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Equations can be developed for the continuous decrease In intensity, or "decay of the earth's magnetic field," as Barnes calls it. Assuming a more or less constant "decay rate," one can estimate what the intensity of the magnetic field was at any time in past history by means of extrapolation from present conditions.According to the equations used by Barnes, the strength of the earth's magnetic moment would have been fifty thousand times greater some twenty thousand years ago than what it presently is.(University of Chicago Press) and touched off a total reappraisal of ancient history and prehistory known as the "radiocarbon revolution." Libby later received a Nobel Prize for his pioneering work in this new dating method.Most creationists reacted against radiocarbon dating because of its threat to Biblical chronology. Barnes, of the University of Texas at El Paso, wrote an article under the title "Decay of the Earth's Magnetic Moment and the Geochronological Implications,"' thus pro posing a new method of dating the earth based upon the decay of its magnetic field.

It wasn't until 19 when the creationist controversy erupted in the classrooms, when the Arkansas and Louisiana creationist legislation was being challenged in the courtrooms, and when scientific societies were beginning to have papers attacking creationism at their annual conventions that Barnes's ingenious method of dating the earth by its magnetism was brought to the attention of the scientific world. Geological Survey as an expert in radioactive dating, especially the potassium-argon method.As Henry Morris puts it, "If any process should be a reliable indicator of the earth's age, this should be--and it indicates an upper limit for the age of about ten thousand years!" It merits therefore a close scrutiny by creationists first from a Biblical standpoint and second from a scientific one.The controversy centers upon the accuracy of these paleointensity measurements derived from rocks, sediments, and artifacts.Barnes contends that the only accurate measurement of the earth's dipole moment is through actual observatory measurements that are averaged on a worldwide basis.

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