The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Carbon dating proves dinosaurs lived tens of thousands of years ago

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Debate Round Forfeited
Aleksa_Stojkovic has forfeited round #3.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/12/2018 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 619 times Debate No: 107914
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)




It's quite simple, what I'm saying here. The half life of C-14 is 5730 years, and therefore, no traces of C-14 should be found after 100,000 years, or 17 half lives. This is confirmed by accelerator mass spectrometry, which is the most accurate method used to carbon date. presentation 48 ( presents numerous results of dinosaur bones being carbon dated, in various laboratories, independently, and even signed by a leading carbon dating expert.



I accept.

Pro has provided a link to an article on newgeology that lists radiocarbon dating results for a number of different dinosaurs, all of which are a factor of tens of thousands of years. They use this as a case for the resolution that carbon dating proves that dinosaurs lived tens of thousands of years ago. But is the article sufficient to justify such a bold claim? No. The absolute best case scenario for Pro based on the case given so far is that the article gets cross-examined and comes out the other end smelling of roses. But this would not prove that dinosaurs lived tens of thousands of years ago. If everything from the article checks out, at best it presents a conflict between radiocarbon dates of dinosaurs and relative dating done using various other radiometric techniques and/or with the use of index fossils. Pro would still have all their work ahead of them to demonstrate that the conflict should be resolved in favour of the radiocarbon dates.
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to clarify that definitive proof can never be achieved, as I sense that the opponent is going to base his position on the fact that other methods seem to indicate different ages and that the age of the dinosaurs is therefore not conclusive. Of course, there will always be a conflict of data - but based upon scientific methods, we can determine what is likely to be the case. No one can ever present definitive proof, unless in mathematics. I am attempting to show that C-14 provides a very heavy case for young dinosaurs.

When multiple, non-affiliated, independent laboratories across the United States arrive at similar results for the age of certain bone samples, that carries significant weight - but even that is not the point - the point is, that nothing at all should be found in those bones when they exceed a hundred thousand years of age, and even standard methods that are not state-of-the-art managed to detect significant amounts of C-14 in those bones, repeatedly, without exception.

Unless a reasonable alternative explanation for the presence of C-14 is put forth, from a carbon dating perspective (which is a legitimate scientific method for dating bones), the conclusion is that dinosaurs likely lived tens of thousands of years ago, and definitely less than a hundred thousand years ago. And yes, the results presented have been cross-examined using multiple methods on several occasions, as written in the presentation. The names of the researchers are clearly written for verification purposes, and even the signature of a renowned carbon dating expert is to be seen in the presentation, as additional verification that the results are legitimate.



I agree with Pro that definitive proof is exclusive to mathematics. I was not the one who chose to use the word proof, nor do I intend to hold Pro's use of the word to that kind of standard. In fact, I'm willing to throw Pro a huge bone and ignore that the resolution contains the word "proof" at all. And I'll take it even further and throw Pro another huge bone and pretend that they never used the word "definitely" in round 2. Even with all that, my point still stands. Pro is right to say that no C14 should be present in bones older than 100,000 years. But neither should bones younger than 100,000 years be found in rocks dated into the millions. Like, for example, in the Mygatt-Moore Quarry in the Brushy Basin Member of the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation where various sauropods have been found and which has been uranium-lead dated at 152 million years old [1]. Unless Pro's claim that the radiocarbon results are likely correct is inescapably also a claim that dating of rocks into the millions are likely wrong. As such, they need to justify what they believe tips the balance in favour of the radiocarbon dates. Do they think it's possible that young bones can exist in old rock? If so, how? Do they think it's possible that the dating techniques used on rocks that are supposedly millions of years old are flawed in some way? If so, why? Do they believe that other dating techniques are valid but radiocarbon dating is slightly superior in some way? If so, why? Unless Pro is willing to address this issue, their entire case is a non-starter.

Pro claims that unless a reasonable explanation for the detection of C14 is put forth, the conclusion is that dinosaurs likely lived less than 100,000 years ago, but this is not a luxury that they are afforded. Only if a justification is made for favouring radiocarbon dates of dinosaur bones over other radiometric dates of old rocks will it become necessary for me to demonstrate a reasonable explanation for C14 in order to make the case that the radiocarbon dates are the lesser likely dates to go with to resolve the conflict. But without such a justification, Pro's case is an automatic fail and there's no need for me to go any further. So it's not so much that I'm basing my position on the conflict of dates. It's that I don't yet find Pro's case threatening enough to need to go beyond pointing the conflict out and calling Pro out on their lack of justification for picking a side in the conflict. If Pro is willing to provide such a justification, we can start to get into the meat of the topic. But as for now, I'm content at leaving it at that.

Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by BezoomnyBratchny 2 years ago
It seems that Pro has closed their account. Shame. I would have liked to have gotten a much deeper back and forth out of this debate.

It looks like the debate is condemned to stay in limbo indefinitely now so I'll just finish off by correcting a mistake that I made in round 2. I said "Unless Pro's claim that the radiocarbon results are likely correct is inescapably also a claim that dating of rocks into the millions are likely wrong". That sentence should have read "Pro's claim that the radiocarbon results are likely correct is inescapably also a claim that dating of rocks into the millions are likely wrong" without the word "unless" at the beginning.

Also, the link to my source for the quarry is dead so here's an updated link:
Posted by theta_pinch 2 years ago
Fun fact, UC Berkley has refined Argon-argon dating to have an error of 0.25% and found the K-T boundary to be 65.95 million years before present which just so happens to be in agreement with other radioactive dating methods such as Uranium-Lead. Funny how virtually all dinosaur bones are found in sediment older than the K-T boundary just as expected. Funny how C-14 dating provides ages three orders of magnitude younger in a situation where the other dating methods suggest C-14 dating's reliability should be approximately 0. It's almost like a contrary result from a dating method that shouldn't be used in this case is not reason to throw out decades of consistent results with properly used radioactive dating methods.

Remember a few years when neutrino's were measured going faster than light? Rather than declaring decades of experimental results wrong they looked to see what could have gone wrong in their experiment. Turned out it was a faulty connection. That's how honest scientists would have approached results at odds with with decades of experimental results. Not by declaring a conspiracy of evil scientists suppressing the TRUTH.
Posted by Aleksa_Stojkovic 2 years ago
WOLF.J - No I do not know, and neither do you, or anyone else. It will be a day to congratulate when you learn to differentiate between facts of nature and speculative ideas.
Posted by WOLF.J 2 years ago
Mate you do know birds are descendants of dinosaurs, they're literally sh1ttin themselves right now!
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