Radiocarbon dating the flood
No one seriously proposes that all the determined dates are without error, but we do not know how many of them are in error—25%? The sharp reduction in previously estimated dates for the close of the glacial period (a date which had been estimated mainly on the basis of counts of varved clays presumably laid down by the retreating ice sheet) has been a source of much argument among Pleistocene geologists as to the relative merits of the varve method (which gave a date of over 20,000 years) and the radiocarbon method (which gave a date of about 11,000 years). Ernst Antevs, has sharply criticized the radiocarbon method, as a result: In appraising C 14 dates, it is essential always to discriminate between the C 14 age and the actual age of the sample.
The laboratory analysis determines only the amount of radioactive carbon present …
The other is that the cosmic ray flux has been essentially constant—at least on a scale of centuries.7-69To which we might add the assumption of the constancy of the rate of decay of the carbon 14 atoms, the assumption that dead organic matter is not later altered with respect to its carbon content by any biologic or other activity the assumption that the carbon dioxide content of the ocean and atmosphere has been constant with time, the assumption that the huge reservoir of oceanic carbon has not changed in size during the period of applicability of the method, and the assumption that the rate of formation and the rate of decay of radiocarbon atoms have been in equilibrium throughout the period of applicability.
Every one of these assumptions is highly questionable in the context of the events of Creation and the Deluge.
Even some who believe the Bible to be historically true feel the date cannot be later than 10,000 - 12,000 BC, placing it well beyond the reach of any related archaeological or literary data for which dates are known.
There are important reasons for reexamining the evidence which points to a date closer to 3000 BC.
it follows that atmospheric carbon dioxide has probably been diluted to the extent of about 3½ percent with carbon dioxide from the combustion of fossil fuels.
We had thought initially that we would be able to get samples all along the curve back to 30,000 years, put the points in, and then our work would be finished.Much more must be done on chemical purification of samples.7-73The problem of atmospheric contamination by fossil fuels has also come in for some consideration, since the burning of coal and oil during the past century and more has added measurably to the amount of carbon dioxide in the carbon cycle.A recent study on the quantitative aspect of this factor concludes:…By the application of some very well thought-out techniques, Libby and his colleagues have actually not only identified the radiocarbon in nature, but have also made quantitative estimates thereof.Since this carbon in the atmosphere mostly becomes attached to oxygen to form carbon dioxide, and since the carbon dioxide is ingested by plants and animals and is incorporated in their biological structures, and further, since this process stops at the time of the death of the specimen, the percentage of radiocarbon among the normal carbon atoms in its system can be used to establish the date at which the specimen stops metabolizing.7-68There is no doubt that this constitutes a very ingenious and powerful dating tool, provided only that the inherent assumptions are valid.
The limited data available suggest that the extent of dilution is possibly one to two percent.7-74This means that the standard figures as to present content of carbon dioxide in the exchange reservoir of carbon, on which radiocarbon age calculations are based, are incorrect with respect to conditions under which older specimens were formed and have since been decaying.