for the existence of C-14, since the AMS can detect nearly up to 100k years, or double the value we have -- also, the lab's background is 0.08 pMC while the diamonds were approx. 0.12±0.01 pMC

While not relevant, tree rings grow a new ring every season. It's true there be changes in growth seasons, it is known that this is very rare. There are dozens or hundreds of dating methods, from tree rings, to Antarctic snow deposition, to other radiometric datings, and many many others. They overlap, and can be cross-compared for accuracy. You must discount all of them.

Simply false, everything you said. We can discuss these things in another debate as I do not have space, here it's about C-14 in diamonds specifically.



roguetech

Con

--"C-14 dating does not work at all,"

Begging the question.

But I don't care. ALL of the massively overwhelming amount of evidence by thousands of experts over hundreds of years says the earth is NOT young. The most reasonable and USEFUL belief is that it's not young. C14 in diamonds is irrelevant.

--"It's easy to crush diamond, what is your point?"

No, it's one of the hardest substances in the universe. Regardless, crushing diamonds does nothing to demonstrate a young earth. (C14 dating requires incineration.)

--The Univ. of California, Berkeley, states that all diamonds are atleast one billion years old....

You already stated that the hypothetical presence of C14 in diamonds does not help to date them. To C14 date something, you must first know how much C12, C13 and C14 was in the originally formed material (the ratios). If diamonds have C14 in them... Then so what?

Also, halflives are *averages*, based on the decay of billions or trillions of atoms. The decay of any *specific* atom can not be predicted. It could decay instantly, or not decay in a billion years. Only when dealing with large numbers of atoms can any radiometric dating be used (other than for a Creationist argument). The presence of "some" atoms tells us literally nothing. (Odd that the C14 halflife supposedly exceeds age of universe.)

Finally, if the UC, Berkley happens to be wrong about the age of diamonds, that does not establish a young earth.

>0.12"0.01 pMC translates to approx. 50k years....

It translates to 50k IN ORGANIC MATERIAL, because we know the ORIGINAL ratios. Demonstrate the original concentration.

>the lab's background is 0.08 pMC while the diamonds were approx.

Provide a source for amount measured by UC. Everything that I can find regarding C14 diamonds comes from the Institute for Creation Research, Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth project, and not peer-reviewed. Diamonds are made of carbon. C14 is carbon. Even if we could accurately measure any... Who cares?
Debate Round No. 3
pr.Daniel_Jordan

Pro

ALL of the massively overwhelming amount of evidence by thousands of experts...

Argumentum ad populum. Rejected.

No, it's one of the hardest substances in the universe. Regardless, crushing diamonds does nothing to demonstrate a young earth. (C14 dating requires incineration.)

It's not extremely hard to crush, it's only hard to scrape or cut. It's a common misconception, no worries.

You already stated that the hypothetical presence of C14 in diamonds does not help to date them. To C14 date something, you must first know how much C12, C13 and C14 was in the originally formed material (the ratios). If diamonds have C14 in them... Then so what?

We have to know the original amount, which is exactly why C-14 dating does not work. However, we're not attempting to find a date for these diamonds, we're only investigating whether or not they contain C-14 atoms, if they do, they are automatically less than 100,000 years.

Also, halflives are *averages*, based on the decay of billions or trillions of atoms. The decay of any *specific* atom can not be predicted. It could decay instantly, or not decay in a billion years.

You know how many atoms we are talking about when it's 50,000 years / 0.12 pMC? Much more than one or two. Even if it were one or two, I still doubt they could survive for a billion years, extremely unrealistic -- please read up on some literature.

Finally, if the UC, Berkley happens to be wrong about the age of diamonds, that does not establish a young earth.

Regardless of the age of diamonds, if they still contain C-14, which they do, they are 100,000 years old or less. I pointed out UC Berkeley's statement to show that your evolutionary ages are wrong.

It translates to 50k IN ORGANIC MATERIAL, because we know the ORIGINAL ratios. Demonstrate the original concentration.

No you don't -- no one does. It's relative to our current ppm., still wouldn't make a difference since we're not looking for an exact age, like I pointed out many times before.


roguetech

Con

"Argumentum ad populum. Rejected."

It's actually an argument from *valid* authority. "Experts" was a key word.

>It's not extremely hard to crush, it's only hard to scrape or cut.

You're referring to *fracturing* it. To crush it (to break apart individual atoms) is practically impossible. No worries.

>We have to know the original amount

Alright, since we know 100% was C14, after 5,730 years, 50% is left. After 183,360 years, 1.56% is left. Assuming perfect measurements (Pro has yet to provide a source), .004pMC = 1,466,880 years, past the "at least 1 billion" Con has already accepted. I would not consider over a billion years "young".

>if they do, they are automatically less than 100,000 years.

No they aren't. If that were true, you could just say "C14 exists. Ergo, the universe is > 100k years". But, for a really young universe, go with hydrogen-7 (half life of 21x10^-21 seconds).

>You know how many atoms we are talking about when it's 50,000 years / 0.12 pMC? Much more than one or two. Even if it were one or two,

Depends on the sample size. Provide a source.

>please read up on some literature.

Sure. Provide the source, and I will familiarize myself with at. As I've stated, the only "literature" I've seen is from the Institute for Creation Research. Do you have that in a full-color pamphlet for me to hand out?

>It's relative to our current ppm.,

Diamonds were not created from atmospheric carbon dioxide. If you only eat elemental carbon, you have bigger issues than the age of diamonds. (See comments.) Many diamonds didn't even form on earth! As stated above, if diamonds were formed of pure C14, it would allows an EARTH of over 1 billion years.

Demonstrate otherwise.
Debate Round No. 4
pr.Daniel_Jordan

Pro

It's actually an argument from *valid* authority. "Experts" was a key word.

You would use the same argument when the 'experts' said the earth was flat. It would not matter if 99% of the entire scientific community said the earth was made out of cheese, it just would not matter!

You're referring to *fracturing* it. To crush it (to break apart individual atoms) is practically impossible. No worries.

Where have you heard this? Lighter samples are crushed using mortar and pestle, harder are crushed using machines and so on, when does 'burning' come into play? What laboratory are you working at / where have you seen this?

Alright, since we know 100% was C14, after 5,730 years, 50% is left. After 183,360 years, 1.56% is left.

After 34,000 years 1.56% is left.

Assuming perfect measurements (Pro has yet to provide a source) .004pMC = 1,466,880 years

See my first post for the source, if you want a 2nd source I'll post that as well. Then, it's not the correct age. Where are you getting these numbers? You would need 250 half lives for that, when that's nearly 40 times the amout we need for 0.12 pMC.

No they aren't. If that were true, you could just say "C14 exists. Ergo, the universe is > 100k years"

No, I could not say that, because C-14 is constantly made. However, if I found C-14 inside an object you claim was made at the beginning of the universe, then I can say that the universe is young.

Depends on the sample size. Provide a source.

Sample size has nothing to do with that.

Diamonds were not created from atmospheric carbon dioxide.

I never said that. They probably had some contamination of C-14 during formation, which according to UC Berkeley was one billion years ago.
roguetech

Con

You have not presented any reason why the presence in C-14 in diamonds would suggest a young earth. You have failed to demonstrate how young diamonds suggest a young earth. You failed to present any source demonstrating numbers you cited. You have failed to demonstrate that the "apparent C-14 ages" are just... apparent. Your only source states in the TITLE that all C-14 measured in diamonds are for calibration - "...to monitor 14C AMS instrument backgrounds". You have been unable to provide any confirmed false dates for C-14 dating. You have presented no alternative to radiometric dating. You have done nothing to demonstrate all other dating methods are mistaken.

You've even gotten to the point of saying "C-14 exists, so the earth is young." Honestly, it would have been more refreshing if you're just said "Godsaidso" and been done with it.

That ends my arguments.

Now, to address your shocking ignorance of science...

No one has EVER claimed the earth is flat based on scientific methods. Personally, despite having researched the issue, I have yet to see any source suggesting anyone has ever actually claimed the earth is flat. Even the Old Testament presents a partially-round earth (as nearly identical to the Greek model).

http://findingkolob.weebly.com...

Science is not people. It's not specific claims of truth. It's not facts or measurements. It is a METHOD to evaluate claims for truth. Science is never wrong, even if people sometimes are. However, there has not been a single scientific theory to have been discredited. When we compare that to religion - "flat earth" (as you call it), earth-centered universe, young earth, lack of evolution... There has NEVER been a single religious prediction demonstrated to be true! Not one. If you think there has been, challenge me to a debate. But come better prepared.

I appreciate your time and effort, but to be very blunt... I'm not impressed. You are irrational.
Debate Round No. 5
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by roguetech 1 year ago
roguetech
You provided zero support there is any c14 in diamonds. If you provided support for the latter, it would contradict the former. You have provided zero evidence how a false positive measurment of c14 has any bearing on dating organic materials. You provided zero evidence how young diamonds in older material demonstrates a young earth. You provided zero evidence that the diamonds aren't young. You provided zero evidence that any hypothetical failure to accurately date diamonds has any relevance to any dating of other materials.

If you want to provide an actual verifiable source for your numbera regarding C14 content and how it was measured, feel free to start another debate.
Posted by pr.Daniel_Jordan 1 year ago
pr.Daniel_Jordan
C-14 inside any object will decay. The decay can not last for more than 100,000 years, by then nearly no atoms or no atoms should be left. The fact that we find 50k (out of range for background) indicates that the diamonds are less than 100,000 years.
Posted by roguetech 1 year ago
roguetech
I meant to provide a link to Pro's "source".

https://archive.is...

This is literally nothing more than UC Berkeley saying "diamonds millions of years old, using our machinery has an apparent age of 65000-80000 years old". They did this to celebrate their equipment - to test the innacuracy in their equipment. They all came from the SAME diamond, so this not only showed "background" contamination (how much the equipment is always off by) and a margin of error (contamination by false positive positives).

The Pro never provided a source for their figure of .12pMC, so I could do nothing to directly dispute it.
Posted by roguetech 1 year ago
roguetech
The entire point of a debate if for you to establish your assertion to be valid. Your assertion is that the earth is young. You literally never said why diamonds are relevant to the age of the earth, let alone supported it.
Posted by pr.Daniel_Jordan 1 year ago
pr.Daniel_Jordan
Please form a coherent comment with no meaningless assertions, logical fallacies and speculative attacks, because that's what your comment is all about, basically. If you can't form a rational and scientific reason why I'm wrong, then don't form any at all.
Posted by roguetech 1 year ago
roguetech
"You simply refuse to accept the fact that C-14 indicates a young earth..."

You simply refuse to provide any reason why it would. Let's say, your claims regarding quantity of C-14 in diamonds is correct (your source makes no such claim, and implies you are wrong). Let's say, diamonds ARE made of C-14 (you never addressed this at all). Let's say there is no way for C-14 to be created within diamonds and it decays at the typical rate. Let's say that the remaining amount implies young diamonds (your source states otherwise!). Let's say there are no alternate explanations, making the diamonds fairly young...

(Let's say that the Easter Bunny told you so....)

SO WHAT??? Why can't there be new diamonds? Why should anyone care that some diamonds are young, even assuming you aren't using bad data, misreading the data, making bald-faced assumptions, and doing bad math.

To put this simply, not only did your god need to make a young earth with not just old, but DEAD trees, not only did it need to make stars that would literally never existed - among many other contradictions - but apparently, it made non-existant C-14 in diamonds. So what?? If that literally the best your god can come up with, you're just one more person using one more argument that fails to convince why I should even care if a god exists.
Posted by pr.Daniel_Jordan 1 year ago
pr.Daniel_Jordan
I will start another debate after this one on some evidence from astronomy that the universe is young, feel free to drop in.
Posted by pr.Daniel_Jordan 1 year ago
pr.Daniel_Jordan
I believe you're knowledgeable, but in denial. You simply refuse to accept the fact that C-14 indicates a young earth because you can't bring yourself to believe the earth is young, it was hard for me as well, since I have been indoctrinated by my professors. But when you open your mind, you soon realize that not only C-14 proves the earth is young, atleast 10 other studies prove that the earth is young along with historical records of the ancients. To me, it's a fact that the earth is young, read many studies, now convinced :-)
Posted by pr.Daniel_Jordan 1 year ago
pr.Daniel_Jordan
If the entire earth were made of nothing but carbon-14, all but one atom would decay to nitrogen-14 in 1 million years, and that atom would have a greater than 99% chance of also decaying. [1] Like I said, read some literature.

[1] http://www.grisda.org...
Posted by roguetech 1 year ago
roguetech
errata: Stated the age for pure C14 diamonds to decay to .004pMC is 1,466,880 years, then referred to that number as "billion". First, 1.4 million isn't more than a billion. Second, my math was off: 733,440 years. Oops.
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